“I will have one mistress here and no master”
-Queen Elizabeth I
The lights were dim. The smell of humidity was in the air. I was sweating. The walls were wet from the heat and moisture, clinging to everything like cling film sticks to skin. All the clothes in the closet were damp and had a horrible, muggy smell coming off them. My apartment was a mess. Everything that could hold something had been turned into an ashtray. There were pots of instant noodles all over the floor in front of the sofa, still containing the noodle water. The floor was dusty and dirty. The bathroom, with its hole in the floor as a toilet was tiny and claustrophobic. I was sat on the bed, listening to the people outside playing drinking games. The fish tank next to the bed needed cleaning and was making loud noises. I tried to call my mum on skype but she wasn’t home. I was 8 hours ahead of her so she would still be at work. My friends were all working too. My friends in china had all returned home for the holidays, so I had nobody to go and see. My chest was burning from the oil and grease in the food I’d been eating that night as I’d finished work late in the evening. The internet wasn’t working and my DVD player was broken. I looked at the picture of me and my boyfriend on the wall. I loved him so much. I wanted so much for him to come home from the bar and hug me. I wanted him to make everything ok. I could live in a cardboard box with him and still be happy. Material possessions weren’t important to me. I just wanted him. I picked up the phone to call him. No answer. I tried again. Still nothing. I got a phone call from him a few hours later. He was demanding me to go and pick him up from the bar again. He wanted me to collect him and take him for something to eat before eventually taking him home. I went to collect him. He was drunk again. I took him for his food, just happy that I was with him. It had been so long since the two of us had gone anywhere together. Months, in fact. I would have preferred to watch a movie with him or just sit and chat over coffee, but this was as good as it was going to get. 4am, sat in a noodle bar, watching him slurp his noodles from the bowl. He made a big noise every time he took another slurp.
I got him home. He jumped straight into bed and started to play on his phone. Game after game after game. He then started to talk to his friends again. This went on for about an hour. I was lying next to him. I wasn’t angry because I knew that eventually he would give me a hug before bed. That’s all I wanted. I lay there waiting for him to finish playing his phone games. Silence. He had fallen asleep with the phone in his hands. I tried to tell him that he needed to charge his phone before the morning otherwise id have no way of contacting him. He moaned at me for waking him up. I got out of bed, took the phone and plugged it in. relief. At least this way I’d be able to call him tomorrow. Otherwise id have no idea where he was or if he was ok. I lay there in silence with my eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. Then it started again. The same routine every night. I could see the face of the guy I knew he had been messing around with online. At this point there had been no confession. It was my intuition. Then after that came the other times where I had been suspicious. Things just didn’t add up. The countless times he would shout at me for asking where he had been, the messages on his phone that he’d delete so that there was no proof. The times where his friends would cover for him and say that they were with him, whilst looking at me straight in the eye as if to say “I’m lying!” The faces were getting bigger and the voices were getting louder. The text messages were running across the ceiling like a screen saver on a Windows 95 computer. I could feel my heart racing. I had to do something about this. Every time I would try to confront him about it, he would beat me down with his words. I was going crazy. I kept telling myself that no matter how much he would have WANTED to do something with someone else, he would have broken up with me first. He had always promised me this one thing. I had to trust him on this one. He wasn’t going to hurt me. I was just being paranoid. I rolled over, knowing that this was all a lie and felt my warm tears roll down my already sweaty face. I closed my eyes and pictured us as we used to be; embraced, happy and healthy. I opened my eyes and I was in England, in my bed that’s been only mine for 7 months now. The sun was shining through the window to mark the start of a bright, beautiful new day.
The sad thing about all of the above is that although it was only a dream that I’d had, it was a 100% accurate routine of most of my evenings for the last 2 years of my relationship. I went to bed the night I had the dream in a stressed mood. I was sad and angry. I believe that the dream had been brought on by a conversation I had with someone from my past. It wasn’t my ex-boyfriend who I was speaking to. It doesn’t matter who it was, but it really annoyed me. We hadn’t spoken for a while so I decided that it was a good chance for us to have a catch up. it was going really well until he started to tell me that he had been looking at my pictures on my Facebook page and that I really should re-think what I wear in public. He then insisted on telling me about my attitude towards life these days and how much I had changed. He put me in a really bad mood. So bad, in fact that I hung up the call. I never do that. I couldn’t believe that after all this time, I had let something like that slip through the net. I was in a bad mood for the rest of the night and tried to sleep on it, remembering that tomorrow is always a new day. I had the dream, woke up and cried. I haven’t cried for a long time. I lay in my bed and cried for what felt like a millennium. I didn’t cry for my ex-boyfriend. I cried for the time that I wanted whilst being with him. I cried for travelling so far only to return a broken man. I cried for the lost opportunities I had to be happy with someone else. I cried because I’m 5 years older than I was and back at square one. Living back at home, single and alone. I looked over to the wall at the end of my bed where I have a coffee table with my big Buddha sat on it with a picture on the wall. I don’t think I’d ever given much thought to it before. I had just always taken it for granted that it was hanging there. This time I really read it. It said:
“Eat less, lose weight, don’t drink, die anyway”
Eureka! It hit me. Sat up in bed with tear stained cheeks, I let the sun shine in from outside and engulf me in all of its golden bliss. I took in the words that I was seeing. I devoured them like they were my favourite food. I think I had forgotten just how bad it felt at the time while I was still in china. It’s not been long. Only 7 months since I was that person, waiting and starving for love off someone who wouldn’t of noticed even if id have left a cardboard cut-out of myself lying in that bed and ran away to a dessert island with Channing Tatum. In such a short space of time, I have come so far when I look back to the person I was, I do not recognize myself. These days, if you were to TELL me to collect you from a bar and take you for noodles at 4am, then I’d probably tell you to shove the noodles straight up your arse. That is the real me. I have come to the realisation that for too long I tried to bend over backwards for him and put my own personality on-hold. I lost myself for a long time. That is not the case anymore. In my eyes, I had to revisit that dark place just one more time to show me that it’s ok to move on and not be that same, desperate, love-drunk person anymore. It also may have something to do with the fact that recently I have heard that he is moving on with his life. I am sincerely glad for him that he can move on. I know I have. I am not a bitter person by nature. If he can find some happiness in this mad world that we live in then I am truly happy for him (as long as he stays away from me). For a long time, I thought that finding happiness was to find a man to be with. I was so wrong. I have found my happiness right now. I have my laptop to write my story, brilliant friends and family and most importantly, air in my lungs. That’s all that matters to me. I am currently sat in front of the window, looking outside at the sunshine, smiling. Now that I am back to being the real me once again, I am excited to see what the future holds for me. I’m nervous, excited, confused, open minded and ready to welcome whatever hand is going to be dealt to me next . Whatever it may be, I’m happy knowing that I never need to feel that bad ever again. God, it’s good to be alive.
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