Tonight a lesser woman crawled into my bed. She lay down her head unable to sleep, my bed felt cold to her. Her beauty was common or so I thought, until I discovered that my own lover thought she was more. But she does not have this power lying in my bed.
She is quite different than me. Her hair is dark and straight, while mine is light and full of curls. Her skin is dark, while mine is fair; I took pride in my voluptuous body until my lover told me he didn’t. You see she is athletic I am curved and he compares me to this girl.
My lover took me to meet her once, what a cruel thing to do. This would have given him a chance to compare us in person. I was excited to meet her. Being new to this town maybe I would find a friend in her I thought as we all sat down. I sat smiling, having no clue, such a fool. She could hardly make eye contact with me, she did not say a word at the time I did not know why I deserved this treatment from this foreign girl. Only now do I know what was going through her mind. She either looked down upon me or pitied me. She knew the compliments my lover paid to her would never grace my ears.
The flirtation was innocent or so he thought, with her returning the favor his weak defenses would slump. She lies in my bed with my lover and is glad for the conquest she has had, but still it seems to feel strange, she has won hasn’t she?
I woke up this morning and ate a slice of melon for breakfast. I went to work and the day blurred by, I went to the gym and moved my newly formed body until I could not bear it. Arriving home I had a shower and straightened my darkened hair. By then I was so hungry, weak minded and stupid. I bought some crackers and ate them with delight. The feeling this gave me soon turned into self contempt. I went to the bathroom and got on the scale…I was no longer interested in crying at the sight of my own failures. I walked to the kitchen to find the only cure for my gluttony. Laxatives are my favorite crutch. There is an hour to go in this ritual of mine. I go to the salon where they spray my body with colour. I feel I’m getting closer all the time. I return home feeling terribly sick, he is home early not what I wanted. I have no choice I run for the bathroom to lighten my shame. I reapply my makeup and greet my lover who is talking to another.
He pauses his conversation, looks me up and down. A slight purse of the lips, he mutters “hey” and back to his conversation. I go into another room where I see a computer screen up. He has begun a letter to his friend… Catharine? This friend is not one who I have ever met. I have never ever heard him speak of this Catharine. “Catty” It reads in such a personal way “I have to say your looks are so natural and pure you’re an incredibly good looking woman”. “Your boyfriend is a friend of mine so let’s keep this conversation between you and me”. “Oh I can’t help it!” is the last line he wrote “I have to tell you I want you, maybe we could meet sometime”. “Tell you what” she replied “to make sure nothing happens” Bring your girl and I will bring my man and we will all meet.” I can hear him walking into the room. I move away and sit on the couch. “Hey” he says to me after looking at the computer “Do you want to go out to dinner?” I had been asking him for weeks to take me out so just to be sure I say “just you and I?” Hoping he has changed his mind. “No, you would be meeting some friends of mine; Adam and Catharine. Catharine is nice you will like her” Fine I say, as I sit there and gaze. “Well then” he says “are you going to go and get changed?” I look down at my clothes I don’t know what he wants so I go in the bedroom my stomach in knots and tears on the verge of exploding from my eyes. I look in the mirror my eyes glance over my dark dyed hair, my false tan and my overworked body. We go out for dinner and the girl with whom he spoke is making a mental appraisal of me. I dare not look back. I’m ashamed. I can’t stand to see how I am deficient.
The evening wears on and my lover talks to her, myself and her boyfriend may have exchanged a few words. Other than that I stay quiet and over chew the food that sits before me. Thank god it is there so I don’t have to look up. The evening ends and he talks to me about her on the drive home. I absorb little and say nothing, but he is content rambling on about her merits. It is not strange that the ones he mentions are nothing like mine. This bed is not mine it feels far too cold. I am not me. We lay naked and he is already asleep his back turned to me. I have won him from my former self but now what must I do. This is not what I want. I want to feel like there is no other. But it seems I will always be second in the eyes of my lover, unless…
The next morning I wake up. I pause and reached deep into my memory. Did he once speak of me the way he had spoken of this girl? Her hair was short and curly. I will make an appointment for the salon when I get to work.