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Kalopsia - Contemporary Fiction

Kalopsia - Contemporary Fiction

Book excerpt

God I'm bored. How can I be bored, sipping on a large G&T, sitting outside a vibrant bar on La Rambla in Barcelona? Because, he's boring. I must do something about this. I'm not even happy on holiday anymore. Look at his stupid face. He doesn't even know I'm bored. We haven't spoken since we sat down and he doesn't even care. Maybe he likes to be quiet but I don't. I like to have fun, especially on holiday. If I was with my friends now we would all be struggling to get a word in edgeways and having a great time. But no, that doesn't happen with him. He enjoys being a moody bastard, at least it certainly seems that way. Oh well, at least I'm not at work. Although saying that, I have a laugh at work. My colleagues make me laugh but Tom doesn't. Tom doesn't know how to spell the word laugh let alone actually do it. The most excitement I've had today is this G&T. They've put a cinnamon stick in it which threw me a bit. As I watched the barman get out his jar of Gin accessories I thought, steady on Pedro, cool your jets but he assured me it was all the rage and to give credit where it's due, it works. Pedro knows his Gin alright. That excitement lasted about sixty seconds and now I'm sat here with Mr Miserable. Mr 'I can't let you out of my sight and I will never make you happy but if you leave me I will kill you' and I'm having an utterly shit time with the miserable, controlling prick.

Across the way there is another bar, well, La Rambla is crammed with bars from top to bottom. All of them heaving with bohemian residents and excitable tourists all wanting refreshment in the wonderful Mediterranean heat. Refreshments and big juicy olives and bread you can dip in oil and balsamic vinegar. Divine. There is a girl right in my eye line and she is laughing. Bitch. Look at her with her boyfriend/husband who makes her laugh heartily. She isn't even fake laughing like I do when he tells me one of his jokes that even a twelve-year old wouldn't find funny, but I detect his attempt at humour and offer the most lacklustre chuckle on autopilot. I wonder what he said to her to make her so happy? Maybe it wasn't even that funny, she just likes him. It's easier to find people funnier when you actually like them. Maybe it's her gay best friend. That's why she is in stitches because he's always funny. Not an arsehole most of the time but suddenly has a funny side when he has an audience. Yeah, I bet that's it.

We arrived in Barcelona two hours ago and already he was beginning to drink himself into oblivion. I haven't always hated him. There was a time when I was attracted to him, I think it was just before he revealed himself to be a complete wanker. We had a year of bliss, barely argued. He was charming, he tried with my friends and my family and always wanted to be with me. Everywhere I went, everything I did, he was there. Right by my side. The problem is I should've spotted that he was insecure, possessive and controlling but because the boyfriend before him couldn't care less whether he saw me once a week or once a month, I took Tom's behaviour as a good thing. I thought we were having a proper relationship and building a life together.

He has a kid. The last boyfriend had a moped. He has a serious job…and serious baggage. All of this I took, bizarrely, as a good thing. I thought it was the most grown up relationship I had ever had and that this is what people do. I was twenty five and he was thirty eight when we met. He was divorced and needy. I was getting broody and needy. Needy for a serious relationship. As I said, the first year was great. He swept me off my feet. He took me away on romantic weekends without warning – meaning I had to cancel plans I had made with friends because he had 'surprised' me. My friends didn't mind the first, second and some, the third time. By the fourth time they all hated him and could see what I couldn't. Even this weekend, here we are in Barcelona when we were supposed to be staying with my friends in London. He booked the trip this morning and I had to let my friend, Sam, down again. She went mental, told me he was a dick and slammed the phone down. Tom said she wasn't a nice friend and that I shouldn't waste my time with people like her. I knew she was right but I didn't want him punching the kitchen cupboard doors next to my face again if I challenged him so I put on a fake smile, reluctantly packed my weekend bag and told Sam we weren't coming – again. She was in the supermarket buying all the food and drink for the spread she was planning and she cried as she tried to juggle her two small children and her disappointment with me, who she had been so desperately looking forward to seeing apparently.

I don't know why half my friends talk to me anymore. The amount of invitations I have accepted but cancelled later or just simply failed to show. My friend Claire told me recently I am now on her 'invite but won't turn up' list. That made me feel sad. To be honest, I didn't realise my friends liked me as much as they did until I started pissing them off. Now I have realised as I am losing them all. I'm losing them all because of this prick sat next to me.

I have been desperate to escape for some time. Desperate to end this miserable relationship but the truth is, he scares me. He told me if it wasn't for his daughter, he would have his ex-wife killed. He said he knows people that would do it for him. I had been in an abusive relationship when I was seventeen. It ended with me in the back of an ambulance with a broken nose. I swore I would never end up in something like that again. But I have. In fact, I think this is worse. This one is mental abuse. That's the reason we clash so much because I won't bow down to him. He is a bully but he won't leave me. I wish he would. I have even thought about how I would pretend to be upset if he told me it was over. I couldn't show him how thrilled I was because he might have me murdered so I would have to pretend to be devastated. I think I could pull it off.

Women are very good when they want something. I'm pretty sure I could pull it off. Please don't go Tom! Please! We can fix this. Don't break the dream, don't take it away! I am nothing without you. You complete me! I'll even let you paint me like one of your French girl's! Then pose like Kate Winslet did in Titanic and gesture towards him to paint me. He would laugh at how desperate I was, thrilled that he had won but as soon as he left and the front door had closed I could pop open the bubbly and put on Katrina and The Waves – Walking on Sunshine, on my boom bar full blast. Loud enough for him to hear it as he got in his car outside and then he would look in to the window with a face full of venom and I would be dancing and laughing at him whilst giving him the two fingers with both hands. Ok, perhaps I am thinking about this too much.



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