I did week one. . . . . . .23 weeks later, I've decided to have another go at Jeff Tsuruoka's MWBB, week 24 and what a song. The sultry, smokey tones of Amy Winehouse; You Know I'm No Good
“My name is Isabel and I’m”. . . . . . . no good. My mouth is suddenly filled with cement. I need a glass of water or a hammer and chisel. Water is offered, lukewarm, tastes of plastic from the beaker. One sip, thankfully, is enough to moisten my tongue. I look around the mismatched group. I know what they’re already thinking.
“Water not good enough Princess?” a man wearing a beanie hat asks, grinning as he receives craved for admiration.
“Champagne for the Sloane Ranger,” chips in a girl with a nose ring. I’m right; the girl with the clipped accent and loaded, no right at all to be sitting in the same room as them. Maybe they’re right? I’m not worthy of anyone.
“You’re in the wrong class. Shopaholics anonymous is down the hall,” offered Beanie Hat. I was being criticised for my clothes; nothing changes.
“Yes, Becky Bloomwood, off you trot,” Nose Ring replied, dripping with sarcasm.
“You don’t even know who Becky Bloomwood is do you?” asked a mousy haired girl. “You’re more Pride and Prejudice that shopaholic.”Is it a crime to wear chic clothes? Why are they being so rude and stereotypical about me? I didn’t even want to come to this dilapidated building and sit and be judged. I’d been judged all my life. I knew it was a mistake. These people were no better than the one who put me here. Like these people would ever understand. I don’t even understand how my father, how any father, could be so cruel to their own flesh and blood just because she was a she and not a he. What on earth could I possibly do to the family inheritance that a boy wouldn't? Did he miss the female Prime Minister and the fact we have a Queen? I ignored the trickles of sweat running down my back, too long being scared and made to feel useless. I didn’t want to justify myself to anyone. I want to get up but my feet are glued to the stained lino floor.
“We are all here for the same reason. Differences are left at the door!” a woman reminded the group. She must be the leader, the head of the circle, if you can have a head in a circle. But she smiled sweetly at me; not out of pity or sympathy, but a warm smile of encouragement. “Why don’t you tell the group why you’re here Isabel?” I had to take another sip of the lukewarm water, hoping for courage. These people were just like me otherwise they wouldn’t be here. So what if I had money! Fat lot of good it did me! I had no friends to spend it with; they were all married now with babies. My family despised me. I was alone which is why I ended up here. And for my troubles, all I was getting was ‘poor little rich girl’ which was fine if it came with understanding. Judging eyes stared back; a few of the girls lustfully eyeing up my Stella McCartney boots. Maybe the shopaholic tag was warranted.
“My name is Isabel . . . . . . and I have. . . . . . . . no self esteem. . . . . . . . . I was bullied by my father,” I can’t say it. They’re all going to hate me. I know I shouldn’t care but I want to be accepted.
“Go on Isabel,” the leader says softly.
“I pay for people to be my friends . . . . . . . I pay. . . . for . . . . company.”
“Do you mean men like as in sex?” Beanie Hat asks.
“I pay for sex! I pay for strangers to be my friends to take to family weddings, when I’m invited! I pay because I have no one! I’m no good! All I want is acceptance for being me and not have to lie, cheat and feel so worthless!” I stop now as my emotions are running high. I don’t want to be labelled a lunatic as well. Faces stare back. Beanie Hat smiles. Nose Ring nods with empathy.
“This is the place to find that self worth Babe . . . and true friends,” Beanie Hat says, offering his hand. “Paul. Nice to meet you Isabel.” Grey, empty eyes stared back, mirroring my own.