In Her Words

By: J.S Ellis

2nd January

Evening,

Dear Diary,

I’m in trouble.

To everyone else, I have it all: the handsome husband, prestigious apartment, successful career, and the designer clothes. What they don’t know is, I’m the saddest person I know. I’ve lost touch with who I used to be. I’m the same person I was at 11:59, and as I was at 12:01. No new me, no difference, no New Year’s resolutions. It’s bullshit, we are what we are. If we want to change, we make it happen. I don’t know what’s what anymore. No-one realizes I’m a chain smoker, with a drinking habit. You wouldn’t suspect it from my polished exterior.

An hour ago, I was lying on the bathroom floor with a bottle of whiskey. Hiding evidence of my drinking has become second nature to me. When we’re sad, we drink to forget. When we’re happy, we drink to celebrate. When nothing happens, we drink to make something happen. I drink to escape from the pain of life and to forget what happened.

I’m writing this at the kitchen table, with a glass of water, a box of aspirins, and an overflowing ashtray beside me. I haven’t kept a diary since I was a teenager. Back then, I didn’t write often. And now? I need to keep an account of my bad behavior before it catches up with me.





3rd January

Afternoon.

Diary,

It was busy walking to work this morning. I must have blended in with the horde of grey and black-suited corporates in my charcoal grey designer suit.

For some, London is a jaded city. It’s not for everyone. Yet, as I looked up at all the Victorian buildings, I wondered what goes on behind closed doors. I love London: its lack of community and rudeness. I even like its weather. I caught a bloke giving me the eye as I walked past a cafe. It was either the click-clacking of my heels on the pavement that did it or my tight pencil skirt. Probably the latter, or both!

I work at Miller & Miller, a new accountancy firm in central London, which opened two years ago. I’ve been an accountant all of my life and used to work at one of the big four accountancy firms until I quit the stress of it all. At Miller & Miller, I take care of twenty big clients, with whatever worries they have-which can be a lot.

When I arrived at work, I freshened up my makeup and applied eye drops to hide the redness. I then gargled mouthwash and sprayed a little perfume. My usual routine to mask the smell of alcohol and cigarettes. As I walked out of the bathroom and into the corridor, Wendy, the secretary, stalked after me.

‘Mr. Williams called. He wants you to call him back, it’s urgent,’ she gasped.

Everything’s always urgent.

I plodded past Charles’ office, the accounting manager. He’s a short beefy man, going bald with thick glasses. He glanced at me and then carried on with his client.

‘He said, they’re going to investigate him. He received some nasty tax assessment,’ Wendy continued.

I stopped and turned to face her, ‘What!?’

‘You should call him, he wants you to defend him,’ she said.

‘I will but,’ taking the paper from her, ‘he’s not the most organized of clients. Connect me to him.’ I said, opening my office door.

I shut my eyes. The phone rang. Another day at the office.





5th January

Evening,

Diary,

I can hear the sound of sax and guitar again from one of the apartments down the street. I’ve been hearing it for the past three months. It’s enchanting. I’ve been listening to it for the past hour. My hands are trembling as I write this. It’s time for my fix, so I’m sitting by the window with a bottle of wine, smoking. The music keeps me company. Where does someone get the inspiration to write music like this? I love the sax. I wonder who’s playing it? I’m picturing an African-American man standing by a window of a bar somewhere.

I’m alone in the apartment at the moment. Every time Richard goes away, the anxiety kicks in. He’s in New York for business until the weekend. You can sense his importance when Richard walks into the room, with his tailored suits and bow ties. He’s a remarkable man, and the vice president of an insurance firm, where he oversees their international division. He’s worked there for thirty years. I worry about him. He’s not taking it easy, as the doctors ordered. I hope he’s taking his medication. I always have to remind him, except when he’s at work, where his secretary tells him as well.