Time for Things to Change
As we waited to be seated at my favourite Chinese restaurant, I breathed in all the delicious smells already planning what I was going to eat. I knew I needed to start a diet but it wasn't going to be tonight. The waitress walked over, taking us to a table at the back of the room
‘Finally,’ Paul, the boyfriend in question, grabbed a menu. 'I'm starving.’
I just looked at him.
‘Are you having the usual?’ Paul looked up from the menu.
‘How about one of the set menus?’ My mood suddenly lifted at the thought of food.
‘Sure.’ Paul agreed.
I ordered the food leaving Paul to order the wine.
Our starters came out almost immediately and I was pleased to see my favourite prawn toast.
Finally, I rested my chopsticks on my bowl. ‘Amazing food.’
Paul was refilling his wine glass again and as I was drinking water, I had a feeling I was going to be driving us home…
‘This is a nice place,’ I looked at the numerous golden dragons that decorated the place. ‘What made you choose it?’
Paul shrugged as he emptied his glass. ‘Someone at work gave me a couple of vouchers.’
Bitter realisation hit me as I acknowledged that there wasn’t a single romantic intention in Paul’s body. It had been nothing more than somewhere cheap for a meal and I was just someone to share it with.
‘Well, the food is delicious,’ I suddenly felt quite miserable.
‘Anyway,’ Paul filled his glass again. ‘There’s something I wanted to ask you.’
I held my breath suddenly feeling panicked. Was he about to propose? I absolutely loved the thought of a wedding but I wasn’t at all sure if I wanted to do it with Paul.
‘… fat and then there’s that horrible blue dress.’
‘What?’ My attention snapped back what he was saying.
‘That dress makes you look fat.’
‘Excuse me?’ I stared at him in disbelief.
‘You’ve never been thin but that dress makes you look like an overgrown hippo.’
I couldn’t believe it and now I was going to cry. I forced myself to my feet and walk to the ladies. I headed straight into one of the cubicles, locking the door behind me. The tears streamed down my face. Like all people with a weight problem, I knew that I had a problem. I didn’t need anyone to tell me – especially not Mr Oh-So-Perfect. I grabbed a few sheets of toilet paper and carefully dried my eyes. It wasn’t as if Paul had told me something I didn’t know but it had still hurt. Wiping away the last of the tears, I wanted to do nothing more than go home and hide, possibly to become a recluse. Instead, I straightened my dress escaped the cubicle door, walking over to the sink and splashed water on my face. I knew that I had two choices: I could leave Paul in the restaurant and catch an expensive taxi home or I could put on my lipstick, go back out to Paul and pretend nothing had happened. I put on my lipstick and went back to our table.
‘Alright babe?’ Paul asked I sat down.
‘You should try this chicken dish,’ Paul pointed to one of the many main courses that had arrived during my absence. ‘It’s absolutely amazing.’
It was obvious that Paul liked it as he had already eaten most of it.
'I’m going to try everything,’ I was comfort eating but I didn’t care. Tonight I was going to eat whatever I wanted and take great pleasure from every single mouthful.
Even though the food was good, I have to admit that it was still one of the most uncomfortable meals I have ever had. If I hadn’t been so tempted by the food, I think I really would have gone home and that was probably what I should have done. Paul was already on to his second bottle of wine but by the time the bill came, he was so drunk that I made him pay for the meal.
The downside was that I was going to have to do the driving. It wasn’t the first time that this had happened and I usually drove back to my flat and Paul would spend the night. Tonight, however, there were a couple of things that were seriously bothering me. Firstly, I had eaten far too much and as much as I had savoured every mouthful, I was now feeling really uncomfortable. For the first time since putting on this awful dress, I felt glad because even though it was still hard to breathe, it wasn’t tight around the waist. The second thing that was bothering me was Paul’s car. It was driving like a tank and I always found it difficult to handle. It had been a struggle to get Paul in the car but as I glanced over him, I could see that his mouth had dropped open and he was noisily asleep. For the briefest moment, I wondered what would happen if I opened the door and pushed him out… Shaking my head, I indicated left and turned onto the road where Paul still lived with his mother. I didn’t want to be around him so I pulled outside but before I got out I called a local taxi. I got out of the car, walked around to the other side and yanked the passenger unceremoniously open causing a sudden rush of cold air which woke Paul up.
‘Are we here babe?’ He made a grab for me but I quickly stepped out of reach of his groping hands.
‘Front door key!’ I demanded.
‘My key?’ Paul frowned.
‘Yes, your front door key,’ I reached in, grabbed his arm, pulling him unceremoniously out of the car. As his weight fell on me, I staggered almost falling over but somehow I managed to keep him upright.
‘You’re so big,’ Paul tried to cuddle me. ‘And snuggly.’
This man was an idiot and I was seriously tempted to leave him in the gutter but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I dragged him along the garden path passed the neatly manicured lawn. A car horn tooted from the road and as I glanced back, I saw that my taxi had arrived. I gave Paul a hard push in the direction of the open porch, watching as he slowly slipped down the front door.
‘Use your key,’ I dropped his car keys into his lap and headed to my taxi without looking back. It was time for things to change.