Bridget joness diary, p.13
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       Bridget Jones's Diary, p.13

         Part #1 of Bridget Jones series by Helen Fielding
 
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  'What are you doing?' said Daniel mildly again, coming out of the kitchen.

  'Sorry, just caught the door with my sleeve, I said. just on my way to the loo.'

  Daniel was staring at me as if I was mad, so I couldn't go and check the bedroom. Instead I locked the loo door and started frantically looking around for things. I wasn't exactly sure what, but long blonde hairs, tissues with lipstick marks on, alien hairbrushes – any of these would have been a sign. Nothing. Next I quietly unlocked the door, looked both ways, slipped along the corridor, pushed open the door of Daniel's bedroom and nearly jumped out of my skin. There was someone in the room.

  'Bridge.' It was Daniel, defensively holding a pair of jeans in front of him. 'What are you doing in here?'

  'I heard you come in here so . . . I thought . . . It was secret assignation,' I said, approaching him in what would have been a sexy way were it not for the floral sprig dress. I leaned my head on his chest and put my arms around him, trying to smell his shirt for perfume traces and get a good look at the bed, which was unmade as usual.

  'Mmmm, you've still got the bunny girl outfit on underneath, haven't you?' he said, starting to unzip the bridesmaid dress and pressing against me in a way which made his intentions very clear. I suddenly thought this might be a trick and he was going to seduce me while the woman slipped out unnoticed.

  'Oooh, the kettle must be boiling, said Daniel suddenly, zipping my dress up again and patting me reassuringly in a way that was most unlike him. Usually once he gets going he will see things through to their logical conclusion come earthquake, tidal wave or naked pictures of Virginia Bottomley on the television.

  'Ooh yes, better make that cuppa,' I said, thinking it would give me a chance to get a good look round the bedroom and scout the study.

  'After you,' said Daniel, pushing me out and shutting the door so I had to walk ahead of him back into the kitchen. As I did so I suddenly caught sight of the door that led up to the roof terrace.

  'Shall we go and sit down?' said Daniel.

  T'hat was where she was, she was on the bloody roof.

  'What's the matter with you?' he said as I stared at the door suspiciously.

  'No-thing,' I sing-songed gaily, flopping into the sitting room. 'Just a little tired from the party.'

  I flung myself insouciantly on to the sofa, wondering whether to streak faster than the speed of light down to the study as the final place she might be or just go hell for leather for the roof I figured if she wasn't on the roof it meant she must be in the study' in the bedroom wardrobe, or under the bed. If we then went up on the roof she would be able to escape. But if that was the case, surely Daniel would have suggested going up on the roof much sooner.

  He brought me a cup of tea and sat down at his laptop, which was open and turned on. Only then did I start to think that maybe there was no woman. There was a document up on the screen – maybe he really had been working and on the phone to America. And I was making a complete prat of myself behaving like a madwoman.

  'Are you sure everything's all right, Bridge?'

  'Fine, yes. Why?'

  'Well, coming round unannounced like this dressed as a rabbit disguised as a bridesmaid and burrowing into all the rooms in a strange way. Not meaning to pry or anything, I just wondered if there was an explanation, that's all.'

  I felt a complete fool. It was bloody Mark Darcy trying to wreck my relationship by sowing suspicions in my mind. Poor Daniel, it was so unfair to doubt him in this way, because of the word of some arrogant, ill-tempered, topflight human-rights lawyer. Then I heard a scraping noise on the roof above us.

  'I think maybe I'm just a bit hot I said, watching Daniel carefully. 'I think maybe I'll go and sit on the roof for a while.'

  For God's sake, will you sit still for two minutes!' he yelled, moving to bar my path, but I was too quick for him. I dodged past, opened the door, ran up the stairs and opened the hatch out into the sunlight.

  There, spread out on a sunlounger, was a bronzed, long-limbed, blonde-haired stark-naked woman. I stood there frozen to the spot, feeling like an enormous pudding in the bridesmaid dress. The woman raised her head, lifted her sunglasses and looked at me with one eye closed. I heard Daniel coming up the stairs behind me.

  'Honey,' said the woman, in an American accent, looking over my head at him. 'I thought you said she was thin.'

  AUGUST. Disintegration

  Tuesday 1 August

  8st 12, alcohol units 3, cigarettes 40 (but have stopped inhaling in order to smoke more), calories 450 (off food),1471 calls 14, Instants 7.

  5 a.m. I'm falling apart. My boyfriend is sleeping with a bronzed giantess. My mother is sleeping with a Portuguese. Jeremy is sleeping with a horrible trollop, Prince Charles is sleeping with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Do not know what to believe in or hold on to anymore. Feel like ringing Daniel in hope he could deny everything, come up with plausible explanation for the clothes-free rooftop valkyrie – younger sister, friendly neighbor recovering from flood or similar – which would make everything all right. But Tom has taped a piece of paper to the telephone saying, 'Do not ring Daniel or you will regret it.'

  Should have gone to stay with Tom as suggested. Hate being alone in middle of night, smoking and sniveling like mad psychopath. Fear Dan downstairs might hear and ring loony bin. Oh God, what's wrong with me? Why does nothing ever work out? It is because I am too fat. Toy with ringing Tom again but only called him forty-five minutes ago. Cannot face going into work.

  After rooftop encounter I didn't say a single word to Daniel: just put my nose in the air, slithered past him, marched down to the Street into car and drove away. Went immediately to Tom's, who poured vodka straight down my throat from the bottle, adding the tomato juice and Worcester sauce afterwards. Daniel had left three messages when I got back, asking me to call him. Did not, following advice of Tom, who reminded me that the only way to succeed with men is to be really' horrible to them. Used to think he was cynical and wrong but I think I was nice to Daniel and look what happened.

  Oh God, birds have started singing. Have to go to work in three and a half hours. Can't do it. Help, help. Have suddenly had brainwave: ring Mum.

  10 a.m. Mum was brilliant. 'Darling,' she said. 'Of course you haven't woken me. I'm just leaving for the studio. I can't believe you've got in a state like this over a stupid man. They're all completely self-centered, sexually incontinent and no use to man nor beast. Yes, that does include you, Julio. Now come along, darling. Brace up. Back to sleep. Go into work looking drop-dead gorgeous. Leave no one-especially Daniel-in any doubt that you've thrown him over and suddenly discovered how marvelous life is without that pompous, dissolute old fart bossing you around and you'll be fine.'

  'Are you all right, Mum?' I said, thinking about Dad arriving at Una's party with asbestos-widow Penny Husbands-Bosworth.

  'Darling, you are sweet. I'm under such terrible pressure.'

  'Is there anything I can do?'

  'Actually, there is something,' she said, brightening. 'Do any of your friends have a number for Lisa Leeson? You know, Nick Leeson's wife? I've been desperate to get her for days. She'd be perfect for 'Suddenly Single.''

  'I was talking about Dad, not 'Suddenly Single,'' I hissed.

  'Daddy? I'm not under pressure from Daddy. Don't be silly, darling.'

  'But the party . . . and Mrs. Husbands-Bosworth.'

  'Oh, I know, hilarious. Made a complete silly fool of himself trying to attract my attention. What did she think she looked like, a hamster or something? Anyway, must run, I'm frighteningly busy but will you think who might have a number for Lisa? Let me give you my direct line, darling. And let's have no more of this silly whining.'

  'Oh, but Mum, I have to work with Daniel, I – '

  'Darling – wrong way round. He has to work with you. Give him hell, baby.' (Oh God, I don't know who she's been mixing with.) 'I've been thinking, anyway. It's high time you got out of that silly dead-end job where no one appreciates
you. Prepare to hand in your notice, kid. Yes, darling I'm going to get you a job in television.'

  Am just off to work looking like Ivana bloody Trump wearing a suit and lip gloss.

  Wednesday 2 August

  8st 12., thigh circumference 18 inches, alcohol units 3 (but v. pure sort of wine), cigarettes 7 (but did not inhale), calories 1500 (excellent), teas 0, coffees 3 (but made with real coffee beans therefore less cellulite-inducing), total caffeine units 4.

  Everything's fine. Am going to get down to 8st 7lb again and free thighs entirely of cellulite. Certain everything will be all right then. Have embarked on intensive detoxification program involving no tea no coffee no alcohol no white flour no milk and what was it? Oh well. No fish, maybe. What you have to do is dry-skin brushing for five minutes every morning, then a fifteen-minute bath with anticellulite essential oils in it, during which one kneads one's cellulite as one would dough, followed by massaging more anticellulite oil into the cellulite.

  This last bit puzzles me – does the anticellulite oil actually soak into the cellulite through the skin? In which case, if you put self-tanning lotion on does that mean you get suntanned cellulite inside? Or suntanned blood? Or a suntanned lymphatic drainage system? Urgh. Anyway. . . (Cigarettes. That was the other thing. No cigarettes. Oh well. Too late now. I'll do that tomorrow.)

  Thursday 3 August

  8st 11, thigh circumference 18 inches (honestly, what is bloody point), alcohol units 0, cigarettes 25 (excellent, considering), negative thoughts: approx. 445 per hour, positive thoughts 0.

  Head state v. bad again. Cannot bear thought of Daniel with someone else. Mind is full of horrid fantasies about them doing things together. The plans to lose weight and change personality kept me aloft for two days, only to collapse around my ears. I realize it was only a complicated form of denial. Was believing could totally reinvent self in space of small number of days, thereby negating impact of Daniel's hurtful and humiliating infidelity, since it had happened to me in a previous incarnation and would never have happened to my new improved self. Unfortunately, I now realize the whole point of the aloof over-made-up ice-queen on anticellulite diet palaver was to make Daniel realize the error of his ways. Tom did warn me of this and said 90 percent of plastic surgery was done on women whose husbands had run off with a younger woman. I said the rooftop giantess was not so much younger as taller but Tom said that wasn't the point. Humph.

  Daniel kept sending me computer messages at work. 'We should talk,' etc., which I studiously ignored. But the more he sent the more I got carried away, imagining that the self-reinvention was working, that he realized he had made a terrible, terrible mistake, had only now understood how much he truly loved me, and that the rooftop giantess was history.

  Tonight he caught up with me outside the office as I was leaving. 'Darling, please, we really need to talk.'

  Like a fool I went for a drink with him to the American Bar at the Savoy, let him soften me up with champagne and 'I feel so terrible I really miss you blar blar blar.' Then the very second he got me to admit, 'Oh, Daniel, I miss you too,' he suddenly went all patronizing and businesslike and said, 'The thing is, Suki and I . . . '

  Suki? Pukey, more like,' I said, thinking he was about to say, 'are brother and sister,' 'cousins,' 'bitter enemies,' or 'history.' Instead he looked rather cross.

  'Oh, I can't explain,' he said huffily. 'It's very special.' I stared at him, astonished at the audacity of his volte-face.

  'I'm sorry, love,' he said, taking out his credit card and starting to lean back to get the attention of the waiter, 'but we're getting married.'

  Friday 4 August

  Thigh circumference 18 inches, negative thoughts 600 per minute, panic attacks 4, crying attacks 12 (but both times only in toilets and remembered to take mascara), Instants 7.

  Office. Third-floor toilets. This is just . . . just . . . intolerable. What on earth possessed me to think it was a good idea to have an affair with my boss? Cannot deal with it out there. Daniel has announced his engagement to the giantess. Sales reps who I didn't think even knew about our affair keep ringing up to congratulate me and I have to explain that actually he has got engaged to someone else. I keep remembering how romantic it was when we started and it was all secret computer messages and trysts in the lift. I heard Daniel on the phone arranging to meet Pukey tonight and he said in a topsy-bunny voice, 'Not too bad . . . so far,' and I knew he was talking about my reaction, as if I were an emotionally unbalanced ex-wife or something. Am seriously considering face-lift.

  Tuesday 8 August

  9st, alcohol units 7 (har har), cigarettes 29 (tee hee), calories 5 million, negative thoughts 0, thoughts, general 0.

  Just called Jude. I told her a bit about the tragedy with Daniel and she was horrified, immediately declared a state of emergency and said she would call Sharon and fix for us all to meet at nine. She couldn't come till then because she was meeting Vile Richard, who'd at last agreed to come to Relationship Counseling with her.

  2 a.m. Gor es wor blurry goofun tonight though. Ooof. Tumbled over.

  Wednesday 9 August

  9st 2 (but in good cause), thigh circumference 16 inches (either miracle or hangover error), alcohol units 0 (but body still drinking units from last night), cigarettes 0 (ugh).

  8 a.m. Ugh. In physically disastrous state but emotionally v. much cheered up by night out. Jude arrived in vixen-from-hell fury because Vile Richard had stood her up for the Relationship Counseling.

  'The therapist woman obviously just thought he was an imaginary boyfriend and I was a very, very sad person.'

  'So what did you do?' I said sympathetically, banishing a rogue disloyal thought from Satan that said, 'She was right.'

  'She said I had to talk about the problems I had that were unrelated to Richard.'

  'But you don't have any problems that are unrelated to Richard,' said Sharon.

  'I know. I told her that, then she said I had a problem with boundaries and charged me fifty-five quid.'

  'Why didn't he turn up? I hope the sadistic worm had a decent excuse,' said Sharon.

  'He said he got tied up at work,' said Jude. 'I said to him, ''Listen, you don't have a monopoly on commitment problems. Actually, I have a commitment problem. If you ever deal with your own commitment problem you might be brought up short by my commitment problem, by which time it'll be too late.'''

  'Have you got a commitment problem?' I said, intrigued, immediately thinking maybe I had a commitment problem.

  'Of course I've got a commitment problem,' snarled Jude. 'It's just that nobody ever sees it because it's so submerged by Richard's commitment problem. Actually, my commitment problem goes much deeper than his.'

  'Well, exactly,' said Sharon. 'But you don't go round wearing your commitment problem on your sleeve like every bloody man over the age of twenty does these days.'

  'Exactly my point,' spat Jude, trying to light up another Silk Cut but having trouble with the lighter.

  'The whole bloody world's got a commitment problem,' growled Sharon in a guttural, almost Clint Eastwood voice. 'It's the three-minute culture. It's a global attention-span deficit. It's typical of men to annex a global trend and turn it into a male device to reject women to make themselves feel clever and us feel stupid. It's nothing but fiickwittage.'

  'Bastards!' I shouted happily. 'Shall we have another bottle of wine?'

  9 a.m. Blimey. Mum just rang. 'Darling,' she said. 'Guess what? Good Afternoon! are looking for researchers. Current affairs, terribly good. I've spoken to Richard Finch, the editor, and told him all about you. I said you had a degree in politics, darling. Don't worry, he'll be far too busy to check. He wants you to come in on Monday for a chat.'

  Monday. Oh my God. That only gives me five days to learn Current Affairs.

  Saturday 12 August

  9st 3 (still in very good cause), alcohol units 3 (v.g.), cigarettes 32 (v.p. bad, particularly since first day of giving up), calories 1800 (g.), lottery tickets 4 (
fair), no. of serious current affairs articles read 1.5, 1471 calls 22 (OK), minutes spent having cross imaginary conversations with Daniel 120 (v.g.), minutes spent imagining Daniel begging me to come back 90 (excellent).

  Right. Determined to be v. positive about everything. Am going to change life: become well informed re: current affairs, stop smoking entirely and form functional relationship with adult man.

  8:30 a.m. Still have not had fag. Vg.

  8:35 a.m. No fags all day. Excellent.

  8:40 a.m. Wonder if anything nice has come in post?

  8:45 a.m. Ugh. Hateful document from Social Security Agency asking for ?1452. What? How can this be? Have not got ?1432. Oh God, need fag to calm nerves. Mustn't. Mustn't.

  8:47 a.m. Just had fag. But no-smoking day does not start officially till have got dressed. Suddenly start thinking of former boyfriend Peter with whom had functional relationship for seven years until finished with him for heartfelt, agonizing reasons can no longer remember. Every so often – usually when he has no one to go on holiday with – he tries to get back together and says he wants us to get married. Before know where am, am carried away with idea of Peter being answer. Why be unhappy and lonely when Peter wants to be with me? Quickly find telephone, ring Peter and leave message on his answerphone-merely asking him to give me call rather than whole plan of spending rest of life together, etc.

  1:15 p.m. Peter has not rung back. Am repulsive to all men now, even Peter.

 
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