• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 05
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She rummaged in her bag. The address was deep inside the jumble of bubble-gum wrappers, broken eyeliner pencils, pictures ripped from magazines, phone numbers from men she never called, and the all-caps affirmations she had written a month ago and promptly forgotten: !TODAY IS A NEW DAY FULL OF OPPORTUNITIES TO BE HAPPY! ** But I’d done everything wrong. Focused on myself, the things I wanted.** The clinic was over a fried-chicken shop, and reeked of hot fat and poor protein. She hadn't expected Harley Street, of course, but still …** Of course, no one mentioned how unattractive I’d become. I had no idea until my mum and dad sat me down, said they were worried about me. They could see I was disheartened and willing to try anything! ** !I CAN DO THIS! As she waited, she covered her nose with the end of her pony tail: deep breaths of shampoo, conditioner, leave-in oil, salt spray. Better. Best. Breathe. ** My husband is delighted. He says he’s finally with the woman he thought he was marrying! ** With the other hand, she gave a tentative prod to the lashes on her right eyelid. Only a few still attached, but surely enough to prop up layers of different mascaras. She’d let Cara know the new glue had failed this afternoon. ** The brushing has become almost a pleasure. It’s not so much about tangles, but the feeling of the comb’s movement as each hair gets back where it is supposed to be.** After a few minutes the doctor called her into the examination room. !I AM A GOOD PERSON AND DESERVE TO BE HAPPY! ** Softwork changed my life! ** He was short, clean and clever. Rounder than his photograph on the website. No smiles. After their initial handshake he changed his gloves. !YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON! ** Skin burns, gets cold, shows your failings. But you feel this already, don’t you? You know exactly what I mean.** Only touched her with the flat side of his tool, a blunt blade that curved with her cheek, the slope of her nose.



This, he said. And then this. Yes, oh yes. You are a good candidate. ** Although unsure at first I am now considering the full body! ** She saw that his eyes, behind his glasses, were not magnified at all, and wondered if the glasses were worn for effect rather than to correct something in the meat-and-jelly. Playing doctor. Playing dress-up. ** Answered all my questions and more. When the first infection hit he was right there at my side. ** That’s fine, she said. I understand everything as you have explained it to me, and am still keen. But I have to ask about the pain. !I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY! The doctor showed her his plastic-covered palms. There is, of course, going to be a level of discomfort. It’s not a simple procedure. ** Sleeping is a problem, but we’re nearly there with the latest combination of pills. Crying stopped completely in the third month. ** The main thing we must remember, he said as he held the hook in front of her face, is that this cannot be reversed. ** I can almost hear someone saying the words. Over and over.** My other clients have provide a number of honest testimonials. I suggest you take these home, read them carefully, and then call in tomorrow with your availability. ** I feel this as a truth.** !I AM GOOD!