Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Happily Ever After Daisy

Despite her best efforts, for her entire life, everything had been just perfect. Daisy was painfully happy. 

For as long as she could remember, she'd felt this powerful niggle in the back of her stomach- kill the joy it said, do your best, kill the joy. 

She started small. At the age of four she scribbled all over Mum’s brand new white sofa with a metallic purple felt-tipped blow-pen. She’d hated that the living room looked so sickeningly pristine. White walls. Cream carpet. Luxurious. Inviting. And ohsosoft.

At ten she tried to put the cat in the washing machine. Of course, she didn’t know how the washing machine worked. But when she asked Mum, Mum said, “Really precious, that’s not for you to worry about. If you need something washing just give it to Vanessa, the Filipino.”

Aged fourteen she at last managed to set the house on fire. The crème brulee blow torch finally came in handy. Her parents sobbed and the fire engines howled. But then the insurance money came in and they moved from the suburbs to the city. Everything there was even more luxurious. Pristine. More inviting and ohsosoft than it had been before.

17 and a half she learnt to drive and tried to run away. She drove all the way to Bude in the rain and took a room in a dodgy downtrodden motel. The morning after she arrived she received an envelope full of money in the post. Love ma & pa, have a safe trip. She ripped it to shreds and drove straight back home.

When she moved out it was to go to college in the States. Harvard, of course- she had won a full scholarship. She tried to fail every assignment, but her attempts to do so were labelled ingenious and creative.

She started dating Paul. Paul was wealthiest and most attractive in a string of attractive and wealthy boyfriends. He was training to become a heart surgeon. And she started to love him. She tried not to, for she knew that love brought happiness. But she couldn't help herself. She loved him truly. Dearly. And he truly loved her back. For the first time in her life, she decided to accept her good luck.

He passed his exams and they moved to London together. They had a passion for good food and good music and they ate in gastropubs every Sunday. They took weekend trips to Kent and Cornwall. He proposed. She said yes. Mum cried at the wedding. Soon she was pregnant.

She was so very very happy. Seriously and deliriously happy. Happier than the puppy for Christmas, the Saturday lie-ins, the nightly orgasms. Happier even than the warm chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce. She was so. Fucking. Happy.

It had to stop.

Her attempts to sabotage her adult life proved initially no more successful than her childish assays. First, she slept with her boss at The Times. She told Paul. He said he understood, it was a mistake, he still loved her and forgave her instantly. Even though she’d contracted chlamydia.

So she pushed him in front of a bus. He broke two ribs and there was some internal bruising, but within a few months he was essentially fine.

The baby was born. She was beautiful, they called her Rose and Daisy was so happy. 

So one glorious summer day she brewed herself a bubbling vat of champagne and mixed in a handful of sleeping pills and some bleach for good measure. She was dead before dusk. Finally, gloriously, gone.

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