Courtney burst through the toilet door, letting the door bang loudly behind her. Ignoring the rather rude stares from women washing their hands or teenagers applying heaps of make-up, she ran straight into the nearest free stall and slammed the door shut. Clicking the lock, Courtney slowly slid down the red door.
For the first time in a while, she didn’t notice the crumpled toilet paper thrown onto the floor in a soggy mess. She didn’t notice the crude drawings all over the walls and wobbly hearts with people’s names inside. She didn’t even notice the foul smelling odor raising from the toilet itself and all around. Thankfully the toilet lid was shut.
All that Courtney could notice was what had just happened. How could such a perfect night go so wrong? It seemed almost impossible. It was nearly her second year anniversary with Jack. She had bought him a very fancy new watch, which she had taken ages choosing. The watch was all wrapped up in special paper and placed neatly in a navy blue box. It was hidden in her handbag, along with her phone and some other items.
She was sure Jack would love her new gift. After all, he was always going on about watches and the latest ones. It was just as she had reached into her bag to get the present that he had ruined it all. In just one simple, short sentence. The words kept replaying in her mind. Over and over, like a stuck recording, which no one had bothered to fix. Floating around in her mind, smoky white words that swirled round endlessly.
“I’m breaking up with you.”
Five little words, which had instantly torn her heart into two, then again, and again. Then had been completely shredded and stomped on viciously, then chucked into a paper shredder to be then completely obliterated. All of that just because of five measly little words. It sounds crazy. But then again, it is.
Pulling out her compact mirror, she tilted it at different angles to try and observe her face. The super-efficient, amazingly effective and non-running mascara with extra volume brush she had put on (well, that was that tube had said) was dripping down her face and making her foundation slowly come off too. She looked a sorry, wet mess.
Digging around in her small cardigan pockets, she produced some mascara and foundation, and re-applied them after wiping her face with toilet paper. Even though she had covered herself with a fresh layer of make-up, her emotional layer was still wrecked.
Forcing herself to stop crying incase the mascara ran again, she calmly gulped some deep breaths. It was hard; after all breaking up with somebody is never easy. By this point her senses had started to come back and the foul smell from the tunnel began to tunnel deep into her nostrils. Gagging repulsively and kicking away the soggy tissue on the floor, she pulled herself up from the crouched position she was in and opened the toilet door.
Strutting over to the sinks, she began to try to fix her hair. It had gone a little static from sliding down the stall door and tiny strands were sticking up all over the place. Letting the tap trickle, she moved her hand under the small drops of water and smoothed down her hair. The dip-dyed blonde curls at the end of her brown hair were now slightly flat, so she tried to re-curl them by twisting them round her finger. It didn’t work.
Turning the tap off, she stared at herself. Her hair looked greasy with the water and felt damp. She thought that getting away with not ironing her mini-dress would be all right but the creases showed up badly. Even her fresh coat of make-up was poorly applied.
For once, Courtney felt like wiping it all off, ripping off her clothes and letting her hair free. She could be herself, not who Jack wanted, not wanted her friends wanted, not who she wanted. If everything were gone, then she would be plain old Courtney. Was plain old Courtney good? Or bad?
As much as she wanted to, how could she? Nobody ever liked plain old Courtney. The exciting new Courtney was far better. The one that drank, wore make-up, dressed in short, tight clothes. That Courtney was so much better according to everyone else. Maybe she agreed.
Shaking her head, she stared at herself in the dirty mirror. What stared back was a messed up, shaken and heart-broken fifteen year old girl. She clenched the side of the sink until her knuckles were white, willing the true image to go away. To be replaced by the one she wanted.
The mirror wavered slightly and the image changed. She was who she wanted to be and Jack was by her side. Jack. All of this drama and chaos and heart break just because of him.
She stood up and looked at herself again. Jack was gone but the girl she wanted wasn’t. The girl was tall and strong and proud, not small and weak and sad. Anger bubbled up inside of her. How dare he break up with her. Nobody did that.
Nobody broke up with Courtney Brown and got away with it.