“He likes you because you’re a broken doll,” she warns. I flinch as she tugs at my hair.

“That’s what he likes; broken dolls.” She spreads the dye across my roots, describes your issues, brushes peroxide onto each strand, explains your dysfunctional nature.

My head starts to hurt.

“And he’s married. MARRIED.”

She is unstoppable.

“HIS problem is that YOUR problems make him look healthy.”

But so what? I think. He likes (loves?) me any way, despite (because of?) every thing. No conditions, no exceptions. It’s gorgeous.

She talks and theorises and threatens – “…there’s NO WAY this relationship can end well…” – and carefully wraps my hair.

I drink wine and change the subject.

When my brain is burning, I stand in in the shower for a long time and emerge freshly bleached.

Head throbbing.

Hair destroyed.

A broken doll.