Love is patient, love is kind... what hogwash! Love is a curse! A blight upon one's life! At least, unless one is lucky enough to be loved in return. And alas, I am not.

What a fool I was to think that he could ever love me, a lowly poverty-stricken accountant. I am not powerful and stoic like that damned Major. I am not blessed with tall stature or perfect raven hair. What do I have? Nothing.

I could feel this feeling building up in me when I began the month end accruals earlier. I tried to busy myself, to push the feeling away. But loneliness is insidious and crushing. It makes me want to scream "it's not fair!" for the five hundredth time.

I matched every stab of pain in my heart by crunching the end of my fountain pen between my teeth. Sometimes it was enough to have him look in my direction (when he wanted something) or to give me one of his priceless smiles or a pat on the head (when he was trying to get around me). That was why I never left. Sometimes it was enough.

But other times, like now, I desperately yearned for more. Maybe if he kissed me, or let me share his bed once in a while like he did before, maybe then I'd be satisfied.

But as his attention decreased, I found myself craving it even more. At one time I'd be over the moon for a whole week after he touched me. But slowly the elation became much more short lasting, and soon I found myself begging for his attention every day. But it was hopeless. It seemed the more I begged, the less he liked me. I tried to play hard to get, but that didn't seem to work either. I didn't want to annoy him, but I didn't want him to forget about me either. What did I have to do to win his heart? I'd spent countless sleepless nights trying to solve that problem.

I tasted sourness and gagged. Looking down I realised I had bitten through the ink cartridge. Ink splattered the ledger in front of me. Initially I was annoyed, but then comforted by the thought that those pages would need to be rewritten. Something to focus on.

I went to the bathroom to spit out the ink and rinse my mouth, and accidentally met my own eyes in the mirror.

You idiot! You stupid child! Look at you, you're a mess! No wonder he doesn't love you. How could anyone love you?

My eyes darted away, trying to escape the insults, the nastiness. But as I knew well by now, I could never escape the endless self-hate. I could never escape from myself.

Tears of frustration welled up in my eyes even as I splashed cold water on them, as if frustration was something I could wash away.

I glanced up at my reflection again. My eyes were red and pleading. My hair was wet and straggly and did little to hide them.

Am I really so bad? I asked my reflection.

Of course you are you horrible little bug!

I shut my eyes.

But I don't want much. I know I don't deserve much.

But you want everything. You want the love of Dorian Red Gloria.

Furious, I stormed back to my office. I tried to calm my racing heart with deep breaths as I wrapped Sellotape around the end of the broken pen. I tore out the stained pages and began to copy out the line items onto a fresh page.

I had not made much progress before my thoughts drifted once more to him. I put the pen to my mouth, but stopped myself from biting it.

Why? Why couldn't he love me?!

I threw the pen down on the desk and bit my thumb nail. I felt a sharp pain as I ripped the nail across.

I wanted him to adore me in exactly the same way I adored him. I thought he was incredible, by far the most amazing and beautiful person I had ever met. I would dote on him for the rest of my life, if he allowed me to. All I wanted in return was same deep, obsessive, passionate love I felt for him. Was that really such an unreasonable desire?

I tore off the end of another nail, as if to tell myself that yes, it was entirely unreasonable. And stupid and selfish and laughable. Of course it was an unreasonable thing for me. I recalled the jeers and the smirks of Dorian's men whenever I made my affections towards him known. I was a joke to them. I would never be anything other than a pathetic joke.

When I finally finished rewriting the ledger, it was completely dark and my nails were all sore, bleeding stumps.

Fatigue smothered me, but as soon as I retired to my room and got into bed, my aching heart had me wide awake.

I grabbed a pillow and wrapped my arms around it for some comfort. But soon I was imagining it was Dorian. I snuggled the pillow closer and imagined him smiling at me and congratulating me for completing month end so quickly. I buried my head in imaginary Dorian's chest and imagined his arms gently embracing me, making me feel soft and floaty as he stroked my back and head.

I love you so much, Dorian.

Imaginary Dorian's expression changed to one of annoyance and he pushed me away. I'm quite tired of this. Run along.

Even in my imagination, he rejected me. I couldn't even conjure up my own version of him in my head to make me happy. Of course not. I knew I didn't deserve even that.

Tears ran down my face. Sobs wracked my body. I couldn't hold it in any longer. I cried for hours, after a while making no attempt to keep quiet. If only Dorian could see what he'd reduced me to. Then he'd love me. Maybe. No, he wouldn't. I ventured to hope that he might hear me and knock on my door. That someone might come and check on me. But nobody did.

In the morning, my eyes were swollen and my mouth was dry. My nails were throbbing and still bleeding in places. They'd take days to stop hurting.

I forced myself to get up despite the urge to hide under the covers all day. A thrill of excitement shivered along my spine as I anticipated I might get a scrap of attention from Dorian today. That was enough to force my dry eyes open and to make me move my heavy limbs. Maybe that'd be enough to make me feel good for one day. Sometimes it was. Tomorrow, however, would be a different story.