The end is nigh; Part XIX

New Years 2012

Xmas was lovely, we’d done the countryside walks albeit in now ruined ‘Ugg’ boots, we’d taken the kids to the park to try out their new bikes and eaten turkey sandwiches later in the day that I’ve always loved more than the main meal. I played Sylvanian families, ate delicious food made from the finest ingredients, slept in a bed that had crisp ‘White Company’ linen on and it was bliss. I missed Robbie like mad and felt so guilty when he sent me a picture of his burnt Pizza he’d eaten on Xmas day, he deserved better and he would get the best version of me from now on. The only thing I hadn’t enjoyed about the Xmas day celebrations besides being away from my love was that my cousin’s wife and their whole street congregated in their house Xmas morning which had become their street’s tradition. I felt incredibly uncomfortable with these type of people who not so long ago I’d have seen at dinner parties hosted by my parents; professors, bankers, lawyers and doctors. A few years prior to this I’d have been found charming the M&S pants off them all at dinner parties hosted by mum, making them red with my naughty humour that mum always said was why I could get away with being a tad ‘outrageous’ at times. These people were now so far removed from me that I felt like an alien or the little match-girl. I was of course my usual polite self but I had nothing impressive to say when they asked what I did or was planning on doing. Conversations ended awkwardly and abruptly until Auntie A thankfully showing up with some mini caviar crostini. Saved by the revolting fish eggs! I still don’t understand how caviar is a delicacy and loved by the rich when it stinks so bad and pops in your mouth? Vom.

Cliché as it sounds I had time to reflect on my situation and I was angry at myself, I asked myself why the hell I’d been going back to him and why I hadn’t had him ‘done’ by now. It really is the hardest thing to explain. Auntie A and the cousins waved me off as the bus pulled out ready to take me back to my fiancé, I couldn’t wait to give him a big hug and be in our tiny little flat together sitting up all night watching episodes of ‘Cheaters’ which we both did religiously now whilst laughing our arses off.

Robbie met me at the station in Southport where I arrived at 11.30pm at night on December 29th. I was so pleased to see him he had magical powers that made me feel safe again and he sat for hours listening to me doing the stupid impressions of the posh folk I’d encountered. I ‘google imaged’ Vol au vents for him as he’d never had one and he turned his nose up at the picture saying how rank they looked.

“I’ve got to go back to the shit-hole tomorrow but I promise on New Years day thats me done ok”

“Ok babe I believe you, I’m proud of you, its going to be tough but you know what to do”

“Yeh don’t worry I have all this!” and I proceeded to show him all the evidence I had gathered. He beamed at me

“You’re a right little detective you, aye?”

I smiled back feeling pleased with myself and said

“I guess so, I just hope its enough, do you think it is?”

“Absolutely, if they don’t follow it up then they have lost the plot”

“Just gotta get the next two nights out the way then I’m free”.

The next day as Rob slept I packed my bags to take to the flat for the very last time. I shoved every Ann Summer’s item I could into my case – us girls always borrowed each others clothing and I knew there was going to be a full flat working the NYE. I had stopped doing my make up to go there lately as I wanted to appear as unappealing as possible, my clothes had become baggy and I think subconsciously I was trying to become as invisible and unattractive as possible. I started to comfort eat and since we now lived in a mouse-house with the smallest of fridges and not a great deal of money we had begun to live off Iceland ready meals and various other crap bought in cheap shitty ‘frozen’ stores. My basket often consisted of multi-packs of ‘Skips’ packets of chocolate fingers and some rank ready in 4 mins shite as well as pot-noodles.

The straight line train ride to Liverpool Central seemed much faster than usual, usually it had felt endless but I liked it because it gave me time to mentally prepare for my shit day ahead, this time I was almost willing the train to de-rail so I had a genuine excuse not to go. Christ it was quick; my guts were flipping, my heart was racing, my palms were sweaty just like Eminem rapped and I was bricking it. Paranoia set in that maybe someone would nark on me like one of the younger girls might still be in contact with ‘R’ and maybe this is where I get caught and chopped up. FFS Lo, pull yourself together ya bloody drama queen and in my head I told my anxiety to go fuck itself – I was doing this.

There was a buzz in the air at the flat and we already had our ‘OG-Crew’ there with everyone still on a high from Xmas. This was the first time in a long time that I was pleased to see them in the circumstances; I was having my own leaving party and they didn’t even know except for Serena. Susie looked refreshed; Ash was jubilant when describing the look of her ‘baby’s’ face when he opened all his gifts and Bex’s face once again had some colour. Serena floated around as per with book in hand wearing next to nothing, with that milky skin and red hair she didn’t need to, plus the flat felt like a fucking sauna. Serena’s Xmas hadn’t been as nice as everyone else’s but I was glad she was here; my little mate. We needed more girls that night to cover ‘Outcalls’ as well as ‘Incalls’ and the likes of Serena and Priya who had bought a long a friend to work for the night couldn’t be trusted on outcalls. Serena wouldn’t turn up on time stalling at every opportunity and the problem with Priya was that she wouldn’t come back once she had enough money for her ‘lemmo’. Priya was the ultimate ‘Boomerang’ girl, I thought at one point she’d been bloody murdered after making the mistake of sending her on a 3 hour outcall at £150 an hour meaning she banked a solid £300 from it. Priya had just ‘got off’ and gone back ‘over the water’ probably on a mad one. Priya was an addict and the only real addict I’d met there, one who’s eyes showed so much sadness and pain she had long straggly black hair and cheap pink stick on nails but I imagined she had once been breathtakingly beautiful. She’d had her daughter taken away from her when she was a toddler and lived with her mum whom she had a strained relationship with but only because her loving mother was at her wits end. I felt Priya was more than a coke-head I felt she was a recovering Brown addict who’d chased the dragon hence her appearance and I believed she justified her use of cocaine as it meant she didn’t touch the needle.

Susie, Ash, Bex, Serena, Priya, Priya’s mate who I’d decided to call ‘Lucy’ for the night, Kitty and ‘Leo the twink’. That was a solid amount of people for me to deal with for the night, anymore staff and there would be arguments over jobs and any less then I’d get moaned at for not giving them a break. I could never win but nor could they. Priya and Serena were definitely not going on outcalls so that left Susie, Bex and Kitty; I would have given them to Ash but she did better at the flat, she was after all the ‘Cheryl Cole pretty blonde’ and we needed a staple slim-blonde at all times. Outcalls would usually go one of three ways, we’d have some scatty coke head weirdo living in some shite area like Seaforth living with his Ma who would ring up slurring his words saying depraved shit – I wouldn’t touch them with a barge but for some reason Susie liked them.

“They always pay Lauren and they are too fuckt to fuck”

Fair play Susie. I’d send Bex out with her because Susie was hard as nails, definitely more streetwise than our English girls and Bex, though more naive than the likes of Serena was what I called ‘European rude’ so she came across unfazed by anything. Kitty could also go should the need arise but she was still relatively new so I wasn’t confident sending her out alone. Kitty would be reserved for the type of outcall’s the wealthier clients required to their ‘Jury Inn’s’ or their suites in the Mal Maison on the docks, sometimes it was the Crown Plaza if they were lucky. Actually the worst type of otucallers were the wealthy coked up men being scatty in their plush apartments in the city centre. ‘Ken’ was the worst offender of those types and a friend of ‘R’s’, he was about 6ft 8 and from Senegal his English was poor but he was relatively harmless – just effort. Ken would always call for Susie or Ash and it would always be at a ridiculous time like 4am, I’d been once to help Taylor escape from there as even she couldn’t handle his lust for the white stuff. I remember this huge modern apartment down Kent Street with deep pile carpets and white shiny furniture everywhere – so scouse. I went to the bathroom while I was there and my god it was filthy with blood in the sink, it made me feel sick and I got us the hell out of there quick-smart. Ken didn’t even notice!  Ken used to pay ‘R’ directly into his bank account and girls would get their cash from him the next day. ‘R’ had a lot of those ‘private clients’. Although Ken made my skin crawl I hoped he was going to call so I could send two girls to him just as the night dwindled off.

Ken did call and by the time that came around I thought ‘fuck it’ send Priya and Lucy – Priya wouldn’t do one as she wouldn’t get the money until the next day and Ken would have all the coke the girls could ask for. They’d spent the night sniffing in the lounge between 30 minute jobs with random revellers. It was chokka! I’d kept Serena, Priya and Lucy busy with jobs in the apartment with Kitty and Ash making a desired double-act going out on outcalls to the hotel clients together. They were the most generically beautiful like a pair of fembots. Stunning Serena picky as ever was happy with me giving her the ‘good-looking’ young lads and Priya and Lucy were given whatever was left. Leo had a few calls to some hotels and had struck lucky with an older guy in the ‘Hard Days’ night hotel in the city – I was pleased for him plus now the dude had extended which meant it was one less team member for me to worry about. I felt like those crazy traders on Wall Street constantly on the phone and screaming out orders. It had been non-stop since I’d arrived at the flat the day before ,it was crazy busy and strategically I’d made the girls take it easy the night before in order to save their energy for the big one.

“Do you know how exhausting it is physically and mentally having to fuck men all day and night Lauren?”

“You know what I do know? How fucking exhausting it is staying awake so these men can fuck all night and dealing with HIM”  I barked back and she didn’t mention it again. I hated being mean but sometimes I felt these girls through no fault of their own didn’t see the constant shit I got off ‘R’. I loved Serena like a little sister so it was fine and I wanted to protect her hence why I’d give her the guys she fancied – I justified it in my head then to myself many times too that it was then no different to a one night stand with a proper fit lad.

By the time Ken had called the phones were ringing off the hook, there were no taxis available so I wasn’t sending girls out anymore because it was dangerous to expect them to walk to jobs like ‘R’ had suggested. He went mad at me over BBM telling me to get the girls out and that I should chaperone them to the outcalls in the city? Was he fucking mental? Clearly. I was exhausted and had been offered lines all night whilst staunchly refusing but by now my willpower was waning and being so knackered I just thought ‘fuck it’ I’ll have just one….

Just one. It really was just one but I only needed one line to remind myself why I hated it so much, just one line of white anxiety-inducing, nose-blocking shit. Just as the rush hit me and the drip back started so did the self-loathing and disappointment. I tortured myself for the final 3 hours I was there telling myself what a disgrace I was and what a weak piece of shit I was. No way could I tell Robbie, I needed to get the hell out the flat. Considering how busy we had been it had gone off brilliantly and there hadn’t been a single hiccup. Even Priya had stayed, she’d blown most of her money ordering in her narcotics but she’d stayed and she was still at Ken’s when I’d left. I left by 7.30am and got the first train home from Liverpool Central to Southport on New Years day 2012. I’m no good at  good byes, I never have been and I prefer to pretend the goodbye is even temporary even when I know its not – just like I had done with my mum. The fact I was also going to be off to the police station the next day also meant I needed to act stealthily and not make a fuss around the girls. Serena gave me a knowing look and big hug and I hugged Ash and Susie too, I realised these girls were my friends and I cared deeply for them.

I was finally home in our little flat on New Years day, I was so excited for my future with Robbie but terrified of what was to come. The excitement outweighed the dread and I knew what I was about to do the next day was the right thing. I curled up on the couch watched kids movies all day and snuggled in with a big mug of tea and tins of chocolate. The simple life was what it was all about , I was done with all the drama – just one more day to go.

One more week… Part XVIII

No more ‘jobs’ for me. Nope never again the guilt from doing them was overwhelming and made me feel so worthless. It always had done since I’d started there and now I was engaged I wasn’t going to risk jeopardising my relationship with Rob. I’d felt so much guilt over the weekend and it was really affecting my mental health more than ever. As I say I’d never been thrilled with the idea and I was crap at it anyway literally the worst. Even though I needed and wanted the money I decided that no amount of money was worth feeling that shit and no amount of cash was going to make up for the fact I was technically cheating on rob – even though I never did anything sexual with any of the punters after meeting rob but it wasn’t the point. It was still lying to the man I loved and it was wrong. I wanted to believe it could be ’empowering’ but being controlled by a pimp certainly wasn’t empowering it was bloody degrading, terrifying and soul-destroying, I often wondered if it was just me who felt like that. Fuck that, for the remaining time I’d given myself before I would go to the police I decided I’d just live off the commission that ‘R’ paid me for every ‘successful’ booking that went through but even that didn’t sit well with me, I was no better than him whilst doing that.

The flat was quiet, Susie had gone home for Christmas and I’d never seen her so down as late. She lived with her Hungarian boyfriend who was a chef and knew what she did, he didn’t like it but tried to be supportive he hated her doing it. A month or so earlier ‘R’ had encouraged him to do ‘duos’ with Susie and be hired out as a kinky couple for available for bookings together, ‘R’ made them do some sleazy photo shoot in the flat and I’d watched thinking oh ffs here we go again. Susie was trusting though but they never got a single booking – probably because ‘R’ only did it to keep her boyfriend happy he had no intention of advertising them as a couple as he didn’t want our boyfriends hanging around. He just didn’t want to lose his ‘Porn Star Susie’ his ‘Bread and Butter’.

Susie sent her money home to build a house and because her mum and sister owned a nursery for kids so helping her family was her priority. Susie had also bought a little kitten named ‘Billy’ as she loved animals and she’d told me she felt lonely but sadly just before she went home he’d climbed off the balcony and fallen to his death it was so sad and we cried together. We cried and cried not just because of the kitten but it was one of those moments where you just let it all out. Bex had also buggered off back to Norway and I was pleased for her hoping she might not return for her own good, though she did. It was just Ash and a few others left working up til Xmas. We’d had a new girl named ‘Kitty’ and her male friend who was a ‘twink’. I’d never had to deal with a gay male escort before he was nice though but loved to party. I think he was a breath of fresh air at the time and it was nice having a bloke that wasn’t ‘R’. It was crazy how many calls we got for him from married men who fancied having a young teen lad with them for some forbidden fruit. Kitty was very young too and of course ‘R’ had gotten his claws into her. She made no secret of the fact she thought he was grim, she was scouse and straight to the point so I spent time bitching about him with her which felt good as besides Serena and Penny I often felt alone in my hatred of him. I’d started to withdraw from the girls a bit because I knew I would be blowing this place out of the water very soon and part of me felt bad for them. I was getting ready to go to Sheffield for the few days and I noticed a massive change in ‘R’s’ behaviour again. He was acting crazy and becoming more and more unstable, I found it hard to believe he could act ‘normal’ at his day job. I don’t know whether he really was getting more wild or maybe I was just a lot more clear-headed these days? Still, I hated him, I was growing stronger by the day and we were getting in arguments regularly. Every morning on his way to work he would call me for a ‘briefing’ and tell me if there were new girls coming to the flat and what he wanted me to do. We’d end up rowing because I couldn’t stand the way he spoke about the girls, it was pure hatred and misogyny as well as entitlement and it had really started to hit home what a dangerous psychopath he was. I also realised that none of us really knew anything about him but he knew everything about us. It was his way of having power over us. All we knew was that he was a successful accountant who’s staff members knew what he did on the side and seemed to all be cool with it. Surely he must be leading either a double life or he wasn’t any of the things he’d made out he was. ‘R’ painted himself as a ‘rags to riches’ success and that was his USP so to speak – his way of getting the girls to do more fucked up shit because he made us believe that in order to be rich and successful we must do things that ‘ordinary’ folk would never do. ‘R’ had told us how he had worked Indian aeroplanes for years as a chef and host and he knew EVERYBODY worth knowing always dropping big names.

I couldn’t wait to get away for the few days over Xmas, to connect with family in a ‘normal’ environment. I’d have to stick to my story though and knew it would be exhausting as I was getting to the point where I couldn’t lie anymore. I couldn’t lie to myself, Rob or my family for much longer and I wanted to relieve myself of this lie. I was also nervous about going away as ‘R’ had started to create a divide between me and the girls by making me out to be the ‘kill-joy’ over exaggerator – the hysterical one. I didn’t care anymore though and knew that in the grand scheme of things I’d rather the girls hate me for a while than live with the fact I let this continue. It’s fair to say I was looking forward to telling the police. I now had what I felt was sufficient evidence to take and I’d planned to keep the ‘work’ phone too so that I could hand it in to them. For months I’d feared ‘R’ to the point where I believed he would harm me physically or even have me killed. It sounds crazy but I genuinely felt after everything I’d seen him do he was certainly capable of that but something inside me had given up caring about what he would do to me and I realised that this puny, short, 9 stone man wasn’t as scary as he’d once seemed. I also felt invincible having Robbie by my side as I knew this was a man who would probably die for me – though I definitely didn’t want him dying christ no! ‘R’ always made out that he had police protection and yes it was true there had been many officers use our ‘services’ but there hadn’t been any sufficient evidence of back up or the gangs that helped him as he’d made out. He told me that he had to pay money to people for protection and that he also paid a percentage of the takings to gangsters so that they’d leave us alone.

“Turf wars are real Lauren, you know how many fucking pimps hate me because I’m the best?”

“No, what do you mean?”

“I control the sex scene here in the North West and they hate me for it because I’m some Asian dude who came from nowhere”

I didn’t know if that was fantasy or true but I started to believe the former. There had been a few occasions where he’d made out situations like the gun toting thief had been set ups by the other pimps but I was questioning everything. ‘R’ was unravelling quicker than a cheap dress from ‘Missguided’ and I couldn’t keep up with his Bull shit.

Yes he had a lot of websites at the top of google and would show me regularly how his SEO skills were big reasons as to why our phones rang constantly. But in all honesty most of the business came from Adultwork – a site where anyone can advertise their sexual services. He would get me to create numerous profiles on there and would regularly do ‘photo’ shoots with the younger girls so he was also making money from selling the content on various sites too – none of which he gave to the girls who’s photos had been bought. In fact the girls didn’t know where their images were being used and again that was just bloody wrong. He’d taken various photos of me in the beginning and had gotten me to agree by charming me and telling me he needed them as I was so beautiful and would attract a lot of attention. It was all just bollocks and another way in which he groomed us and exerted his power. Power is gained often through fear and by keeping others around you in the dark , we were ignorant and he loved it that way. I’d had some really nasty messages from my ex who had found me on a site offering my services with full face pics that I hadn’t agreed to being published but ‘R’ had done so anyway. I was fuming and asked him to take them down immediately but he just blurred my face out.

I felt so guilty leaving Robbie on our first official Xmas together but it had to be done, next year would be different I promised him but thats the wonderful thing about Rob, he always just let me figure shit out for myself and was always there if I needed him. He’d agreed to work Xmas and Boxing day so he could get more money for us, he really was that wonderful. I’d gone with him to the Disney store a few days earlier in L1 to get stuff for his son, I wrapped them because like most men he couldn’t wrap to save his life. Rob’s face was lit up with excitement when we took them round only to be abused and screamed at by his ex who then said she’d tell their son they were from santa and not him. My heart broke for him and his son and I thought no matter whats gone on women who do that are only hurting their kids. I knew it was because she was angry at me and just punishing him but it made me mad.

I once again agreed with ‘R’ that in order for me to go away and enjoy my Xmas then I would come back and do the New Years eve shift when all the main girls like Susie would be back. We were going to be crazy busy he said and I didn’t doubt him. I knew Serena was staying in the flat a few days over Xmas because her relationship with her family was strained and she as always she needed cash. I took the work phone and she and Penny handled the other ones while I was away. It was going to be quiet over the Xmas week so I wasn’t needed which I felt relieved about. My Auntie A is old school and there was no way she’d stand for me sitting there staring at a phone! I was going to stay with her in her new flat round the corner from her eldest son’s home who has the quintessential middle class wife and life. The plan was we’d sleep at hers but stay at theirs for the celebrations. Auntie A also loves walking so I knew we’d be doing some serious walking through the countryside which I was excited about as I am just a Norfolk country girl underneath it all.

I caught the bus to Sheffield and was so happy to just be away from the North-West I felt like the place was bad for me and though I had become fond of some parts of it I also began to hate it due to everything I associated with it. My cousin’s lovely jolly ‘Olivia Coleman’ lookalike wife collected me from the station and I instantly felt different like I was in the right place. When we got back to her beautiful victorian home with curtains that looked like they were made to measure I was thrust with ‘Blinis’ and Vol au vents and by god were they nice. I knew she’d probably spent the majority of the day hand making them and the house stunk of Xmas giving me all the feels. This was the life I wanted for Robbie and I, the one where you send ’round robins’ at Xmas and where shopping in Waitrose isn’t a big deal because ‘Darling why shop anywhere else?’.

This life was worlds apart from the shit dingy flat where men came to pay for sex and my daily duties included changing sheets stained with lube, wiping down glass tables sticky with booze and lines of coke. I only wanted to go back for Robbie. This glimpse of what I could have if I sorted my shit out was driving me even more to get the hell away from this mess, I watched my cousins daughters play happily and innocently and I realised how lucky they were compared to the girls back home. Everything I planned to do now felt completely right and I realised I had only one more week to go!

 

Part I said ‘Yes’ !! Part XVII

Early December 2011 

I’d come home from a long grind in the flat, it was a Monday and Mondays could be busy, today was one of the busy days with business men coming in and out all day for a warm winter shag. We also used to get a lot of guys from the Jaguar factory in Ellesmere Port who were often quite young, attractive cocky lads with their wages burning a hole in their pockets. When ‘R’ had forced me to ‘work’ I would do my best to stall the ‘act’ and get them chatting so much that they would have 2 minutes to get their rocks off before their time was up which usually didn’t involve me touching them! I called it the ‘art of stallation’ to the girls and they’d all laugh at how cheeky I was! Ash and Susie said they’d rather get the blokes out of there and not chat shit but I was the opposite because I hated the thought of even touching them. This particular Monday I fancied some extra cash as I wanted to decorate our little flat for Xmas and buy my family presents to take to Sheffield as well as send the money back to NZ for the car payment which was killing me. I love Xmas and my mum had always made it the best day of the year as her and Granny would cook an almighty gut-buster dinner and we’d settle down to ‘The Vicar of Dibley Xmas Special’ followed by ‘Victoria Wood’s Xmas comedy’. Of course the day wouldn’t have been complete without some awkward pissed up altercation between my dad and some poor unsuspecting family member who had come to stay but in general Xmas was the best.

I’d been sending money to NZ to pay for my car payments – a few hundred quid a month straight to dad’s account and yet he hadn’t even bothered to speak to me since the brief phone call I’d received when I had been in hospital in the summer. I was mad when I learned after a phone call to the house that it had been repossessed and dad didn’t even seem to care. For christ sake what had he been spending the money on? He had only got one car left now and he’d let mine go, the car I busted my ass off to buy and keep going for him… typical. I could tell dad was pissed when I rang, he was angry and has this voice that he has once he’s had a drink.. basically he turned into an entitled wanker who thought he was ‘posh’ yet was just becoming a drunk – no better than the people he slagged off in the ‘Clover Hotel’ which was the pub he was going into every day down the bottom of our road in NZ. My friend who had worked in the ‘New World’ supermarket would report back to me on Facebook. It was a shit hole, the kind of ‘tavern’ you see in American movies where you are looked at if your not a local, I’d briefly dated a boy in the town  who’s parents owned the place and his brother was a vile known drug dealer who abused women. It had been big news in the town that summer of 2005 because he had punched his girlfriend in the face and pushed her off the balcony and it was touch and go whether or not she would pull through – she did thank god though she went straight back to him.  I was mad to know dad was drinking down there with those people whilst I was sending money for a car that had been repossessed. I wondered what the hell my family had become, we’d gone from having a nice life to being scum bags, it made me so sad.

I’d come home with £450 on this Monday and now I didn’t need to send money for the car I was happy I got to spend it on Robbie and family. My Auntie deserved a nice present for helping me so much and being the only one there when I needed family so I was excited to go shopping for her. I would wait until the weekend and save it all up so I go without feeling harassed by ‘R’.

I preferred week days at the flat because ‘R’ wasn’t there and I enjoyed some kind of routine of a Monday-Friday.  I was still managing to get ‘R’ to let me home and do ‘day shifts’ so I could be home in the evenings to cook for Robbie before he went off to do a night-shift at the hospital. Luckily he didn’t work Mondays so I was well happy to come home to him and curl up on the couch watching crap TV. ‘R’ also liked me going home in late afternoons as after work he’d come over to the flat pissed up having driven and then he’d choose who his victim was, this had always been a thing but now it was every bloody night and it was making me wild. He hated me being around when he would do this because I’d started to confront him on it and told him “You gotta pay too ya know?” he would laugh and tell me it was their duty. Urgh little man syndrome I thought. His behaviour was so erratic lately and he became more and more obsessed with making money, he was always on the recruit and the Manchester flat had been quiet of late but I didn’t know why. He was working Bex to the bone and again I saw more new faces in the early evenings before I left to go home but I was trying to block the negative shit out and focus on my plan and Robbie. Taylor would flit in and out of the flat and she was scatty as hell, she latched on to me and I thought she really liked me but I realised she liked anyone who showed her some kindness. Taylor was far too mental for me to deal with these days and being around her made me so uneasy, I mentioned about ‘R’ being a scum bag as she was the only one who would tell him to go fuck himself. Her response was “Well if the girls are so fucking stupid to let him rape them or fuck them then I wouldn’t worry about it, ain’t nothing you can do so stop worrying, they know what they’re doing”

Oh how bloody wrong Taylor was but I was trying to adopt this attitude for the time being as even the girls made me think I was being hysterical as they just didn’t seem to see how bad he was apart from the ones who’d left.I guess they were so used to being treated this way it had become ‘normal’. Serena had told me this particular Monday that she’d been in touch with ‘Baby-Angel’ the one who was so young looking and built like a 10 year old yet had ridiculously massive boobs… well apparently she was pregnant and we all speculated it was ‘R’s’ baby as he just seemed so obsessed with her at the time then she disappeared and he’d been making stories up about her life to us which we all found a bit odd. Serena hated ‘R’ as much as I did too though and I knew she was better at speaking with the younger ones as she had more in common with the ‘kids’ than I did at age 26. Although I thought I was still cool I think the young girls were a little afraid of me which made me sad, but Serena wasn’t, Serena was my ride or die in there I later realised – Oh and Penny aka Fag Ash Lil. Penny was still up to her tricks (literally) coming in for the entire weekend to work, smoking 5 thousand fags in 48 hours and being a general sweetheart. I loved her she made me chuckle, I’d been training her up on the phones so I could actually have more of the weekends off. ‘R’ had agreed to this, it meant he saved money but he reckoned it lost him money as nobody had my voice…

Penny had told me that on weekends ‘R’ had been bringing all kinds of girls back to the place or turning up pissed and staying for hours playing his guitar and ordering them take aways. Fuck that I was glad I wasn’t there. She’d told me this Monday morning before she handed back the main phone that this had happened and he hadn’t left until late Friday night and been back both Saturday and Sunday. I hated thinking about his sordid fuck-den he had going on, he reminded me of some weird cult leader at times because he just had this power that got people to think he was amazing. I’d managed to confide in Penny on our ‘personal’ phones that I now realised ‘R’ couldn’t hack as he only knew Blackberry and he slagged Iphones off all the time – result! Penny had said she’d help me and give evidence to me to hand in when I went through with the plan, in her thick Burnley smokey voice she said

“Don’t wurry love, I hate the bloody bastard, just give me heads up will ya so I can find somewhere else to work, but I’m right behind ya”

Penny had been in care as a kid right unttil her teens and had a terrible life herself but she seemed so wise for her age and very kind-hearted.

Anyway, that Monday when I got home Rob said he’d got a surprise for me… I hated surprises because I hated having to pretend I liked something if I didn’t – I was crap at hiding my reaction as my face would always give it away so I hoped I liked this surprise.

“Sit down, I made you a booklet of questions so we can get to know each other and they are just yes/no ones”

“Urm ok.. haha thats cute”

There were so many questions that I was getting bored now and I had to keep ticking the box for my answer and then showing him… it was very sweet. Then on the back page ‘THE’ question came…

“Would you like to be my wife?” there were two boxes to choose from and I read it looked at him whilst his smiling face beamed down on me

“Have you chosen your answer then or what?”

“Yes!!!!!!”

I said Yes, and really meant it I really wanted to marry him but we were both still married to other people and so part of the magic wasn’t there. Theres a real feeling of failure when as a woman your marriage breaks down, even though I knew it wasn’t my fault and that I was way better off without him I felt a bit ‘tainted’ but at least Robbie didn’t see me like that. I didn’t want to tell anyone either as I knew what their reaction would be but inside I was so excited. He handed me a ring, it was lovely but not me…Oh fuck.

“You can change it if you don’t like it”

“I love it” I lied but now wasn’t the time to say that, It wasn’t an offensive ring, it was that it was just ‘common’ and I didn’t want something that everybody else had though I was pleased he’d gone to so much effort. I knew I was being a total brat about it in my head and for once this was a man who all I wanted to see was smile because he was amazing. He’d even got us our fave Pizza, the one we had the first time we properly went on a date.

I went to bed so happy and feeling so safe with him, I was now a Fiance AND wife but something inside me told me this time it was going to be so different and so much better. Life was getting better in so many ways and I’d applied for my college course too! Bex had gone home for Xmas now and there was just 3 more weeks until D-Day.

 

xxxx

4 more weeks…. Part XVI

Mid November 2011

‘R’ told us we were being hysterical. He was so skilled at ‘Gas-lighting’

“It was probably a fake plastic gun, fuck it, move on, you will get this from time to time, he was just a chancer who has probably been here before and knew there was money on site”

‘R’ was probably right but it didn’t make it ok. He’d told us there was no way we were ringing the police because they’d laugh at us anyway. It made sense. What the hell would we say anyway?! ‘Excuse me but a bloke just robbed me of all my hard earned cash, do you know how many men I’ve slept with for this?’ It just didn’t sound good did it? We all believed that this was a seedy under-ground operation which it definitely was but not in the way he made out.

“Ash, you ok Hun?”

“I’m alright ya know, a bit shaken up, deffo don’t wanna be here alone but it’s fine. He got off with that 800 quid though and I needed that badly, I need to buy furniture for me new place”

“Oh Hun I’m so sorry I sent him to you, he seemed fine, I’ll do my best to get you as many jobs as I can”

“Ta love, It’s sound, you didn’t know”

I didn’t know, but I did feel responsible. I kept thinking if I’d have taken the call instead of messaging the creep then I’d have sussed out if he was ok or not. Normally I had procedures in place and a rule that no one could book unless they had a saved number in the phone and we’d seen him before. This number was new but I took the risk and I fuckt up. My paranoia was so bad I had genuinely begun to wonder if ‘R’ had set this shit up to prove a point to me and so he could steal money back from the girls as he was money and ego centric. Getting back to this life after a relatively serene few days in Cornwall was awful. I felt more crap than ever and so nervous about my future, I was finally happy with a wonderful man who I knew for once loved the bones of me and I him. That was getting me through, I was at the point where I felt I couldn’t do anything positive by myself and everyday that went on as Robs girlfriend I felt stronger. We shouldn’t rely on another person to make us better but sometimes someone comes along and makes us see sense. My road ahead was long but I didn’t give a shit about material things right now, I realised I’d been working to strive for this unobtainable life a life that measured success by your bank balance. It was time to sit and ask myself some honest questions like had I achieved what I wanted financially from this? No. In the beginning I told you Belle had lied… this industry wasn’t glamorous nor was I ending up like Julia Roberts, though I’d found my Richard Gere in Robbie – perhaps a poorer, hotter version. I knew that the sooner I got this over and done with the better, yes I’d be poor as hell but I wouldn’t fear for my life everyday or feel the suffocating shame that I felt because of what I did or didn’t do.

Oh remember ‘Norwegian Bex’ ? I mentioned her briefly in the post titled ‘The Girls’. Bex had been set up with forged pay slips and a fake position as a Personal Assistant employed by one of ‘R’s’ bogus companies. She had taken a second Liverpool flat out in her name to be paid for by ‘R’ under the condition that she allowed the place to be used for ‘meets’ by other girls. I advised her against it when we were alone, I told her if she did that he’d own her. I was right. He would go over there and fuck her, she’d been here for a few weeks and had I had watched a rapid decline in her physical and mental state. Initially I had really liked her, I’d taken her round the shops in ‘L1’ and showed her where she could buy her ‘snuff’ as she called it – which is a chewing tobacco that she said ‘everyone’  in Norway chewed. I personally thought it looked gross and when she did chew it she would get black teeth! The impression I got when we first met was that this was an educated girl from a good home in Norway. She had previously been working in a bank in Norway and was paid good money but she’d come here to see friends and look at studying here and getting a job. Why oh why she had walked into this place was beyond me… but it wasn’t really was it? We all had our reasons and our back stories. She was kinky and she was very willing too, she was more hardcore than Susie and so she smashed the money-making. Cocaine seemed to be her thing and she was hitting it hard most nights alone or with other various girls sent to work from her flat – it showed on her face so much she had aged almost overnight. Bex had started to act up, often looking totally off her face and not making much sense – this was a girl who needed sorting out. Once a week I was to collect the money from Bex’s and bank it in Halifax on Bold Street along with the Renshaw street cash. I was shocked at the state of the place, it looked like an absolute shit-tip and there were takeaway boxes everywhere, Bex was barely awake and looked exactly like what she had become – a coke whore. Seeing Bex like this scared me, she looked like how I did just before I was admitted to hospital.

“Bex, you need to lay off the coke hun”

“I know, I know, I am so fucking over this shit”

“Go home then! You can go home right? lets be honest your not making any money its going up ya nose”

“Yeh, I’m gona leave soon, my mums coming over to take me home for Xmas then when I get back I’ll get my shit and be gone but Im scared to tell him”

This flat was probably bugged too but I now knew that ‘R’ didn’t like confrontation and actually he thrived off the bitching we did about him. I think it made him feel ‘hard’ and more ‘gangster’.

“Fuck him, he doesn’t care about you and he owns you and your body, get the fuck out asap, this is no life”

Bex looked at me with a wry smile and said

“Lauren..you too! why you still here? You have Robbie now”

“Don’t you worry about me babe, I have a plan”

“Good, let me know what it is but not here yeh?”

“Bex, I might look stupid and I might act it, but I know what to do, lets go for ‘all you can eat’ this week with Susie yeh?”

“Sound”

I loved the way the foreign girls would pick up the scouse sayings such as ‘sound’

“Now lay off the coke Bex! I’ll see u soon, ring me on my personal if you need me”

Every day that went by I gave myself a little pep-talk and told myself to just get gone BUT it wasn’t just me I had to think about, I was potentially putting girls out of work and putting them at risk of being investigated by police. Some might hate me for it and I knew who and I was prepared for that but I’d always been taught by mum that if its wrong you tell someone. Xmas was looming and they would be relying on the work to provide for themselves and their family over the festive season. We all needed a good Xmas and I had been invited by my auntie to go to Sheffield for a few days – they had no idea what I was doing and they certainly didn’t know about Rob. Telling them about Rob would be a hard task as how the hell was I going to mention he was still married and had a son? My old-school family wouldn’t cope and I needed approval, I always sought approval even when making the wrong decisions; I agreed to go for four days. Urgh I was so sick of lying.

‘After Xmas’ I told myself and theres no going back on this Laura! You WILL get this done straight after. I still needed to plan it anyway, my head was clear these days and it felt so good to finally feel more like ‘me’ whoever that was, but I knew I was better than this piece of shit I had been. Anxiety levels were higher than Bex but in a weird way I felt I deserved the self-loathing and panic attacks and I was good at hiding how I felt. 4 more weeks, 4 more weeks.

On a brighter note though, love was now my drug and I loved coming home to Robbie. The simple things in life were finally making me happy. I’d even looked at college courses and one in Southport College took my fancy. It gave you enough credits to get into a university and was only a year long! I couldn’t wait to apply so did so that night. Thank the Lord that the private school fees had gotten me a damn good set of GCSE’s.

xxxx

Great escapes, Gangs and Guns….Part XV

Early November 2011

Well of course I’d lied to ‘R’

“I’m just going to visit my auntie in Cornwall for 4 days”

“Fine but you can work the phones right?”

“Yeh. ‘Course, no probs”

That was a rhetorical question, there was absolutely no room for ‘no’ and the only way he’d agree was if I agreed. ‘Tactics’ – manipulation, preying on people’s weaknesses, knowing that you don’t dare challenge them because you will be ‘punished’. I’d have rather died than be ‘punished’ by him. Seriously. You know the stories of women in violent relationships and we all sit wondering why the hell they put up with it? People point the fingers at the women and start to wonder if she ‘likes it’? Until you’ve been there it is very hard to comprehend but its very real and it feels like theres no way out.

Hmmm.. I wondered if Cornwall had good wifi, I’d have to pray to god it did and hoped Rob’s mum had high speed internet or I was in for it. Part of me thought ‘Fuck it’ whats he going to do when I’m here anyway, but I didn’t trust him – evil is never to be trusted. I felt a million miles away – bliss. The last time I’d been to Cornwall was in 2002 when I was 17 with my mum, dad, granny and my Auntie Jackie. It had been an ‘eventful’ holiday with my teenage rebellion being my downfall – I’d gone off with the barman who seemed to be the only young person about. He invited me for a joint on the beach and we laughed and joked watching the sea… he was cool, not a sleaze and we were just being friendly…the police however didn’t agree as they banged on the car window at 2am.

Cornwall is stunning, dramatic, extreme, rugged, unspoilt she was the best of England before people came along and fuckt it up, she was very much like New Zealand and both places reminded me of each other . Both places where I feel a physical calling but places I get frightened to stay too long in case I miss out on life or end up settled into the provincial lifestyle that had always terrified me in my twenties and yet now seems so appealing and is all I want. The dream is to write, have a pack of dogs, live in a country cottage in Sussex or Surrey and be near the resting place of my mum.

We were met from the airport by his mum and sister which was pretty nerve wracking to say the least. I was fully aware that I would be seen as ‘the other woman’ and that in all fairness to them they were being very kind considering how they could have been. His mum was small like all mums of that generation seem to be, short cropped hair, a hard but welcoming face and a look that said “Don’t mess with my son”. She wore a fleece, jeans and sketchers – mum attire. His sister was much more open to me, she lived in the middle of nowhere and we all went back to hers to devour the cornish pasties that they had picked up especially for Robbie who had demanded that we have them for tea. Boys always get what they want. I liked Jodie immediately, she reminded me of Phoebe from friends, instantly I could tell she didn’t have her shit together at all, its always reassuring to know someone is in your boat too. She was the opposite of Rob and their mum, Katrina.

This would be a make or break holiday, I’d either leave loving him entirely or leave because something tiny he did would piss me off… I’d been put off really nice guys because of stupid things like the way they ate at the table or the way they held their knife and fork. I might be many things but I do have table manners and I find it such a turn off when I realise someones mother hasn’t enforced them!

“All joints on the table shall be carved…. so elbows off!”

It was all very nicey nicey and so far so good, I was just waiting for THE question. The one that scared me the most … oh there it is

“So what do you do for a job? What are you plans for the future Laura?”

“I work as a PA for a guy who runs an glamour modelling agency, but its just a fill in job at the moment, I’d love to go back to college though and actually get a degree in Vet med or something working with animals”

Every job I’d had since leaving school I would immediately feel the need to follow my answer with a reason as to why I wasn’t flying high. The pressure I felt to do well, to be successful, to have a ‘proper’ career had always been with me and contributed to my feelings of rejection and uselessness. I had felt a failure for many many years.

“Oh, well whatever pays the bills”

“Yes, its pretty full on and I unfortunately have to work while I’m here a little bit too but I will make sure I don’t let it disrupt my holiday. I enjoy helping the girls though – I like to help people” I smiled politely, it was true I love to help people and I guess thats another reason that I stayed for as long as I did.

I’d been gone from Renshaw Street for less than 6 hours, by the time I dared to look at the work phone there were 54 missed calls and numerous texts from punters requesting girls. 16 of the calls were from ‘R’ and a few BBM messages asking me where I was and why I wasn’t answering.

“Lauren, why you not answering the fucking calls? Do I need to tell your family?”

These were the kinds of threats and manipulation techniques that scared me into staying, they are the same ones used by groomers, domestic abusers and sociopaths and although I knew that I had been taking it for months. I truly believed that in no way shape or form was I worthy of anything better than this miserable existence though Robbie had given me a glimmer of hope. Just before we’d come to cornwall he’d moved into a tiny one bedroom flat costing £380 a month including bills bang smack in the middle of Southport. He was serious. So was I, I longed for something to be proud of, something that I had worked hard for and nobody could take away from me. I longed for a career where I could afford nice things without having to sell my body or my soul.

I BBM’d Serena and asked her to take over the calls and I would handle the messages and bookings on the ‘Bookings channel’. Thank god she had agreed and thank god she was in one of her ‘I need money’  weeks which meant she would stay all weekend while I was away. I was feeling relived that the ‘OG’ crew were there; Original Girls or Original Gangsters as I affectionately named us. It made us feel like we were in something together- like a club, we might not have had much but we shared common ground and at the end of the day everybody just wants to fit in whether they like to admit it or not. Susie, Ash and Serena were on the whole dependable, the rest would cum and go… literally. There were a few new girls there that weekend too and so I would always start the new girls with the safe-bet regulars who came solely for a shag and were clean and polite. I hated scaring the new girls off by giving them difficult clients asking for A-levels, Scat (You google scat, even my foul mouth can’t cope with this today) or weird domination sessions. One ‘weird’ regular would come weekly and ask to have his balls literally kicked in by one of the OG’s they would laugh about it being a way to vent their anger towards the men and let out their frustrations. He’d beg to be bruised, battered and left with bloody bollocks! I could no way on earth do that, I hate to hurt a mouse let alone batter some twisted bastard for 30 minutes. Standard jobs for the newbies, weirdos for Susie, those wanting the ‘Girlfriend’ experience for Ash and any other freaks to Serena. Safe.

The first day in Cornwall had been spent driving to beauty spots of which there are many to choose from, we walked from Marizion to Penzance in the blistering cold whilst Robs mum who is called ‘Kat’ showed us St.Michael’s mount. It was stunning even through the grey clouds. I love to see the sea when its wild, its exciting and the salt spray hit my face almost snapping me out of my stupor. Its a fucking cliche isn’t it but having spent the day with a ‘normal’ family doing ‘normal’ things I realised just how twisted my life had become and as I gazed out at what I thought was in fact ‘Mont Saint Michel’ only to be corrected by Robbie who told me that was the french version I must be thinking about, I realised that upon my return my plan would be actioned sooner than I had anticipated. There was no cocaine, condoms or creeps here! Maybe there was but I wasn’t looking for it this time. It was truly bliss. The BBM’s had been coming in thick and fast but it looked like everything was under control. For the first time in a long time I had really enjoyed myself and felt somewhat a part of a family. Cheesy but true. Our grandmothers don’t lie when they say things like

“That’ll be the sea air! It’s knackers you out”

It had well and truly shattered me and I’d allowed my body to somewhat relax. I fell into a deep sleep on Kat’s couch only to wake the next morning with missed call list longer than my arm and the most terrifying message from Serena…

“Ash has been robbed at gun point! He’s tied her up and stolen all the money and got off”

Fuck.

Silence is Violence XIV

The pizza was amazing btw if your all wondering, he bought over Spicy chicken pizza from ‘Sergeant Peppers’ in Southport. If you haven’t been there then I suggest you do! I hope it’s still there. We talked for ages, he was a gentleman and didn’t try to make a move which I was glad about. I’ve always been awkward. This man was beautiful AND kind AND funny….

Lolly was still on side too but I expected she wasn’t going to provide me with a written statement though she was still a ok for me to give the ‘busies’ her number when I went. Excellent!

I recognised my ‘privilege’. I’m white and some might say middle-class with what all the girls in the flat called ‘a posh voice’ plus I was privately educated. To say I stuck out like a sore thumb was an understatement. Ok, so I was currently working in a brothel out of a dingy flat but I was aware of the difference in upbringings we all had and I was actually very aware of the situation I had found myself in somewhat being my own stupidity, my own fault. I felt shameful when I compared my situation to theirs and I felt even more shame when I was still sat there doing absolutely sweet FA about it. Shame was eating me up – that and many other things like having a totally dysfunctional family unit, a mum with a terminal illness and a broken down marriage to someone who was as toxic as the reunion with the Real Housewives of Cheshire but still – I had had it easier than any of the other girls in comparison.

It’s funny because I was already so aware of how this could go down with police; get it wrong and ‘R’ was getting away with grooming and pimping the vulnerable girls of the North West but get it right and the police might just take me seriously.

Rob had left his wife though and I was feeling very weird about it, I didn’t want to be a home-wrecker and I hated women who intentionally ‘stole’ men from their wives and kids. That wasn’t me. He told me it was a matter of time and that I had come along out of nowhere just like that cliché bolt out the blue. I got it. I felt the same. Still, I was only living in temporary accommodation at the time in a studio flat and as much as I was convinced he was truly ‘the one’ I also knew that I was known to romanticise people and situations. We all know those people on our friends list who have a new partner every few weeks and declare their undying love to one another publicly for the world to see – literally a few days later they are slagging each other off and we watch on like it’s entertainment. Eff that! I didn’t want that to be me this time, I was tired of being the joke.

Still even the man who had just left his wife and life didn’t know the severity of my situation, I didn’t want him to. I wanted to be seen from the start as stable, as a woman who is sexy because she’s in control of her shit and knows what she wants – not someone who needed ‘rescuing’. This man who had walked out of his home that he had a joint mortgage on didn’t know I was working for a drug addled ‘fixer’.

‘R’ may have fixed appointments but he broke every girl he sent to these vile people.

From the day I met Rob I knew this was someone I didn’t want to lead on and I also didn’t want to be led either. I’d sat back for months watching ‘R’ exploit, abuse, control and gain from this and he was getting worse and he was planning expansion. Already worked to the bone and having spent that time in hospital I knew I couldn’t handle what he had planned. I knew it was time to stand up, take control back and put a stop to this. It’s cliche af to say but something inside me was changing and I was sick of this shit. I wanted a future, a job, a family a career to be proud of I wanted that for me and the girls. Currently I was nothing more than a maid in a brothel and that made ME a criminal too.

Emily had given me emailed statements detailing the abuse she’d suffered, Lolly had given me the green light to give her number to the police and I’d even asked Susie what her thoughts were over a £5.99 all you can eat lunchtime Chinese special. Susie and i often went for an ‘All you can eat’ and I loved those moments of ‘reality’

Susie replied

“But what can you do? We need money, we get good work it’s ok, no?”

“No Susie, it’s not, he’s getting younger girls all the time it’s wrong”

“I know, but they choose it right?”

“See I don’t think they do, they are vulnerable they are there for the taking, he’s exploiting that, especially Ash and Serena, and look at Lolly and bloody Angel?!”

“True, I want to leave soon and go to Hungary, my body is tired and I have saved enough now”

“Susie I think you should go your too lovely for this shit”

“You too Lauren” (everyone called me Lauren)

‘R’ was getting more demanding by the minute and I was now getting regular phone calls asking me why I had missed bookings. I hadn’t missed any, as you know by now all the ‘work’ phones were blackberrys connected to his one which was like a ‘master’ phone. Our every move and message watched and he’d recently told me he had tapped into our personal phones and had details about our families… I tried to warn the girls of this when they stood round gossiping like girls do. What I had once thought were thinly veiled threats now had substance. This was the behaviour of a man who believed he was above the law and my paranoia was worse than ever.

He’d had the ‘Romanians’ working from his place in Manchester and I’d put a lot of bookings through for them too. They looked stunning on the website he advertised them on and he referred to them as his ‘work horses’. On a collection day (collecting his money from the flats) in Manchester he’d gone in to find the place empty. All girls had disappeared apparently and he was kicking off ranting and saying he was off to Romania and would I come too?! I asked why and he said he needed more girls now so would go back over and recruit some more, fly them over and get them working ASAP. It dawned on me that very moment that I was working for a pedophile, sex offender, pimp and human trafficker and it had just ‘levelled up’ on the sinister scale.

Fuck.

New young girls seemed to be coming and going all the time so much so I could barely keep up. Names were recycled and it seemed for every girl gone another was in the wings waiting. Emily’s emails were crazy but I believed her. It was always the same story when I’d asked the girls how they’d ended up here he was finding them on the internet, inviting them over for an ‘interview’ in mansions he had access to in Cheshire and was drugging them, raping them and then forcing them to work as prostitutes promising them better lives and seducing them with materialistic dreams of big cars and designed clothing. Lolly’s story was the same. The only one who’s differed was Susie’s who as you know was the only ‘professional’.

I’d never really asked Ash how she’d gotten there, I didn’t want to pry with her. But now I was alone with her for the night and as much as I wanted to go home I never felt comfortable leaving a girl in that apartment by herself. ‘R’ thought it was because I wanted to earn too but truth was if anything happened there would be safety in numbers. ‘Kylie’ the new girl had just left and she’d had her first day in hell too, most girls seemed to like it at first because it felt so forbidden and the money was too good to be true. Kylie went off with a smile and promise to return she too had had her ‘induction’ with ‘R’ and she’d not seemed put off. ‘Kylie’ was beautiful and buxom but also deaf in both ears and wore hearing aids. Her self esteem was through the floor and yet she was the sweetest girl. I liked her so much I hoped I didn’t see her again – I did though.

That night with Ash and I alone we got to chat and laugh and I realised Ash was super sweet, intelligent and just wanting to earn money to give the best to her little boy. We were similar- I had wanted to earn money to ‘save’ my parents from financial devastation but it wasn’t happening. I had been sending money back to pay the finance on my car so that HE could use it but had learned my dad had let the finance company take it away 😦

It all felt too much for me at times because on one hand if I went to the police the girls would blame me for ruining the business and they wouldn’t know where to go (though there are lots of operating brothels in the north west that advertise all over the Internet). But if I didn’t do anything I felt that something horrendous even more so than what had already happened was about to. Whatever I did it would upset somebody but you gotta just weigh it out.

Robbie had asked if I wanted to get away for a few days and go down to Cornwall to meet his family! Jesus that was a bit soon but I said yes. Again I would have to ask permission and make it into a lie so ‘R’ didn’t know what I was really doing. Knowing ‘R’ would set out to ruin things for me if he got wind of the fella…..

I was going to face my fears in Cornwall because we were A. Flying there and I am terrified of flying and B. I was going to ask Robbie what to do. I needed to get this shit off my chest properly with someone not involved. If he was going to love me entirely he’d have to love me warts n all!

Love Lo xxxx

I said maybe…. your gona be the bar that saves me…

Hey! I’m Lo for those of you who don’t know me yet from my rather jaw-dropping confessions that I write about on this here blog.  Well, this time I’m not here to write about misery and sadness (shock horror), nope, instead I’m here to tell you about my jaw-dropping skin results!

So you’ve heard of the the wonder bra right? It does wonders for your tits!? Well now the amazing geniuses behind new brand Carbon Theory bring you the ‘Wonder-Bar’ that does wonders for your zits! Seriously though, it really does. In a world where we are constantly being told ‘Buy this you NEED it, it will eliminate spots, bad memories, wrinkles, fine lines to deep furrows and all your student debts’ it is hard to know what genuinely works and what isn’t just some glossy-pretty-packaged load of tosh endorsed by flawless bloggers and celebs. I mean I’ve bought so much ‘tosh’ I may as well have set a light to my money and watched it burn – I shit you not, I’d probably have a perfectly pedicured foot on the property ladder by now because I’m convinced the ‘tosh’ I’ve bought equates to a deposit on a house. Hands up if your sick of it, and hands up if you need to transform your skin-care regime, fight the dreaded spots (including huge boil-like cystic acne ones) but want to do it without breaking the bank?! YES YES YES I hear you all scream!  Well look no further because this girl won’t lie to you, I won’t BS you when it comes to what works and what doesn’t as I think its morally wrong and I recognise the bigger picture!

Carbon Theory’s ‘Wonder-Bar (Its actually called ‘Charcoal & Tea Tree oil breakout-out control facial cleansing bar) is £6 from Boots or their website. £6!!Cheap as chips! Affordable for ALL which is when it comes to skin-care I think its important. Beautiful skin should be achievable for EVERYONE and not just those with deep pockets.

My skin got me down so much in my twenties especially and I tried EVERYTHING, from expensive dermatologists that I whacked on my credit cards to Roacutane that left me a quivering wreck and experiencing some very dark thoughts. I also tried £300 miracle creams that again didn’t work. I’ve had skin care regimes that involved tonnes of different products and were quite frankly exhausting. Last year I came off Doxycycline after 7 years straight on it – no breaks – its a powerful and super strong antibiotic that often left me nauseous and suffering from thrush all the time (sorry peeps but gotta be honest here). I had also tried Proactiv+ (endorsed by Katy Perry and Jessica Simpson) which at first seemed to be great but then ended up giving me an allergic reaction that gave me big weeping sores around my hairline (very attractive) and they bloody hurt too – emotionally and physically.

Imagine being told  “You’ve got a lovely face, its such a shame you have such bad skin”

Well theres a ‘double-entendre’ if I ever did hear one! My skin wasn’t just ‘bad’ it was bloody hellish, painful and impossible to cover with even the likes of the amazing ‘Double-wear’. To say it got me down is an understatement.  I eliminated dairy, smoking, caffeine, and almost everything I found fun but to no avail. For the majority of my twenties I was also pretty bloody skint like most of us are and so the Dr suggested the cheap NHS subsidised antibiotics but again – they didn’t work. I’d convince myself they were working so would get them on repeat just because I could. Every special event in my life such as my wedding day, my graduation last year in the summer (that I never thought I would see because for years I was a bloody joke and had little direction and made enough mistakes for every twenty something woman in England) to uni Law Ball’s with my classmates were marred by huge hormonal cystic spots. Like most young women I was pretty insecure anyway and these spots led to even greater feelings of insecurity and anxiety and there were many occasions where I declined offers of nights out because I felt so shit about my face.

On countless occasions I turned up to the Doctor’s complaining about my skin and I was treated like I was a nuisance – like it was something I should put up with or go and take privately. Not one doctor took me seriously with one trying to convince me that I must have Polycystic ovaries which by the way I definitely don’t after four tests all saying my ovaries were doing just fine – Praise be! Many doctors offered me contraceptives as a treatment for my acne but being almost forced to take hormonal contraceptives doesn’t sit well with me after my experiences with them and one particularly rude female doctor who said

“Your 27 I wouldn’t be getting contraception, I’d be thinking about having kids”

It wound me up so so much! Anyway…

One fine day I was aimlessly scrolling Instagram when I saw _Myskinstory ‘s post advertising Carbon Theory’s wonder-bar and I thought why the hell not give it a go?! The only thing I had to lose was painful spots and £6 if it didn’t work. It arrived in pretty packaging, in quick time and was just so simple – Use twice daily. For all you vegans out there its cruelty free too 🙂 (after working in an animal testing centre in New Zealand I can absolutely say there is no need to test on animals, it is simply barbaric and cruel but that’s another story). I can honestly say that THIS WORKS!!!!!! It truly works! In two weeks my skin was clear and I mean clear! Seriously though nobody has paid me for this as I’m simply not that important (yet 😉 ha) and nobody has asked me to write some BS blog post on why YOU need this bar! But really you do NEED this bar because its changed my life and as dramatic as that sounds its true! My spots are gone, I don’t wake up with new fresh heads of hell on my jawline and I even feel confident to go out without as much make up on. To put it bluntly Im feeling pretty smug 😉 I even fell asleep with a face full of makeup and didn’t wake with one new spot! Woo Hoo!

I believe this bar is good for ALL ages, for those with what we deem ‘normal’ teenage skin problems and for those who like me have much more serious cystic spots going on that need to get gone. Carbon Theory have also just released a new moisturiser too which I’m also super excited to try. This bar though like many products out there for bad skin doesn’t dry my skin out at all yet it does seem to control the oil production and I am less ‘shiny’ without appearing old. I think one of the most common questions I’d ask my girlfriends growing up was

“Do I look shiny?” because I produce enough oil to supply a chippy.

Anyway enough of my rambling and trying to convince you! Just try it yourselves! Trust me this worked for me and I have the proof… The pics say it all!

You won’t regret it!

Love Lo xxx