Written by Ruby Hinchliffe
Illustrated by Ruby Hinchliffe
As soon as he saw me I knew he was never going to let me go. Not without a fight.
He pushed his way through the swathes of people who were drinking and chatting, immersed in their own alcohol infused excitement at the weekend dawning.
I was standing with my flatmate. I felt him approaching our part of the bar, but there was nowhere to hide, the bar was rammed with punters from all angles and there was no obvious toilet sign to escape. I had to stand my ground.
“Well hello ladies, what brings you two out here tonight?” He was probably in his late thirties. His eyes were sad and rough, propped up by great caverns of tiredness. He was alone, and his booming voice was clearly an East London one.
He continued to spin empty chat-up lines for a little while or so, but it soon became very clear as to why he’d shuffled over.
“I don’t care whether you like pussy or not, I can do things to you girls, I can do things you can’t.” He was getting desperate now.
“I don’t care whether you like pussy or not, I can do things to you girls, I can do things you can’t.”
We’d told him earlier on that we were a happy couple, in a bid to move him along to the next table of unfortunate women. It wasn’t far from the truth, my flatmate was, in fact, a lesbian, and I’d dated girls in the past.
You’d have to be far more than just gay and taken to consider this heap of sexist meat. Blind and deaf would be a good start. But even then, you’d be able to feel his bristly chest hair that peeped out of his yellow shirt, or you’d be able to smell his putrid beer breath. You’d have to be impaired on all fronts to bear this man. You’d pretty much have to be dead.
He was now trying to get us drunk. Unable to entice us willingly, he was resorting to alternative methods of seduction. We let him buy us one round. After listening to his trash talk for too long, the least we could get out of it was a round of tequila shots.
After we’d knocked them back, I was once again forced to look in his direction. The face of a thirty-something loser who harrasses women in the same bar, week upon week, in the hope of tricking some unfortunate twenty-something into going home with him.
His tactics made me angry, and the age-old drink-buying “IOU” was not going to persuade me or my friends. We owed him nothing but pity.
“His tactics made me angry, and the age-old drink-buying “IOU” was not going to persuade me or my friends.”
I suddenly caught a glimpse of the toilet sign. Time to go. I assembled my friends whilst his back was turned to the bar to buy us another round. In the time he’d forced us to listen to his drivel, two more friends of ours had arrived. “Go, go, go,” I hissed, as if was I diverting armed troops from a messy ambush with the enemy.
Once we were through the toilet door we were safe. “What a fucking weirdo,” said one of my newly-arrived friends. Approaches by weirdos were a daily occurrence for all of us, but the polite, non-judgemental attitude we permitted them was growing tired and running out of patience.
When we resurfaced from the thick, perfumed cubicles, he was still there. A sorry sight. One man and a round of drinks with no one to drink them. I laughed.
We were done with this bar, so we headed for the door. As I followed my friends to the exit I felt the rough skin of someone’s hand enclose around my thin wrist. It gripped it tight and pulled hard. I was suddenly confronted with his face again. He was fuming, I could feel the rage reverberating off him.
His tired, greedy eyes took me in, inch by inch, invading the pale flesh that sat underneath my low-cut black top. My bralet was peeping out, and as I breathed my chest heaved. “I can see everything right now,” he spat, specks of saliva landing on my skin as he looked straight at me.
“I can see everything right now,” he spat, specks of saliva landing on my skin as he looked straight at me.”
I was speechless. How dare he. I ripped my wrist from his grip and stormed out of the bar, tailing my friends, who were oblivious to what had just happened.
I didn’t say anything, or intend to. His repulsive face would stay in that bar, and it would never leave it.