I know from the moment he gets into the taxi that this is probably going to be the greatest day ever. Not great like winning a year’s supply of your favourite ice cream (peanut butter swirled into cookie dough, since you ask). Maybe awesome, pivotal, freaking life-changing would be a better choice of parlance. But I digress.
After another Valentine's Day with only my personal pity party for company, I decide to chance the next speed dating night at the local pub.
With great effort I squeeze into my new red dress and heels and totter into town.
So picture this. Five minutes with each guy, thirty seconds to tick a scorecard, then repeat until all the faces and conversations blur into one average bloke, medium build, brown hair, named John or Ben or Dave who works as a plumber slash software engineer slash accountant slash estate agent and he’s into cooking but balances the calories with urban running, loves to travel so of course he’s learning Spanish blah-de-blah. After number fifteen, I’ve had more than enough.
I’m slipping on my coat and cursing my three-inch stilettos when someone steps into my path. Time slows right down, I even feel my heart beat once, twice, three times. His crow’s feet are more pronounced and his hair has receded, but it's definitely him.
“Hey,” he says, checks my name badge. “Anna, right? I just wanted to say hi. I’m one of the organisers. I’m Neil.”
“You don’t recognise me then?” My tone is friendly with just a hint of venom - some of it self-directed as I’ve gained fifty pounds since he last knew me back in high school.
“No, but I meet a lot of girls,” he says, waving my question away. “So I noticed you didn’t leave your scorecard. Meaning you might be free for a drink? Or something else?”
This is when I realise my wildest dream could become reality.
I flirt with him with every fibre of my being. We end up in a cab, and soon we’re on his couch with a bottle of scotch, which still turns out to be his favourite tipple. I match him drink for drink till the room starts spinning, excuse myself and thrust my fingers down my throat till my guts contract in painful spasms and I puke it all back up. After a good swill of his peppermint mouthwash, I return to find Neil passed out.
I stand over him, building courage for my next act. He doesn’t stir, just lets out a snuffle as I unbutton and slowly ease off his jeans and boxers and deliberately leave them bunched around his ankles.
Then I snap a photo with his phone, click ‘Post Public’ on his social media account, and tag it with: “I raped my 13 year old student back in 1993. This is her showing me mercy in 2018.”
I hit Share, and take my leave.
Problems are always best shared, don’t you agree?
@AliceLamWriter #NeilGetsIt #ShortStory