I pull the fire escape door open, scoop my eyeshadow palette off the ground and slip back inside. For a moment, I pause in the corridor and catch my breath. Adrenaline is surging through me. Rage. A normal woman would call the police at this point. But a normal woman would never have been paranoid enough in the first place to pretend to go to the toilet, only to sneak out of the fire escape and spy through a window to watch what her date does when he has five minutes alone with her drink. Nope. A normal woman would have gone to the loo, done a pee and topped up her lipstick. Or she’d have texted a friend about her hot date, feeling giddy with hope and excitement.
Now, let’s think about what would have happened to a normal woman.
A normal woman would have headed back to her date, smiling prettily, before sitting down and drinking her drugged drink. Then, a short while later, that normal woman would have started feeling far more drunk than she normally does after just a couple of drinks, but she’d probably blame herself. She’d wonder if maybe she’d drunk too much. Or maybe she’d blame herself for having not eaten earlier in the day because she didn’t want to look fat in her dress. Or maybe she’d blame herself because that’s just what she does; she blames herself. And then, just as she started to feel woozy and a bit confused, her date would take her outside for some fresh air and she’d be grateful to him. She’d think he was caring and responsible, when really, he was just whisking her out of sight, before she started to look less like she was drunk and more like she’d been drugged. And then the next thing she’d know, she’d be staggering into the back of a cab and her date would be asking her to tell the driver where she lived. And when she’d barely be able to get the words out and her date made a joke to the driver about how drunk she was, she’d feel small and embarrassed. And then she’d find herself slumping into her date’s open arms, flopping against his big manly body, and she’d feel grateful once more that this man was taking care of her and getting her home safe.
And then, once the taxi slowed down and she blinked her eyes open and found they’d pulled up outside her flat, she’d notice in a fleeting moment of clarity that when the driver asked for the fare, her date thrust two crisp ten-pound notes towards him in a weirdly premeditated move, as though he’d known this moment was going to happen all along. As though he’d had the cash lined up, the plan set, and she’d feel something. Something. But then she’d be staggering out of the taxi, even sloppier than when she got in, and her legs would be buckling, and she’d cling to her date for support, her make-up now smudged, her eyes half-closed, her hair messy.
She’d look a state and he’d ask her which flat was hers, and she’d walk with him to her front door, to the flat where she lives alone. To the place that’s full of books and cute knick-knacks from charity shops and colourful but inexpensive clothes. She’d unlock her front door, her hand sliding drunkenly over the lock, and she’d lead him into the place she’s been using as a base to try to get ahead in life, and then he’d look around, keen-eyed, until he spotted her bedroom and he’d draw her in.
And then all of a sudden he’d be in her bedroom and she wouldn’t be able to remember if she’d asked him back or not or quite how this happened, and it would all be moving so fast and her thoughts would be unable to keep up – they’d keep sliding away – and he’d be kissing her and she’d be unsure what was happening as he pulled off her dress and she’d wonder, did she ask for this? Does she want this? Has she been a ‘slut’ again? But the thoughts would be weak, they’d keep falling away and he’d be confident and he’d be certain and he’d be good-looking and he’d be pulling off her bra and taking off her knickers. He’d be pushing himself inside her.
The next day, he’d be gone by the time she woke up. She’d be blocked, unmatched, and she’d feel like such a state. She’d blame herself. She’d hate herself. She’d feel like a mess. She wouldn’t want to leave the house.
That normal woman used to be me. But I’m not normal any more.
I’m better now. I’m much better.
Thanks for being on the tour! :)
Sounds like a fun thriller.
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