When I met her I was bored.

Bored of the questions couched in hopeful terms, the suggested dating apps, the dates set up by friends, the introductions to “great” guys. But most of all I was bored of the accusation that lay beneath it all; that if I didn’t find someone, and soon, then I never would. Which would mark me out as the cautionary tale, and treated as if I were somehow smaller, greyer, sadder, and less alive than everyone else. Which was, quite frankly, how I viewed most married people.

The men who flooded my inboxes on the aforementioned apps were all so….desperate. From behind their identikit pictures and bland profiles, they offered to show me the world, a good time, their villa in Spain, their cock. But cock is plentiful in supply and low in value. For the most part I declined.

I was on a date with one of these men, bored to tears, and as he explained to me, again, why his second marriage had failed, I excused myself to the bathroom in the hopes of a moment of peace.

And. There. She. Was.

She stood by the sink, leaning forward slightly as she retouched her lipstick. I could see all of her, the real her and the reflected image. She had short dark hair in a style I had neither the confidence nor the bone structure to pull off, and it contrasted with her crisp white shirt. She saw me looking, looked at me in return via the mirror, and as she walked away she said, “Pathetic.”

I stepped back as if she had physically struck me. My frustration at my boring date, combined with this unprovoked rudeness grew into more than a sum of their parts. I could feel anger heating me, radiating from my chest, outwards. What was her fucking problem? I followed her out and saw her stood at the end of the bar.

“Excuse me, who the fuck do you think you are?!” I said, “And where do you get off calling strangers pathetic?”

“This is the third time this month I’ve seen you in here. I see it all the time. Girls like you in your “please think I’m pretty but not slutty” dresses, selling yourselves out to these guys who are just hoping for a quick shag and a story to tell their mates. Its pathetic.”

I looked at her again. I registered the name badge on the white shirt. She worked here. She probably had brought the drinks earlier on but she’d not been noticed, too much on the periphery.

A bartender raised his eyebrows at the commotion and pointed outside. Instead, she grabbed my arm and pushed me back towards the toilets. She closed the door behind her and stood glaring at me. I was so angry I could feel my balled fists shaking and I caught sight of myself in the mirror, red and wild eyed.

“What are you going to do now?” She said softly, almost mockingly. “You gonna hit me?”

“No. Of course I’m not going to hit you, don’t be ridiculous. But I should. What the fuck has what I’m doing got to do with you? Are you that lacking in a life you just piss on everyone elses?”

This stopped her momentarily. The sneer left her lips and she looked at me as if she were trying to work something out before something colder and tougher settled back over her eyes. She tipped her head back slightly and started a slow, lopsided smile, revealing the tip of her tongue pressed against her teeth.

“So, you stand up for yourself. Good for you. Come here.” Her eyebrow arched, just the tiniest bit as she said it. I didn’t respond, I just stood staring at her. “Come. Here.” I took one step forward, and before I even registered I’d done it she was kissing me. She pushed me back against the wall, biting my lower lip, and moved her mouth along my jaw bone, and down my neck. I raised my hands to touch her face, but she slapped them away. “No. You don’t touch me.”

As she kissed my throat, she pulled my top from where it was tucked into my trousers, she slid her hand inside, moved it up over my bra, teasing and taunting. She nudged my legs apart, pushing her hips against and into me, just a pressure, a maddening rhythmic pressure that I could feel deeper than I had cause to. And then just as abruptly as she had begun, she stopped. She stayed, still pressing her body into mine, but now motionless. I could feel the warmth of her she was so close, and her breath on my ear as she said, “Do you want me to keep going?”

“I….I don’t know. This isn’t what, I mean…”

“Yeah, I get it. You aren’t “that kind of girl,” you don’t usually do this, you would never dream of hooking up with a stranger in a bathroom, and yet here you are, barely able to talk you’re so desperate for me to put my hand in your knickers.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that was necessarily true, I just, I…” My attempts at remaining composed were clearly failing.

She held her face millimetres from mine, her eyes flitting from mine to my mouth, and as she squeezed me tighter I let out a sigh I tried too late to stifle.

“Beg me.”

“What? What did you say?”

“You heard me. Beg me. Beg me not to stop.”

I stared at her, stunned to find that, actually, I really wanted to, I wanted to beg her, but I was also scared that if I did, she wouldn’t stop. She wouldn’t stop and neither would I and the rushing of blood in my ears would take over with the tingling in my skin to make it harder to remember why anyone even should stop, ever. I took a deep breath, and tilted my head down, unable to keep eye contact with her.

“Please. Please don’t stop.”

She stepped away, took her hands off me and laughed. As she walked out the door, she looked back over her shoulder.

“Like I said. Pathetic.”

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