by Emily Henderson
Ironic how that was your name too?
My modern breakup was spent Tinder swiping, hoping to bang away the void left empty by shitty girlfriends. I should’ve never said yes. When has a midnight tinder hook ever gone well?
Your front door was covered in Christmas wrapping paper to cover the chunks of wood you had taken out. Interpreting the snowmen on your door as a gift, like some toddler on Christmas, only left me empty handed. When I said no why didn’t you just believe me?
He was 6’10”. At the thought of having sex with someone almost 2 feet taller than me and who would without a doubt be “hung,” I was nervous. He said, “I’ll just stretch you out,” in case I changed my mind. I didn’t.
The feeling of your fingers inside of me didn’t give me pleasure, just frustration. And not even the kind of sexual frustration that tells me to begin to anticipate my climax. A frustration towards myself for what the fuck I was doing with my life.
I sat on his couch with my legs clamped together, to avoid the hand attempting to squeeze between my clenched thighs. Why didn’t I leave then? I don’t know. I felt some obligation to myself, to try it out, being with a guy. Having straight sex. I felt an obligation to him too. That I had to put out or I had wasted my time and his by driving almost an hour to see him.
He said, “Let’s test your reflexes.” You know when the doctor hits you with a plastic mallet and you kick your leg? We can all easily imagine that. A real metal hammer smashes in my kneecap, jolting me forward and onto the stale, rough carpet, mainly in shock. No blood, no broken bones, just a little pain and future soreness. What hit me harder than the hammer was the disappointment in myself. Disappointed that I still stayed.
He took this opportunity to force his hands back to the mound previously protected by my knees. My reflexes were still on my side, with my palms smacking his paws before they could begin to knead into my vagina again. Instead of his intended target, his fingertips grasped onto the first the small roll of flesh around my midsection cleverly hidden beneath my tee shirt. Embarrassed by my fat, I shyly pried off his fingers, which prompted the next activity on his agenda.
“Let’s do crunches,” he said. Of course, a 6’10” athletic, basketball player enjoys doing crunches, especially at 3 am on a Saturday, but most don’t. I had shrunken at least two sizes during summer because my recent heartbreak tanked my appetite and destroyed my ability to stomach any type of food. He was not even trying to destroy my self-esteem. He was just that good at it. Ravaged by own stupidity and failure, I did the crunches.
After completing my “necessary” athletic activity, he talked to me about his life, his exes, and his anger issues. He said, “Lemme show you how strong I am.” I watched him slam his palm into his door. Then, as if he wanted to show me how his front door reached its current fate, he proceeded to break his bedroom door of the hinges with his fists. At that moment, I realized how lucky I was to still be alive.
He never stopped trying to get in my pants that night and I never left. I watched him play video games and attempted to ignore the stench of literal crap that his breath released into the air. I slept in bed next to him, avoiding the thoughts slamming around in my head, seeking an explanation for what I was allowing to happen.
When we woke up in the morning, we worked in silence to gather my belongings. He walked me to my car and told me he wanted to see me again. I blocked his number the second my car made the left off his street onto the highway.
I drove home with (a painful, dull ache in my core) and the windows down, attempting to remove the disgusting smell reminding me of my own weakness.
“You’re such an idiot,” and bellowing laughter is all I get when telling this story to my friends. Trust me, I know.
A man who uses his strength and fear-inducing power to get what he wants.
Ironic how that was your name too, huh?
I still haven’t deleted Tinder.