Warning: Intimidation

Megan’s date might be going places but not with her it seems


Mark from Marketing and I had been sitting at a small table in the pub with a drink a piece for almost thirty minutes and he hadn’t asked me a single question about myself. Not so much as a vague comment about whether I looked nice. I wasn’t even sure what he was talking about, aside from himself, I’d been trying to focus but all that was required of me a was the occasional nod and ‘Mm’ of acknowledgement.

He was very much Mother’s type, a tall, clean cut, white guy with wavy, brown hair and a Marks and Spencer’s suit. He ran his fingers through his hair when he thought he was being funny or charming and kept touching my fingertips where they rested on the saucer of my coffee cup without looking at my face. He seemed to think the open v at the top of my shirt was an open invitation to try and peek at my bra. There was a wank fantasy I didn’t want to hear.

My mind drifted back to Jimmy with his head between my thighs and his hands on them, the way he grinned when he looked up at me. I shifted, cleared my throat, and slipped my phone from under table. There were still a few minutes left. I rested my phone against my thigh and sipped my coffee, glad I’d gone for something caffeinated or I might’ve fallen asleep. I wished I could text without looking so Jimmy would call sooner. Had I known I wouldn’t have felt the slightest guilt for leaving Mark from Marketing sitting there alone while I thoroughly undid Jimmy.

My phone chimed and vibrated against my leg and I almost fell off my seat, it woke me up.

‘Excuse me one moment.’ I pretended to dig about in my bag for my phone then checked it. ‘I’ve got to take this, it’s work.’

‘What?’ Mark sat back. ‘But this is the funniest bit of the story.’

‘I’m sure it will wait two minutes then.’ I got up, he didn’t seem to notice I’d picked up my jacket and bag.

I pressed answer and put the phone to my ear as I crossed the room.

‘Am I too early?’ Jimmy asked.

‘Thank God, I was about to be bored to death.’ I rounded a corner and leaned against the wall near the ladies’ toilets.

‘I sensed the vibrations of your need, I wasn’t being impatient.’

I laughed and something inside me eased. ‘I swear I haven’t got a word in. He’s not even asked what I do for a living.’

‘How can he not ask about you?’ Jimmy asked. ‘I hang on your every word.’

‘Funny.’

‘I’m serious. You’re my favourite topic.’

I smiled and my cheeks turned warm.

‘Are you alright?’ he asked. ‘Aside from his ego being a weapon of mass boredom?’

‘Yes, he’s too busy talking about himself to try any funny business.’ I sighed. ‘What about you?’

‘Oh, I’m just sitting here, thinking about you.’ He paused. ‘That was meant to sound romantic. It just sounded creepy.’

I looked around for a clock. ‘Give me a few minutes to get a taxi and I’ll be right there.’

There was a creak of a chair and the rustle of fabric. ‘Consider your taxi ordered.’

‘You don’t have to.’

‘It’s not purely charity.’ His keys rattled. ‘The sooner I see you, the sooner I can kiss you.’

‘It’s just kissing you’re interested in?’

He made a noncommittal sound.

I sighed. ‘I’d better go make my escape.’

‘I’ll be five minutes.’

I hung up the phone and went back to the table. Mark from Marketing was slouched in his chair looking at something on his phone.

‘Work emergency,’ I said and held up my phone. ‘Better be off.’

Mark got up. ‘Let me walk you out.’

‘No.’

He stepped close. ‘I could give you lift, hang around until it’s sorted and them we could –‘

‘No.’ I pulled on my jacket.

He got right into my personal space. ‘Oh, come on, we were having fun. Why spoil the evening?’

‘I said, no.’ I turned.

He caught my arm. My body went rigid and my heart kicked into high gear.

‘Don’t be a bitch.’

I twisted. My palm stuck the centre of his chest. He let go and staggered back into the table. The drinks fell off the table and his beer glass smashed. The pub went quiet.

I kept my hand up and backed away. ‘Don’t fucking touch me.’

‘What’s your problem?’ He wiped coffee off his hand onto his trousers.

I didn’t turn my back on him as I retreated. ‘I’m leaving now, you’re not coming with me.’

He followed.

A man in suit with a name badge on stepped in his way. ‘The bill, Sir.’

Over the manager’s shoulder Mark gave me a look that made my fist clench with the desire to punch him in the face.

I swung round and strode out the door. Murmurs followed me.


Feature image by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

For more episodes of Take a Bite Cafe click here.

Published by Jesse

I'm a writer and academic specialising in fantasy fiction and creative writing theory. I'm allergic to pretentiously talking about fiction and aim to be unashamedly ‘commercial’. Surely all fiction is commercial anyway, or what’s the point in publishing it?

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