Mai leaned closer to the mirror to get a better look at the ugly purple and black bruise around her eye. “Yeah, the gang at work is going to ask a lot of questions.” She smiled as she imagined the questions she’d get asked.
“He hit me.”
“Oh, my God! Are you alright?”
“Compared to him, yes, I’m fine.”
She remembered the previous night, her 3rd date with Luke. He’d been OK through the first two, she’d even decided he was a pretty good kisser. But last night he decided he wanted more than she did. After a good, deep dish pizza, they’d gone to The Nightshade, for a drink or two, and to dance to live music.
The band had played well enough, mostly cover songs with good rhythm. They’d been danceable enough. She’d pulled Luke to the dance floor several times. He’d been fun to dance with, and she’d decided she liked to hug him.
He’d asked to come in when he brought her home, and since he’d been nice, she let him in. They put on a movie, and sat on the sofa. She pulled his arm around her shoulders, rested her head on his shoulder. She felt relaxed, happy.
Until he put his other hand on her thigh. He leaned in and kissed her, and his hand drifted up her leg. She’d stopped him, but he tried again. When that didn’t work, he’d moved his hand to her chest. She’s stopped him again. And again, he kept trying.
She got up, “Well, I need to get some sleep, I go to work tomorrow.”
“It won’t take long, you know.” Luke wouldn’t take the hint.
“No. It’s time for you to leave.”
He’d grinned, grabbed her wrist, pulled her back to the sofa, put his hand on her chest, pushed her down. Mai pushed back. “Three dates. I deserve more.” He started trying to pin her to the sofa. “I want more.”
She scratched his face, her nails left a couple of trails. He’d growled in pain, and slapped her, open-handed, which hurt like hell. He worked a hand between her legs, and she kicked as wildly and hard as she could, letting her knees contact whatever they found. She swung at him, and left more trails on his face. He punched her, and got sloppy. She took advantage of the opening, and planted a knee in his crotch.
He bellowed and doubled over. She kicked him in the ribs, hard as she could. “I said no!” She kicked him in the ribs again.
Luke wound up gasping for breath on the floor. She opened her apartment door and screamed, “Get out!”
He’d limped away.
Mai cried a lot that night. She’d hoped Luke would be her friend, keep her company, go places with her. And with time maybe things would grow. But they hadn’t. “Why?” she stomped to her bedroom, “Why do all the guys want to fuck me? Is that all I am to them? Someone to fuck?”
She put on her pajamas, grabbed the ice cream, and put on her favorite fairy tale movie. She ate ice cream, sat on the sofa with her legs crossed, and a blanket pulled over her shoulders. “Why can’t I find a good man?”
She woke up to find the remains of the ice cream melted in the container, leaking on her coffee table. She staggered to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, “God, I look like hell!” She called out sick from work.
And there she was, looking at the bruise in the mirror. “I hope I crushed his nuts!” She pulled off her pajamas, turned on the shower and stepped in. The hot water on her neck and shoulders felt damn near perfect. She stayed in the shower until the water turned cold, then got out and dried
“Why are so many men such snakes?” It would take a few weeks, but she’d try dating someone again. “Maybe someday I’ll find a good one.”
Mai stretched out on her bed, hugged her pillow, and fell asleep, only to dream about men, and snakes.
And so goes year 3, week 6 (Week 3.06) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Serpents” by Sharon Van Etten. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.