“I respect you as a woman. I’m so glad we became friends. I’ve never been friends with a woman and not had anterior motives. I have it all right now, I’m so in love with my wife, and I feel like I’m really growing to have been able to connect with a woman like you.”
This call followed a text I had sent thanking him for some advice on dealing with my eldest child. He was generous with his time and experience as we waded through the mess that is parenting adolescence.
I brushed my prideful shoulder off and thought…fuck yes…this Is what a grown up friendship with the opposite sex looks like. Hooray me. Progress.
Coffee became a regular thing over the next few weeks. We talked about kids and work. He quizzed me about my dating world. I obliged feeling like we established that we would not be fucking early on. That phone call, that was meaningful goddammit.
I’ve learned that men with charisma are very attractive to me. I’ve also learned that charisma is just a shiny byproduct of an inflated ego most of the time.
When I think about that night at Starbucks now it makes me want to vomit.
He said they’d had a fight. A fight about mustard. He couldn’t go home, please meet me for Coffee.
I pulled up and he sat at an outdoor table. I had just finished work and was wearing my yoga pants and a hoodie.
He hugged me. And he lingered.
Oh shit. Right away, red flags, sirens, alarms….
He went in to buy me tea.
I Sat and plotted my exit.
He came back and asked to hug me again.
I could feel my cheeks start to redden, and my breath shallowed.
I do not want this. I don’t want him to touch me.
My body detached from my heart and mind stood up like a good little girl. He wrapped one arm around my hips and slinked his clammy hand up my back. I was sweating. Panicking. I do not want this. His hand moved up and down and his lips found my earlobe. He said in a low voice that my skin was so soft. I laughed a nervous laugh and my face was on fire. I need to leave. He plunged his tongue into my ear. Twice. All the while his clammy fucking hand on my bare back.
I stepped backward. I sat. I looked at my lap. Embarrassed and angry.
He started to talk about his wife. How the mustard situation got out of hand.
I was shaking. I am a powerful fucking woman and I just let this shit head put his hands and mouth on me. What’s the fucking matter with you? Get up. Leave! Now!
I couldn’t leave. I was stuck, paralyzed with fear, but more powerful than the fear was disgust at my inability to open my fucking mouth and draw a fucking line.
I wanted to crawl into a cocoon and hide. And this schlep….fucking oblivious. Blabbering on about mustard and fucking sandwiches.
I’ve been taken advantage of before. Many times.
But the disguise of friendship as someone’s angle made me feel like I’d missed the neon sign stating DO NOT ENTER.
He didn’t know I was uncomfortable, because he didn’t really know me. He knew the surface bullshit, the stuff everyone knows. I like Coffee and ice cream and movies. I like warm holidays and my kids are my favourite people. Basic. Shit.
He didn’t know what my fears were. What relationships had shaped the woman sitting here in despair and disgust in front of him. He had no clue that I don’t let my walls down for people. That if you make it into my inner circle you know that loyalty is a fucking cornerstone of relationships with me.
He had manipulated a situation to get the surface bullshit. The sex. The skin. The mouth. The meaningless bullshit that I spent my 20’s giving away for free.
Now. There was a price. A price that he couldn’t afford, and unfortunately attempted to fucking negotiate.