They were at the pub in a booth in the restaurant section and the booth could’ve fit at least eight or so people but it was just the two of them, so they sat at the back but then couldn’t look at each other and speak so they retreated to opposite corners and put their feet up on the booth (so this thing was almost three-legs-long) but then he was super softly spoken tonight and she was squeezing him for words like a lemon for juice so then she wriggled back over and sat with her neck at a weird angle so she could hear him and be close to him (because that’s why people go to pubs with other people right, to be close to them?)
She drank two beers to his one so was up and down to the loo and walked slowly between booth and loo because she was running out of things to ask and her neck was sore from the weird angle and she was pretty much contemplating bailing at this particular moment.
As she sat on the toilet she thought about how she could come out, turn left not right, walk straight out the double doors, back on the street, past the Portuguese chicken shop, through the park and sigh through her front door. She wondered if it would be understood as acceptable considering how much emotional labour she was putting out there right now. A woman outside the cubicle says to her friend inside a cubicle ‘there’s something about complication that just makes sex really good’.
She knew if they had just fucked by now they wouldn’t be in this goddamn place.
She came back and he asked if she had fucked N recently and she said no. He said he’d been having the best sex with L recently, last night included. They talked about fucking and kink and jealousy and they both made jokes and laughed big toothy laughs and she thought it was a turning point but after they stopped talking about fucking they reverted to their corners, boxers in a ring.
She decided to wait for him to speak first this time and she waited a very long time.
He ordered a burger.
He dropped her home.
She stormed around the house waiting for a txt msg that never came.
Naked on her couch wearing glasses she wrote a few one-liners that didn’t have anything to do with one another.
Naked on her couch she read a book and wrote a txt that she deleted, re-wrote, then sent.
She called him m8 in this txt.
He replied 6 minutes later and she waited 12 more till she knew what she wanted to say.
He used the words ‘emotional distance’ and she replied with ‘okay no worries’.