I Should Have Left

He messaged me first because he saw a photo of me with one of my favorite musicians.

He wanted to tell me he had met her, too, once, in a café.

I didn’t really care, but he was attractive—like, “why are you talking to me? don’t you know you could do better?” attractive—so I went with it.

We chatted for a bit before he hit a speed bump.

“Woah,” he said.


“You’re 20.”

And he was 27.  I was slightly too young for him, and he was slightly too old for me, but I was bored and it was Easter break; all of my friends had gone home for the holiday, and I was alone in my dorm room watching American Graffiti on demand.  I desperately wanted something to do that night.

I suggested we hang out—not go on a date, as our having accounts on a dating website might suggest.  He said that was cool and asked if I wanted to go see Dune at the Logan Theater.  I’m not into sci-fi, but I desperately wanted something to do that night.

He told me to meet him at his place.

A train, a bus ride, and a walk through a muddy park in my favorite shoes later and I had arrived.  He opened the door before I could even ring the bell.  I asked him how he was doing.

“My grandmother just passed away.”

Seriously? I thought.  What do I even say back to that?  Yeah, I’m sorry to hear that, but that’s not how to start a conversation with a random stranger.  I should have left then.

So he started telling me how he’s part of a group of men who talk to fraternities to prevent date rape, and I thought, cool, someone who gets it.  Maybe I’ll stay.

He brought me inside and sat me down on the couch and poured me a glass of wine and asked me if I was hungry because he had made tacos.  I couldn’t resist making the obvious sexual joke.  I was only 20, after all.

“You know, I have a cousin who’s 13; maybe the two of you would get along,” he said.

I should have fucking left then.

I mean, I was pissed, so of course I started acting cold and distant.  He had the nerve to tell me he thought my “sass” was “charming.”  Yeah, look at what an adorable attitude problem I have!  Who could ever think that maybe I wasn’t okay with someone talking down to me, and that that feeling was valid?

Picking at my food, I didn’t say much.  He asked if he could take my plate back to the kitchen.  I obliged.

He ran his hand up my leg.  “I’ll be right back.”

No.  This isn’t a date.  I made it so clear that this wasn’t a date, so why is he doing that?—and even if it were a date, what the fuck?  I’ve been here for thirty minutes and I never consented to that.

“This isn’t a petting zoo.  Don’t touch me.”

He looked at me as if that were the most appalling thing he had ever heard.

Coming on to me sexually when I made it extremely clear that I didn’t want that is pretty appalling to me, actually.

He got up and took my half-empty plate to the kitchen.  He was in there for an excessive amount of time; I assumed he was recounting the incident to his roommates.  I should have left then.

I could feel my face flushing, my blood boiling, my ears fuming.

I waited around another minute.  I didn’t want to upset him.

No, fuck that.  He upset me.  He didn’t deserve my consideration anymore.

I should leave.

I was leaving.

My limbs were on autopilot, scooping up my belongings as quickly as they could.  Do I have time to put my shoes on before he comes back and catches me walking out?  No, probably not.  I picked up my oxfords and made a run for the door in my socks.

The door had at least four locks.

I scrambled to figure out which ones I had to unlock to get out.  I was running out of time.

“Are you leaving?”

I was out of time.  I froze.

“Um,” was all that came out of my mouth.

He stared.

“I mean, you seemed kind of mad at me, so…”

“Yeah, it was kind of a rude thing to say,” he said.

You jackass.  I don’t owe you politeness; I don’t owe you anything after what you just pulled.


“—You know what?  Why don’t you just head out?”  He shut off the porch light before I was even out the door.

I sat on his dark front steps, fumbling with my shoelaces and trying to figure out how I was going to get home.

A bus pulled up, paused, and drove past me.

There wouldn’t be another for at least half an hour, and it was so cold.

2 thoughts on “I Should Have Left”

  1. He tells you his grandmother died and you think to yourself “that’s not how to start a conversation?”

    You sound pretty self centered and immature. I’m glad he kicked you out.

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