Stories by Sarah

No Zen

Image credit Dioga Costta

We met at a local coffee shop. The smell of brewing coffee wafted over to the booth where we sat.

It was my first Tinder date and I was nervous as hell. I gripped my coffee mug with white-knuckled fervour, and looked over at my date.

His profile had disclosed his name was ‘Zen’, he was 35 and played piano; a classical specialist. I had thought to myself before I swiped right, that he obviously befitted his namesake. He was good looking, but almost a little too good looking. One of those guys so well manicured, you suspect they may take longer to get ready than you. At least he matched his profile picture. THAT was a bonus.

I thought of my own profile and cringed inwardly at the zany profile picture and lame attempt at humour. My name is Zahara. Like the desert but with a Z….oh well, he had chosen me too.

“So…” he began awkwardly. The silence was becoming uncomfortable. “Nice day out there.”

Oh gees, I thought, the weather? Seriously!? The cards were folding on this relationship already. My zen Zen’s shiny gold paint tarnishing just a little.

“Yeah, looks like Winter may finally be on it’s way out. So Zen, where do you play?” I asked, trying to steer towards a more meaningful topic of conversation.

He looked at me blankly. “Play?”

“Yes. The piano?”

It was only a micro expression, but I saw the light in his eyes flicker a little and register something, as if recalling a lie.

“Oh yes, the piano, right! I wasn’t sure if you meant footy. I play here and there, you know how it is.”

Hmmm, nice elusive answer! I noted to myself.

“Anywhere I’d know?” I probed.

“Probably not,” he replied, shutting that line of questioning down.

I tried again, not willing to surrender just yet. “What do you do for fun?” I enquired. “Do you have any hobbies?”

With that, his face lit up. I looked into his eyes, which were shining bright. Jackpot. I congratulated myself.

“Oh yeessss,” he drawled seductively, “I have very fun hobbies.”

Surprised by the change in his demeanour, I laughed nervously. “Really?”

“Maybe I should show you?” he murmured suggestively.

I didn’t like his tone, and my face flushed with heat. “Ah. Um. How about you just tell me first.”

“Oh that’s no fun. Want to get out of here?” he asked.

Thinking he meant for a walk, I heard myself agreeing. He paid for the coffee and as we left, he slung his arm around my shoulders. We walked a block or so, when he turned me around, pushed me up against a building and began kissing me. His hand moved to my breast.

Shocked, I pulled my mouth away from his, ripped his grubby hand off me and said, “Hey. I’m not okay with that.”

“What did you think was going to happen?” he said matter-of-factly.

“Not. THAT!” I hissed.

“Come on,” he cajoled. “Why waste time with conversation and coffee when you and I both know this is about sex. A bit of fun.”

He leaned in again but I put my hand on his chest and pushed him away. “I’m not having ‘fun’ and especially not with you.”

His eyes darkened and in that moment, his face looked like a demon. He clearly wasn’t used to hearing ‘no’.

“Well, you’re not really my type anyway, sweetheart. I prefer my woman a little…thinner. A little…prettier. A little…more than anything you’re offering.” he sneered.

His words were cruel and played on every insecurity I had. It was as if he had a window into my mind, poking around my secret shame. Humiliated, my face burned as I pushed him away. Making my escape from him, I couldn’t believe I’d been played, assaulted and insulted, all in the space of half an hour. The dating dream had failed. There was no zen. All I had found was a beast woven to a soul.

No more Tinder for me. Next time I’d leave things to fate.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – awkwardmicroconversationpreferexpress; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Writing Prompt #215 – Stories By 5, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Music Prompt #10, Imagine Dragons – Demons
The five : Topic – a humiliating rejection, Names – Zen and Zahara, Instrument – piano, Scent – brewing coffee, Verb – surrender

36 thoughts on “No Zen”

    1. That’s so sweet! I have a friend who met her hubby through tinder but aside from that, have heard mostly horror stories! The dating game has certainly changed since I was out there!


      1. Divorced and separated is even worse……. the guys are nearly always on the lookout for a one night stand and most arent’ D or S anyway. Had to laugh when my ex husband turned up at the same one I went to. I bought him a drink before he scuttled out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh dear!!! Lol. I once went to a speed dating night many moons ago and the only guy I matched with turned out to be using it as a ruse to recruit people for his pyramid scheme!


  1. I met my husband through a dating website, as both of us weren’t into hanging out in pubs. It was very new then, and we chatted on the phone for a while before we met 🙂 Have been together nearly 20 years 🙂 There are some princes still out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love hearing the good news stories 😊 I have two friends who met their husbands through online dating…but it was a while ago too. Thankfully this is a work of fiction but it had some truths from an experience of a friend of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I missed out on the wonderful world of online dating but have heard horror stories from close friends. This piece was based on something that happened to one of them 😖

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard great things about eHarmony and a friend of mine met her hubby through it too! Tinder on the other hand…shudder! Have not heard many good things at all! The perils of modern dating!


  2. Hi Sarah! This is one heck of a bad date. But, a well-written account of it. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was reading a fiction prompt or your real-life experience with a different name. Either way, I enjoyed it. A female friend of mine did use Tinder for this kind of encounter. Another met her soon-to-be-husband using the app. I don’t know how I feel about it. I think your story underscores the old adage: let the buyer beware!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh. Be careful out there! And don’t listen to this guy. He said those ugly things because he wasn’t getting what he wanted. I mean let’s face it. You were his type enough to go out on a date with you and attempt to have sex. His words and actions don’t match. Write him off. He wasn’t relationship material.


  4. Before reading I was hooked on the image; heck of a writing prompt that is. Touch the surface and the reflection warps into another reality. Obviously that totally fits with the date from Hell. I only think the bright point is you found out on the first date, rather than get sucked into a lie that might have been harder to extricate from with feelings intact. The sneer put down was just him not dealing with “No,” so ignore it as words from a habitual liar.

    Really well written account of it though and kudos to you for “Sticking it to the man,” as JAck Black says in School of Rock.


  5. What a terrible person!! Omg. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I would think nothing of what he said to you (easier said than done, I know). Men like that know how to play on women’s insecurities. What an utter prick!


  6. I was gonna say I wasn’t sure if it was fact or fiction either! There’s so many stories out there of asshats like that on Tinder and such. I found my hubby through online dating 15 years or so ago… still had to wade through a few creeps, but nothing that bad… Glad I missed the Tinder era!

    Liked by 1 person

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