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: 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

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10 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!

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      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!

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