A Short Story: Come For Me Sweetheart

Have you ever had sex so bad it made you cry? So bad you couldn’t sleep in your own bed, so bad you felt scared and violated and disgusting?

I’m talking about consensual sex, I think.

This is my response to Kristen Roupenian’s Cat Person, which was published last year.

Hannah met Louis on a Monday night, at a friend’s event in the mid-end of term deadlines. It was formal, and she wore a silvery dress, whilst he had an unusual patterned bow tie.

She was a little bored, and Poppy, the friend she’d come with, had something going on with one of Louis’ friends. So when she was introduced, she thought she might as well start a flirtation. It was something to do, and it was something she was good at. She teased him for paying  £170 for Wimbledon tickets when he didn’t follow any players or watch the game, and he was a little defensive, saying he would be able to make money from it.

He started talking about mental health, and she was intrigued and asked a few questions. He’d been shadowing a psychiatrist. She asked if this was the area he intended to work in- presumably soon, as he was five years older. He immediately said no and explained what he did want to do, which was quite a lot drier and she forgot it almost immediately. She wondered why he’d spoken as if he was really passionate. She realised he might be trying to impress her. This was exciting.

She talked about needing to travel and get to experience the world, and giggled a lot. She felt that he saw her as young and sweet. He was well built, tall, and Australian; she was a petite English rose.

They moved from the bar to the table of their friends, and split apart. Hannah laughed loudly, and snuck glances at him on the other side, feeling pleased that he seemed quieter and that she’d got on with him best.

Hannah and Poppy were getting quite drunk. Every time they snuck off to the loos they laughed a bit louder and made jokes about boys and sex. They both privately assumed the other would definitely go home with their respective other, and felt less sure about themselves. They moved onto a club, linking arms.

Everyone was dancing and Hannah was a good dancer. She took up quite a lot of space and didn’t really feel obliged to dance with anyone else.

Poppy and Hannah got a bit lost and when they got back they ended up with the boys. Everything was a bit fuzzy and the four of them were very close. Poppy said something about Hannah being a good dancer and Louis made an inappropriate comment about it turning him on. Hannah decided not to respond. She kissed him lightly a few times, and they made jokes about no one else noticing. The jokes were good but the kisses were bad.

‘I’m tired’, Hannah whispered to Poppy. ‘I think I need to leave soon.’ Poppy gave her a hug and she told Louis as well. Louis seemed to assume he was going back with her, which she found odd. She wasn’t 100% sure she wanted to sleep with him, and besides, she never took guys home. When she did go back with someone, which was quite rare, she preferred to go to theirs, able to leave whenever she wanted and free from embarrassment in front of her own flatmates. But she didn’t really feel she could say no when he’d got the uber app up, ready to order a taxi, and anyway she’d been with him all night. And he was very fit, Poppy said so too.

In the taxi, he undid his seatbelt and slid his hand up her leg, and she started to feel quite queasy. She tried to play it off by being aloof, making slightly cutting remarks, but she was beginning to wish she could ask him to go back to the club. It scared her that he’d ordered the taxi and it was going back to her house.

They arrived and went up to her room. She apologised for the mess and he undressed her. She felt things were in motion already. She wanted to say something but wasn’t sure how she’d put it into words. ‘Sorry, I’m not attracted to you and I’d like you to leave’. She wondered idly what would happen whilst he fucked her. What if he got angry? What if he told all his friends and hers, back at the club? What if he refused to leave? He was going too hard and she wasn’t ready, but when she asked him to slow down or go softer he was pleased. He thought that it meant she was enjoying it too much, or she was really close, or something. She listened to her bed squeaking, and wondered why she was still making noises when she was so dissociated. She hoped he’d come soon, and comforted herself with the thought that she’d ask him to leave afterwards. She wouldn’t let him stay over. That was something.

When he came, he asked if she’d orgasmed yet. Shocked, she said no immediately. Then she realised her mistake. He made some agonising efforts whilst she squirmed. ‘I’ll make you cum, sweetheart’; she wondered if she was going to be sick. She made some noises she thought he might mistake for climax, and pushed him off.

‘I’m so sorry, you can’t stay. I have to get up at 6’. She had a seminar early in the morning but it was still a lie. He said that was fine but he wouldn’t be able to leave straight away. He needed to lie down and catch his breath. He turned off the light and wanted to spoon. She went along with it, it felt too late to do anything else. She’d complied with sex so how could she refuse this strange other contact with him? She held one of his hands which hung damply around her neck, like a limp dick. She thought about crying.

When he left she paced down the hall. She sat on the floor and her breathing was heavy. She knocked on her flatmates door but changed her mind. She wanted to tell him how scared she was he’d come back, but it would be difficult to explain. She thought he might be angry and she didn’t think she’d be able to admit the sex itself. She felt this would change the whole situation.

She went upstairs and slept in her other flatmates bed. She found herself shaking and close to panic. In all her dreams, boys she knew would turn up, smilingly expecting sex, and she tried to rationally explain to them she wasn’t interested but failed every time.

She woke up, and found the soggy condom on the end of her bed. She went to wee, and it felt sore and difficult. She’d had sex so dry that it hurt a bit now.

She told her friends, the girls only, and they seemed to understand. They cuddled her and she ate a lot of food. He sent a friend request, which she ignored and put out of her head. Then he sent a message request.

‘lol sorry i think i left my flask at yours’

She waited two days before replying. She’d found it but the thought of seeing him made her dry up inside.

‘ill have a look and let you know. Haha’

She prayed he wasn’t attached.