I leaned against my elbows on the high top table and gazed at the stage. The between set curtain was still down, and I could see tennis shoes moving back and forth while the roadies set up for the next band, and real reason I was even here.
Clubs were not my scene, but once in a while there was a band I liked enough to endure the crowds and noise. The Fratellis fell into that camp, so here I was, at First Avenue, by myself, waiting. At least no one had spilled their beer on me, and my feet were relatively unscathed so far. Unlike my friends, who dressed up to go out, I preferred to wear clothes I didn’t care about.
I felt the table jiggle a bit and turned my head to see the guy who’d taken the stool next to me.
“Is it okay if I sit here? ” he asked.
I shrugged. “It’s a free country. “ Usually sounding bored and disinterested worked on those few who decided to hit on me.
He looked puzzled. “I mean, you’re not saving it for anyone or anything like that, are you?”
I shook my head. “Nope. “
He smiled, and I cringed internally. Instead of a friendly expression, it showed his ego, in all its glory. Ugh. I wondered if he practiced that one, thinking it looked sexy. Then I wondered how many other women agreed with him, or at least went along with it.
“So, I saw you sitting over here,” he said, ignoring my cues. “And I thought a girl as cute as you shouldn’t be alone.“
I raised an eyebrow as I looked at him. Cute? I was a lot of things, but cute was nowhere on the menu of options.
“Did you get stood up or something?” he asked, his attempted concern coming out as condescension.
“Nope. Sometimes I like to do things by myself.” I looked around. “Like concerts.“
He frowned. “Now that’s just sad,” he insisted. “Going to concerts alone… that’s the loneliest thing ever.“
“I’m good, really,” I assured him.
“Are you?” He grinned and winked suggestively. “I’m told I’m good, too.“
Oh how gross. I’m pretty sure some of my revulsion made it past my social filter onto my face.
“What?” he asked in a teasing voice. “Don’t believe me? I’d be happy to let you decide for yourself.“
That was it. I couldn’t put up with this crap any longer. I fully turned to him. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Surprise seemed to have stifled his ability to speak.
“I’m obviously not interested. I’ve got a pretty clear ‘fuck-off’ vibe going on here.” I glared at him. “Were you raised by socially inept howler monkeys or something?“
“Woah.” He held up both hands in a placating gesture that felt fake. “Just relax, babe.“
“I’m not overreacting, and I will not relax,” I stated firmly. “I didn’t come here for losers like you.“
He stared and blinked a couple of times. “I’m just saying that I’m not trying to hurt you. Hell, I’m complimenting you.” He had some gall to sound annoyed.
“I don’t want or need your compliments.” I really shouldn’t have to break things down this way, but that’s what life in a rape culture brings us to. “Leave me alone.“
He rolled his eyes. “You act like I’m threatening you.”
Scowling, I looked straight into his eyes. “I would never feel threatened by you.“
That must have stung, because he got to his feet, his smarmy smile gone as he clenched his teeth. “I wouldn’t be so sure of that, if I were you,” he snapped, pushing back his shoulders and looking down at me.
He was clearly used to his physical presence intimidating others. What an asshole. I smiled and stood up, easily eye to eye with him despite my battered Chuck Taylors. I planted my hands on my hips. “You’re tall. So am I. You look like you work out. So do I. You want to try your odds against a third degree black belt?“
Prompt: You’re used to people having to look up at you and being intimidated by your height, but now that I’m standing, you’re a bit surprised to find me eye-to-eye with you, and now you’re starting to regret that snarky remark.