It’s a Friday evening, another dull and uneventful week has passed, as he sits in his lounge chair, swiping through Tinder. It has become almost second nature to swipe to the right, indicating that he is interested in the girls being presented on the screen. Steve finds that he has more chances that way, on account of living in a small city in the north of Norway. Dating has moved almost entirely away from the real world and has been replaced by a quick glance on a screen while most likely paying attention to something else. He doesn’t agree with how things are now, but he doesn’t have many other options. Steve has spent the last six years rehabilitating his shattered collarbone and shoulder. An injury that left him without the will to keep competing as a swimmer in high school. He was once a promising swimmer with a body that could only be described as Adonis. In fact, that used to be his nickname in high school, especially among the girls. He reminisced about his popularity, slumped back in his chair. His body seemed to almost be part of the chair and looked like it had not seen any exercise for a very long time. After hours and hours of failed attempts to woo the girl on the other side, something happened.
“Hi!!” appears on the screen, illuminating the dark room.
“Ohh heyy, you are cute!”, Steve writes back almost immediately.
“Thanks, I see that you are into anime, I really like that,” the girl on the other side responds.
“Ohh yea, it was one of the only things that kept me sane and busy during my recovery from my accident.” Steve reluctantly shares with the girl on the other end.
Perhaps Steve should not have revealed one of the most vulnerable moments of his life so soon, but he did it anyway. He’d forgotten how to make good first impressions, but Stephanie didn’t seem to care. They texted back and forth deep into the night. It reminded Steve of being a teenager again and being enthralled by a girl. He loved it and as he continued to open up more, he felt them growing closer. One evening of texting turned into a weekend of texting. They shared their hopes, dreams, jobs and combined love for movies and anime with no end in sight. Steve had not had this kind of interaction with a girl since his accident. Eventually he asked her to come visit him in the weekend, he also suggested they watch some cool movies and perhaps an episode of a TV show. She quickly agreed and their date was set.
That week Steve seemed like a new man. He spent the better part of the week preparing his apartment. He even decided to go on a run, something he thought he would never do again. He wanted to make sure he looked his best. To make sure things would go smoothly, he gave his mother a call. He wanted some reassurance as the interaction with Stephanie still raised some self-doubt.
“Hey mom, guess what I’m doing this weekend?”
“Let me guess, another one of those anime conventions? You know, you really should pick a different hobby, one that lets you meet more girls,” his mother proclaimed.
“Mom, can you not worry about that the minute I call?”
“Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I did meet someone, and I have invited her over this Saturday.”
“That’s great news Steve, I’m proud of you for getting back out there.”
“I am a bit worried though, she seems too good to be true. Maybe she is hiding something about herself, or she is fat.”
“Ohhh Steve, that’s such shallow thinking, and besides, don’t these modern app things have pictures?”
Steve was reassured by his mother and he continued to plan for their encounter, tidying and cleaning his small apartment. He especially wanted to make sure his massive DVD collection was in alphabetical order and on their best display. Throughout the week the chatting became less and less. He didn’t want to seem too eager but also did not want to share too much over text. He read about this tactic on some forum for men.
Saturday came around and Steve was eagerly awaiting Stephanie’s arrival. He pretended to be busy reading a book when she arrived.
“Heyy!” Stephanie shouts out as she runs up to Steve, hugging him tightly.
“I am glad you are here, so what do you think of my place?”
“Yea, I like it, you’ve got a great movie collection.”
“So, what do you–,” he began asking as Stephanie quickly undressed and got on her knees. Before he could get the sentence out, she ripped off his jeans. What he thought was going to be an evening of watching anime and getting to know each other turned into a wild sexual act. Steve felt amazing and alive, more alive than he had felt in years. Glimpses of his former self came back. He was a man again.
Then it came.
“Hit me daddy!”Stephanie screamed in a commanding manner.
Steve was ripped out of his dream world. He’d never been in this situation before; it didn’t make any sense.
“No way,” Steve exclaimed,” I don’t even know –.”
Before he could finish his sentence, Stephanie punched him right in the face.
“Come on pussy, hit me,” she yelled out. “Hit me now daddy!”
Before Steve could comprehend what was going on and how depraved she was, he awoke. He stared down at his belly and his white t-shirt covered in Dorito stains and looked at his phone, sitting in his left hand. The illuminated screen showed just “Hi”, written to a girl named Stephanie.
There was no response.