by Tutku Barbaros
(trigger warning: rape)
When I get off the train I wrap the lanyard my keys are on round my wrist twice and I position a key between each knuckle.
Keys for work, keys for home and the emergency key for my nan’s
Emergency keys from my nan’s
A man puts his hand on my thigh
He tells me I’ve got pretty eyes
And for a second I hate that
I hate myself for looking like he should look at me
The silver key
Sharp but blunt replaces my middle finger,
I’ll poke his fucking eyes out if he dares to fucking linger
Slam my Oyster on the reader and basically run
We’re sitting in Five Guys
A month or so in.
I think it’s tacky to be honest but he’s getting on my nerves and I know he’ll pay so I order everything.
He tells me his guilty pleasure is watching Eastenders, on his phone, in his lunch break.
I find this surprisingly sweet.
‘It wasn’t rape you know’
‘How do you mean’
‘Well she didn’t push him off’
‘She was scared’
‘So? I would push him off.’
‘You’re a man’
‘She didn’t say yes’
‘She didn’t say no’.
He looks thoughtful.
I’m angry at him, but God he’s beautiful.
He pays the massive bill and I think about all the ways I’m going to educate him
How great it’s going to be.
He never calls me back.
She tells me this story about a guy she picked up
I got a text in the morning, like are you in – I ended up in your area last night.
She bursts into my living room
You will not believe what happened last night
Her eyes look wild
He was so stunning,
I literally couldn’t believe it.
You’re stunning too I say. Keep saying.
It was kind of weird though.
Yeah, how so?
Well, his friend came in.
Yeah no, he kind of got involved.
You had a threesome?
Uhm not necessarily.
And all the lights in the world turn off.
And all the volume goes up.
And all the vices get tighter.
And the heat becomes unbearable.
And we both just sit there in silence.
And she’s got a bruise on her wrist.
And I sit there and make a wish.
Please please let this not be what I think it is.
Tutku Barbaros | @tutkubarbaros
Tutku Barbaros is a writer and an artist. She’s one third of the loud mouthed Plunge Theatre with whom she’s on a mission to combat mental health issues through body positive theatre. She also works with ADF focusing on raising the profile of BAME arts practitioners. She writes across forms, follow her on Twitter!