It was the perfect guy’s night out until she showed up. She marched directly for our table, her displeasure evident in her forceful stride. I sighed heavily and stood. With a brief apology to my friends I stepped forwards into the coming storm, diverting her to a nearby wall and a semblance of privacy.
As she came to a halt, her arms snapped into an angry fold on her chest. “So this is why you couldn’t go out with me tonight?” She bit off the words as she spoke, the syllabus cracking like pebbles thrown against a wall.
“Don’t you ‘Look, Ashley’ me!” An arm shut out to mirror her interruption physically. “What’s the problem? Am I not attractive enough for you?”
“Of course not…”
“Well then what’s the problem?”
I sighed as I looked at her, arms crossed beneath ample breasts, toe tapping rapidly at the end of her long and shapely legs. “Ashley, I turned you down because of exactly what you’re doing right now.”
She scoffed, rolling her eyes. “Exactly what I’m doing. You mean catching you out in your bullshit.”
“No, I mean your attitude.”
“Yeah. Look,” I took a deep breath before continuing. “You are beautiful, and any guy would be lucky to have you. But you’re too forceful.”
Ashley’s eyes narrowed at this. “What the hell do you mean, ‘forceful’?”
I sighed. “You push too hard. We’ve only spoken twice-“
“Three times!” She interrupted.
I waved my hand absently at the interruption. “That’s exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve talked three times. You asked me out, I said no, and now you’re here trying to… I don’t know. What is your end goal here?”
“My end goal?”
“Yeah, your end goal. What are you trying to accomplish?”
Ashley paused for a moment, before glaring at me again. “I’m trying to show you what an asshole you are!”
“And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I turned you down, so I must be an asshole.”
“Ashley…” I paused, at a loss for how to continue. “Listen. How exactly am I being an asshole?”
She pointed an accusing finger at me. “You lied to me!”
“Oh, I did? How exactly did I lie?”
She scoffed and gestured at the room around her. “You going to tell me that this place, that those friends of yours over there –“ she gestured at my three friends, who were alternately torn between staring intently into their mugs and watching with brazen smiles “-have more to offer than I do?”
I shrugged. “Well, since you want to put it that way, yes they do.”
“Bullshit. Name three things they have that I don’t.”
I was starting to get pissed at this point, but did my best to maintain my reasonable tone. “Well, for one, they aren’t so full of themselves because of how they look.”
“No shit. I bet they’re jealous of you for even being able to talk to me.”
“That’s another one,” I continued. “They’re not constantly throwing their perceived superiority in my face.”
“That’s right. Looks aren’t everything, Ashley.”
“You know what?” She put a finger under my chin, and leaned forwards, her eyes alight with indignation. “I don’t even give a shit about the third one. Go back to your pals over there, faggot. I’m going to go find a real man, one who appreciates me for what I offer.”
I shrugged. “Do what you need to do, I guess.”
She scoffed again before pivoting on a heel and storming off. I exhaled, heading slowly back to the table before slumping into my chair. I looked over at the guy to my left, staring intently into his beer. “You know, John, your sister’s kind of a bitch.”
The other two guys laughed while leaned back, taking a healthy swig of my beer. I felt my pocket buzz, but chose not to check it. I only hoped John had bought the act.