Playing The Game

Entry by: jaguar

17th October 2017
‘You’re not playing the game’, A said, swaying as if he was dancing with his beer can, ‘all Kate's housemates are letting one of us sleep on their floor.’

I looked at my friend. She nodded, said: ‘I’ve known him since school, it’s OK.’

It wasn’t OK.

When my boyfriend moved out I was left with the lodger, B. He said he just wanted to kiss me. I said no.

He shouted my boyfriend told him I was frigid. I shoved the wardrobe against my bedroom door. He forced it open, snarled it was no wonder no man stayed with me.

I thought about climbing out of the window.

I said I wasn’t interested, his wife was in the next room. C gave me that look, the one that makes it seem a hood has been pulled over their faces. He shook his head and pushed me back on the bed.

‘If you make a sound she’ll know, it will kill her. Shut up! Be silent. Be still!.’

And I was.

We flirted on the phone for months, D’s voice made me shiver but he was a client, I needed the sale. As he agreed he asked if we could meet in the flesh.

I was painstakingly clear. Dinner - nothing else. Somewhere neutral. At the end of the evening he refused to accept going dutch. I didn’t want to kiss him but he’d driven all that way.

D said he was too drunk to drive. I’d get him arrested.

I wish I had. I wish I’d known this isn’t playing a game. We are taught we need to be desirable but you cannot protect yourself in that role. Don’t be pretty girls – be real, turn as ugly as you need to be. Don’t play the game.