By Edele Winnie
“I will slash my legs!” McKay shouted. He held a pathetically small pocketknife above his jeans. “I will slash them wide open!”
Hester sighed. “Go for it.” She pulled out her much more substantial switchblade and threw it at him. “This’ll do more damage. Go for it.”
It had been a torturous three days. McKay had first appeared at an art exhibition opening put on by an ex-boyfriend of Hester’s. She had come of course, because several of the paintings were nudes of her, but also because she wanted to see who he was dating . She hung on the edges of the chatting drinking crowd; a tall thin scarecrow girl dressed in black with stringy dyed black hair and rather nice black boots with silver buckles. McKay approached her, dressed in jeans, like he wore now, and a green plaid shirt. But it wasn’t just his clothing that marked him as out of place- or his short stature- or the no-nonsense cut of his boring brown hair -he seemed to be bouncing off things like a demented ping pong ball.
“How are you tonight?’ He asked, obviously hitting on her.
Hester pointedly looked the other way.
“What do you think of the art?” He’d said.
Did he know those legs and tits were hers?
“I have a boyfriend.” She lied. She was between. But that never lasted long.
“I’m not trying to pick you up.” He gestured with his arms while he spoke. It made him look like a bad actor.
He kept pestering. “You just look sad. Are you sad?”
“I’m sad that you won’t leave me alone.”
“Are you depressed?”
“Getting really depressed, yeah. Things would be a lot better if you walked away.”
He nodded his head at that and went for a stroll. Hester thought she was free of him but he turned up later, a bottle of beer in each hand, offering her one. She did not turn down free drinks. She snatched it from his hand.
“Fuck off.” She said, instead of thank you.
He nodded, sucked a sip from his own bottle. “My name’s McKay.”
“I’m not talking to you.” She was already half way through her bottle.
“But you are.” He had a snarky smirk across his face that she wanted to rip off.
She sat the empty bottle on the floor at his feet and walked away. Hester had honestly forgotten him after that. She worked the crowd a bit, made eyes at her artist ex-boyfriend and scowled at his new blond squeeze before heading for home. She wasn’t really into art openings. Usually she ate and drank her fill of free stuff and then split.
It was a nice night for a long walk. The air was cool, the sky overcast and the pavement wet from an earlier rain. Not many people were out and Hester’s boots made a very satisfying smack with each step. It made her feel slightly like a superhero, or perhaps a super villain. When some man jumped out to block her path her boot shot out and hit him square in the crotch.
“Wow.” McKay said, completely unaffected. “If I hadn’t been wearing an athletic support that would have really hurt.”
Hester snorted and kept walking, her boots smacking the pavement. She could hear his running shoes scurrying behind, catching up. She whirled to face him.
“Take off! Leave me alone! I don’t like you! I call for help!” She snarled.
“HELP!” he shouted. “HELP! Rape!”
They both listened in the following silence, but there was no answering sound from anywhere.
“What do you want?” She snapped.
“Nothing.” He said. “Just to be friends. You look like you need a friend.”
“I don’t. And if I did I wouldn’t chose you.” She turned and began to walk quickly.
“Why not?” He trotted along beside her. “What’s wrong with me?”
“You’re ugly. You’re stupid. You’re short. You’re clueless. You have no idea what other people think or what they want and you walk around trying to insert yourself into situations where you’re not wanted.”
He was still trotting. “Is that all?”
“That’s enough.” She was not home but she had a friend in the building opposite and so she took a final kick at McKay and went through the doors. Sasha was out but she always left a key in a secret place and Hester let herself in to her friend’s apartment. She settled catlike onto the couch and pretended she was sleeping. Sasha came in around three with some young thing and dragged it to the bedroom where they made disturbing noises until sun up.
“Hey Hester.” Sasha said, fresh from the shower in a comfy blue robe with yellow sunflowers on the back.
“Sorry for crashing, I‘m trying to shake a tail.”
Sasha laughed. “That could mean a lot of things.” She went over to the window. “Is it some guy in a green plaid shirt?”
Hester joined her at the window. “Crap.” McKay was slumped against the building across the street. He’d likely been there all night.
“Who is he?”
“Just some stupid guy who’s trying to latch on to me.”
Sasha laughed again. “Good luck.”
Hester laughed back. “I hope he thinks I live here now.”
There was a back way out through the alley and Hester departed at once. She wanted to put as much distance between herself and McKay as possible.
It was the stupid boots that gave her away. He must have heard them smacking the pavement for soon he was trotting beside her again.
“Do you want to get some breakfast?” He asked hopefully.
She ignored him. He continued to trot beside her. What was she going to do? She didn’t want to show him where she lived. How do you lose something that won’t let you go?
She turned abruptly, her boots punching the sidewalk. He scrambled to keep up with her. They were at the river now, and the parkland that ran along it. She kept walking quickly- her legs were much longer than his and she was hoping he’d give up. But he didn’t. He was a complete puppy following along stupidly. They were near the far end now, where the park kind of ended and there were scrubby trees, bushes and lots of trash. She headed into the bushes. He followed.
His eyes got real big when she stopped and started taking her clothes off. It was simple enough- black shirt off, black skirt down, black bra off- she stared at him. His mouth was hanging open too.
“Isn’t this what you wanted?””
“Well not specifically but I won’t say no.” He answered. He seemed overwhelmed.
“Are you undressing or not?”
He struggled out of his shirt. His belly and chest were extremely white and sparsely haired. He took off his shoes, his belt and then his pants. Scrawny white legs. He left his socks on. They stood there in their underwear staring at each other.
“You first.” She said. “Why do you wear a cup?”
He shrugged. “In case I get kicked.” Slowly, shyly, he wiggled his unders and athletic support down to his feet and stepped out of them. . His penis looked like it was trying to hide.
“This place can be a little unsafe.” She explained, picking up her clothes. “We should leave our clothes ready. Here, let me get yours.”
He backed away from her, not wanting their naked flesh to touch and she gathered up his clothes and shoes. Then she quickly put her shirt and skirt back on, pocketed the bra and walked away with his garments in her arms.
She couldn’t help herself and laughed out loud. Glancing back she saw him peeking out at her between the branches of a small tree. She went to the river’s edge and threw the shoes as far out into the fast moving water as she could. He was still watching. She grabbed some rocks, tied the clothes into a bundle and put the rocks inside. Then she heaved the whole mass into the water and watched them sink.
“Leave me alone!” She shouted at the trees. She could not see the little weasel now, but she knew he was there. “Don’t bother me again!”
She did go out for breakfast then, and was in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Continued on May 2nd!