Updated: Sep 14, 2021
He invites me into his house on the way home from work. He is giving me a lift, I can’t say no. He opens the door into a dark, cold hallway. There is a subtle smell of cleaning detergent. A stronger smell of damp. He closes the door behind us, leaning close to me, his breath warm and strong on my neck. He says the hallway light is broken, it has been for months. He uses the torch on his phone to guide us into the living room.
He says he will get me a drink. He tells me to sit down and switches on a small, dimming desk-lamp, which looks lonely on the floor in the corner of the room. Almost human-like, its lit up face is stooped. Its long, metal spine is curved. For a moment, I wonder what the lamp has seen, in this house.
I sit down on the leather sofa and look around me, trying to control my breath. Ignoring the thudding in my chest. The house is bare. There’s not a picture in sight. The walls are colourless. This can’t be his house. This isn’t where he lives.
The room is cold, but I can feel the back of my legs sweating and sticking to the leather of the sofa. I try to adjust my skirt, try to hide my thighs, to pull the fabric further towards my knees before he comes back. I know I shouldn’t be here. This isn’t his house.
He brings me a drink. Vodka and lemonade. It’s warm and flat. I drink it within seconds, as he takes his seat next to me.