‘I don’t want to go out, you know,’ Louise said as she ran the straighteners through her long blonde hair.
Siobhan didn’t answer her. Instead she poured the last drop of wine into the glass.
Putting more bronzer on her face, Louise sighed. ‘Right. Let’s go then if we have to.’
It was Friday evening and almost dark as they walked the few metres to Murphy’s pub. It the nearest place to get a drink.
There was hardly anyone in there. A few lads that they knew from ten years back in secondary school were around the pool table. One of them pretending the cue was his dick. Two old men sat at the bar. And Jason Lambert, the local drunk, was half way through his pint. He was in his mid-fifties and bloated from years of beer and whiskey. Louise and Siobhan sat the other end of the bar away from him. It was too early to listen to his shite.
Siobhan started drinking vodka sodas like they were water. The buzz soon filtered through her. She had skipped dinner so it would hit sooner. Left the till at Tesco before her time was up so she could start the weekend earlier.
Soon brave with booze, and before Louise switched to coke, they went over to the pool table, the three lads watching their approach.
Jason Lambert quickly joined them and challenged Louise to game of pool. She said yes and stuck her arse out at the three lads as she took shots.
Siobhan didn’t fancy Jason Lambert. There was nothing about him to fancy. He was decades older than her, always pissed and embarrassing himself with some young one.
But somehow, she found herself in the backyard of the pub, him fucking her.
‘Come out for a smoke?’ he had said. Louise threw Siobhan a filthy look as she nodded her head and put down her empty glass.
Later, Siobhan had vague memories of feeling cold and a damp mist on her face, the putrid, sour smell of his breath, her thighs bare and bright white in the dark night. And her head bobbing around like a balloon as he pounded her over and over.
Somewhere in her consciousness she tried to pull away. She shoved her legs down against his tight hold, pulled back from his panting and sour smell. But he was done then anyway. He gave a gasp and pushed her away.
Siobhan tried not to look as he pulled up his trousers, not to see the hairy legs and limp dick. He snorted and spat a lump of phlegm as he zipped up his fly. Siobhan stood there not moving, her jeans still around her ankles.
‘Fix yourself, will you,’ he said.
He looked at her, disgusted. Curled up his lip and narrowed his eyes. She reached down, stumbling back as she did, her feet tied together by the legs of her jeans.
Pain seared through her as her bottom bone hit the cold, wet ground. He offered a hand to drag her up and she took it. She was ashamed as he knelt down then, and pulled her jeans up for her. His big, clumsy fingers trying to button them closed.
‘Are you fit to walk in?’ he asked.
His words were slightly slurred. She thought this man here, is my future glaring at me.
‘Yeah,’ she lied.
She tried to walk the straight line to the door, veered too far left and he pulled her back, then she stumbled into him, and he sighed. She was irritating the drunk.
Siobhan felt nothing about the fact that they’d just had sex. Nothing other than a sore hole, and the lingering taste of his saliva in her mouth making her feel sick.
As they reached the back door, Siobhan steadied herself against the wall.
‘Don’t go telling anyone,’ she said, the words like a mouthful of cotton wool.
‘I wasn’t planning on it.’
She felt rejected, despite feeling humiliated that she’d been with him at all.
Even him there thinks he can do better than me.
She walked in behind him. His black leather jacket hung open, too small to close over his gut, and the corners swayed back at her. The collar was frayed, and a rip showed grey lining hidden behind. His trousers were old-man-trousers, beige and worn beiger around the arse. Smells of whiskey and sweat wafted off him.
In the bar the lads were still playing pool and Louise watching them. They were laughing as Siobhan walked over. One of the lads winked at her.
‘Alright there, Siobhan?’ he said, smirking, ‘that must have been some cigarette you had.’
They all burst out laughing. Louise looked her up and down, throwing her daggers, but said nothing. Then looking back at the lads, she laughed along with them.
‘Vodka is it?’ Jason Lambert called to Siobhan from the bar. She was mortified. But not enough to refuse the free drink.
The two old men at the bar started laughing and the barman said loudly, ‘ye will be next if you’re lucky.’
Siobhan took a slug from the drink Jason Lambert handed her and moved over to where Louise was perched high on her stool, a glass of flat coke in her hand. She didn’t look at Siobhan, sat with her back straight and half turned, her long hair hiding the side of her face. Siobhan leaned against the wall. She had drank more than she was able, but the cold night air and Jason Lambert slamming her had half sobered her up.
It was then that Siobhan realised she hadn’t gone to the bathroom since it happened. I haven’t even cleaned myself after that dirty fucker was inside me and his mouth slobbering all over me.
Her stomach lurched.
She put the drink down on the narrow counter top that ran along the side of the wall.
‘Going to the toilet,’ she said to Louise.
Louise glanced over her shoulder at her, her small nose twitching. Siobhan had the urge to punch her hard, break that nose and pull the perfect hair out of her head.
To get to the toilets Siobhan had to walk past the pool table. She tried to move like she was completely sober, but the effort made her stumble into the pool table anyway. The lads and Louise laughed. She pretended not to hear them and kept going.
Inside the cubicle, Siobhan locked the door. She pulled down her jeans and tried to pee. But it burned and scalded so much that all she could do was dab herself clean with cheap grey toilet paper. Little dots of blood stained it maroon.
Her knickers were full of other stains.
She dragged off her runners and jeans, leaving them to the wet tiles on the ground, and threw the knickers in the sanitary bin. Wincing as she stood, Siobhan fell against the plasterboard wall while trying to pull on her jeans. Once on, she banged down the lid of the toilet and sat. Her head hung down and she felt the wet floor soak up through her socks. Her body rocked on the toilet seat, swayed left and right. Reaching down she put on her runners. Her feet slid around inside, too wet to take a grip.
At the sink she washed her hands. There was no soap in the dispenser, and a brown rim of scum spread around the taps. She was afraid to see herself in the mirror. Instead she looked at the distorted reflection on the grey wall tiles. Her hair looked huge around her head. She pressed it down with her hands. The brown frizz had grown in the wet mist, while Jason Lambert fucked the dignity out of me.
She ran the tap again, conscious of how rank her mouth felt. Her tongue was too big in there, barricaded in by teeth and cheeks that tasted of him. Siobhan let the cool water run into her open mouth, some spilling down her chin and dripping onto her top.
As she stood up from the sink, she saw what it was she didn’t want to see. The mirror. Bloodshot eyes stared back at her, half closed. Pink-red cheeks blotched like burns on her face, and her lips were swollen red and peeling. Lips that had an old drunk biting on them.
She turned away before the tears started, only to realise that the wire of her bra was up above her breasts. He must have pushed it up there, but she couldn’t remember. She reached inside her top and pulled the bra down, shoving her tits back in and felt them sore and tender. They all must have seen that in there.
Siobhan wanted to run out of the place.
But the only way out was by going through the bar. She took a deep breath, her damp hand on the door handle. Someone had written on the cheap plywood ‘fuck them’. Maybe someone like me.
She pulled open the door and stepped out.
Not looking up, she watched the tops of her scuffed-up runners move too far apart from each other as she tried to walk forward.
‘Alright there?’ the barman’s voice called over.
Siobhan looked up at him and then around. The place was empty except for the dirty glasses on the counter.
‘They left,’ the barman sighed. ‘Come on, I’ll give you a lift home.’