The Second Man
You think I don’t know where you are you fvcking stupid bitch.
I followed you here. I was right behind you all this time. I’ve been watching you and you didn’t even have the decency to notice me. I was there when you finished work early and then stood outside at the big glass main entrance and then turned and smiled as he caught up with you and tapped you on the shoulder. I watched as you did that infuriating self-conscious brush of your hair and I watched as he made a smarmy joke and openly flirted with you, even though you belong to me. I saw when you gently touched his chest and tried to disguise it as fixing his lapel. But, your hand was there for just that little too long wasn’t it? You fvcking slut. You are that desperate for attention that you parade yourself in front of everyone with your nauseatingly jiggling breasts on display.
You are just a lump of wet hateful meat.
I saw when you surreptitiously undid your top button as you were walking down the stairs to meet him. I don’t believe for a second that this was “just a coincidence”, this was all how you planned it wasn’t it? Even the fact that you left work early, so that it would look like you “just bumped into each other and went for a drink”. I know that story; I have heard it a million times.
I know that every time you have ever opened your mouth you were lying to me. You never really loved me and I know that now. I know that you are taunting me and provoking me now that we aren’t together anymore. You have even started dressing differently, I think you must be going for the ‘dirty office slutbag’ look since everything you seem to wear is overly revealing and is that little bit too tight , just so that when you lean over your desk the buttons stretch and people can look in and see your sickening veiny udders. I know that you like it when the heavybreathingboys look at your nipples through your shirt. You like to tease them don’t you, it’s pathetic. I also know that you leave the fridge open when you’re getting the milk out, just so that your nipples get hard and everybody stares at them hungrily. You are so proud of your big sagging tits; only I know that you have to strap them up so that they don’t hang down around your knees, you should be ashamed of yourself.
I’ve been watching you this whole time; I know exactly what you are doing and who you are with. I watch you now as you glance in my direction, almost like you know I am there and you can sense my agony. But you don’t see me, you never do. I see you as you walk down the steps and you casually take his arm. I saw when he was walking slightly behind you his hand brushed your arse and it wasn’t an accident. It was a sign that you are physically comfortable with each other, probably since he has been inside you, you dirty rotten whore.
I know that he has been on top of you sweating and thrusting and spurting all over you. It makes me sick. Even the thought of him seeing you naked makes my stomach boil and seethe with dread. He has seen things that were made only for my eyes and carefully designed and sculpted to be touched only by me. He has desecrated and soiled my beautiful, sacred property.
Now you are walking down the pavement towards the Merchant City. Of course that is where he would take you, anywhere that serves ostentatiously priced drinks, just so he can show off as he pays with his Platinum American Express. What a ridiculous form of payment, it’s not even accepted in a lot of places, what’s the fvcking point?!
Now he is holding your hand, the hand that used to be gently and tenderly enclosed in mine. He is holding the very same hand that has stroked my hair and wiped away my tears. Now he holds it and he thinks it belongs to him. I want to run up behind you and wrench you apart, then push him under a bus and watch his skull crush and splinter. I watch as you walk up to the glass doors and giggle as he holds it open for you. What a gentleman.
The bar is stylish and trendy and has just opened recently. I’m sure she mentioned something about a guy from work who invited her to a launch night of a new bar in town, or maybe I read an article about a bar opening in the florid, verbose pages of the Guardian; I never seem to remember details very clearly.
The bar is bizarrely decorated with bright silver up-lighters, interspersed with fake stone statues and an unusual carpet with a black and white zigzag design. What a strange place, it’s like nothing I have ever seen before. The whole establishment makes me feel ill at ease, it’s like everything here is backwards. As I step into it my stomach lurches as the garish pattern seems to leer at me from beneath my feet. There are thick red curtains draped over the walls and worn black leather couches. This place looks like it is expensive, abstruse and incredibly pretentious, I’m pretty sure that’s why he picked it. Everything here is artificial and nothing we see is the truth.
I watch as he confidently strides up to the bar and infuriatingly, he gets served straight away. That never happens to me, I always have to squeeze my way to the front and awkwardly shuffle as the person behinds the bar eventually decides to grace me with their presence for a few seconds. I never know whether to take my money out my wallet and have it in my hand so that they know that I mean business, or should I leave it in my wallet so that they aren’t offended and convinced that all I’m interested in is concluding a quick transaction to get the precious precious alcohol; which of course is all I’m interested in. So I stand there and start to get even more uncomfortable, then I start to sweat because there are people standing too close to me and I’m getting hot and flustered and I just want to slink away into a dark, secluded corner. Then the guy right next to me gets served, even though he has literally just arrived at the bar, not that appropriate queuing etiquette seems to matter these days. This enraging prick has pushed his way to the front and bellowed his order to the barperson and then he fucks off holding four pints of Tennants; some of which inevitably gets spilled on me as I am uncoordinatedly fumbling with change. No one seems to ever bother too much about the furniture. Then I finally get the attention of the barperson (is that the appropriate term? Are we allowed to call them barpersons or is it alcoholic beverage management consultants, I’m not sure what is socially acceptable these days) and then of course I become instantly tongue-tied and seem incapable of uttering anything resembling a coherent sentence.
Then, inevitably, the barperson looks irritated as I am now wasting his/her time and holding everyone else up, now everyone is staring at me as I stutter away like a gibbering idiot, I can feel their eyes boring into me. Then I finally manage to spit out my order and scuttle away in shame and humiliation.
But of course he has no such trouble. He gets served right away by an efficient and friendly customer service representative; he even shares a joke with the attractive young girl as he pours the drinks, her plastic namebadge says ‘Laura’ and she has a smile that makes her look like she is hiding something, like there are secrets within her that she only knows how to unlock. She is slowly decomposing inside, just like me. Then he casually tips the bartender (doing that I’m-a-fvcking-cool-guy-handshake-thing) with what looks like a two pound coin and receives a warm and genuine smile. Then he gracefully sashays round holding an elegant long-stemmed glass of white wine for her and a manly straight whisky for him. He manages to spill some on the floor, but he decides to leave it for some lesser mortal to clean up, of course paying no regard to the potential for hazardous health and safety risks and the prospect of debilitating injury.
Of course that sort of thing doesn’t happen to people like him, they are just too fvcking perfect. I scurry up to the bar like a diseased animal and watch as he confidently swaggers away. I order a black coffee. Laura looks at me with cold dead eyes, it’s as though she hates me.
The bar is absolutely packed and it is difficult to move, I try to weave in between groups of drunken co-workers. I thought she would have seen me by now and then she would have the opportunity to rectify this horrific, nightmarish situation, she could make up for her transgressions and she could run triumphantly into my arms and he would have to just cower before me: beaten and disgraced.
But, she hasn’t seen me and she hasn’t done this, she just sits there with her supple golden legs crossed at the knee, with her skin gleaming and smooth, just like she always does and smiles and smiles and smiles. By now, he has secured them a comfortable looking table with a couch, near the window. I have no idea how he manages this since all the other tables seem to be taken and there are no spaces at the bar. Regardless, they sit down at the table opposite each other and look lovingly into each other’s eyes. I have to fight the sudden urge to grab the nearest pint glass and ram it into his jugular. He puts his hand on her knee and I start to feel faint and the room starts to spin slightly. It is so busy in here, there is no oxygen and I am finding it difficult to breathe as I am constantly barged into by insufferably happy people who have no such difficulties weighing heavily on their minds. It’s Friday, they are finished work for the week and they are out ‘on the lash’ with their friends and co-workers, they are carefree and relaxed and exuberant and couldn’t care less about where I am standing just taking up space and wasting oxygen, or whether or not I like to be hassled and pushed around, they don’t have time for losers like me when there are pints to be drunk and hilarious stories to be told and to be audaciously guffawed at.
They are sitting uncomfortably close to each other now and he leans across the table and brushes her hair behind her ear. She giggles like a school girl and blushes as his uncaring hands touch my ear, my hair. I want to hurt him so much. I want to destroy him. I want to pull off his skin. Then he leans over and kisses her softly on the lips. I start to sway and I think I will pass out, the garish zig-zagged carpet swirls and distorts before my eyes; I fully expect it to violently connect with my face at any moment. Another fvcking happy bastard barges into me and then tries to claim that I walked into him, I don’t really see how this is possible since I was standing still, but I try to sympathetically comprehend his astonishing viewpoint nonetheless. I smile apologetically and I subserviently shuffle to the side to let him pass, just to avoid any sort of unfortunate confrontation. Now that she has betrayed me, I don’t really want to attract their attention if I can possibly avoid it and I certainly don’t want her to see me being beaten up by a drunken mob, that wouldn’t really be all that good for maintaining my self-respect and dignity, which is paramount in a delicate situation such as this.
Now they have finished their drinks and he is picking up his jacket, it looks expensive, possibly designer. Then he delicately puts his hand on the small of her back and leads her out the door, they must be going to another place. She would never have been so submissive when she was with me, she would have decided when it was time to leave and then she would have escorted me out of the door. Again, he holds the door open for her as I try and push my way though the endless wall of bodies that blocks my way to the exit. I manage to reach the door just as it closes in my face. I pull it open in exasperation, just in time to see him hailing a taxi which, of course, stops instantly. Yet again, he opens the door for her and helps her into the back, he really must have read all the self-help books about ‘How to be smooth and sustain a rock solid erection for an entire bank holiday weekend’ and ‘How to deceive, ensnare and seduce another man’s woman’.
It’s a black cab they are getting into; he must be earning crazy money if he can afford to throw it away so frivolously. I know that he only lives a few blocks away so he is using the taxi to maintain the aura of luxury and limitless fortune. I ram my hands in my pockets and pull my (non-designer) jacket with the ripped lining closer around my fragile, pathetic body. As usual it’s fvcking raining and I have to avoid puddles and splashing taxis as I pursue them around the corner. They are comfortably whisked round the corner in their artificially heated transportation with not a care in the world.