“So when will we involve your parents?” he asks, without a hint of sarcasm. I shift uncomfortably in my seat, my eyes firmly fixed on his masculine hands. Looking directly into the eyes of this unhinged wife-beater, I clear my throat and say “well…….”
I blame my sister.
Having 392 dick pics in your gallery is not the only reason why you ought to password protect your phone and not share it with a soul. You see, passwords are like condoms. Condoms prevent unwanted pregnancies, and passwords prevent unwanted dates.
Swiping, or rather ‘window shopping’ for a partner can be a soul-destroying experience. It is, however, a source of ecstasy for those closest to you. Armed with fire and arrows, should your phone ever end up in the hands of these demonic Pakistani cupids, expect disaster. With glinting dark malevolent eyes, they will swipe right at every deranged looking male with a pulse, ensuring that you match only with the finest of Britain’s deadliest criminals.
It was an instant match said my sister, looking guilty. I Usain Bolt across the room to grab my phone, hurriedly clicking on the ‘Muzmatch’ dating app. “Fuck my life” I curse, as I survey the damage. This man made Charles Bronson -Britain’s most notorious prisoner, look like a member of the Gandhi brigade.
Just as my fingers hover over ‘unmatch’, his message arrives:
“Wow I didn’t think you would like me!”
I gaze at my screen, guilt slowly seeping through my veins like poison. Oh you’re being such a judgemental bitch! I reprimand myself. And what happened to ‘looks don’t matter?’ and ‘my type is fat, bald and funny?!’ I say, mocking my own voice. Annoyed that adulthood had somehow supressed my evil streak and turned me into a bearable human – I reply. At least I will sleep better at night, I tell myself, letting out a theatrical sigh.
Sadly, the messages exchanged are drier than a fuck with no foreplay. Extracting blood out of a stone, I learn that he works only minutes away from my office. Having a eureka moment, I decide that the best course of action is a quick coffee – within 24 hours. It takes little to convince him, and less than 24 hours later, I sit in my local Costa coffee shop, dreaming of kicking the shit out of my sister.
Mindlessly tapping away at my phone, I lift my gaze to notice a bald, barrel-chested Brown Incredible Hulk gradually making his way towards me. Built like a brick shithouse, his shadow could effortlessly fill a room. I gulp. With my rapid heartbeat turning into tachycardia, my eyes dart towards the exit. As my mind races to secure an escape plan, I hear a gravelly voice vocalise my name. Driving my fight or flight response, my sympathetic nervous system leaps into action. A false sense of bravado immediately consumes me, and I look him dead in the eyes and say “nope, wrong person”.
You see, men don’t usually frighten me. I’m not fragile. My first glance at my date is likely to involve an assessment of how I will ‘take him down’ – should the need arise. Aware of my own physical limitations, I’ll allow my eagle eyes to carefully evaluate every inch of a man’s body for his weak points, whilst of course also taking in other areas of ‘interest’. A kick to the side of the knee may well be enough for a man with gangly legs, whereas a man with a long neck may be the perfect recipient for a strike between the collarbone and the laryngeal prominence. Experience will teach you that whilst a heel palm strike to the nose may be effective on some men, this technique will be redundant on a Pakistani man, as his nose is likely to resemble the deadly Mount Everest – you will get hurt. You could instead aim for a handful of groin, however if your mind is as curious as mine, you will end up in a Q&A session asking why his left testicle feels unusually small.
Despite my questionable belief that I possess the ability to destroy my opponent with a Jackie Chan flying kick, on this occasion, even my fertile imagination refuses to play ball. Finding myself between the devil and the deep blue sea, I turn to mother earth. Grounding myself, I summon up the courage to persevere. Forcing a smile faker than Donald Trump’s orange tan, I extend my hand, allowing this beast to envelope it in his bulky calloused hands.
We awkwardly settle down with our hot drinks and exchange pleasantries. Be nice, it will be over soon, I tell myself encouragingly. The warmth from the first sip of my green tea barely escapes my mouth before I hear the words: “I know your profile mentions that you don’t want anyone with a history of domestic violence, so I’ll just be honest…” He pauses and looks right at me. With fingers tightly wrapped around my mug, I raise my right eyebrow – a bit like ‘The Rock’, silently inviting an explanation.
I notice a hint of sweat building up on his unmoisturised face. With his palms facing away from me, he looks up at the ceiling for a moment too long and then suddenly, as though just becoming aware of his surroundings, he directs his attention to me. Firmly holding my gaze, he confesses to having been convicted of domestic violence.
I observe his raging bloodshot eyes whilst he places the blame squarely on his ex-wife. I allow him to spend the next ten minutes furiously listing her flaws, oblivious to the fact that he was here for a date. I silently question how many hours had passed since he had last taken drugs.
My facial expressions must have given away my feeling of disgust, as he looks at me and says: “you don’t look too impressed”. Having been the unwilling beneficiary of an unhinged stalker for 7 years of my life, I certainly was not looking for another. However, I struggled to contain the fire within. Flabbergasted at his audacity, I shoot back: “I didn’t realise that I was supposed to be impressed by your disclosure”.
Finding my composure, I calmly tell him that having worked with victims of domestic abuse and sexual exploitation, he will find that I have little sympathy to offer him. My dating profile which may have been a little tongue-in-cheek, did however reflect my views on the issue – slap me once, and I will punch you twice. I do a double take as I see him nodding in agreement, fast realising that this man is beyond hope.
Oblivious to my disinterest, the Brown Hulk turns his attention to Bollywood movies and my love for Salman Khan. Now, mention Salman Khan and I’ll be a soppy mess, grinning from ear to ear – but not today. I remain frozen with apathy.
God please don’t test me with another stalker, I silently plead, as he asks when my parents will get involved in “this”. “Well… no. They won’t” I say, swiftly turning my attention to a cute child sitting opposite us. “You don’t have children do you?” I ask, trying to keep this unhinged wife-beater distracted whilst I race to finish my green tea.
“Yeah, I have a 10 year old boy. The case was about me beating him up, but it was just discipline and my wife used that……”. I’d heard enough. I reached for my bag, telling him I was getting late for a meeting.
As I stood up to leave, he said: “so can I take you out to the cinema then?”.
As you can guess, we never made it to date two.
The Accidental Lawyer