Swipe.

No.   Swipe left.

No.   Swipe left.

Swipe left.

Swipe left!

Swipe left!!

Swipe left!!!

Kate goes through the ridiculously repetitive motions of swiping left on her Tinder app. Her fingers not yet game to slide “right” across the screen. Ninety-nine percent of the men were a mixture of utter douchebags, misogynistic to the core; those that were questionably not male; and men that were aiming unrealistically out of their league. The last magical one percent was saved for the holy grail of men – attractive, sensitive, financially secure, charismatic men that made women swoon.

To Kate, this is a serious gamble. Her friend Sarah is less cautious when using the app; she went for anything with a pulse and dripping in paper. It was actually Sarah’s idea that Kate should download Tinder. She said it would ‘revolutionise’ Kate’s dating life and ‘set the fire in her loins’. Sarah doesn’t take anything seriously, everything in life is a joke to her. Even her acts of sympathy over the breakup were shrouded in sarcasm and witty remarks. It’s a wonder that Kate even listens to Sarah’s advice, but she’s desperate to forget and bury the guilt. It has been a year after all.

Finally, ignoring the cries from her conscience, Kate swipes right and selects a thirty-year old personal trainer from the next suburb over. Mike measures in at just over six foot and has muscles carved like perfectly tanned marble. He is everything Kate has fantasised about and more, nothing like –

Kate refuses to linger on the old memories and swiftly initiates first contact with Mike; a simple ‘Hi’ and winky-face. Mike is quick to reply with a smoldering ‘Hi there’ and a double-winky-face. This sends Kate’s heart a flutter with hope. From there the conversation buds and after three days of texting a virtual romance blossoms. On the fourth day of communication Mike tempts Kate with a date.

Kate wonders aloud if Mike is a murderer, a smoking hot murderer. She’s having second thoughts. In Sarah’s uniquely heartfelt way she encourages her friend by saying, ‘As an experienced and seasoned Tinder user, I have only ever met one man who had a serious case of the crazies. That’s why we meet them in public, hun.’  This response doesn’t necessarily calm Kate, but it somehow manages to convince her that the odds of Mike being a serial killer are slim. Kate accepts the date nervously with a heart emoticon.

Date night arrives with Kate smiling at her reflection, an overwhelming sense of achievement glinting behind her mascara weighed eyelashes. Sarah grins at her side. The dress is so tight it flatters her curves, more or less achieved with the assistance of spanx, and her breasts look at least half a cup size bigger, rising and falling with each constricted breath. Her dark hair coils in plump curls thanks to a heating iron and her caked on makeup is frosted to perfection. Kate looks ‘fucking fabulous’, ‘a real panty dropper’, or so Sarah keeps telling her.

‘Every piece of the old you, gone’. Sarah’s reveling words circle through Kate’s thoughts as she arrives at the restaurant. Her exterior may have changed but her inside was still the same, wasn’t it?

Mike arrives ten minutes late and makes some nonsensical excuse about the traffic. An excuse most rational people wouldn’t fall for, but by this time Kate has already nervously downed two glasses of white wine, and being the light weight that she is, will believe anything. The two order dinner. Kate dines light with a salad to maintain her façade whilst Mike orders something full of protein and carbs, apparently bulking season has begun. As the waiter pours more wine Mike tells Kate about his workout regime and promising high-brow clientele, Kate swoons on his every word. Another wine glass is emptied and too soon refilled until Kate is lost in the heat of the moment, entranced and entangled in everything that is Mike. She brushes her leg against Mike’s in a sad attempt to flirt. Instinctively Mike swipes his fingers across hers, circling his thumb across her wrist. It’s been ages since a man had touched her. Kate laughs, big and fake, as he jokes about touching her elsewhere. When the two leave Kate pays for her meal and for their taxi. Mike doesn’t tip the waiter.

Mike’s unit is small and nothing like the other house Kate had grown accustomed to. Mike spends little time seducing her before he trots her to his room like a stallion leading his mare. Effortlessly Mike tosses Kate onto his bed, she bounces upon impact but he is quick to mount her. This level of force and power is something new to Kate. The thrill makes her head dizzy and her panties wet. Mike’s hands spread Kate’s legs and before she has time to think about the fact that she is wearing spanx, he removes her underwear. She shudders with ambrosia under the initial impact of his cock penetrating her, and yet as the sex progresses Kate’s mind begins to wander and to compare. Mike doesn’t know what she likes, how to make her orgasm. He doesn’t take the time to learn. He bites her nipples. Kate hates that. He doesn’t kiss her or look her in the eyes as he fills her. His rough fingers pull at her arse.

‘Yeah, you like that, don’t you?’ Mike growls.

Kate shifts, uncomfortable with the position she has been put in and attempts to move his hands. But Mike is persistent, flipping Kate around, as if she were nothing more than a rag doll, to take her from behind. As he lets out one particularly boar-ish grunt Kate catches Mike looking at himself in the mirror on his wall. As Mike slams into Kate again and again, she imagines herself in the arms of another. The way he would trace her neck with the edge of his thumb as her would kiss her. Hands that knew her every imperfection, right down to the deep scar on her inner thigh and the mole below her right breast. The way he would hold her just right as he’d move within her, their beat synced, bodies one. Kate wonders if he ever thinks about her or if he has tried to move on too. Eventually Mike rolls off her and Kate, too exhausted and drunk to go home, falls asleep.

Kate wakes with regret. The digital clock flashes 6:00 am in red through the uneasily dark room. Groggily she stumbles her way across the bedroom to the bathroom at the end of hall, she finds the basin and cleanses her face with the water, removing the salty tang of cum from her skin. Kate doesn’t know it yet but the killer hangover she’ll be coming off in the next couple of hours is the least of her worries.

‘You alright?’ Mike appears behind her.

Kate turns and winces. Mike doesn’t look quite like his Tinder profile anymore.

‘I’m fine.’ Kate lies, ungluing her eyes from Mike’s micro-manhood and scrawny legs, up over his overly fake bronzed chest to his oddly small eyes and creeper bleached teeth, ‘Just have somewhere to be.’

Mike nods with little care and once Kate collects her things, he chaperones her out of his apartment building to the street below.

‘Call you tonight.’ Mike says as Kate hails herself a taxi.

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