At First Sight

by Ishani Dash

It was love
At first sight

A year ago, I’d found him on a TV show
Oh, how I’d pined from afar until I saw him on a dating site

With bated breath, I’d swiped right
And just like that, I was meeting him for dinner tonight

Painting my face in beige and red
I hoped to cover my blemishes, and afraid
Afraid that I’d fall short in this tryst with fate
Afraid that he’d cancel, or worse, leave me with no date

I glanced at the mirror and saw a woman I barely knew

At the scene: candles lit, sushi cut, wine poured
Tonight, I was a woman dressed sharply from head to toe
Eyes darker than the darkest of souls
Wide in anticipation, heart fluttering in tow

He arrived carrying red roses, only a minute late
I rolled up my sleeves and locked eyes with his
Then I gave him my most appealing smile
He pulled out a chair and sat down next to mine

You look beautiful, he said, smelling of musk and cigarettes

We ordered a few appetizers, a glass of wine
Conversations flowed, soon his arm was linked to mine
I asked him what his life was like
And the clock gaily turned from eight-oh-one to midnight

He paid for us both and asked if he could drop me home
I couldn’t think much, so I murmured a drunken yes
Soon, we were undressed, our bodies bare
He softly kissed my neck and whispered into my right ear:

I want you to hurt me, hurt me in bed

My eyes wide open, I searched his face for clues
Was it a joke? No, he seemed utterly sincere
Every inch of my body screamed at me to run
I ignored the pleas and nodded at this idea of fun

I made it somehow through the night
Allowing myself to slap, hit, and whip him alright
When the morning sun slowly arrived
I had never felt less alive

And that’s when I knew I could never see him again

I suppose it was not love
Just one night

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