This is What You Could Have WonBecause I Can't Write a Novel My Dating Life 

This is What You Could Have Won

This is What You Could Have Won

Because I Can’t Write a Novel – Day 19

Do you remember a while back I wrote What NOT to Do On a First Date? Well, it turns out if you talk about the goddamn devil it’ll damn well show up. And it did. Today. In the middle of my local high street.

I’d only run up to town to get some cash out and grab a few essentials. I’m not getting carried away with the whole Christmas thing because I’ll be heading to Bear’s in a few days, and it’s not likely that I’ll be back home until after the New Year. I’ll deal with Christmas plus Bestie, the family, and everyone else then. Christmas stresses me out. I’m awaiting an appointment to find out if the pre-cancerous cells are back in my cervix. Or worse. I’m stressed enough.

So, picture the scene. I had music in my ears – You Don’t Know Me by Jax Jones feat. Raye – it’s a good song, it’s got a good beat, and I love sashaying along to it. And that’s just what I was doing, feelin’ pretty good about myself today, strutting myself along the high street probably look way happier than everyone else around me in the lead-up to the big Christmas Day.

I was wearing my glasses, so I could make out his face right away. If I hadn’t been wearing my glasses, I never would have noticed who it was until it was too late, and by that point I probably would have been staring. It was him. Number 33. The douschebag. And my, what a douschebag he really was.

I couldn’t believe it. What were the chances? We slept together about five years ago. The last time I saw him was a couple of years ago. I’d been out and about shopping not far from where I used to work. I spotted him across the aisles, and as he tried to say hello I put down my basket of beauty goodies and ran away. I ran to where I worked, furiously punched the code into the office door lock, and hid for a good hour until I was sure he would no longer been in town. He already had a few shopping bags when I spotted him, and I knew men hated shopping. I just needed to wait it out until he was gone.

I’m pretty sure that’s the true definition of running away from your problems. And no, I’m not proud of it.

I had that reaction because he called me a “wild dog”. I’m pretty sure he also called me a “savage”. Why? Because I got drunk, let him glimpse a tiny piece of my inner kinky side, and then decided he wasn’t the right kind of guy for me. Oh, and he spotted my scars. Remember I’m an ex self-harmer.

The night was atrocious. I won’t go into it all again because I’m sure I’ve written about that scumbag enough. But he’s insignificant. And I realised that today.

He was walking one way and I was walking the other. We passed each other, side by side, and I knew he was looking at me. I could see the recognition in his eyes. I could see him checking me out, and for a split second I felt nothing but panic. I could feel my heart skip a beat like it does when I’m scared or about to experience an anxiety attack. I was sure it was all going to go wrong. I decided not to look at him, to pretend he didn’t exist, to act as if I didn’t recognise him at all. I’m going back to running away from my problems I guess. If I can’t see you then you can’t see me. Plus, fuck you. Not you obviously. Him. Fuck him.

He made me feel like a piece of shit. He made me embarrassed of my scars. Bear has never once made me embarrassed of my scars. He’s run his fingers along them, he’s kissed them, he’s embraced them because they are a part of me. Never once has he muttered the words “savage” or “wild dog”. If he did I would have run away from him too. I don’t need that kind of shit in my life.

I acted as though I didn’t even recognise Number 33 when I passed him in the street. I acted as though he was just another one of those shoppers that were getting in my way. Isn’t that all he is? All he was? Just another one / shopper / man getting in my way?


This morning when I woke up I debated over whether or not to put makeup on. I needed to run into town but I figured I could just pull some jeans up, scrape my hair back and throw my glasses on. I always feel braver when I have my glasses on, even though I might not have makeup on underneath. I hate leaving the house without makeup. I’m very aware this is a ‘mask’. Whatever. It works for me.

But I didn’t do that. I had a shower, put my mask on, did my hair. I picked out the skinny black jeans that make my legs look slim, and I wore them with the new black boots I bought that have a slight heel and make my butt look cute. I teamed it with a white slogan tee and a plaid jacket. I looked cute. Casually cute. A choker finished it all off, a black velvet one, and the most adorable earrings. I love earrings – the cuter the better. Bumblebees or ice creams or McDonalds French fries. I’m a big accessory gal. I love ‘em. I’m not against a big pair of diamonds, I just like to look cute day-to-day, y’know.

Something told me to make myself look cute today. Even though I really couldn’t be bothered to, and I really didn’t need to, I still did. I like to think it’s female intuition. Call me crazy, I don’t care. But there’s a reason I dressed up real cute today, and I think Number 33 was that reason. If I’d walked past him looking like shit, no makeup on and my hair scraped back, it would have been like he’d won. Instead I walked past him five stone lighter, with a face full of makeup, feeling sassy as fuck. And he knew it too. I could see it in his face – that look of recognition and almost-surprise. It made me feel good, and although I didn’t dare look back once we’d passed each other in the middle of the high street, I know he did. I could sense his eyes burning into the back of my perfectly coiffed hair.

That’s right fucker, this is what you could have won.

  • Expected word count: 31,673
  • Word count today: 1156
  • Word count to date: 25,496 (Well … I’m massively behind!)

Find the rest of the ‘Because I Can’t Write a Novel’ story here.

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