Just a Joke
“I could pull your pants down and fuck you right now.”
She hears the words but her face doesn’t change, not until he leans in and licks her ear. Then there’s a flicker of doubt. Her smile stays in place.
He sits back, his own smile wide and teasing, as though this is all one big joke that they are both in on.
She glances around. At the people she works with, concerned that they have seen. That they have witnessed this encounter and are now judging her for it. That they think she is the type of girl who does things like this with married men.
She has a boyfriend. He has a wife. Earlier, he showed her pictures of his kids.
She gets up and goes to the bathroom. She doesn’t know why she didn’t say anything. But what could she have possibly said without making a scene? It was only a joke, right? Just a bit of harmless flirting. Maybe he only meant to kiss her cheek.
She rubs her ear as she washes her hands in the sink.
When she leaves the bathroom, he is waiting for her.
“Hey,” she greets cheerfully. “Another drink?”
He shrugs. “I think everyone’s going home.”
She feels conflicted. She’s disappointed because she’s been having a fun night, but she can’t help but feel relief, too. Now she won’t have to deal with his behaviour.
“That’s too bad,” she settles with replying.
He’s crowding her personal space again and she wants to move away, but the only escape is back into the ladies room and she doesn’t want to make such a drastic move.
“Do you want to see my cock?”
He says it in a teasing tone once more, a continuation of their joke. She doesn’t know how to feel, but she can feel his breath hot on her neck.
“No,” she answers quietly.
He laughs and steps back. “It’s small anyway.”
Self-deprecation. That makes it all better, doesn’t it?
They leave not long after. He goes home to his wife and three beautiful girls.
She sits at the train station, waiting to go home, hearing the people around her laughing and having a good time, and she wonders what she did.
She regrets drinking now. She’s embarrassed herself. She thinks back to all the things she said and did throughout the night, replaying the interactions in her head.
She should complain. She should report his behaviour to HR. They were at a work function after all. She should have just said something in the moment. Told him that it wasn’t okay.
But she couldn’t. She had encouraged it, hadn’t she? Besides, he’s married. It was just a joke.
As the train rolls in and she climbs aboard, she decides to forget it. Everyone at work likes him. He’s a good guy. She’s overreacting. She doesn’t want to rock the boat.
It was just a joke.
Originally published on Medium.