Jenny woke the next morning, and immediately had an uncomfortable feeling that something was wrong. Something was very very wrong. But what?
It took her a few minutes to remember what had happened the previous night. Having Ellen, Petra and Suze over for drinks. Deciding on a plan of attack. Ringing Troy…
‘Shit!’ Jenny said out loud, rolling onto her stomach and burying her face in her pillow. A wave of nausea washed over her, and she squeezed her eyes shut wishing she could go back to blissful ignorant sleep. Please God, tell me that last night was just a bad dream.
The sound of her mobile beeping brought her back to reality. I’m just going to have to get up and face the day. The sooner this day is over, the better.
Reaching over for her mobile, Jenny expected to see a message from Ellen or Petra checking to see whether she was okay. Or, maybe even from Suze, making she sure she wasn’t going to back out of the plan. Looking at the screen of her mobile, it took Jenny a few seconds to focus and realise who the message was from. Phil!
Sitting up in bed, Jenny’s felt her stomach clench as she clicked on the message to view it.
Hi Jen. I dont wnt 2 sound lk a stalker or anythin, but I was wndring if u r bzy ltr 2day? Do u fancy a walk – wit me? I no u said u werent after a boyf, but I couldnt live wit myslf if I didnt at least try 1 mre time.
Tot understd if u not up 2 it.
Jenny had to read the message twice before she could understand what he was actually asking, and then lay back on her pillow, staring at the ceiling. He asked me out! Oh dear, he asked me out. And he wants to go out today… Jenny suddenly smacked her forehead with the palm of her hand. TODAY of all days? When I’m supposed to be seducing that disgusting Troy. Why today Phil? If it was any day but today, I could at least have met you and explained in person how I’m feeling.
Knowing she couldn’t back out of the plan to get even with Troy, Jenny spent the next half hour writing and deleting a return message to Phil.
“Sorry Phil, I’m actually too busy today…” Delete.
“I hope you can understand, but there’s something I have to do today and…” Delete.
“Thanks for the offer Phil, but I’m actually seeing someone else today and…” Delete.
“Maybe not today, but another day? I just have this thing I have to do today…” Delete.
“Yes, I would like to go for a walk – but can we make it another day, and can we just meet as friends? I want you to know that I feel really grateful that you think I’m worth going out with, and it might be crazy to not give it a go when there might never be another person who feels the same about me, but I’m just not sure if it’s fair on me OR you to…” DELETE.
‘Agh, this is hopeless!’ Jenny flung her mobile down in frustration. Getting out of bed, and heading to the shower, Jenny decided she wouldn’t even send a message. Not right now. I can’t think straight, and I’ll probably end up saying the wrong thing. I’ll just send him a message later, after the deed is done.
Once Jenny was dressed and eating her breakfast, she sent a message to Ellen.
Hi E. How’re you this morning?
It wasn’t long before her mobile beeped in response.
Hi hun. I’m a bit rusty this morning, I think I had a few too many wines last night! I didn’t get to sleep until three this morning.
I was about to message you. How are YOU? All set for today?
Three this morning? But you left well before midnight. Poor you! Insomnia?
I’m okay, just looking forward to this thing with Troy being over.
I bet you are!
Oh, so… last night I may have stopped off somewhere on my way home… It was the wine, I couldn’t help it
Jenny shuddered to herself, not even wanting to consider where Ellen might have stopped on her way home, and who might have kept her awake until the wee hours of the morning.
You’ve been doing so well lately E. Definitely put it down to the wine.
I’ll call you later, when it’s done…
Yeah, I know. At least it wasn’t a client or a colleague this time.
Jenny was so busy working on the copy for a marketing flyer for one of her clients that the next two hours flew by. Before she knew it, she checked her watch and it was 12pm. Time to get ready.
Suze had bought around a bag of gym gear last night, for Jenny to wear. Jenny had been shocked at how revealing they were, but the other women had assured her that it was entirely appropriate attire for the gym.
The clothes were laid out on her bed, and Jenny eyed them suspiciously. Oh well, at least they’re new and haven’t been sweated in. At least, Suze said they’re new. She wouldn’t lie would she? Jenny leaned close and inspected the material of the shorts, looking for any sign of dirt or hair. Nope, I think it’s fine.
Gritting her teeth, Jenny pulled on the outfit before she could chicken out, and then turned to her mirror with her hands over her eyes. Opening her fingers to peek through, Jenny’s eyes widened as she examined her reflection. Taking her hands away from her eyes, she did a double take and twirled in the mirror to examine her rear end.
Suze had taken her job very seriously, and the gym gear was a perfect fit – the miniscule purple Nike crop top (Suze had assured Jenny last night that it wasn’t just a bra, and was perfectly acceptable gym wear) and tiny black lycra shorts actually made her look fit, even a tiny bit curvy.
‘Well, Jennifer Sullivan, you don’t look half bad.’ Jenny smiled at her reflection, before she suddenly remembered what she was dressing up for – not just the whole Troy thing, but going to a gym, an actual gym, with sweaty people working out. Feeling faint, Jenny crouched on the ground and put her head between her legs to calm her breathing.
Looking up again at the mirror, her reflection was no longer smiling. Just remember the supermarket, meeting Troy at that dinner, him taking advantage of Ellen and breaking Suze’s heart. He’s a dickhead, he deserves this.
At 12.30, Jenny was ready to go. She had put her shoes on, and the small black sleeveless jacket Suze had given her to wear over her outfit, and was just picking up her bag when she noticed the plastic bag that Ellen had left for her, still sitting beside her back door.
Wincing, she sprayed disinfectant on her hands and the bag handle and then reached down and picked it up, not even looking inside to see what it was. I’ll just check it when I get there. How bad can it be? Jenny pictured Ellen and her stopover on the way home last night. Oh, it could be bad. Very bad.
The gym was only a ten minute drive from Jenny’s house, and Ellen had already discussed in depth last night how to access the gym basement and where to park. The hope was that the gym would be relatively empty, and she could park in the far corner behind the concrete wall separating the carpark from the gym laundry area. The same place Troy had set Ellen up.
Arriving at the gym, Jenny felt her heart quicken and palms grow sweaty as she drove around the side of the building, into the basement carpark and found a space exactly where Ellen had described.
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. This is actually happening. Crap. How am I going to go through with this?
Jenny felt an overwhelming urge to call her sister. Bridgette would know what to do. In fact, Jenny guessed while Bridgette might not have been in this exact situation, she had probably done something similar. She was always planning revenge on some poor sap or other. Jenny tried to wrack her brains for one of Bridgette’s revenge stories. Weird. I can’t think of any. Jenny checked her watch, which also displayed the current date. 25th September. Wow, is it really almost October? When did I last speak to Bridgette? Jenny remembered their last conversation, when Bridgette had tried to tell her about her latest love interest, and Jenny had cut her off and ended the conversation. Jenny felt her face burn with shame, and absently thought once more about how her own quirks and behaviours had probably been affecting Bridgette all of these years. She was just considering whether to give her sister a call, when she saw out of the corner of her eye that someone was coming towards her car.
Jenny quickly grabbed Ellen’s plastic bag, and hopped out of her car. Shutting her car door, she turned towards Troy and glanced about the carpark nervously. It was empty, silent except for the extremely loud wooshing sound of blood in her ears.
Troy looked her up and down slowly, appreciatively, and nodded his approval.
‘I thought you might call one day,’ he said into the empty space between them.
Jenny gulped, and self-consciously held the plastic bag over her stomach. Troy looked at it with interest.
‘What you got there babe?’
Come on Jenny, you have got to say something… You’re a disgusting pig? No, don’t say that. You make me feel sick? Nope. Something, anything.
‘Hello.’ Yes Jenny, very suave. Very suggestive. How can he possibly resist you? Jenny thought back to last night, and Ellen’s suggestions as to what she should say. ‘Uh, so, it’s great to see you again.’
‘You too babe, you too.’ Troy seemed to be speaking to her crotch, and not her face. Jenny grimaced inwardly, and hoped her face didn’t show her disgust. ’So, whatcha got in the bag babe? What are these moves you wanted to show me?’
Jenny reached into the bag, and felt her hand close around some sort of stick. She pulled it out. Troy’s eyes widened and he licked his lips, Jenny followed his gaze and looked down at the stick in her hands. It was made of leather, red, and it had some sort of paddle on the end of it. Oh my God, it’s like a riding crop. I’m actually standing here holding some sort of sexual bondage toy.
‘Troy like,’ he whispered, his pupils huge and black and a growing bulge in his pants. Jenny thought she was going to vomit. Troy took a few steps closer and went to reach out his arms. Before Jenny knew what she was doing, she whacked his hands down with the crop and poked it at his chest, effectively holding him away from her.
Aha, so THAT’s why Ellen gave it to me! Jenny realised, inwardly thanking her friend.
‘No, Troy. My rules.’ Jenny tried to make her voice as smooth as possible, which wasn’t easy given the hand holding the crop was itching to smack it across his face so she could run to her car and make a quick getaway. ‘Take your clothes off,’ she commanded, looking around the carpark and pointing to a dark area behind the concrete wall, ‘over there.’
Troy smirked, and winked at her. ‘Okay, babe. But you’re not going to be wearing those tiny sexy pants of yours for much longer either.’
Jenny nodded, and watched as Troy sauntered away behind the concrete wall. She let out the lungful of air she had been holding, and quickly thought about the next step of the plan. She needed to get Troy to leave his clothes somewhere before she flicked on the fire alarm. Before she had a chance to decide how she was going to achieve this, Jenny heard a familiar voice behind her.
‘Jen, is that you?’
Fuuuuck!! Before she turned to face him, Jenny’s mind raced. How could she get rid of him before Troy called her in to join him, or even worse, came back out?
Turning slowly, and quickly holding the riding crop behind her back, Jenny tried to plaster a casual smile on her face. ‘Hi Phil!’
‘I thought that was you!’ Phil’s face was beaming. ‘I didn’t know you’d joined the gym, that’s amazing Jen! Well done!’
Jenny noticed that Phil hadn’t even registered her miniscule outfit, he was too busy smiling at her face – or, at the very least, he wasn’t making it obvious. So different from Troy. Shit, Troy. He’s going to come out any minute.
‘Well, I haven’t actually joined, I’m just here to, um, see a friend.’
Phil finally looked at what she was wearing, at her gym shorts and bra-posing-as-a-top, confusion showing on his face. ‘Oh, I thought you were dressed for a workout. Anyway, it’s a major step for you to even be in here Jen.’ Phil paused, and bit his lip. ‘So, ah, did you get my message earlier? About, um, going for a walk? Only, I didn’t hear from you so I thought maybe you were too embarrassed to say no again. But, I thought I’d try. I mean, I got the feeling at our meeting the other night that you were looking at me like, well, I’m not sure.’ Phil looked down at himself. ’I mean, God, I’m probably wrong. Why would someone like you look at a fat git like me? Just forget I even asked, okay?’
Jenny felt her heart squeeze for him. ‘Phil, you’re not a fat git.’ Phil raised one eyebrow, and Jenny smiled. ‘Okay, you are, but you’re great. It’s just…’
Before Jenny could finish, she heard a voice calling her. Troy’s voice.
‘Babe, I’m ready, and I mean I am SO ready.’
Phil looked at her questioningly. ‘Ah, who’s that? Is he talking to you?’
Jenny shook her head. ‘No, of course not. I, um, I don’t even know who that is.’
‘Jenny? Babe. I am rock hard. If you’re not coming to me…’
Before she knew what she was doing, Jenny unclasped her hands from behind her back. Her mind was racing. What am I going to do? How am I going to get out of this?
In the end, there was no way out. Troy walked around from behind the corner, stark naked with a raging erection. He grinned when he saw Phil standing there.
‘Hey fat boy, you want to watch?’
Jenny felt her stomach plummet to the souls of her feet, and she was afraid she was going to faint.
‘Oh Phil, he’s not, I mean, I don’t even know why he’s…’
Phil looked down at her hands, and noticed the riding crop she was holding. Without saying another word, he turned and walked away.
‘Wait, Phil…’ Jenny called out, but he didn’t even look back, and a few seconds later the door to the basement slammed shut behind him.
Troy made an impatient sound, and Jenny turned to look at him. He was holding himself. ‘Let that fat excuse for a man go already. Let’s do this.’
Jenny shook her head in disgust. ‘You are a filthy pig, a revolting excuse for a human being. Phil is a million times the man you are, and I wouldn’t touch a single hair on your repulsive body if my life depended on it.’
Jenny threw the riding crop at him, which smacked him lightly on the shoulder before landing at his feet. ‘Get a life, and stop acting like you’re God’s gift.’
Walking quickly to her car, Jenny didn’t even look back as she hopped in and gunned the engine. It was only as she started to drive out of the carpark entrance that she glanced in her rear vision mirror. She couldn’t be sure, but she almost thought she saw regret plastered on his face, but it was gone in an instant and he stalked off, presumably to retrieve his clothes.
Jenny drove off in a daze, playing and replaying the image of Phil’s face when Troy had come out of the shadows and asked him if he ‘wanted to watch’. It was horrifying, and she felt tears slipping down her face as she drove.
Before she knew where she was headed, Jenny found herself parking outside Bridgette’s flat.