Treasa Nealon graduated from IT Sligo with a BA in Performing Arts (Acting). She is co-founder of the theatre company The Rabbit’s Riot. She has written several plays including I Confess (Cork Arts Theatre, 2014), Hell Hath No Fury (Bath Fringe Festival 2016) and A Dream of Dying (2015-2016).
‘She is too… cocky.’
I repress the urge to roll my eyes. My hand tightens on my glass of Gin and Tonic, the condensation dampening my palm.
‘Some would say confident. She is a business woman, what is she supposed to be like?’
He rolls his eyes.
‘Not such a bitch.’
‘She is a bitch for being successful? If that makes you a bitch these days, then I’d gladly be a bitch.’
I finish my drink, one quick swallow, wipe my mouth and leave him sitting alone.
We grasp hands and balance drinks while we manoeuvre our way though the sweaty crowd. His arm comes out of nowhere, pinches her bum and then slithers away. We both stop, turn, glare. We see him straight away, guffawing with his friends, proud. We march towards him and she spits her words at him.
‘Who do you think you are? How dare you lay a finger on me!’
The music is loud but her fury is louder and although he is a foot taller, he shrinks.
I stand beside her and when she is finished, I walk behind her. I pretend I don’t hear the words ‘bitch’ being muttered behind us.
She rings his parents as my hand squeezes her knee. She tells them everything he did and what he is doing now. The threats, the texts, the terror. They say they will talk to him and ring her back. They don’t, but she does not hear from him again.
She pushes him away from me. His leers were too lecherous, his intentions are too perverse and I am too intoxicated. I can not stand up straight and although she expresses the next day she wished she gave him hell for trying to take advantage, I am her first priority. She leads me away, my head lolling onto her shoulder while he yells out expletives that even she would dare not repeat in the cold light of day.
‘She is not interested.’
Conversation over. I go to leave but–
‘Just ask her for me will ye?’
I roll my eyes. ‘What are you, 13? You can ask her yourself, but she will just say the same thing I have been saying to you all evening. She. Is. Not. Interested.’
He is visibly hurt but I don’t care.
‘No need to be such a bitch about it.’
He stalks off, the back of his ears tinged red. I take my phone out and I text her.
The coast is clear xxx
She drives us through the countryside. It is a beautiful evening, the sky a perfect shade of pinks and purples. But instead of the sunset I stare at the ugly purple and pink bruise on her cheek and I wonder at the startling contrast colours can have depending on a situation.
‘Thank you for being there.’
It is the first thing she has said in awhile.
I smile, although there is nothing to smile about.
‘I’ll always be there.’
‘I think he was scared of you.’
‘I think he was scared of us both. He should be after what he did to you.’
‘You don’t mess with us.’
‘No, you don’t mess with us.’
And if we were Thelma or Louise, we end our story by driving off a cliff, but we are not. So instead, she turns the car and we make our way home.