Dating Horror Stories #2 The one where his Sister joined

And so, fellow readers, we pick up the story of my life where it inevitably left off. Feeling lonely, wanting to date someone.

And like before, this journey took me to Tinder.

And like before, I made the grave mistake on swiping right on someone who I would later deeply regret. At least I can laugh about it.

Let’s call this person J.

So, I’ll set the scene.

The year, 2016. I was working in a pub in Notting Hill basically full time whilst also doing my degree and had very little free time.

But I had a free evening, one night after finishing work early. I had been chatting to J for a while and he seemed cool, if a little… um… compulsive? A little bit weird. But poor old naive me only wanted to see the best in people, so alas I agreed to meet him.

He lived in West London, in-between my work and my home (at the time living on ‘the’ Abbey Road) so we agreed to meet in a particularly dodgy area (having gone through this area with a work colleague who lived nearby he ominously warned me ‘Don’t go under that bridge at night’).

It came to the meeting time, let’s say 8pm (I can’t remember specifically)

And I was standing on top of said bridge, feeling cold and annoyed. And a little bit scared. I sent him a text asking where he was, and he said he was just walking and he’d be there in a few.

15 minutes later, I see someone practically running up the street- at first I thought it was a token crazy person, the kind you see on the streets of London all the time. Then I started to get a bit worried as they were heading straight at me. Then, I noticed said person, dressed in baggy jeans and a hoodie, was brushing his teeth. Actually brushing his teeth with a toothbrush. Then it clicked- surely not. This can’t be him.

Oh, but it was.

He passed a bin and threw the toothbrush in, spit the foam in his mouth out on the floor, then approached me. Major alarm bells were ringing in my head.

I put on a fake smile as he pulled me in for an awkward hug and we walked the short distance to the pub.

He was jittery, constantly moving and talking. He told me straight off the bat his dad was a big coke dealer in the area. He told me his previous girlfriend died 6 months ago and that’s why he was on tinder. All this before we even got our drinks.

I was gobsmacked that I had even agreed to a date with him- how had he appeared so (relatively) normal on Whatsapp? And that’s when I learnt a big life lesson- anyone is who they want to be online. Nothing is as it seems.

It’s also when I learnt, it’s so, so easy to look at things with the knowledge and power of hindsight and see warnings and red signals, but at the time, they’re quite difficult to see.

I also wish, at this part in the story, that I would be a strong enough person or confident enough to just stop the date there. Say, ‘I’m very sorry but I have to go’ or ‘I'm sorry it’s just not going to work, have a nice life’ but social conventions and the barrier of my self-confidence made me see it out to the end.

I had a quick argument in my head about whether he was a massive over-sharer or just a bullshitter before deciding on the latter, all the while smiling politely, quite sure how to react to those statements.

Also, side note, he hadn’t addressed the fact he had been brushing his teeth down the street, like it was a completely normal thing to do. Sure he had been running late, but come on.

We got our drinks and sat down outside, and I was desperately trying to think of an excuse to make but none came to mind (this was before the events of DHS #1) so we sat in awkward semi-conversation.

We moved inside, after he asked me for a cigarette and I obliged (why do people do that on dates? It’s so awkward I can’t just say no!).

Then, I heard a woman’s voice call out his name from the other side of the bar.

She was pretty, looked older than him and was with a Noel Gallagher looky-likey. At first I thought maybe it was an ex.

The two of them ignored me and sat down with us at the table, asking how things were with J, then turned their attention to me.

I introduced myself and then J introduced the woman as his sister, and her boyfriend was next to her.

‘Oh, we were just in the area and thought we’d pop in’ was their excuse for it.

I thought I was going to be murdered.

I sat in silence. I was mortified, humiliated. He was obviously a bit annoyed so soon they got the picture and left.

He apologised to me after saying she’s really overprotective as a sister and was wondering if he was okay.

To this day I don’t even know why/what went down that night. I often find myself returning to it in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep, wondering, just why the actual fuck would you deliberately crash your brothers first date with someone?

Needless to say, there was no second date.

But, surprisingly, about 5 months later on Christmas Day 2016, I had a whatsapp from him (who I hadn’t spoken too since that night) asking if I was up for a house party that night. It was Christmas.

I politely ignored it, then he whatsapped again and again, so I politely declined the offer and pointed out even if I did want to go, I was with my family in the Middle East, approximately 4,000 miles away.

I then blocked him.

Then, he texted me. I blocked his number.

He used my number to find me on Facebook and tried to message me on there. He didn’t get the picture and by then I was a bit scared.

I blocked him on Facebook and that was that.

I think I was on the same bus as him in 2018 but I’m not entirely sure. Even if it was him, I was not eager to jump up and re-introduce myself.

C x

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Created by Ciara Loane.

London-based writer and stylist.

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