It’s a humid Saturday night in Nairobi, and Lucy’s on an intoxicating second date with Bradley, a 36-year-old Australian guy she met on Tinder just the day before.
This whole thing has come at Lucy out of the blue and smacked her in the face like a twerking jellyfish. Just a few days ago, she was sitting at home in rainy London, feeling so fucking single and dejected that the only solution she could think of was to throw everything out the sodding window and move to Kenya for 3 months just to get a fucking break.
And then by some insane miracle, within 3 days of arriving, she matches on Tinder with a guy who, for the first time in forever, just reaches in and, in less time than it takes to spot a typo in a just-posted tweet, turns on her light.
So now she finds herself, just 24 hours after meeting Brad, sitting on the end of the bed in his hotel room, heart pounding like a Grand National winner, guts writhing in anticipation of what might be about to happen next.
And yet they haven’t even kissed.
There won’t be sex, of course. Lucy’s already decided this. Mostly because, in a cruel twist of fate, her period arrived today. Mother Fucking Nature determined to ruin my life, that crazy bitch, she thinks. But maybe it’s a good thing. They say you shouldn’t put out too quickly anyway – make him wait, make him learn to appreciate you. Otherwise he might just fuck you and dump you once he’s got what he wanted. Bradley seems too cute to be a fuckboy, but you never know. Lucy’s been wrong before, more times than she’s had M&S ready meals. And the problem is, she knows she already cares too much. If he did fuck her and dump her, she’d be crushed.
She feels like she’s standing on the edge of a cliff, about to jump into what could either be a warm, palm-fringed lagoon, or icy shark-infested waters. It’s exciting, but it’s also blindingly terrifying. What if this all goes catastrophically wrong? What if she falls wildly in love with him and then a few weeks down the line he throws her over for some other girl 10 years younger with bigger tits and she has to watch them swanning around all over Nairobi together? It’s a very real possibility… but life is too short not to take risks. This is, after all, what she came to Africa for: to leave the rusty wreck of her old life on the scrap heap and give the new Lucy a jump start. It looks like Brad might be about to provide the electricity.
And so finally, after an entire day of thrilling tension, he steps forward, bends down to her level, and kisses her.
The relief, after a whole day of gagging for a snog, is better than when you finally get to the motorway services after three hours stuck in traffic busting for a wee. Even more joyous is the fact that it’s a bloody marvellous kiss. There’s always that dread that when you finally lock lips with someone, it might be terrible, that he might turn out to be sloppier than a washing machine on a cottons cycle… but this is not that. This, in fact, is the exact opposite. This is a kiss that relieves all the built up tension only to replace it with new, exquisite anticipation of what might be coming next. She runs her hands down his back and squeezes his taut bum.
“Maaaaan!” she breathes, pulling away, “I’ve been waiting all day for you to do that!”
“Well I didn’t know if you were interested or not,” he grins. “The others thought you were, but I wasn’t so sure.”
“The others?” He was talking about me to his friends? Lucy’s delighted. “What did they say?”
“Well when we were at the party and you went to the loo Anna said, ‘She’s awesome, you should really go for it’, and I was like, ‘But I don’t know if she’s interested’ and Anna was like ‘No I think she is, she clearly likes you,’ and then everyone high-fived me, but I wasn’t sure.”
His story-telling could use some work, she thinks, but she doesn’t care. He likes her! He really likes her! Like, enough to talk to his mates about her, and to feel anxious when he thought she might not like him back.
She may be nearly 40, but inside her there’s still an insecure teenager trying to get out.
“But then,” he continues, “last night when you hugged me goodbye I got the feeling…”
“What feeling?” It’s quiet for a second.
“The feeling that maybe you did like me after all.”
“I do,” she smiles, and he kisses her again, pushing her fully back onto the bed, deftly removing her dress and kissing her all over until she’s squirmy with desire. She tugs his polo shirt over his head so she can run her hands over his chest and back: he’s not gym-muscled, but his slim, toned frame is far nicer and less intimidating than some over-beefed meathead anyway.
But when he moves his hand down to her knickers she stops him. “You can’t, I’m sorry,” she tells him. “You know, biology…” Fucking biology, when all she really wanted was to be able to enjoy the chemistry.
“Biology?” he queries, confused.
Is she really going to have to spell it out? Apparently so. Boys are so stupid!
The revelation that she’s on her period doesn’t seem to deter him. He merely retreats for a bit, carries on kissing her, and then tries again. The first few times she stops him, but her protestations become more and more lamely half-hearted. Of course she wants him to touch her, because of course she does. But if he gets too involved down there he’ll discover the string of her tampon, which would be mortifying.
But every time he tries, her will to resist weakens. She starts to talk herself round. Fuck’s sake, it’s just a period, she thinks. He’s a grown man, he’s got three kids, he knows about periods! And eventually, as he again begins kissing her stomach and thighs and starts working his way towards the forbidden zone, she doesn’t stop him, and, emboldened by her lack of resistance, he removes her knickers and buries his face in her, pausing every so often to murmur ‘Delicious!’ as if she’s an ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Lucy melts.
Thirst quenched, he rejoins her. He still has his jeans on, so even though he’s already boasted about his ‘BWC’, Lucy still has no idea what she’s dealing with. She reaches down to unbutton his fly, expecting to find underwear, but instead is surprised to be greeted by the famous cock itself, ready to meet her. And no, he wasn’t lying. Perhaps not as ‘B’ as he had boasted, more just ‘above average’, but that’s definitely a good thing in Lucy’s eyes. Fulfilling (quite literally), but not too intimidating.
So the man goes commando. Lucy hesitates. Kinda sexy, she thinks, but is that really hygienic in a hot country like this? She’s slightly nervous about putting her mouth down there now, in case he tastes of all-day skanky jeans sweat (which she’s experienced before, and let’s just say the gag reflex she experienced then was nothing to do with having his cock in her throat).
But there’s only one way to find out.
And actually, it’s fine. Maybe the other guy was suffering from more than just a dose of the unwasheds, or maybe Brad’s jeans are just exceptionally well-ventilated, but either way, there’s absolutely no nausea here of any kind. Which is, you know, kind of what you want in any sexual interaction (and in life in general, TBF).
Brad lies back with an enormous grin on his face.
“You are DELICIOUS!” he says again (it’s clearly his favourite word). “Where did you come from?”
Lucy pauses and grins back. “I dunno, where did YOU come from?”
It’s clearly been a good long while since Brad got any of this kind of action, because when he comes it seems to go on and on without end. In the final moments, he grabs a pillow and pulls it down onto his face, and then writhes and jerks like he’s having a fit, twisting and pushing his hips into the air. Lucy struggles to keep a tight seal between her lips and his skin so that the gushing torrent he’s unloading into her mouth doesn’t all spill out, but in between trying to keep pace with his contortions and – dear God! – the sheer amount he seems to have produced, it’s impossible for her to swallow. The white mess starts spilling out round the edges and dribbling down her chin, until eventually she can’t hold it any more and just spits the entire lot all over his crotch and stomach, and then looks at him, embarrassed, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
“Oh dear…” she says, ashamed.
But he just laughs with utter delight, and then so does she.
She gets up and goes to the bathroom to wash her face and rinse out her mouth. When she returns with a roll of loo paper and a wet facecloth for him, he uses the cloth to clean himself up, and Lucy feels a pang of pity for the unsuspecting cleaning staff who are going to have to pick it up tomorrow.
This is a hotel though, TBF they’ve probably dealt with worse.
Now for the first time in half a century she’s going to have to sleep with a man in the same bed and this is a major concern for two reasons:
One: although she has toiletries and makeup for the planned post-workout shower, she has no toothbrush. The absolute last fucking thing she wants is to wake up next to him tomorrow morning with breath that would wilt the hair off a cat.
And two: she’s slept alone since 1937 and even the notion of having someone else in the bed brings her out in the sort of palpitations that would have any passing doctor reaching for the defibrillator.
They ring down to see if reception can provide them with a toothbrush, but at this time of night only zombies are on duty and the undead cretin who answers the phone doesn’t even seem to understand the fucking question.
“It’s ok,” says Brad, “you can just borrow mine.” Which Lucy thinks is freaky and gross until she remembers that she literally just nearly choked to death on his jizz, so ingesting a bit of dried up saliva and the microscopic traces of his dinner is not really such a big deal.
And so when they’re both washed and minty fresh, they cuddle up between the crisp white hotel sheets, and Lucy luxuriates in the feeling of having a man to sleep with after all this time, and not just any man, but one who is sexy, and funny, and floats her boat more buoyantly than a unicorn lilo at a pool party.
Which is bloody fantastic for about five minutes until Brad starts drifting off, and Lucy realises that she won’t get a wink of sleep if he’s touching her, or breathing, or giving any indication whatsoever that he’s in the room. So she rolls as far away from him as possible and puts a pillow over her head, and tries really fucking hard not to think about the fact that a hot man is literally inches away from her, totally butt naked, because if she thinks about that her pulse and breathing start going mental again, and sleep will be impossible.
She wakes the next morning with a country-wide grin on her face, and turns to check he’s still there, and real, and that she didn’t dream the entire thing. Which, of course, he is, and he’s awake too, so they look at each other for, like, a nanosecond, and then pounce on each other as though it might be their last day on earth. Which, given the current state of US-North Korea relations, it could well be.
Lucy’s a huge fan of slow, sleepy morning sex, and from the look of Brad, he is too. And in spite of her period she simply can’t hold out any longer. Her resistance has worn thin, and besides, the flow is practically over now. She’s sure it’ll be fine. She’s determined it will be fine.
As a precaution and to avoid upsetting the cleaning staff any further, she suggests putting a towel on the bed, and he produces one. It’s red. Which is both convenient, and rather awkward.
The next issue is that, although Lucy brought an optimistic 24 condoms with her to Kenya, she doesn’t have any of them with her. Well she wasn’t expecting things to escalate quite so quickly, was she?
“Do you have one?” she asks.
“Yes, I’ve got one in my wallet.”
“Well that was very confident!” she laughs, grabbing it off the table and opening it.
“It’s been there for months,” he shrugs, and somehow Lucy believes him.
“Don’t worry, I brought 24 with me to Kenya, just in case. I thought it was tempting fate, and I would never need to use them, but maybe now…” They both grin again.
In a further twist of irony, the condom too is red, and strawberry flavoured. Is the universe fucking taking the piss now? And what’s the point of flavoured condoms anyway? She touches it to the tip of her tongue and finds that it tastes exactly as expected: latex with a hint of fake strawberry. Just as well she doesn’t need to put it in her mouth, then, though since it’s also about as sensitive as a rubber glove, she actually really prefer not to put it anywhere.
But, you know, safety. So they do, and it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for him; he takes charge with gusto, delighting in everything about her, looking down on her from above and again sighing ‘Delicious!’ as though he can’t believe his luck. The relief of having him there after so much build-up is electric, and Lucy thrills at the way he takes charge, his confidence in bed just as magnetic as his confidence out of it.
Afterwards, she enjoys all the luxuries of his 5* bathroom with waterfall shower, and then they head out for brunch.
“By the way,” he says as they study the menu, “it’s my birthday next weekend.”
“It is? Happy almost-birthday!”
“Yeah. And Anna had this thought that maybe we should all go to Lake Naivasha for the weekend. You want to come?”
Does she want to go away for the weekend to a beautiful location with this gorgeous man? What kind of stupid fucked up question even IS that? She pushes all concerns about the speed of it all, and the fact that she only met him the day before yesterday, to the back of her mind. Too soon? He’s gorgeous, so who gives a flying fuck.
And so it’s agreed. He’ll check with Anna what her plans are, and then they’ll rent a car and book a double room with a ceiling fan and a mosquito net and drive off into the African sunset like lovers in a slushy romance movie.
He interrupts her daydream with another question. “Do you know what my mum said to me the other day?”
“No, I don’t. Tell me.”
“She’s British, and she said I need to find a nice British girl to marry because Australian girls are rubbish. Isn’t that a weird coincidence?”
Lucy knows she should be freaked out by comments like this, but she isn’t. She loves that he isn’t afraid to say something like this, and just proves that he’s clearly as smitten with her as she is with him.
“It’s possibly a bit too soon to be talking about marriage!” she laughs. “I might have all sorts of hideous flaws you don’t know about yet. As might you?”
“Why, what would be a deal breaker?” he asks.
She already wants to reply, ‘If you go back on Tinder or hook up with someone else,’ but she knows she can’t.
“If you’re a Trump supporter,” she concludes. “That would be a dealbreaker for sure.”
“Haha, no way!”
“What about Brexit then?”
“I’ve heard of it,” he confesses, “but I don’t know what it is really.”
Lucy’s taken aback for a moment, before realising that he’s an Australian who currently lives in Africa. Why would he understand or give a shit about Brexit? And why should he? It’s not his battle, after all. But clearly there are going to be cultural differences here; she just hopes they won’t get in the way.
That evening, Brad messages her to make a plan for their next date.
Five smily blushing emojis! FIVE! This must mean he really likes, her right?
He’s right, it was awesome. But it’s also terrifying. She’s trying not to be pessimistic but she can’t help feeling that something is bound to go wrong. When has this sort of thing ever gone right for her? When?
To carry on reading, go to Part 5 – Escalation.