Kenneth Huey

Oh, I don’t drink coffee,” she said as we sat down at a coffee shop, “but you suggested this place, so I said yes.”

Had the worst date of my life been a horror movie, this is where the ominous music would have started, thrumming over a shot that lingers just a second too long. I sipped on a latte. She sipped on nothing. I asked her why she moved to Oregon. I might as well have picked up a strange hitchhiker.

Almost immediately, she dove into her family backstory about her step-mom and father. Or rather, “daddy.” She always called him “Daddy.”

She talked a lot about her step-mom. She hated her step-mom, went on about what a bitch she was, how she wasn’t right for Daddy, how Daddy could have done so much better. She talked about Daddy. Daddy was wonderful. Daddy was amazing. She missed Daddy.

Daddy used to be worth over two million.

Daddy, she said, would still be worth over two million if he hadn’t done time for child pornography.

If this were a movie, this would be the first appearance of Leatherface—the brief, violent shock that comes after the first act of a slow build.

Oh, she said, don’t worry. It wasn’t bad. It’s not like they were five or six. They were all over 10. Some were even 16! And it wasn’t like Daddy was taking the pictures. He was just running all the servers. That was all. Daddy didn’t deserve those two years in jail. Sure, it was child pornography—but it wasn’t, you know, the BAD kind.

I got up and went to the bathroom. I did not actually need to use the bathroom. I looked for windows, vents—anything that could hasten my escape. There were none.

When I returned, she was on her phone. “Bye, Daddy!” she said, “I’ve got to go. Joe’s back!” She hung up. “That was Daddy,” she said. She was smiling.

We left the coffee shop and she took my arm. “Just so you know,” she said, “I am a virgin, so you’ll have to be gentle with me.” Maybe, she said, we could do some rough stuff later, but I would have to be nice at first. Her hand was on my shoulder.

At this point, the average audience member watching this movie would have shouted “Run!” at the screen. I didn’t run. Not quite then. I half thought about it. I had a very real opportunity to have sex with this woman. This woman who terrified me. I almost wanted to. I kind of did want to.

But I didn’t. I made my excuses and left. I walked home alone and played video games. I don’t know if she was angry with me, annoyed, or anything else for leaving so suddenly—but I’m sure she told Daddy all about it later.