literature

Swipe Left, Swipe Right, Swiped Up

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“Nope,” said Norma as she swiped her thumb to the left across her phone screen. A white X inside a red circle appeared in the center of the image, superimposed directly on the poor man’s face, before he was replaced with a new photo.

“What’s wrong with him?” I asked.

“His hair’s too long. I prefer my men clean cut.”

The ensuing rapid succession of men, some of whom looked perfectly acceptable to me, were deemed either too short—swipe left—too heavy—left—or too old—left. Or too scrawny.  Too young. Too sloppy. Too balding. Left, left, left, left. Some weren’t even on the screen long enough for me to wonder why she banished them off to the left. They must have been too whatever.

“You know your problem?” I said, sipping from my glass of Pinot Noir. “You’ve got your search filters set far too narrow.”

Though her phone blocked most of her face, I saw Norma’s icy blue eyes fixed on me. “I’m sorry that I’ve got standards.”

“Are you implying that I don’t?”

“Which one of us hooks up with a different guy every Saturday night? Not me.” If there were a drop-mic equivalent with taking a swig of Chardonnay, Norma achieved it.

But her claim was inaccurate in several ways. First off, I didn’t hook up with all of them; some of them were total losers. Second, it wasn’t every week; I still made plans to go out with friends like her. And finally, it wasn’t always Saturday; sometimes the guy was available on Friday night. Though I didn’t have to justify my dating preferences to her, I felt an insatiable desire to.

“What’s wrong with that?” I said. “It’s the digital age, and I’m not ready to settle down.”

“And I’m not looking to settle. I like a very specific type of guy, and—” After swiping left again, she cocked an eyebrow. “—he fits the bill.”

She turned her phone toward me to show me the image, and I instantly recognized the face. “Max?”

Norma’s eyes widened. “You know him?” Then she shook her head. “Don’t tell me you’ve slept with him.”

“We only met for drinks once. Nothing more.” Under different circumstances, I might have had a second date with him. Max was a sweet guy, somewhat shy and definitely attractive, but I didn’t see how we could fit together. “Instead of endlessly searching for a guy who checks off all your little boxes, you should message him. Expand your horizons.” I giggled at the words, thinking about how meeting Max could literally change Norma’s point of view.

She stared at her phone for a few seconds longer without swiping him either left or right. I guessed she was studying the profile basics attached to his picture. But the thing about a close-up is that it only reveals what you want it to. In this case, only his broad shoulders and face—a square jaw with a hint of stubble, dark hair cut short and even, and big brown eyes—were in view.

Norma said, “He’s a year older than me and lives just outside the city, which is fine, but it doesn’t say how tall he is. That’s a red flag right there. Guys exaggerate on dating sites. They round up, add an inch or two. You know I love to wear heels, and I don’t want his face right in my breasts. At least tell me he’s not short.”

“Oh, he’s definitely taller than you, even in heels.” I took a quick sip from my glass, letting the dark wine hide my smirk.

“Good. I love it when I feel all smothered by a guy wrapping his arms around me.”

I had to be careful not to laugh and spit my wine at her, because a hug from Max could definitely smother her.

“Tell me more, like—”

“Does he have a car?” I couldn’t resist singing the Grease lyrics, although I didn’t know the answer. I had taken an Uber to our date, and he was already waiting for me. After seeing him, I assumed walking would have taken him less time than sitting through city traffic—if he could even drive.

“Haha, funny. No, a job. What’s he do for a living?” She put down the phone and held up her right hand, apparently to prevent me from commenting. “I’m not gold-digging or being materialistic in any way. Just curious.”

“I’m sure he lives in a big house.” If he even lived in a house. I don’t think I could fully fathom where he’d live.

“That’s good. It’s important he be financially stable. So what’s he do?”

I remembered enough about him from the conversation during our date that I could answer that question. “Demolitions expert. You know when construction companies need to get rid of old buildings to build new ones? He knocks ‘em down.” Probably real easily too.

“He must have a rugged build. I mean, his profile pic is only from the shoulders up. What’s the rest of his body like? Is he jacked? Six-pack abs?”

“Max and I only had the one date, so it’s not like I saw his entire body.” As I withheld my laughter, a part of me felt bad about the little game I was playing. It wasn’t like I was lying to her; I simply wasn’t telling her the complete truth. As I glanced across the table, I could tell by the way she was practically licking her lips that she was eating it all up, so I keep talking him up. Way up. “He’s definitely got big muscles.”

“Is he smart? He doesn’t have to be super book intelligent—a little nerdy is okay—as long as he’s able to hold his own in conversation, have his own opinions, and engage in witty banter.”

I didn’t know if Max was college educated or not, but he was well-spoken and funny. Not wanting to compromise the charade, I answered, “His brain operates at a pretty high level.”

Norma sat back in her chair and stared at the phone, her thumb hovering over the touchscreen. “One more question,” she said. Then she leaned forward, only to lean back shortly thereafter. A few seconds later, she opened her mouth to speak but quickly closed it.

I figured what she was trying to ask me from the glint in her eye, and I couldn’t help myself. “You know I didn’t sleep with him, but I expect him to be pretty—ahem—well hung, if that’s what you mean.”

“No! I wanna know if he’s a good kisser. I can’t stand guys who are all tongue and slobber all over my face. When he kisses my lips, I want to feel it all the way down in my toes.”

Those two extremes weren’t mutually exclusive with a guy like Max, but I had no way of knowing. It wasn’t right for me to make something up, so with a sly smirk, I gave her the most acceptable yet cliché non-answer answer I could. “A proper lady doesn’t kiss and tell.”

“Proper lady? Yeah, right!” The phone in front of her face didn’t hide her rolling her eyes at me as she touched the screen and sighed. “He sounds great—he really does—but I don’t know how I feel about dating someone you’ve already been with.”

“Get over it, okay. We only had drinks, so if you want to at least do the same, I won’t be crushed.” Then I muttered, “But if you do more, you might get crushed.” With that, I couldn’t control myself anymore, and I burst into laughter.

“What?” she asked, her brow all furrowed.

Struggling to regain my composure, I said, “For Pete’s sake, will you just go for it? Live a little!”

Nodding her head, she finally swiped right.


* * *


Coffee tomorrow, read Norma’s text. You’d better be there. You’ve got some explaining to do!

Rolling over in bed, I glanced at the clock on my nightstand. It was half past one on the night of her big date with Max. Texts don’t come with tone, but it was clear she was angry at me. Why else would she purposely send the message while I was asleep?

The next morning, I went to our regular Sunday meeting place at the usual time, bought her a cappuccino and myself a large black coffee to make up for my interrupted slumber, and waited for her at one of the sidewalk café tables out front. The day may have been sunny and warm, but I expected a cold reception from her.

“Forgot to tell me something about Max, didn’t you?” she shouted as soon as she appeared around the corner of the building. “Something big.”

She looked irate, so I didn’t say anything. All I did was gesture at her drink.

“Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” She pulled out the metal chair, and its legs scraped the pavement. “It’s not like it was something I could easily overlook. What were you thinking?”

“You were getting way too picky about who—”

“So you egged me into going out with him to try to teach me some kind of lesson? How do you think that made me feel when I met him? How do you think it made him feel?”

Her sharp glare pierced through me, and I started feeling knots of guilt in my stomach. I hadn’t taken Max’s feelings into consideration when I was playing my prank on Norma. While I often teased her about her dating selectivity, it hadn’t occurred to me how difficult it might be for Max to date. Once she swiped right and they started messaging, he had probably started looking forward to meeting her. She was an attractive, intelligent, kind, fit, and fun woman, so what guy wouldn’t want to meet her?

“I’m sorry,” I said, staring at my coffee on the table. “I should have kept my mouth shut and just let you swipe left like you usually do.”

She groaned with obvious contempt, and I could tell she wasn’t going to let me off the hook so easily.

“Really, Norm, I—”

Suddenly, the glass table top vibrated, scooting my cup an inch to the left. Then I felt my chair shift. The ensuing series of quivers and trembles grew in intensity. Clutching onto the metal fence enclosing the café area, I asked, “Is that an earthquake?”

“Nope,” said Norma, puckering up to check her lipstick in her compact makeup mirror.

A shadow fell over us, and it grew darker as Max—all seventy-two feet of him—knelt in the middle of the street. A cacophony of car horns protested the blocked traffic. “Good morning, ladies,” said his pleasant deep voice from high above us.

Smiling, Norma craned her neck and waved at him. “Just finishing up a little business down here.” She turned to me and scowled. “Last night, we decided that you needed to be called out for your oversized mischief.”

“You spent the night with him?” I asked, aghast.

She snapped her compact closed. “On a first date? Please, I’m not you.” Stepping away from the table, she looked up at Max’s grin and twirled her blonde hair around her finger. “I’m ready to be picked up for our second date, big guy.”

“My pleasure, doll.” Max lowered a hand until it hung just above the sidewalk, and he curled his fingers, keeping them halfway open so she could seductively wiggle herself inside the space.

As Norma threw her arms over his thumb and index finger, I shouted, “So you’re really going to see him again?”

His arms closed around her midsection, and she giggled as she was lifted into the air. Dangling her legs, she winked at me and said, “Well, I haven’t exactly seen all of him yet, and I can’t wait to get in his pants.”
My entry into the July 2019 SizeRiot flash fiction contest, which had "Giant Man, First Date" as its theme. As my followers know, I primarily write shrinking woman fiction, so this was an intriguing stretch for me. I decided to write to the size-loving audience, with a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge to the community. It was fun to write, and I wasn't expecting it to be as successful as my entry to the previous content. Turns out it tied for fifth-place (out of 22 entries) overall, and tied for second place in the "which story's character(s) would you most like to spend time with?" category. Wow! Thanks, and I hope new readers enjoy.
© 2019 - 2021 scidram
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Fetish-Fotos's avatar
Enjoyed this one! Glad it did well!!
scidram's avatar
Thanks so much! And thanks for faving it!