By: Sara Wylde

“I think that’s something we’d all like to see. But for now, how about all the hens get ready to watch the cocks strut the yard?”

A cheer went up and the spotlight was back on the stage as the curtain slowly revealed our entertainment for the evening.

I tried not to look at Kieran. He wasn’t Kieran now, he was Finn McCool. He wasn’t my friend, my roommate, he was a fantasy come to life. That’s what they all were. Which should have made it okay for me to eye fuck him, but it was a trespass.

And twisted bitch that I was, that made me want to look at him even more. That’s why he put himself on the stage, so it was okay to indulge, right?

When he winked at me, I realized I wasn’t so different from any of the women here. In fact, I was screwed and not in a good way.

I wanted Kieran Holt.


I waited a reasonable amount of time before fleeing upstairs to the roof where the dancers took their breaks. I’d been at the club so often, it was almost like I worked there too. So no one said anything to me when I took the employee stairs.

The night was warm with a bit of a breeze. I wrapped my arms around myself as I sat on the picnic table and looked out over the city. I’d always loved this view. The bright city lights, the sounds, it was only the pretty things. The bright things. I didn’t have to examine anything too closely, I could just experience it.

In fact, the top of The Rooster was one of my favorite places.

I inhaled deeply and tried to avoid thinking about what made me run here to start with.

Except now that I’d acknowledged it, I couldn’t think about anything but how much I wanted Kieran.

It was a physical ache.

How pathetic was that?

He was sleeping with one of my best friends as a birthday gift. A guy who thought about physicality in those terms certainly wasn’t the guy for me. Only my heart didn’t want to listen.

The treacherous bitch.

Everything clicked into place. Kieran was why I hadn’t dated anyone in a year. It was both cathartic and painful to realize the truth of it.

I guessed GI Joe was right, knowing really was half the battle. I needed to get him out of my head. It was okay to be his friend, it was okay to think he was handsome or even hot, it was quite another to want to be with him.

One guy said something crappy to me tonight and it wound me up for hours, what would it be like dating Kieran? They’d all wonder if I was his sugar mama, if I was paying his bills, or what exactly I had over him that might explain why a guy like him would ever date a woman like me.

A fat woman.

I closed my eyes. Shit. I wasn’t supposed to feel this way. I thought I was done with that. I was confident. I was beautiful. I was powerful.

I repeated these things over and over to myself until I believed them. Or so I thought.

The woman I wanted to be, if she decided she wanted to be with Kieran, she’d make that happen. But instead, the woman I was just wanted to cauterize it. Cut it out like a cancer.

Part of me wanted to go back downstairs and swill vodka until I didn’t feel this way anymore. When my face started to go numb, so would my feelings, and most importantly, my insecurities.

I liked to drown them. They had it coming. My liver would get over it.

I inhaled and looked back out over the city.

“Hey, you’re missing Gavin’s set,” Rosa said from the door.

“Yeah, I’m okay with that.”

She sat down next to me. “You know, I don’t think he meant it how it sounded.”

I shrugged. “That’s over and done with. I really don’t care about what he said or how he meant it. Really, I’m fine.” It hurt, to be sure, but I had bigger things to worry about.

“Then why are you up here by yourself?”

“Just thinking about a new design for Chubbalicious.” I used that to hide many sins. Whenever I was distracted, or just didn’t want to deal with things, I could plead Chubbalicious.

“You have to stop working sometime.”


“So you can do something that’s fun?”

“Work is fun.”

“You don’t have to deal with people at work. You just have to tweak modules and play with the designs.” Rosa admonished.

“So, you see why I feel like a puppy at a preschool? I’m definitely overstimulated.”

Rosa smirked. “Overstimulated? At a strip club? Isn’t that the point?”

I found myself smiling. “I’ll be back down in a little bit.”

“Promise? Because if you spend the whole night up here, April is going to be pissed.”

“She wouldn’t notice. She’s got her Finn McCool thing going on.” I waved her off. “But I promise, I’ll be down soon.”