The Girl who Muffles her Inner Voice

By Tina Tsironis

First impressions count for a lot, even if we don’t care to admit it.

‘I don’t trust you’, I said in the taxi the night we met, my voice high-pitched and slurry.

You leaned close into my ear, your floppy boy band hair tickling my cheek.

‘Come on, don’t be like that. We don’t have to have sex or anything,’ you said.

I narrowed my eyes.

‘So why the hell do you want me to come home with you?’

Your lips brushed against my ear. I could smell the beers you had sunk earlier that night.

‘You’re a good person. We’re not going to have sex; I just want to cuddle’, you said.

Those exact words had been expertly crafted from the mouth of the last charismatic, blue eyed guy who wanted to itch his testosterone-fuelled scratch. I was still reeling from the fact that he had wanted nothing more than to get his fix.

‘Fine, but you know what’s gonna happen if I come home with you’, I think I said.

Often our inner voice is yelling at us as loud as it possibly can. And often, we will muffle the voice until it’s nothing but a whisper.

‘I don’t trust you.’ I said months later, outside our university’s bar.

You had spent the last hour deep in conversation with a pretty blonde exchange student. Maybe I was insecure. Probably I was a little paranoid. Without a doubt, I had some trust issues to overcome.

But the way you were speaking to that girl was the way you spoke to me when we first met – voice radio smooth, attentive eyes, with a few subtle shoulder touches thrown in.

Outside the bar that night, you pulled me onto your lap.

‘I promise I wasn’t picking that girl up,’ you said, stroking my hair. ‘It’s really hard to admit how hard I’ve been falling for you. I’m honestly not even remotely used to feeling this way about just one person’.

You barely even knew me. In fact, we were just starting to connect and move forward after the night we had first met.

‘I know. I don’t want to be jealous and shitty. I shouldn’t care whether you’re picking that girl up, but I do care’, I said.

My belly was full of cider, so these admissions were probably not as well articulated I’m making them sound. The point is that my walls were coming down.

The words ‘I trust you’ never had a chance to spill from my lips. You probably got sick of me being so paranoid and distrusting. You said you ‘couldn’t do this anymore’. Yet during an explosive argument, you admitted you had loved me.

The last time I ever let you touch me, you had pulled me onto you.

‘Did you miss me?’ you asked in that radio voice, as we tried to have sex.


Your tiny blue eyes had blazed with indignation. You leaned over and slapped me in the face. Not hard enough that it hurt, but hard enough that it made me pull back.

‘If you do that again, I’ll fucking cut you’. I know that sounds slightly funny, but the way I said it was as serious as a bloody policeman arresting a murder suspect.

We were finally reconnecting, though. That’s all I wanted – a chance to trust you.

A few minutes into our reunion, you slapped me again. I pretended it didn’t happen. You watched for a reaction. I gave you nothing. You didn’t see the taxi driver telling me later on that whatever it was I was crying so hard about, it wouldn’t matter in ten years’ time.

That was the night that I finally let my inner voice out for air. First impressions count for everything. I know that now.


Image by Allef Vinicius