Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
We’d been at the club thirty minutes when I remembered what I cheap drunk I was.
‘I’m pretty pissed,’ I slurred to the boys. ‘I’m gonna go for a walk, get some air or something.’
‘Want me to come?’ asked Dave sweetly. Sweetly; because I knew how desperate he was for a minute alone with his man. I’d banned them from making out in front of me for the evening, determined not to be third wheel.
‘No,’ I managed to say, surprised by how difficult it was. ‘I’m fine.’
‘Ten minutes and we come find you!’ called Andrew as I walked away, waving his concerns off.
I went to the girls toilet and splashed water on my face. Who thought drinking was fun? I looked like a hooker and I felt sick as a dog. There were two very drunk, very young girls sharing the mirror with me.
‘Oh my God, did you see what she’s wearing?’
‘She is way too fat for that dress.’
‘I saw her and I was like, ew, put on some tights.’
‘Put on some control briefs.’
‘Control briefs! Ew!’
‘Excuse me,’ I said, trying to reach for the hand towel.
‘Oh my God, have you been crying?’ one of them asked me.
‘No, I’m just tired,’ I said, humiliated.
‘Here. Let me fix you up.’
After ten minutes of make-up and hair spray and gossip, I almost felt eighteen again, and I certainly looked it.
‘Thanks,’ I said sheepishly. ‘I feel better.’
‘You’re welcome. You’re totally hot.’
Oh, the days of our youth, I thought to myself. Maybe my life would have been different if I’d spent my formative years bitching in the girls’ toilets in clubs instead of leading prayer meetings. I could have got it all out of my system by now. I decided then and there I was too old, and too drunk to stay, so I went to find the boys to tell them I was heading home.
‘Sarah!’ I heard from the crowd. I turned around and couldn’t see anyone, so I kept looking for Dave and Andrew.
‘Sarah!’ The voice was getting closer, but I still couldn’t see who it belonged to. Hell, ‘Sarah’ isn’t the most uncommon name.
‘Sarah! Stop!’ Now I knew it was for me, and I knew who it belonged to. The last person I wanted to see out the first night I’d drunk in six months.
I turned around and shot him the angriest look I had.
‘What?’ I yelled.
‘I just wanted to say hi,’ Will said sheepishly.
‘Hi. I’m looking for Dave and Andrew,’ I said turning away.
‘Wait,’ he said, grabbing me on the arm. ‘They’re outside. I was just getting us another round of drinks. You want one?’
No. No would have been the correct answer. I was drunk. I was tired. I was old. I wanted to go home.
‘Sure,’ I shrugged.
Sure? I could have hit myself.
I followed Will back to the bar and waited in the pack for service.
‘You look good tonight,’ he yelled in my ear.
‘You can thank Britney and Christina for that.’
I shook my head. I couldn’t be bothered telling him about my run in with teen pop sensationalists. In fact, I didn’t know why I was talking to him at all. Here I was, standing in a crowded room ordering drinks with the one person who continues to ruin my life. I was done being polite.
‘I’m going,’ I yelled, trying to push my way back out of the queue.
‘Sarah, wait!’ he called, but I ignored him. What could there possibly be left to say?
I started running, pushing my way through people, wishing I was anywhere else in the world than a crowded club in the city with a million people determined to get in my way.
I was out the front before he caught up with me.
I couldn’t run anymore. I had to face this.
‘How dare you!’ I screamed. ‘How dare you come up to me and act like we’re friends after everything you’ve done in the last twelve months?’
I expected him to play dumb. To ask what I meant. What I was talking about. This was Will, the boy who didn’t believe he’d ever done anything wrong in his life. I was ready to list off every incident of him being a fuck-wit in the time we’d known each other when he grabbed me and pulled me close.
‘Because I’m in love with you, Sarah. And I can’t get over you.’
I did the only thing I could think of. I slapped him across the face. It was very Melrose Place of me, and I’m a little embarrassed to recount it. But I slapped him, and ran away. Only I didn’t have a plan, or anywhere to run. So I hid down the next alley, and it took him all of ten seconds to find me.
‘I’m sorry I slapped you,’ I said quietly, crying now.
‘I’m sorry I ever let you go,’ he said, and I realised he was crying too. He sat down with me behind the dumpster and put his arm around my shoulder.
Then I kissed him. I need to be very clear on that. I wasn’t seduced, or taken advantage of. I was approached by desperate love, and I said yes.