Thursday, April 29, 2010

Out on the town

We arrived at the pub, the live music could be heard down the street and people were spilling out onto the pavement, making the most of the Indian summer evening. We went straight to the bar and I ordered a pint of lager and joined the group of friends sat around laughing, joking, smoking. I sipped my beer and enjoyed the music and the buzzing atmosphere. ‘We should go if we want to get in cheap before 11!’ Mel said, always one for watching the pennies. I drained my glass and grabbed my jacket and we all went to join the queue for the club next door. My favourite Libertines song was playing inside and we all sang along to it in the queue.

We paid the entrance fees and went straight to the dancefloor, I felt on top form after the wine and beer. I danced with Lise and Mel, the two of them were so uninhibited when they were dancing. Mel grabbed my arm: ‘James is on the pull tonight!’ I laughed, I had fancied James since University but I’d had Taylor and he had been with an Australian girl for years until she returned home. James was stunningly good looking, intelligent, sweet and had been captain of the football team. Way out of my league, or so I’d always thought.

I went to the bar to get another beer. James was smoking a cigarette talking to his friend John. I butted in the conversation, ‘We’re trying to decide whether or not to get some coke’ John said. ‘Depends if you’re thinking of taking someone home tonight,’ I said looking James straight in the eye. ‘Very good point,’ he laughed with a cheeky glint in his eye. At that moment one of the girls from the group stormed over, grabbed James and dragged him onto the dancefloor. Mel and Lise came over, sweaty from their energetic display. ‘Who’s that?’ I asked them annoyed, gesturing in the direction of the annoying girl. Mel rolled her eyes, ‘Emily’ she sneered ‘fucking loser tart. She’s slept with pretty much every guy here. Don’t know why they put up with her, she’s a dick.’

Monday, April 26, 2010

Saturday afternoon drinks

Lise was waving frantically at me from the door of the club. We hugged and went inside to meet Mel. ‘Shall we get a bottle of white’ Mel suggested, it was 3pm but what the fuck, it was Saturday. We drank the wine and listened to the bands, not my cup of tea but Notting Hill Arts club was a cool venue and I was having a great time talking with Mel whilst Lise went off and took her photos, it seemed everyone in here was a wannabe photographer. All leaning at strange angles, trying to get the most unusual shot, on a chair, on their knees, who’s got the biggest and the best, it was such an unspoken competition.

We finished a second bottle of wine and headed out of the door feeling merry. ‘Where next?’ I asked as we headed towards the tube station. ‘Mike and everyone are at Garage, we could go and meet them?’ Mel suggested. We jumped on the tube feeling loud and confident from the alcohol. We sat down and began to reapply eyeliner and powder, everyone in high spirits. Lise got up and did a little dance whilst Mel and I watched, laughing. I loved these days, the freedom and excitement, never knowing what was going to happen next. London could be the best place in the world.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Je t'aime...

I strutted out of the hairdressers feeling on top of the world. My French hairdresser always made my hair look fabulous, I paused for a second then thought ‘What the hell?’ and went into the French patisserie next door where Brice worked. Well actually he ran it for his father and he was indescribably beautiful with black hair that flopped into his mesmerising dark chocolate eyes. He was your atypical, gorgeous French man and I spent hours fantasising about the day I would walk into the cafĂ©, order an espresso in my best French, take a seat outside with my big sunglasses on and read a copy of Le Monde. He would appear with my coffee and his phone number written discretely on the receipt. This would be the start of our whirlwind romance when we would spend weekends in bed in a hotel over looking the Eiffel Tower, he would cook exquisite Provencal dishes for me in our Kensington apartment and others would eye us enviously as we sipped expensive wine in London’s trendiest bars, so in love we didn’t notice another soul.

The bell on the door tinkled as I tentatively pushed it open, flicking my shiny hair over my shoulder. ‘Oui’ he said without looking up. ‘Um, un cappuccino s’il te plait’ I mumbled. He made my drink without looking and handed it to me ‘Un cinquante’ he said as I fumbled around in my purse looking for the correct money. ‘Merci’ I said as I departed, he didn’t notice.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Not a date

I rushed around the room trying to decide what to wear. I couldn’t look like I’d made too much effort but I wanted to look subtley stunning. A look not that easy to achieve from experience. I barely had any clothes with me in Teddington but I settled on a floaty skirt and green top which gave me a nice cleavage and complemented my tan. I played around with my hair to make it look tousled and applied some ‘natural’ make-up or rather piled on as much as I could get away with in neutral tones. Perfume, deodorant, shimmery body lotion, brushed teeth and I was done almost exactly as he arrived in his sister’s red Fiesta which he was borrowing whilst he lived with her in West London.

I answered the door and we hugged. It was so good to feel his body again, I realised how much I had missed him and the friendship we shared since that mistake of a night. He looked at me, ‘You look fantastic’ he told me sincerely. ‘Thanks’ I blushed as I shut the door and my stomach felt all tingly. I had been ecstatic when he had called me half an hour earlier to see what I was up to. A Sunday afternoon in Joe's company was just what I needed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

He loves me, he loves me not

Unrequited love. It was such a major bummer and totally consuming. Thinking about a person constantly, knowing full well they’re not thinking about you but still hoping that they are. Constantly checking your phone and e-mails hoping for a message, going to write one and deleting it. Re-writing it. Sending it. Regretting it. Pretending a text sent was meant for someone else and then feeling pathetic. Dreaming of the object of your desire and crying in frustration at the fruitlessness of these dreams. Buying new underwear every time you meet them. Buying tickets to see bands they like. Making mix cds of ‘your’ favourite songs. Having an imaginary relationship, wedding, honeymoon, children, even arguments and make-up sex. Then realising what a sad individual you are. Hoping one day you’ll get over it, meet someone even better. But always wondering what might have been...

This was the story of me and Joe and had been since the very first day I had met him one summer working as a lifeguard. He was handsome, had a gorgeous body, dark hair, suntan and hint of an Australian accent from his year spent travelling. At 20 I had spent my summer being teased, thrown in the sea, clinging on for dear life to his wet t-shirt on the boat and loving every second of attention he bestowed on me. I had, of course, been the girlfriend of Taylor of the time but as Joe was just a 'friend' we’d all hung out with Taylor in blissful ignorance.

This underlying sexual tension had carried on for a couple of years until one fateful night, when things had well and truly started to come unstuck with Taylor, I got horrendously drunk with Joe, we’d ended at his parents’ place at 4am drinking whiskey and, consequently, looking at his travelling photos in his room and, eventually, naked.

Joe hadn’t called me the next day. Or the day after. Or the day after that. I had been devastated and angry with myself. I vowed to never be treated like that again. Until the next time.