‘Is it okay if I invite Seamus over?’ Kash asked.
‘Of course.’ I said, in a “why would you even need to ask that” kind of tone. Seamus had been on Kash’s course and had absolutely killed it whilst at Oxbridge. He was a fundamental part to any social situation and brought his Irish enthusiasm to anything involving alcohol.
‘We’re definitely going to need more sparkling.’ Lad Boy said.
‘Who’s going to the shop then?’ I asked as we lounged in the sitting room, sipping bucks fizz.
Lad Boy threw his wallet at me. ‘Go for it.’
‘Cheers.’ Kash said.
Lad Boy was on my laptop making a playlist on iTunes. ‘Don’t go looking for my porn collection.’ I said. Lad Boy laughed. ‘It’s on an external hard drive, you’ll never find it.’
‘Lad.’ Lad Boy said.
‘I’m joking, by the way.’ I said as a disclaimer to Kash.
‘I got that.’ He said, winking.
I strolled to the shop, taking my time and basking in the autumn sun. My phone rang. It was Kate.
‘Heya, I’m on my way.’ She said.
‘Great, I’m just on my way to Waitrose to get some sparkling. Casual champagne brunch.’
‘Amazing. I’ve got two bottles as well.’
‘Good, I think another one of Kash’s friends is coming along.’
‘This is going to get aggressive, isn’t it?’ Kate said.
‘Doesn’t it always?’ She laughed. ‘By the way, I might have hooked up with Kash last night.’ She laughed harder. ‘I don’t know why I said, “might have” – we definitely did. I think we attempted to have sex but were too drunk.’
‘That’s too funny. What did Lad Boy say?’
‘Well at first he was a bit weird about it when he saw us kissing in the club, but now he thinks it’s hilarious.’
‘Because it is.’
‘I’ll tell you all about it later. Well, actually, Lad Boy will probably tell you all about it.’
‘Typical. He’s such a gossip.’
‘I know!’ I said, walking into Waitrose. ‘He slept in my bed.’
‘Wait, but I thought you hooked up with Kash.’
‘I did. And then when Lad Boy came back, Kash answered the door and Lad Boy came straight into my room, saw me half naked and told Kash that he’d handle it.’
Kate laughed. ‘What?!’
‘I know. I literally was like, “So your reaction to seeing me half-naked is to get into bed with me?” And he said, “Well, I gave you a shirt first!” as if that makes it better. He was completely oblivious to the fact that I had been hooking up with Kash.’
‘It’s like he always needs to be a part of everything.’
‘He really does. Bless him.’
‘How many bottles did you say you have?’
‘Okay, I guess I’ll get two as well. Kash, Lad Boy and I have gone through one already. And I’ve got another bottle as well. Six should be enough for now?’
‘I like our style.’
‘I love our style.’
‘Where are you by the way?’
‘Hi.’ I heard in one ear and behind me at the same time.
I turned around to see Kate standing there. ‘Hello!’ I said, kissing her hello. She bent down to kiss me. Kate has model proportions, so even in wedged heels I was dwarved by her.
She held up her bag. ‘I went with Sainos … I’m not classy like you.’
‘It’s only because I have Lad Boy’s wallet.’ I said, winking. ‘Otherwise I’m all about the four-pound cava at Sainos.’
‘We should get some Bollinger or something in that case.’
‘A bit of Veuve Clicquot perhaps?’ I said, waving his wallet.
‘We should go champagne tasting in Champagne.’ Kate suggested.
‘Absolutely. Though, a bit of a mission to get around there, have you been?’
‘We had someone driving us everywhere, but I feel like it took forever. It would be fun though. OR we could just buy a bunch of bottles and have a Champagne-themed party here in London.’ I said, indicating towards the chilled champagne
‘Might cut down on costs.’
‘And then we wouldn’t have to deal with French people.’ Then added, ‘Major plus.’
‘You make valid points.’
‘Don’t I always?’ I said, squinting.
‘It’s a plan. Maybe we can do it for a Christmas party.’
‘I love this idea. But let’s talk about it with the boys when we get back.’
I turned back to the chilled wines. ‘Considering we’re adding orange juice to it, it probably doesn’t matter what brand we choose.’
‘No.’ Kate said, shaking her head.
‘Someone got really upset with me in France when I added orange juice to champagne.’
‘Don’t they know that it’s better that way?’
‘I know!’ I said. ‘Well, at least cava is.’
‘Truth.’ She said, grabbing a bottle as I held the orange juice in one hand and grabbed a second bottle with the other.
We went to the checkout and I pulled out some cash from Lad Boy’s wallet. I rifled through the contents of his wallet as I waited for the change and pulled out an identification card with the most comedic photo I have ever seen. ‘Oh. My.’ I said, handing it to Kate.
She burst out laughing. ‘That is amazing!’
‘I know! We need to get back and take the piss out of him forever about this.’
We walked back to mine and gossiped about how Kash was in bed. Which took all of one minute considering nothing had really happened. He was quite the kisser though.
‘Maybe you’re in love with Kash.’
‘I think he’s lovely, he’s just too short for me. Not for you though!’ She said, enthusiastically.
‘I probably love him a little bit. He is so sweet. Too bad he doesn’t live in London.’
‘Mmm.’ Kate agreed.
We reached my place and went inside to find Kash and Lad Boy lounging on the couch together, almost in a couple-like manner. ‘Well this looks cozy.’ I said.
‘We’re well comfortable.’ Kash said.
I smirked and turned to go put the bottles in the kitchen. ‘Um,’ Lad Boy began then followed it with my name as a question. It sounded as if it were leading to something when he said a sentence that sends me into panic mode when uttered by anyone who is holding my laptop. ‘What is this?’
As he turned it around my heart pounded until I saw what was on the screen. I started laughing. ‘It’s just what I do when I’m bored.’ I said, laughing again at the ridiculous picture of me from photo booth up on the screen.
Lad Boy laughed. ‘How bored are you?! There’s literally about one hundred pictures like this. I’ve made my favourite your desktop background.’
‘Ta.’ I said, turning around, my cheeks burning with embarrassment as I walked to the kitchen. Kate followed me. ‘At least I deleted the naked ones I took with the ex.’ I said under my breath.
‘Ugh. My ex has naked photos of me. I’m always terrified he’s going to post them to facebook or something.’
‘Really?’ I asked, surprised. ‘I think an ex has a pair of my pants, but that’s the closest I can think to that. I could never take nude photos of myself.’
‘Well we were doing the whole long-distance thing.’
‘Ah.’ I said, nodding knowingly as I carefully placed the bottles in the refrigerator. ‘Well, Lad Boy has a mental snapshot of me half-naked now which I doubt he’ll ever let me live down.’
We walked in with a new bottle of sparkling and I went to the window to pop the cork. ‘Boom!’ I shouted as it popped into the air and landed presumably on someone else’s property. I poured Kate a glass and sat down on the couch with Lad Boy and Kash.
‘Where were you last night then?’ Kash asked Kate.
‘I got hammered. I was out in Fulham.’
‘Flahm!’ Lad Boy announced randomly.
‘You should have come out with us.’ I said.
‘I should have.’
‘Get lucky?’ Lad Boy asked.
‘Yeah, this guy walked me home and then by the time we got to my place I was kind of just like, “Whatever.” and invited him in. Felt almost obligatory.’
We all laughed. ‘Was it good?’ I asked.
‘It was alright. But he slept forever. I got up, showered, and starting putting together furniture before he even got up.’
‘At least you had someone to help you with the furniture eventually.’
‘He didn’t even help! He just saw me sitting there with all this Ikea shit and said, “So, I’ve got to go …” and left!’
Lad Boy laughed. ‘Gutted.’
‘What an arse!’ I said. ‘Next time just call me.’
‘Seriously.’ Kate said, sipping her drink.
‘Well she slept with Kash last night.’ Lad Boy said nodding towards me.
‘I know.’ Kate said.
‘That news is so two hours ago. What really needs to be addressed is why you came into my room, saw me half naked, and immediately got into bed with me.’
Lad Boy laughed. ‘I saw you and was just like, “Oh, Jesus. Kash, you don’t need to see this. I’ll take care of it.” and helped you put clothes on.’
‘What do you mean, “I’ll take care of it?” and “Oh Jesus”?! You make it sound as if seeing me half naked is the worst thing in the world!’
‘Kash probably saw more than you did and he’s fine. It’s not as if I look bad naked. I see myself naked every day, and quite frankly, I think it’s alright!’
‘I’m just trying to wind you up!’
‘Well it’s working!’ I said, my voice raising.
‘It wasn’t bad at all for the record.’ Kash said.
‘Thank you.’ I said, finishing my drink and reaching for the bottle. I took a sip to stop the bubbles from overflowing before saying to Lad Boy, ‘I was momentarily concerned when I woke up next to you that something had happened.’
‘Something did happen. You were all over me.’ Lad Boy said, taking the bottle.
‘Really?’ I asked, shocked.
‘Yeah. We fooled around a bit.’
Kate and Kash were talking to each other and didn’t hear this side conversation. ‘Yep, had a bit of a poke around.’
‘Are you serious?’
I sat back, shocked for a moment, not really sure what to think. First thought was that was perhaps the sluttiest night of my life if I had hooked up with both Lad Boy and Kash and second, why couldn’t I remember hooking up with Lad Boy? Good Lord. I thought, placing my glass down.
My thoughts were drowned out by the music Lad Boy had put on and we kept talking and laughing about nothing in particular. After about an hour had passed my anxiety returned.
‘Did we actually hook up?’ I finally asked Lad Boy quietly.
‘No.’ He said, looking at me and frowning. ‘Of course I didn’t! You were passed out.’
‘So I didn’t come onto you?’
‘Then why did you say I did?’
‘To wind you up.’
‘Well it worked, you freaked me out! I mean, no offence, but I would never hook up with you.’
‘I know, I’d never hook up with you either.’ He said, taking a sip.
‘Why not?’ I asked frowning.
He laughed. ‘I know too much.’
‘You pretty much know everything.’ Almost everything. I thought, thinking about Warren. ‘I made an excel spreadsheet.’
‘Can I see?’ He asked, excitedly.
‘No.’ Mostly because it had corresponding blog names next to real names. I’m compiling a glossary for the blog.
‘Come on. What’s your number up to? Have you passed me yet?’
‘No!’ I said, incredulously. His number is high. I mean, high enough that it’s a rough estimate.
‘How many?’ I told him. ‘You might pass me soon.’ He said.
‘Yeah.’ He told me his number again.
‘I need to slow down. Or you need to speed up. Have you slept with anyone since the ex?’
‘Nope.’ He said, reaching for the bottle again and emptying it into his glass.
‘Are you going to?’
‘No.’ He said, frowning. ‘I pulled someone the other night, but I think I’m kind of over the whole one-night stand thing.’
I shifted my eyes slightly. ‘Uh, yeah. Me too.’
‘Lies.’ He said, nudging me.
‘No, I mean, I think I still want to keep things casual, but I’m not so much into the random one-night stand thing with strangers. I generally sleep with guys I know or guys who are friends.’
‘Clearly.’ He chortled.
‘Don’t judge me.’
‘As a rule, I don’t think you should sleep with your friends.’
‘That would leave me with no one to sleep with.’
‘And it’s not as if it’s awkward with me and Kash now.’
‘It’s kind of awkward.’
‘Oh, really? For who?’
Before he could answer there was someone at the door. ‘Is that Seamus?’ Lad Boy asked excitedly.
‘Do I look like a CCTV camera? Go answer the door and find out.’
Kash got up. ‘I’ve got it.’
‘Hello, fuckers!’ Seamus greeted us.
I laughed, wedging myself out from behind Lad Boy’s shoulder and getting up to greet him. ‘How are you? I haven’t seen you in forever!’
‘I know, mate. About a year now. I’m good, I’m good. Just living in London.’
‘So we’re all here now?’ Kate asked.
‘Most of us.’ I said, looking at Kash and raising my eyebrows. ‘When are you moving to London?’
‘Pfff.’ Kash exhaled. ‘Probably not anytime soon, I think the next move I make will be the states.’
‘Why?’ Kate and I said collectively in horror.
‘There’s offices in Chicago.’
‘Mate, you should try to go to New York. It’s awesome there.’ Lad Boy said.
‘Please don’t start calling all of us “dude” again.’ I pleaded.
‘Alright, brah.’ He replied.
‘I am not your “bro”.’ I said.
‘You’re definitely a bro.’
‘I suppose that’s better than Ube calling me “dudette” all the time. I swear he’s never even been to the states.’
‘No, but he pretty much will jump on any bandwagon.’ Kash said, referring to the “dude” bandwagon.
We continued to amass a collection of empty champers and cava bottles around us. Seamus added one to the pile and also made our afternoon by bringing around a large baguette and the makings for a sandwich big enough to feed all of us. After our afternoon snack we strategised about the evening.
‘I have to go to dinner at a friend’s house. You guys should come along.’ Lad Boy said.
‘You should probably find out whether or not we’re invited.’ I said.
‘It should be fine!’ He said, dismissively. It wasn’t fine.
‘Where is this dinner?’ Kash asked.
‘Central.’ Lad Boy said.
‘Wicked, maybe we can go out in Soho afterward?’ Kate suggested.
‘Could do.’ I said. ‘Isn’t there a lot of gay clubs there?’
‘Gay men love me.’ Lad Boy said.
‘That’s because you’re so pretty.’ I said, pinching him on the cheeks.
‘We can figure out where we’re going later.’ Kash said. ‘Are you coming with us, mate?’ He asked, looking at Seamus.
‘I have to meet up with friends in Clapham.’
‘Let’s go to Clapham!’ Lad Boy said.
‘We could literally go anywhere.’ I said, drunkenly stating the obvious. We were all verging on belligerent and as I got up to go to the toilet I began to notice just how drunk I was.
I had texted Millie earlier in the day to tell her to come by but she had texted to say that she had plans, but would be up for coming out later. I pulled out my phone and tapped at the screen with one finger.
Going to Clapham tonight it seems – probably near Battersea, someone has mentioned Inferno’s zz
My finger had missed the ‘x’ and made it appear as if I was implying that Inferno’s was a bit of a snore fest. She replied quickly that she would meet us in Clapham later and I immediately stored that in my short-term memory bank which went non-existent when I was drunk. I made my way back towards the sitting room to join the others, who were showing similar signs of inebriation. I collapsed in between Kash and Lad Boy and swung my legs over Kash’s right leg as I had my right arm around Lad Boy.
We managed to have a dance party in this position without actually getting up, rocking around and drinking as “Moves Like Jagger” played. I ruffled Lad Boy’s hair and said, ‘You alright, dooood?’ Imitating his ridiculous yank-influenced lexicon.
‘I’m drunk.’ He slurred. ‘And I need to go to this dinner. You guys can’t come by the way. The host just texted. Apparently it isn’t a dinner, it’s a date.’
We all laughed. ‘You dick.’ I said. ‘I can’t believe you just invited three people on your date. Are you actually going to show up this drunk?’
‘Yup.’ He said, getting up. ‘But I’ll meet you guys in Clapham afterward.’
‘No you won’t.’ I said, laughing. ‘You are going to pass out.’
He inhaled deeply. ‘That may be so.’ He said, exhaling. ‘Text me where you end up.’
‘Alright, bender.’ Kash said.
‘I’m going to go as well.’ Seamus said, getting up.
‘Booo.’ I said.
‘Sorry, mate.’ He said, kissing me goodbye.
‘Just the three of us … we can make it if we tryyy.’ I sang drunkenly to Kate and Kash as Lad Boy and Seamus left.
‘I really hope that’s not your attempt at suggesting a threesome.’ Kate said.
‘Might be.’ I said, raising my eyebrow.
‘Alriiiight’ Kash said, fist pumping the air.
I laughed. ‘But seriously, what are we going to do now?’
‘Kings Road for dinner?’ Kate asked.
‘Can do.’ Kash said.
‘Trafalgar?’ I suggested
‘Yeah, plan.’ Kate said.
‘They stopped serving my favourite cider on tap.’ I said, sadly.
Kate made a sad face. ‘Well, we should probably stick with wine anyway.’
I stood up and paused for a moment. ‘Pfff. We should probably switch to water for awhile.’
‘Yeah dude.’ Kash said, nodding slowly from the arm chair.
Now I can’t quite remember how we got there, but it was either by taxi, bus or teleportation. Most likely taxi though.
We were sat at one of the tables by the window and I turned my head towards the breeze. A bottle of wine sat chilling in front of us along with three glasses of untouched wine as we all clutched to our water. My phone rang.
‘Hey Millie.’ I said.
‘Hey, I’m in Clapham, where are you?’
I put the phone away from my face and whispered ‘Shit!’ to Kate and Kash before putting the phone back to my face. ‘Millie … I am so sorry, but I completely forgot that I told you Clapham and we’re in Chelsea now.’ I paused. ‘I’m really, really sorry.’
There was silence for a moment. ‘Well, I’m really angry right now.’
‘I know, and I’m so sorry. We’ve been drinking all day and I just forgot.’
She exhaled. ‘Where are you exactly?’
‘The Trafalgar on the Kings Road.’ I said in an apologetic tone.
She exhaled again, exasperated. ‘FINE. I’ll see you soon.’
‘Okay.’ I said. ‘I’m sorry!’
I hung up. ‘Shit! You guys I completely forgot about Millie.’
‘Who’s Millie?’ Kash asked.
‘She was at Oxbridge, I don’t think you guys ever met, she wasn’t at our college. But, I told her to come meet us at my place earlier, but she was busy so she said we’d meet us out and it was just after we had said we’d go to Clapham.’
‘Shitttt.’ Kate said slowly.
‘Oh my God, I am so drunk.’ I said as a realisation. ‘I need to sober up so I’m not shit company when she gets here!’ I grabbed the jug of water and poured the rest of the contents into my glass. ‘Kash, go get more water. Start drinking water!’
Kate glanced at her glass of water and her glass of wine and poured the water into the wine, shrugging as she picked it up. ‘It counts.’ She said.
‘Good enough.’ I said, downing my glass of water. ‘We need food. Food will sober us up at all.’
‘Have you never had any kind of education about alcohol? The only thing that sobers you up is time.’
‘Yes, I know, but at least food and water can make us more coherent!’
‘Ehh, I don’t know about that, but sure. Let’s give it a go.’
‘Don’t drink any more wine, we’ll give it to Millie when she gets here and get her quasi to our level.’
‘It’s going to take a lot more than half a bottle of wine to get to our level.’ Kate said, sipping her water/wine combination.
‘Here’s your water, miss.’ Kash said, placing the jug in front of me.
‘Cheers.’ I said, pouring another glass.
About thirty minutes later I saw Millie past the window and shouted at her. ‘Millie!’ She looked startled for a moment then saw me waving frantically. She half frowned, half laughed as she kept walking towards the door. When she got inside I got up and hugged her. ‘I’m so sorry.’
‘I can’t believe you forgot me!’
‘I can’t believe you don’t remember how diabolical I am when drunk!’ She laughed. ‘I am so sorry though, I would be livid if I was you.’ She raised an eyebrow. ‘We got you wine!’ I said enthusiastically, pouring her a glass.
She sat between Kate and I, and Kash was sat opposite me next to Kate. I have an incredible ability to feign sobriety when drunk, which often deceives people into believing that I should be given more alcohol. This came in handy with Millie though because I was able to actually carry on a decent conversation. The Warren-Langdon situation was still a current affair so we talked about that mostly.
‘Honestly, you have to wonder what’s wrong with both of them.’
‘I know.’ I said, sipping my water.
‘Langdon is a complete arsehole, but still it sounds like he does care about you.’
‘Actually I’m pretty sure from the way that he treats me he just doesn’t like me. I mean, that’s what the book He’s Just Not That Into You would say.’ She laughed. ‘Then again, I don’t think I like him. I’m just not that into him.’
‘Exactly. Still, shouldn’t have slept with his brother.’
I exhaled loudly and looked over at Kate and Kash who were talking to each other. It was quite loud in the pub at this point, so I knew Kash hadn’t heard my boy drama. I leaned in to listen to what they were saying.
‘Well, really, when you think about it a donkey is just a retarded horse.’ Kate said.
I started laughing loudly. ‘WHAT are you talking about?’
Caught off guard, they both looked at me quickly in shock then started laughing as well. ‘We’re talking about the difference between horses, donkeys and mules.’
‘Why?’ I asked in a high-pitched voice that only comes out when I’m trying to suppress laughter.
They shrugged. ‘You two look like you’re really deep in conversation about something important, so it’s actually kind of embarrassing that we’re talking about retarded horses.’ Kash said.
Once I stopped laughing, I said, ‘So what next? Club?’
Kash pursed his lips and nodded. ‘Oh yeah.’
‘Millie, what do you want to do?’ I said, turning to her.
‘Whatever you guys want to do, I’m not bothered.’ She said.
‘What are we near?’ Kate asked.
‘JuJu.’ I said.
‘Is that place good?’ Kash asked.
‘It’s decent.’ I said.
‘Where’s Lad Boy?’ Kate asked.
‘Don’t know, I’ll give him a bell.’ I rang him but there was no answer. I looked down at my watch. ‘He’s probably asleep.’
‘What time is it?’ Kash asked.
Kash shook his head side to side. ‘He’s such a lightweight.’
‘He really is.’ I said. ‘Well, shall we?’
We walked down the Kings Road to the club and to the club. Once inside, deciding that Millie had been given sufficient catch up time, we all got back on it, ordering a round of gin and tonics. It was a decent night considering we had probably had enough to drink for and entire weekend before we had even left the house. We danced and halfway through the night I realised I had never been out properly with Kate before. At one point we went to get a round in.
‘We should do this more often.’ I said.
‘We definitely should.’ Kate said.
‘I mean, we’re both single, we’re both incredibly good looking,’ she laughed, ‘We could kill it.’ I had decided after her story about the guy who didn’t help her with her couch that she was potentially exactly like me.
‘Did you just become my wingman?’
‘I think I did.’ I said, smiling and grabbing two of the drinks. ‘Thursday?’
‘It’s as good a time as any!’ Kate said, grabbing the other two, and we walked back to the group.
Eventually exhaustion got the best of us and after Mille had said goodbye, Kate, Kash and I got a taxi together. ‘I should probably stay in my hotel.’ Kash said. ‘I’ve got to get up early tomorrow for the rugby final and I haven’t seen my friend all day.’
‘Have you just ditched your friend in London?’ I asked.
‘Nah, he had other friends here.’
‘Ah. Well, give us a text tomorrow when you know where you’re watching the game.’
I turned to Kate. ‘Do you just want to crash at mine?’
‘Yeah.’ She nodded slowly.
The taxi dropped off Kate and I. Kash got out to say goodbye. ‘See you when I see you.’ I said, as we hugged.
‘It’s been fun.’ He said, kissing me on the cheek.
Kate and I waved goodbye to the taxi then proceeded to completely K.O. once inside.
Next time: Sunday – the Aftermath