My left eye opened slowly, the right was still pressed into my pillow. I could vaguely see the outline of a chunky ring on my finger where my favourite ring usually sits. I blinked twice before turning my head, followed by the rest of my body and collapsing onto my back. I stared at the ceiling as it spun above me. Closing my eyes didn’t make the spinning stop either so I rolled another ninety-degrees to the left and slithered off the bed until I was somehow erect in a standing position. I clutched at my bedroom door. I wandered around the flat, searching for signs of life before finding Kate on my couch.
‘Last night.’ She began as I walked in. ‘Was. Aggressive.’
I collapsed next to her. ‘Yeah.’ I managed to say. I looked down at her hand and saw my ring. ‘Huh.’ I said. I swallowed and my mouth felt like cotton. ‘Water …’ I whispered. I looked around the room but could only see day-old bucks fizz. ‘I need water.’ I said, getting up. Kate nodded sadly. I returned shortly with two mugs of water. ‘Breakfast?’ I asked. Kated nodded again. She handed me my ring and I swapped it for her chunky one.
As we walked to the door it began buzzing. ‘Why is it making that sound?’ Kate said, grimacing.
‘I don’t know.’ I said, frowning. My phone started ringing. It was Lad Boy. ‘What?’ I answered.
‘Let me in.’
‘No, we’re coming out.’
He groaned. ‘I need to sleep.’
‘Well we need to eat, we’re coming down.’
‘Okay.’ He grumbled.
Once outside I started laughing. There was no way that I felt as bad as Lad Boy looked. ‘I. Feel. Rough.’ He announced slowly.
‘Mate.’ I slurred. ‘You look rough.’ He looked like a sad puppy. ‘Come on, drunky.’
We walked around the corner to my local to find it closed. Kate groaned. Lad Boy started walking away from us. ‘I’ll be righ –’ he didn’t finish the sentence before leaning behind a car and making a horrible sound.
‘Ugh.’ I said and Kate and I turned and walked in the opposite direction.
‘I swear he drank less than us.’ Kate said.
‘Why do I feel so bad?’ I said sadly.
‘I don’t know.’ She said, patting me on the head.
Lad Boy emerged behind us. ‘That was pure liquid.’
‘Yeah, that’s what happens when you only drink champagne and orange juice all day.’ He nodded solemnly. ‘Come on, let’s get you some food.’
He shook his head side to side slowly. ‘No food.’
‘Okay.’ I said, putting my arm around his waist and holding him up as we walked to the pub.
Kate and I went inside as Lad Boy passed out on a bench outside. I sighed heavily as I stared at the menu. ‘It smells like beer in here.’ I said, probably sounding as if I were on the verge of crying.
‘Let’s sit outside.’ Kate said. I nodded in agreement.
We ordered two lemonades and took them outside where Lad Boy was sleeping like London’s best-dressed tramp. Kate and I sat on the bench across from him at the table and let him sleep.
‘So you didn’t hook up with Kash again?’ She asked.
I shook my head as I sipped my lemonade. ‘No.’ I said, coming up for air. ‘I showed him that I have the moves like Jagger, and still … nothing.’
She laughed the heartiest laugh she could muster. ‘I think he loves you.’
Straw in my mouth, I nodded. I started laughing. ‘Remember this?’ I said, staring at her and attempting to put my straw in my mouth whilst maintaining eye contact but ultimately missing the straw and making a gaping-fish-like motion with my mouth.
Kate started laughing. ‘You literally did that all of last night.’
‘It’s hot, right?’ I said, trying to poke the straw into my cheek.
She laughed again. ‘I’d do you.’
‘Who wouldn’t?’ I said.
‘How hot was that rugby player I was talking to?’
‘Too bad he had a girlfriend.’ I said, sipping my lemonade like a normal human being.
‘Mmm.’ Kate said, frowning.
‘How was your date?’ I shouted to Lad Boy.
He sat up slowly. ‘Aggressively retarded.’ He moaned. ‘I spilled wine all over her flat and then passed out in her bed. Apparently I tried it on at some point as well.’
‘That is aggressively retarded.’ Kate agreed.
I nodded. ‘So no second date then?’
Lad Boy shook his head side to side. ‘I’m going to guess not.’
‘Do you want some of my food my darling?’ I asked. He shook his head again, slowly and sadly. ‘Love, you have to eat eventually.’ He made another sad face and resumed his sleeping position on the bench. Kate and I looked at each other and shrugged before finishing our brunch.
We walked back to mine and once inside collapsed onto the couch. ‘What do you want to watch?’ I asked Lad Boy, stroking his hair.
‘Don’t care.’ He grumbled.
Thus commenced an Inbetweeners marathon. Kate left after the first season and Lad Boy and I sat watching the next two seasons together back to back. I managed to get some tea in him, but by the early evening he still hadn’t eaten.
‘I need to go home.’
He picked up his bag and walked for the door. ‘Bye.’ He said, sadness in his eyes.
‘Goodbye darling.’ I said, kissing him on the cheek. He rested his head on my shoulder for a moment and sighed heavily before forcing himself out the door.
I closed the door behind him and went back to my sitting room. I was overcome with an immediate sense of depression and loneliness. I’m going to blame it on the alcohol as it were, as I’m pretty sure that depression is a side effect of a come down. I spoke to some people on gchat but was still filled with an overwhelming sensation of grief. My phone rang. It was Kash.
‘Hey!’ He said enthusiastically.
‘Are you drunk again?’ I asked, shocked.
‘Good Lord, man.’
‘I know.’ He slurred. ‘But I have to go back to work soon and then … no more drinking.’
‘Okay.’ I said, sceptically. ‘Well it was good to see you.’
‘You too! I’m really glad I came down. It was really, really great to see you.’
We talked about future plans to see each other and just kind of dragged on the conversation as if we didn’t want to hang up.
‘Well, hopefully see you soon.’ I said.
‘I hope for that as well.’
‘Why are you speaking like English is your second language?’ I asked.
‘Maybe it is.’ He hiccupped into the phone.
‘Nice try. I know your parents, it most definitely is not.’
‘Don’t tell them I’m drunk.’
‘It’s not like you’re 16.’ I laughed.
‘I’m lost.’ He announced. ‘I need to be found.’
‘Deep.’ I laughed again. ‘Well, just look around – there’s maps everywhere in London. Didn’t you say you were going to be near Southbank?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Can you see water?’
‘Well look for a ma–’
‘I found a map! I’m found!’ He interrupted.
I laughed. ‘Okay. Well good luck, my love.’
‘Good luck to you as well.’ He slurred.
‘Goodbye pretty girl.’
I smiled as I hung up. I put my phone down and sighed heavily. I was alone, but I wasn’t lonely. I don’t know how to explain it. I wanted to be alone and yet I wanted everyone to be there with me. Even if we were just sitting in silence. Even if Kate were still sleeping on the couch, or if Lad Boy were slumped over in the kitchen. I felt more alone than I could ever remember. Perhaps a consequence of living in college for so long. You were never more than a minute from human contact.
My phone buzzed. It was Brix.
Just ran into Lad Boy … He looks all kinds of awful, what did you do to him?? xx
I laughed. He can blame no one but himself. How are you? xx
I’m good, mate. Let’s catch up soon xxx
Next Time: My date with Brix