I trudged through the snow, my feet soaked in ice-cold water from kicking up snow into my heels. I swore with each step and as the words crystallised with my breath in front of my face I could see the lights of my destination ahead. I stood on the doorstep and took my hair out of the untidy bun I had scrunched it into in order to minimise frizz from the snow and pulled my perfume out of my bag. I sprayed it into the air above my head and let it mist downwards as to not have an overwhelming presence once inside. I finally rang the bell and moments later someone let me in.
I made my way into the kitchen where the remnants of the dinner party I was hours late to sat in the kitchen sink. I had been neglecting my friends in a selfish attempt to pursue a career and my last hour in the office on Friday had cost me my dinner, and the sober company of everyone at the party. As the front room roared with laughter and chat I poured myself a gin and tonic. Four parts gin, one part tonic. That’s correct measurements as far as I’m concerned (at least when you’re three hours behind on the drinking schedule.) I took a sip, added another wedge of lime, and made my way to the sitting room where everyone had pudding in front of them.
‘Hey!!!’ I was greeted as I made my way into the room. Everyone was sat at a table. It was a group of people I hadn’t been together with all at once in well over three months. Starting at the head of the table it went Warren, Lad Boy, a brunette, a blonde (one of the two had to be the one Lad Boy was casually sleeping with but I wasn’t sure which one), Lad Boy’s housemate’s girlfriend, Lad Boy’s housemate, Lad Boy’s brother, Langdon, and finally Brix. I said hello and sat myself between Warren and Brix. I kissed them each hello, having not seen Brix in about a month and having not seen Warren since the last time we saw each other just after sleeping together.
There was some sort of drinking game going on which I didn’t understand but I joined in anyway. Half an hour and two quadruple gin and tonics later I was lashed. Then the champagne came out. We got bored of games that people were too drunk to play and instead decided to play some sort of word association game that I was too drunk to master. Eventually all the boys disappeared to do boy stuff like wank each other off I presume. They claim they were smoking cigars, but you can never be sure really.
Once everyone re-emerged and I had sorted out who was who amongst the mystery females (the blonde was LB’s lady-friend), I stood in the middle of the loud room, speaking in private to Lad Boy.
I’m not even sure how the subject was broached. He had mentioned how amazing it would be to just make me a celebrity and build a brand around me in a brief business pitch weeks earlier and all I could think of was, “I like where your head’s at and I’m already one step ahead of you.”
Eventually I just got to the point. ‘So, remember when you said you thought it would be wicked if we could build a brand around me?’
‘Well. I’ve kind of already done that.’
‘Um. Well, remember when I said that I like to write for fun and that I had spoken to some publishers about ghost-writing a book?’
‘Well it wasn’t so much ghost-writing as it was writing my own stories. Under an anonymous identity.’
‘I write a blog that has almost one-thousand followers and I have about two-thousand and five hundred followers on twitter.’
‘… That’s amazing!’
‘Yeah! What do you write about?’
‘… My sex life.’
He laughed loudly. ‘Oh my God. That’s amazing.’
‘I actually write about you quite a lot. I mean, I write about all the things we do. It’s like a public record of our social lives.’
He laughed again. ‘Really?’
‘Yeah!’ I said, getting excited that he wasn’t exploding with anger.
‘What’s it called?’
‘…’ I wasn’t prepared for that question. ‘Um. Well, I’ll tell you tomorrow.’
‘Just tell me now.’
I looked around. We were in a room of people. Most of whom had gone to Oxbridge. ‘I’ll just tell you tomorrow.’
‘Sex at Oxbridge.’
‘That’s the name.’
He laughed. ‘Amazing.’
‘If you google “Oxbridge” it apparently comes up sixth.’
‘Really.’ [Just googled it … not true anymore. It’s seventh.]
I was taken aback a bit. ‘Thanks.’
‘I can’t believe you write a blog.’
‘What blog?’ We had momentarily forgotten that people were around us, and the question had come from someone sitting on a chair behind us.
‘What?’ I asked causally.
‘You write a blog?’
‘No. I have a friend who writes one and they’re having trouble with search engine optimisation, so we were just discussing that.’ Lad Boy slowly started walking away.
‘Oh.’ The other person said. I started talking technical speak with them and then slowly excused myself to find Lad Boy in the kitchen.
‘By the way.’ I began. ‘You can NOT tell anyone.’
‘I would never.’
‘Does anyone know?’
‘There may be one or two NDAs floating around.’
‘Let’s talk about this tomorrow.’ I suggested.
‘Until then … let’s get drunk.’
We did indeed get drunk and I may have ended up in one of the brothers’ bed, I won’t tell you which one because that’s another story entirely.
The next morning I woke up to a blackberry in my face. ‘It’s for you.’
‘Hello?’ I groaned.
‘Blagged a bed then?’ Lad Boy said.
‘You know me.’
‘Been reading the blog.’
‘Lad Boy? Really?!’
‘Is that all you have to say?’
‘It’s bloody hilarious – and you wrote about our road trip!! I couldn’t stop laughing reminiscing.’
‘Cheers.’ I said, turning over so the conversation wouldn’t be audible.
‘Anyway, are you still coming to breakfast?’ He asked.
‘When did we make plans for breakfast?’ I asked, confused.
‘Not explicitly, but it was discussed. How drunk were you?’
‘Drunk enough to end up where I am now.’
‘I’ll come over to grab my stuff and then we can get breakfast.’
‘Okay, see you in a sec. Byeeee.’ He said in his typical high-pitched send off.
I put the phone on the side table and reached for my watch. As I put it on I scanned the room for my clothes. ‘Shit.’ I exhaled. I turned to the brother. ‘So, I’ve got to go meet Lad Boy.’ He groaned. ‘Want to have sex again?’
‘I think I’m going to throw up.’
‘Fair enough. See you later.’
I got up and collected my clothes, then made my way through the house to find the remaining items. I left and made my way towards Lad Boy’s place.
I met him en route with a group of party-goers.
‘Where have you been? With Langdon?’ Brix asked, frowning.
‘Nah. Just crashed on their sofa.’
‘Fair enough.’ Brix said sceptically.
‘I need to get something from your house, can I have the keys?’ I asked, turning to Lad Boy.
‘I’ll come with you.’ He said, abandoning the group, his lady-friend being amongst them.
I knew she wouldn’t be impressed, but I also knew he couldn’t care less about impressing her so I ignored it.
‘I can’t believe you called me “Lad Boy”! That’s possibly the worst name ever.’
‘I hadn’t worked out a system before naming you. It seemed appropriate. In hindsight, it’s pretty bad.’
‘Well come up with a new name and I’ll fucking change it!’
‘Some of the stories are hilarious.’
‘I literally just write down what we do. Our lives are epic.’
He laughed. ‘You could do so much with this!’
‘I could. If I had time. But there’s so much admin. And the whole anonymous thing makes it so difficult.’
‘So you’re not angry about this?’
‘I think I was afraid to tell you because I thought you’d hate me forever.’ He frowned. ‘Or that you’d be embarrassed of me.’
‘Well I haven’t read all of it, and to be honest I probably won’t. It’s fucking long!’
‘Is there anything I should be embarrassed about?’
I thought for a second. ‘No, I don’t think so.’
He shrugged. ‘Alright then.’
‘And you definitely don’t have to read it all, you know it all already … and don’t look at March through July. It’s depressing.’
‘So you’re really okay with this?’
‘Why wouldn’t I be?’
I shrugged. I really didn’t know.