Let’s Dance to Joy Division

I tried to focus on the phone. I steadied myself, using one of the wine bottles as a crutch and answered the call.

Her ex had called round and she had invited him in. She had turned down his advances and now he wouldn’t leave. Her voice was trembling.

I stopped smiling, then I passed out.

Here’s the backstory:

I got out of a messy relationship, which had gone on for too long. It was like being reborn. I had the freedom to go out and meet new people.

I was accidently attending a reunion for a school I hadn’t been to. There was a really pretty girl, who I knew through other friends.

We slipped into small-talk and got on well. We stayed in a shout, buying each other beers, until we became bloated and moved onto something stronger.

Me: “Do you like cocktails?”

Her: “Yeah. Can you tell me one?”

We had agreed to go out at the weekend to play pool. I was hopeless, but agreed.

A car horn beeped outside and she waved from the passenger seat. She introduced the driver as her Dad. We slipped into easy conversation about the football. I answered all his questions correctly. I was the son he never had.

We got to the bar and put our money on the table. She ordered a pair of pints with absinthe chasers. It was lunchtime, only just after noon. She started cleaning up at the pool table. I had been hustled good and proper. I had one shot, which I missed, accidentally leaving her on. She rolled the eight ball into the pocket and came over for a celebratory hug. I backed away, then realised what I was doing probably wasn’t going to get me into her pants.

That was the moment I vowed to put my ex behind me and move on.

The rest of the afternoon was a drunken haze of pints and shots. We ended up in a club arguing over Joy Division songs, dancing and drinking snakebite for old time’s sake. Then she went home. Close, but no cigar.

I had a meeting later that month in a building in the city. I went to reception to let them know I was a little early. There she was answering the phones. She was dressed formally and smirked when I went into the boardroom with her boss. I thanked her on the way out. She smiled and winked.

We had a few pseudo-dates (I thought they were dates, she didn’t) and drinks. Then, she hooked-up with a semi-literate skinhead who treated her like dirt. I would see her on the bus occasionally. They would split up and get back together, almost weekly.

Her childhood best friend was visiting from Spain. A crowd ended up back at mine after the pub had thrown them out. One-by-one they finished their pizzas and drinks and left, until it was just me and her, and her señorita friend.

She thanked me for a good night and left, leaving the Spaniard. I impressed her with my rusty Spanish and we talked about how we had been through bad relationships, and how terrible selfish-people were, slurring agreements to each other.

Next thing I knew, we were in bed. She rolled over and kissed me. I kissed her back. She rolled over and fell asleep.

There was a knock on my door the next day. It was her with a t-shirt the Spaniard had borrowed, washed and folded neatly. I mumbled something, shuffled uncomfortably and wished I had a fringe to hide behind.

She was in the crowd who went to a music festival later that month. She started drinking enthusiastically at sunrise. I had left my new girlfriend at home, ticketless. I became the object of her drunken passion, but turned her down repeatedly, remaining faithful to my new squeeze.

She was very drunk and horny.

Our group split as the headliners came on.

I went to see New Order and went back to my tent happy and exhausted, only to be woken by orgasmic screams of passion coming from her nearby tent.

Skinhead was also at the festival. They had met after the Foo Fighters.

I went home the next day and got dumped by my girlfriend.


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