I challenge any red-blooded male not to be distracted by, let’s call her Kylie, because that was her name (her mother was an avid Neighbours fan). Sadly, she had lost her mother as a teenager.
Her Will had instructed her only daughter to spend the inheritance on something fun, something she wanted, but others might think was a waste of money. Taking the advice and interpreting it in her own way, Kylie went straight to the cosmetic surgeon and got spine curving breast augmentation surgery.
Kylie wore a lot of loose designer rhinestone t-shirts and had a fondness for jeans with sequence and glitter in her hair, which she often wore in pigtails. To the armchair psychologist she had major issues, or as one observer put it: I bet she lets guys cum in her face.
She was very childlike and often wore comic book t-shirts or all-in-one schoolgirl tunic dresses. If she was Japanese, she could pass for a one of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku girls, although she did make the peace sign every time someone pulled a camera out.
She’d had a strict upbringing in a single sex private boarding school, and had gone mad on alcohol and boys as soon as she had left. University had been a blur, not helped by the loss of her mother.
Placed in an investment bank as part of her work placement, she attracted the attention of one of the senior traders. She became his plaything.
He threw money at her, spending a fortune on diamonds, shoes and extravagant weekends away. He put her up in luxury boutique hotels on the company credit card, and bought her cocaine and champagne on his expenses. The sugar daddy worked long hours, getting up early to trade the US markets and working late for the Asian.
I met Kylie at a party through a friend of a friend; something very late night and tenuous. I was over in London for work and had made a weekend of it, intending to get the red eye home before work on Monday.
As more meetings were scheduled in London, I had more and more excuses to come over, even when the meetings were cancelled at late notice. I already had a plane ticket and nobody was checking. Her mother had been a Venezuelan beauty queen, she never mentioned her father. Although, I would wager that he skipped when she was an early age.
She had a lot of sugar daddies and an eclectic group of friends with the same expensive lifestyle: professional girlfriends who had bloated middle-aged banker boyfriends or married lovers who put them up in swanky West London flats in Kensington and Chelsea.
There was Marta, a Peruvian princess who looked like Disney’s Pocahontas and paid for drinks with £20 notes, refusing change. She had an ultra rich boyfriend who had something to do with oil. She had a flat in Amsterdam for visa reasons and visited London every weekend to meet up with her beau or her handful of other tycoons who lavished her with trinkets.
Ruby, who was either South African or Zimbabwean, was another. She was sent to boarding school outside London, stayed in England for university and never left. She was always dripping in jewellery and glued to her ever present mobile phone. Ruby had the most annoying accent and speech pattern, where she seemed to stop mid-sentence… and… carry on talking.
Yoki was the other mainstay of the group. She was English, but her family were Japanese. Her father worked in an embassy. He wasn’t an ambassador, but something like that. Her swollen stomached boyfriend, Alan, made constant jokes about Ferrero Rocher, which passed her by. He was another loud wide boy who always wore thick gold chains and open-necked shirts with buttons undone to his navel. I had nothing in common with him and he didn’t talk to me because there was nothing in it for him. Cunt.
I was out with the girls one night, drinking house beers while they carried round extravagant cocktails, more for show than alcoholic content.
Kylie’s boyfriend, Julian showed up. He was easily 25 years older than her. He was a loud-mouthed London geezer in an ill-fitting expensive suit and a shirt a couple of sizes too small. He had an odd hairstyle: feathered on top and slicked up the side, half boyband, half receding Shane Warne cover up job. He looked dreadful, desperately trying to look trendy with his tinted glasses. He roared welcomes to everyone and bounded over to introduce himself, playing the alpha male slapping my arm and shaking my hand in a vice-like grip.
I nodded and smiled. Before I could react, he was clapping his hands and beckoning the waiter to get a bottle of champagne and an ice bucket. Everything was a show. He was the personification of Las Vegas. All neon and flashy promises (and prostitutes probably).
The girls swarmed round the tray of champagne flutes as Julian made a show of uncorking the champagne. He had already complained about them bringing Moët and demanded Bollinger. They didn’t have it and he commented that Moët would have to do, loud enough for neighbouring tables to hear.
After a few sips the girls retreated to the toilets en masse. I was left in a corner booth with Alan and Julian.
“So, you’re the Irishman,” snorted Julian.
“What are you doing here, come to plant some bombs, hey?”
“No, no. Just kidding. I used to go to the races with some Paddies. Great guys. Good drinkers.”
I didn’t show I was offended, because I knew he wouldn’t care either way. I just drank up and asked what his plans were for the weekend.
He said he had been invited to Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea:
“In a box, of course. A couple of guys from Goldman’s have got me in, Miles and Dave. Good guys.”
I tried to hide my disgust.
Alan was being very quiet and appeared quite distant. Julian had asked if he still had season tickets to Arsenal and he hadn’t answered.
“Come on, old boy. Drink up.”
He encouraged Alan, topping up his half-full glass. Alan leant in and beckoned us forward. He spoke quietly, explaining his wife had thrown him out. She had found out about Yoki and seen receipts for hotel rooms. He had left one of his mobile phones at home and she had answered it. She had packed his bags – or more likely had one of her staff pack his bags – and demanded a large settlement. Yoki was pregnant and he now had another junior analyst on the side.
Julian snorted again and explained that this sort of thing came with the territory. He made a joke about his wife being pro-life until he got Kylie pregnant. I had no idea about this. Kylie and I weren’t that close, so I suppose there was no reason why she would have mentioned it.
These men absolutely repulsed me. Fucking repulsed me!
Alan seemed more upset at being caught out than losing his wife. He went on to complain about his boys’ private school tuition. He didn’t see much of them anyway. Although, it seemed the more you paid at school, the less you went.
The girls reappeared.
Yoki looked pale, maybe I was just imagining it. Ruby was rubbing her nose ad sniffing suspiciously. Marta and Kylie were arm-in-arm giggling about something. Julian, a little too loud (as usual) said that the two girls were looking spectacular and maybe the three of them should go upstairs to a private room.
His phone rang. He looked at it and cancelled the incoming call. It rang again almost immediately. He answered it swearing down the line. It appeared to be his wife, one of his kids was ill and she needed him to come home. He swore at her again and said he was in a meeting, and she should just deal with it.
He cut her off and rejoined the party as if nothing had happened. Topping up the girls’ champagne glasses and giving me the last of the bottle.
Julian pulled Kylie by the arm onto his knee. She seemed to tolerate him and he ordered another bottle of champagne. I looked around. A blackboard menu hung above the oak-panelled bar. Everything was organic or served with a jus. What was I doing here?
I had nothing in common with these people. Their ambition in life was to accumulate as much money as possible and get their obituary in the Economist. Sadly, they weren’t the problem for me. I had met wankers like them all the time at work.
I felt sorry for the girls.
Some would say that they were parasites, but we ended up at a comedy club that night.
The headliner came on. I wish I could remember his name. He was a Canadian guy. Plump-ish with a thick beard. Ruby was hopelessly drunk and started heckling him. There was a reason this guy was a headliner. He was sharp. He hadn’t dressed up or made an effort appearance-wise, but he was killing it. Each punchline was hitting the mark perfectly. This was a finely-honed act and his timing was 100%.
Ruby started shouting randomly and thinking she was hilarious. I hadn’t spent much one-on-one time with her, but she clearly wasn’t that bright. The comic was getting gradually more fed up and stopped his set, asking for the house lights to come up.
He engaged her and she clammed up. He asked her again to repeat what she said. She said she didn’t believe his story, that he had a girlfriend. He asked why. She said he looked repulsive and started laughing.
I was embarrassed for her.
“That may be so, honey, but I have my brains. You look beautiful. Honestly you do. Let’s have a round of applause, ladies and gentlemen,” he announced.
A small applause from the nervous crowd. I shifted in my seat.
“But… where are you going to be in five years when that daddy replacement won’t fuck you any more?”
I stood up to applaud him.