There was nothing accidental or innocent about our meeting. We
both knew, or more accurately hoped, it was on the cards. We were just unsure
about how it would come about. It had been so long.
We had known each other for years, me and Emma. We had worked
together in the past but as with most friendships, as people move around
looking for whatever it is they hope will fulfil them, we drifted apart.
Neither of us has found it yet but there is still a sliver of youth which
offers hope that the great intangible will at last be grasped and held close.
In the meantime we fill it with people both good and bad; laughter and sadness;
and of course drink.
So it was fitting that we agreed to meet in a bar, my favourite
bar. The official line was that it was just a chance to catch up after so many
years but I hoped, as I later found out she did, that it would end in sweat,
euphoria, pleasure and release.
I arrived early and was smoking outside when I saw her
approaching through the dim haze of the alleyway. Even from a distance I knew
it was her. Jet black hair, bright red jacket and lips and that baby doll
totter she carried off so well.
I greeted her warmly and could feel from the strength and length
of her hug that she had missed me just as much. We went inside and settled down
to a couple of Jack Daniels.
I should explain at this point that there is previous between me
and Emma. Years ago we had one of those sexual encounters that youd
rather forget. Too much booze which removed pretty much all sensitivity from
the genitals. We rutted away pointlessly for what seemed like hours with
neither side wishing to admit defeat. On this particular occasion, through
sheer force of will and determination, I did manage to come, albeit limply. To
top off this wondrous encounter, the cheap condom that the family planning
clinic doled out, the ones that offer all the sensitivity of an inner tube,
A small aside. In my experience, condoms procured from said
family planning clinic are among the worst, most unrewarding and unreliable
prophylactics in circulation. They have all the sensitivity of walrus hide
you might as well be fucking a melon with a sock on your cock.
Conversely, they are the most likely to break. Its almost Catholic in its
You wont feel a thing and at the end of your
deflatingly disappointing encounter, theres a good chance youll
have an unwanted baby on the way. Oh, and one more thing. We can almost
guarantee that your drunken one-night stand, who you choose to stay with for
the sake of the baby, will be the most annoying individual you have ever met.
Can we get you anything else while youre here or do you feel your life
has been sufficiently ruined?
So that condom all those years ago burst and Emma had to get the
morning after pill. Not the most glamorous ending to what we had hoped would be
an evening of uncontrolled lust and passion. I cant speak for her but I
always felt the gods had conspired against us that night and that we could
still reach those highs we had searched for. That was why we were meeting
to right the sexual wrongs of the past.
So the hours rolled by as the whisky worked its way through. At
some point, and I have no idea how we reached it, but we decided that we needed
to go back somewhere to drink more and indulge ourselves.
Emmas was out as she was staying at her little ol
grans. Mine was out as I was visiting a friend who politely pointed out
that his house wasnt a knocking shop. Fair enough. So we did what any
drunken, horny couple would do and decided to get a hotel room. Not wishing to
waste time searching for a cheap dive we confidently sauntered into the nearest
one. Ever the gallant gent, I assured the young maiden I would cover the cost
of the room on the proviso that she cover the drinks bill. Seemed fair.
I have no idea how long we spent drinking at the bar but I do
remember eventually making our way to the room with a bottle of overpriced wine
and a couple of glasses. She clinked seductively as she sauntered ahead
I wasnt sure what was more alluring, the promise of drink or the promise
of sex. The idea that a combination of the two was imminent was almost too
much. Then, nothing.
Its morning and I wake up naked in bed. Once I have shaken
off the initial disorientation, I realise that although she should be, Emma is
nowhere to be seen. The only evidence of her presence are the stained wine
glasses, the cigarette butts that pepper the carpet and her pants, lying
crumpled on the floor. I wander into the bathroom expecting to find her peeing
or brushing her teeth. Nothing.
I go back into the room and go through my jeans looking for my
phone. It is then that I notice a couple of small blood stains on my T-shirt
not large but bloodstains nonetheless. I check my face in the mirror but
see nothing out of the ordinary. I look at my hands and notice a couple of
small scratches. The scratches arent good. Taking into account the strewn
cigarette butts Ive gradually noticed on the floor and the cuts and
blood, it looks like things got ugly at some point.
I get back into bed, roll a cigarette get into the leftover
wine. I text Emma (I never have calling credit) asking where she is. Its
after 10am and I know she had to be at work for 9am so theres a good
chance shell be awake. But there is no immediate response so I flick on
the TV for some news and finish my cigarette.
Half an hour passes with no answer. I text again, saying that
even if she is angry with me, I need to know she is OK. Another half hour
passes with no response. Ive nearly finished the wine and am starting to
get drunk again. A hideous but immovable thought enters my throbbing head. What
if Ive offed her?
That would explain the blood, the scratches and the general
chaos of the room. Suddenly feelings of sickness, dread and fear rise within
me. I slide out of bed and lurch into the bathroom. The shower curtain is
pulled over. I gingerly pull it back fully expecting to find her corpse.
The relief that washes over me is fantastic. I want to grab it
and hold it tight, cherish this feeling, nurture it. Once I have recovered, I
leave the bathroom and those horrible sensations rise again. I am confronted by
two wardrobes. Surely Ive stuffed her body in there. I take a deep breath
and throw open the first set of doors. Nothing. This is starting to look
positive. The second set. I fling them open. Again, nothing. Utter relief. I
offer up prayers of thanks to whatever deity may be listening. I take a quick
look around to see if there are any other likely hiding places a drunken
deviant would stash the corpse of an old friend and satisfied there isnt
lie down on the bed.
I wake up about half an hour later, run to the bathroom and
vomit to the bile, shower and pack up my things. I look at Emmas pants
and suddenly feel sorry for them. They look all lonely and abandoned I
cant just leave them there so I stuff them into my bag and get the hell
out of the room.
Still no word from Emma. Its after 12pm and Im still
worried but the panic is no longer there. Im pretty sure she left the
room alive which is obviously a bonus. But why did she leave? Maybe Ive
tried to do something she doesnt particularly enjoy? Shes got all
aresy on me or I on her. Ha! Maybe, indignant at her behaviour, I have
commanded her to get out with the parting shot of and leave the pants
behind!. I have no idea why I would want to do that but hungover, I am
delicate creatures and all sots of fears and permutations creep into my
thoughts. In place of an alcoholic blackout, I picture a feral, foaming beast
that can only be placated by the acquisition of used pants.
It is equally likely that I crashed out and Emma got bored,
decided to get a decent nights sleep and headed home but in her drunken
state, had forgotten her pants. I brighten up this seems reasonable. But
the blood, the scratches and the scattered cigarette butts leads me to another
conclusion. But what that is precisely, I have no idea.
I trip past gormless tourists and numbed businessmen on the way
to reception, trying to hold things together. I present my room card and the
guy informs me that the charge for the room is £105. I try to look
nonchalant as I pass over my sorry little debit card but inside I am near to
tears. It might not seem like a lot of money to some people, but to me that
leaves a gaping hole in my monthly finances. Ill have to endure a frugal
month of financial penance for my casual sinning.
As I turn to leave, I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket.
Its a text. Its from Emma. I brace myself. It looks like the
Gods have had their fun and have decided to give me a break. She
remembers nothing save for the fact she was furious at me at some point and
stormed out. The upshot is that she is happy to forget about it and put it down
to drunken mischief and misunderstanding. I always knew Emma was a good one.
Feeling about a stone lighter, I wander through the lobby doors
into the crisp, early winter sunshine. I think about the pants. I think about
the £105. I think thats an awful lot of money for a used pair of
pants. I think theyre wasted on me as Im not really the deviant
type. Wearing them or wanking with them is just not me but I decide to keep
them anyway. The only other things Ive got to show for the money are
teeth and lips stained with red wine and a hangover that could fell an Ox. I
brace myself and begin the walk back to the bar where it all began, looking for
the next chapter.