I was standing in the vestibule area between the corridor and the library, participating (although not very much) with my group of friends' loud and raucous conversation. Lightsinthesky, as is his way, was dominating it, but Music Man, who has a bit of a reputation for (apart from being a dab hand on the piano and the best guitarist in the school) injecting completely random sentences into seemingly fluid conversations. Maybe he just wanted to stick his oar into what was essentially Lightsinthesky and my token black friend talking about rock versus garage music.
"I've been having too much casual sex recently," he blurted out (a lie; very few people had had sex of any kind by that point, and those who had - including my token black friend - weren't saying much about it).
"Who's been having too much casual sex?" asked our careers advisor and head of geography, opening the door to his office and looking out curiously.
There was a pause of about three seconds... and then everyone burst out laughing. The question, of course, remained unanswered (although, one year later, everyone suspected me... which also wasn't true. I was having sex, but only with one person).
Ten years later, I think I have an answer.
It was my sister's birthday yesterday. She's 23... welcome to the unremarkable years, kid. I was talked into (well, didn't really take much persuasion, really) going to a meal (and then her... well, I wouldn't call it a house. Thing, really. For a drink, anyway.) with her and her friends, who drifted in in their ones and twos as I got steadily hungrier and hungrier. One of them didn't even turn up.
"Hey, here comes Katherine,"* somebody said.
Indeed, it was Katherine. She's a puppeteer. I've seen her do puppetry, so I can attest to that. I don't know anything else about her, but I'm sure there is something else.
"She hasn't had sex with Dave," somebody said. Possibly Dave.
"Who hasn't had sex with Dave?" I said, simultaneously confused by this very random bit of information and pleased that there was more to her than making puppets, even if it was just a list of one person she hadn't had sex with.
"Ah, well, that's the question," said my sister. "Who hasn't had sex with Dave?" She paused. "Apart from me. I haven't," she finished, causing her boyfriend to look very relieved.
"And Katherine," I ventured.
"We all assumed Dave had a girlfriend," my sister's boyfriend tried to explain while I was wielding my chopsticks with wanton abandon, "but, as it turned out, it was a different girl every night."
I cast around for something witty and intelligent to say in reply to that. "Oh," I decided upon.
An hour and a half later, we entered my sister's... boyfriend's... house... thing, having lost a few members of our party to various causes such as a Sainsbury's selling cornettos and a bus that was going the wrong way. And there, sitting at the communal table, was an incredibly unremarkable man with a beautiful girl who couldn't speak any English.
"This is Dave," explained someone, totally unnecessarily.
"How did you know? About 30 people live here."
"Oh, I just kind of... guessed."
My sister and her best friend started playing with a tandem space hopper (you had to be there, but I swear this is what happened), and as I was occupied with taking pictures on my BlackBerry, I couldn't help but notice that Dave and this unnamed girl had slipped off somewhere, perhaps a little quieter and darker.
"Where's Dave gone?" I enquired of my sister's boyfriend as we were heading up to his room to listen to dubstep.
"Where do you think?"
"What I don't get," I said, dodging the question, "is what he's supposed to have that gets him all these girls for casual sex."
"Well, what hasn't he got?"
* No, another one. I'm running out of ways to spell the same name.