Thursday, 9 November 2017


It was the middle of Freshers' Week and I was throwing shapes on the dance floor in the middle of our student union bar.

Note: "throwing shapes". Nothing I do on a dance floor could ever really be described as "dancing".

Not for the first time since I'd arrived at university a few days earlier, I found myself surrounded by beautiful women in various states of inebriation. Given the huge student body we had, I hadn't committed myself to learning many names... but I'd do so once my course had started, I told myself. None of the people in student hall with me were doing the same course. We may not even have that much in common. I learned a few names, nevertheless.

After a while, I realised that I was dancing in close proximity to someone I vaguely knew from the flat below mine and one other boy who I'd seen around with a different girl on his arm every night. I wrote a blog post about him later that term with liberal use of the C-word to describe him, which gives you a fair idea of exactly how I felt towards him. At this point, I didn't know anything but his name.

The girl from the floor below me, who I'll call Loll, was someone I also knew by sight. She was a little tipsy (as was he), but she was dancing fairly steadily, so certainly not outright drunk. I, of course, was sober. I wasn't reticent to dance with Loll - she was, from what I'd seen, a nice young lady - the main problem was him. Perhaps he saw me as a bit of a threat. He clearly had designs upon Loll, but then she seemed to be more interested in me.

"I'm having a good time," she said, leaning in to shout over the din.
"So am I!" I yelled back. "I've never really been clubbing before, this is new to me! I love to dance!"
"I'm having a good time dancing with you!" she trilled. "Because I like you!"
"I like you too!" I said obliviously. "You're fun! And you're a good dancer!"

I did a 360° turn at high speed for want of something else to do.

He muscled in to separate us a bit, but he didn't say anything, choosing instead to shoot me a look both furtive and challenging.

Loll brushed him aside and leaned across to flash me a smile. Even in the dark of the club, her teeth were dazzling.

"Have you got a girlfriend?" she whispered in my ear.

Here we present a problem. I did, in fact, have a girlfriend. Engaged, actually. This was the first week of university and I'd come secure in the knowledge that I was attached and committed. I also knew, by that point, that she was cheating on me, or at least was heading that way. I didn't say anything about it, not even to her, but I did know. I was sure that this was just a phase and that we'd end up together, me being the forgiving type (and having forgiven her three previous indiscretions), but here was an opportunity for me to do the same thing.

I hardly need to mention that Loll was, herself, very attractive. She had long, dark, shiny hair and mysterious eyes. We became friends in the coming few weeks and I used to go clubbing with her, pretending to be her boyfriend so nobody would come on to her; she liked the security, and I liked the attention. Everyone thought I fancied her at that point - I thought she fancied me. 47, TMF and all my friends who read my LiveJournal seemed to think the same way - TMF asked me if Rebecca had seemed jealous. Now I look back at it, there's probably a reason she didn't.

In any case, the very concept of doing something with somebody else was a little exciting. Despite what one heard about Freshers' Week, I wasn't really expecting to have sex. Maybe I could have snogged her, and then maybe that would have led somewhere. At this point, I didn't know. I'd have other potential leads in this club... none of which would lead anywhere, either.

The beds in our student hall were very comfortable, and I hadn't had sex for a while, and...

"Yeah," I said back. "Yeah, I've got a girlfriend. Engaged, actually."

Fucking hell, ILB.

Despite the flash of something between disappointment and relief that darted across her face, the awkward semi-flirtation continued from that point. We carried on dancing together, and there were a few moments which might have been sweet - she pointed at me, and then herself, and then smiled a bit, before doing some more dancing - but I did feel a little awkward about the whole affair. Obviously I wasn't going to cheat with Loll. Obviously. I wasn't intending to.

Maybe I could buy her a drink, though.

"Can I buy you a drink?" he said, noticing some of my discomfort and jumping in between us.
"Uhm... okay!" she replied, taken a little aback. "I'll be back, okay, ILB?"
"Sure, fine, no problem," I mumbled back. "I'll just be here, er, dancing. On my own."

Three hours passed and, as I made my way out of the club to the strains of Mad World, I noticed them in the corner - empty glasses littering the table next to them and locked together into one of the messiest kisses I've ever seen.

I went back to my room hating him, sat down on my bed and cried until morning.

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