‘So… that’s your flatmate?’ I say, nodding towards a tall, athletic guy.
‘Yes – Dan.’ Nice Guy smiles. ‘But hands off.’
‘Oh I – I’m not–.’
But I understand. With his broad smile, pleasant manner and muscular physique, Dan must have an easy time of it, attracting women. Nice Guy is slight by comparison, and a little awkward.
I fancy Dan looks a bit uncomfortable on seeing me.
‘Hello,’ he says.
A couple wearing Hawaiian shirts and flower garlands are loitering in the hall.
‘The theme is – is Halloween, right?’ I say.
Hawaiian guy looks over. ‘Yeah, you’re fine. I know, we’re not very scary.’
I laugh. ‘Just checking!’
Dan is looking thoughtful.
‘I – I think we’ve met before?’ I say.
‘Y–es. You were with Andy – in the club, in Clapham?’
We shake hands. ‘Nice to see you again.’
‘What was the name of the club?’
I laugh. ‘No idea!’
I follow him through to the living room.
‘So, who do you know here?’ he says.
Well, aside from Andy…
I scan the room, in search of a familiar face. ‘Err well anyone he was at uni with maybe? From the same college, at Oxford?’
Dan gestures towards a blond girl dressed as an M&M. ‘Ellie was at Merton.’
Don’t know Ellie. And Andy wasn’t at Merton.
‘Hmm I don’t think so…’
‘Frankie? She was St. Hugh’s.’
‘Let me get you a drink – and then I’ll introduce you to some people. What would you like? You can have whatever you want.’
‘Err… wine? White wine. Thanks.’
I get chatting to a guy and girl standing nearby. They misunderstood the event description and came as a pun on Pussy Riot. A board proclaiming ‘Down with Minge’ is propped up against the window. They’re friends of Dan’s.
‘Who do you know here?’ the guy says.
‘Um… Andy?’ I say. ‘I can’t see him though…’
Not that I’m looking; not that I’ve shaved parts of my body I didn’t know existed, draped myself with bin-liner, and navigated foreign sections of the London transport system, just to see him.
The guy frowns. ‘Andy? Oh, the other flatmate. Yeah, he’s not here.’
‘Where is he?!’ I say.
‘Yeah, playing cricket.’
I don’t care if he’s saving whales, what the fuck is he doing in Benidorm?!
(TO BE CONTINUED)