What with the red face paint, it’s hard to be certain, but I’m pretty sure the devil at the door is Nice Guy’s flatmate. He was also at the club, in Clapham…
‘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)