I’d been looking forward to the party. Tristan would be there, and Tobias. We’d demolish the canapé supply and drink too much cheap white wine. Tobias would make a passing remark about clothing, sparking a fit of anxiety from Tristan about his branded jumper, and I’d reassure him it was fine. Twice.
We’d cross the road to the neighbouring pub. Tristan would order doubles in place of my usual single. We’d bump into someone I went on a couple of dates with once and Tristan would ask, ‘What’s the deal with that guy?’ Twice.
I’d say or do something daft.
‘You’re really great,’ he’d say, laughing and clinking glasses.
We’d hug and I’d say:
‘I’ll miss you when you go to New York!’
And he’d tell me to come visit.
Out on the pavement, we hug again.
‘I always want people to be more like you,’ I say, ‘cos that makes them a better person.’
‘You’re really great,’ he says again.
Later, in the casino, over champagne, we lose money and laugh about it.
Later still, in the crowded bar, he kisses me. Light, tender and unexpected.
I meet his eye. He looks happy and drunk and takes my hand, tight, beneath the table. We rest our heads together.