(Continued from In Da Club)
In the course of the next year, we exchanged the odd message: a house-warming invite here, a dinner party invite there, a request for a (gay) mutual friend’s phone number. (Yes, that came from me, and was totally legit.)
When he entered the church (bear with) on Saturday evening, I felt… a little awkward. He was still, in my eyes, the softly-spoken literature student who had turned down my invitation to the cinema – and drinks. And we still got on like a house on fire.
The reeling comes to an end.
‘What are your plans now?’ he says.
Presume he doesn’t mean ‘in life’, cos that’s anyone’s guess.
‘Errr probably heading home. You?’
‘A friend’s having a barbecue I might go to in Clapham.’
Not far from me, and he knows it.
Somebody puts on funk music and people start dancing around the room. I’m waltzing solo (obv); Nice Guy is doing the moonwalk with a sprinkling of robot. Occasionally we cross paths, but mostly everyone is dancing apart, lost in their own little worlds. It’s surreal and wonderful.
‘Are you heading home then?’ he says.
‘How do you get there?’
‘Do you mind if I keep you company?’
‘No, that would be nice. I just need to change my shoes.’
When I get back, a girl is standing with him.
‘I’m joining you!’ she says.
Nice Guy is poker-faced. We set off.
‘Let’s get a cab,’ she says, as we cross the park.
He catches my eye. ‘The bus is fine.’
‘Yeah,’ I say, ‘I’m cool with the bus.’
‘Well,’ she says, ‘I’ll pay for a cab to Clapham so you might as well get in it.’
En route, she asks about the barbecue.
‘You can come along,’ he says to us.
She’s keen. I shrug. ‘Yeah, OK.’
We arrive just as people are leaving for the club. The other girl decides to call it a night.
Nice Guy puts a hand on my back. ‘You’ll stay?’
I’m not a big fan of clubbing. I don’t know anyone there except Nice Guy. I have to be at work in ten hours’ time. And experience has taught me that staying out because of one guy, however nice, tends to end in heartache and tears.
‘Yeah, why not?’
(TO BE CONTINUED)