I’d split up with #18 about a week ago and it was a dead cert that I was about to go out with #20, but while I was technically single I figured it didn’t matter what I did. It was two nights before Christmas and it was a soul-destroying evening. Everything was a mess. I felt guilty as hell for the pain I’d caused people. My old friends were back from university – I hadn’t gone anywhere – and they didn’t seem too excited to see me, nor did they say anything about my recent break-up. I felt like I was just a big joke to them.
I drank a bottle of Concorde and then we went off to the Windsor in Bangor. I’d just turned eighteen, so I could finally throw away my fake ID and get on with it. I drank three vodkas in quick succession and some of my friends left without saying goodbye to me. I needed a place to crash that night, so I asked this boy who was part of their crowd. I knew exactly what that meant, but given my frame of mind I figured I’d rather take my chances with him than ask for help from the friends I already felt let down by. He’d previously gotten off with a couple of them and was known for being a two-faced liar, but at least I knew in advance. I felt kind of sophisticated playing this game.
So we got back to his place and talked for a while. He hugged me and kissed me and gave me a bunch of compliments, which were pretty cheesy. I let him do most of the talking. I just didn’t care. He said that unlike most girls I wasn’t nervous. I couldn’t find anything to bother being nervous about.
I kind of wanted some action, although I’d have much preferred #20. But I was also resigned to this. I changed my mind quickly enough, because getting off with him was pretty unenjoyable. It didn’t feel good. He just kind of grabbed at me. So I called things off and blamed it on my recent break-up. We talked till 6am. I told him some personal stuff, actually, but not because I trusted him. I told him because I didn’t care.
Four hours later I woke up to hear his parents outside the bedroom wondering who he’d brought home. (Sidenote: going home with people who still live with their parents feels really awkward.) I couldn’t stand to lie there with him any longer, so I got out. I took the bus in to Bangor and ate breakfast alone in the café at the Flagship Centre, feeling kind of trashy. It was the first time I’d spent the night with someone I wasn’t going out with. It had been a pointless exercise but nothing I would bother to actually regret.