Chapter Four

I was all keyed up next day on the way to work. When I got there there was a huge order to check in so there was no chance of making contact with Tim. At lunch I sneaked up into the office and found out that it was Tim’s day off. Fortunately we were just as busy in the afternoon so I didn’t have the opportunity to brood but I didn’t know what to do with myself when I got home. Tracy was there with her mother so I joined them for a cup of tea. She said they’d had a rough trip back to Mallorca and she’d been horribly seasick. Apart from that they’d had a good time and met up with some good friends on another boat and spent a few days in a bay with them, swimming, playing cards and eating together. She said I should have stayed but I’d have felt like a gooseberry.

I went upstairs for a bath to settle my nerves but I didn’t fancy a night in on my own was so I decided to phone Sarah and take up her offer of a night out on the town. She sounded really pleased but as soon as I put the phone down I had regrets. Anyway I immersed myself in dolling myself up, putting on bright red lipstick, heavy eye make-up, long silver ear-rings and I chose a mini-dress with a low neckline so my legs (one of my best features) and my cleavage were there to entice whoever. In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought. I do so love dressing up.

I decided to drive as that would take away the temptation to drink. Sarah appeared at her door when I hooted. She was wearing a coat so I couldn’t really see what she was wearing apart from the high heels and bare legs. We’d decided to go to the Superstar Club in Manchester which was three-quarters of an hour away. We arrived about 10, early enough to avoid the queue at the door to get in. The bouncers leered at us as we went in. We ignored them and handed our coats over. I noticed Sarah was dressed equally as revealingly as me. She looked stunning.

“Wow,” she exclaimed looking me up and down, “we shouldn’t have any trouble tonight.”

“Yes, that’s what worries me.” I replied, “We won’t get any peace.”

“I’m not here to get peace. I want action.”

At the bar I ordered an orange juice and Sarah a pint of Stella. We found an unoccupied table and sat down. I took a selfie of the two of us. It was a while since I’d been in a nightclub and I was deafened by the music. It was virtually impossible to carry on a conversation. As anticipated several lots of creeps came over and offered to buy us drinks, all tattoos and body piercings. Then two smartly dressed older men came and sat down with us. I looked across at Sarah and gave her a wink, which she returned. I got up and indicated to her I wanted to dance. She was a good dancer and we had a great session before retiring back to our table. The two men were still there and we had new drinks waiting for us, a pint for Sarah and an orange juice for me. Before we sat down with them I asked them to take a picture of us standing up so we could show off our outfits and our figures. As they were now in the centre of the semicircular table we sat with them between us. I tried to have a conversation with the man nearest me who was called Bob and he was an investment banker, so he said, in other words, loaded. Sarah seemed to be getting on with the other man and soon they were on the dance floor together. Bob and I watched and tried to exchange pleasantries. Sarah was having fun, really letting go. I was pleased for her but felt a bit flat inside myself. This just wasn’t where I wanted to be. Bob pulled me to my feet and onto the dance floor. I squeezed through so we were next to Sarah and her partner so we could dance as a foursome.

After a while we’d all had enough and we returned to the table. Bob got another round of drinks in, Sarah having her third pint. We went off to the ladies together. It was a little quieter in there. After we’d had our pees we stood in front of the mirror touching up our faces. I didn’t say anything as I wanted to know what Sarah was thinking.

“Rick’s lovely.” she said, “How’s your fella?”

“He’s OK.” I said.

“I’m going to go back with him.” she said.

“Is that wise?” I asked. “You’re drunk and in no state to defend yourself.”

“Exactly.” she said.

The rest of the evening was a bit of a nightmare for me. Bob got frisky and wouldn’t keep his hands to himself. Sarah got even drunker and I thought she really let herself down. I stayed with it though as I was still hoping to take her back home in one piece. This was not to be as she went off with Nick and I was forced to get shot of Bob. I drove home alone, in a foul mood. I wasn’t quite sure why.

Sarah phoned next evening. She was not proud of herself. Nick was married and just out for a quick shag which was what he got with Sarah, in the back of his car. Sarah threw up half way through but Nick was not put off.

“I was gagging for it, I know. But I didn’t enjoy it. I just wanted him to do his bit and get off me. Maybe I sobered up a bit when I was sick.”

“I think Bob was married. I had a job keeping his hands off me and left him in no doubt I was going home alone.”

We chatted a bit more then I asked her what to do about Tim. He’d been at work that day but our paths didn’t really cross, either he was busy or I was and we had separate breaks.

“What’s the problem, love?” Sarah asked, “Ask him out. It’s a woman’s prerogative these days.”

“Yes I know all that but… I just don’t want to seem too forward. You know I can be a little bit um bossy I suppose and I hate myself for it.
“Then I’d have the problem as to where to take him. Would he expect me to pay if I’d done the asking? I can’t get my head round it all.”

“Look Sophie, don’t try to cross too many bridges all at once. Take one step at a time. Play it cool. Not that I’m any expert. Just look at the fool I made of myself last night.”

“Well that wasn’t your finest hour, obviously, but put it behind you. Forget it happened. Just put it down to experience.”

Then I added mischievously:
“Just keep checking yourself to make sure haven’t picked anything nasty up from him.”

“Thanks a lot for that. I’m worried enough without you stoking the fires. I’m sure he put a condom on, or at least I think I remember him doing so. But I could just be imagining it.”

“I was only winding you up. If Nick was married he’d be almost certain to take precautions. He wouldn’t want to give his wife anything would he?
“Anyway you’re not helping me with my problem. I know I’m probably being stupid but I really did think Tim was well special. I can’t stop thinking about him.
“What did you mean, play it cool?”

“Well just say something like ‘I’m at a loose end tonight and wondered what you were doing’.”

“Then he says I’m sorry I’m taking Audrey for a romantic meal tonight. What then?”

“Well at least you know where you are then but if he’s just going to play tennis with a mate or something like that then you’ll just have to extend the time frame, Sophie.”

“What?”

“Just say ‘I’m also at a loose end tomorrow night and the night after’.”

“Sarah, you are brilliant. That sounds well cool. And I don’t have to think where to take him if he is free one of those nights. We can discuss it together. I’ll try that tomorrow. Thanks.”

“Yes well let me know how you get on. And can we make another arrangement to go out somewhere again soon?”

“Of course. So long as it’s not to another meat market like last night. Maybe a quiet meal in a wine bar or something like that. We could just go to the pictures but you’d be unlikely to meet any men that way and I think that’s what you’re after, a bit of exposure.”

“Maybe I’ve learnt my lesson. OK I’ll give you a ring in a couple of days. Bye.”

Then I was on my own again but somehow I was more relaxed than the other night and was happy just slobbing in front of the box.
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