Later on that day, we all went out for drinks. Adam, the guy from earlier whose name I had finally learnt, was deliberately avoiding me. I went to the bar, took three whiskey shots and bought him a beer. I wanted to make amends or at least let him know that I had the potential to be better.
Potential is such a weird thing. It’s like the future, the promise of something to come. Everyone has potential. Potential for greatness, for cruelty, for kindness, for love. Until you die. Then you just become the sum of your parts. Were you actually kind? Were you actually great? That’s all that matters. What you actually are. And at that point, I wanted Adam to look at me differently.
So I went up to him. He was sitting with my friend Monae’s new boyfriend, Max. I’m assuming Adam was his close friend, because as I approached, he stepped in between us.
‘Having a good night?’ He asked, looking past me. He didn’t care about the question. He was just trying to distract me. So, I said.
‘I ran into Ellis earlier.’
And by earlier, I meant the day I had picked up the pills from Ellis. But Max didn’t wait to clarify. He ducked out sheepishly.
I sat down next to Adam and offered him the pint.
‘No, thanks.’ He said, folding his arms.
‘Go on,’ I said, ‘I’ve paid for it now.’
‘You drink it, then.’
‘I got it for you.’
‘I was rude earlier. I’m trying to show you that I’m not always like that.’
He took the pint.
‘Max says you are.’
‘Yeah, well. I think Max is a bit intimidated by me.’
‘Cos I know he was with Monae while she was still with Ellis.’
His eyes widened, and I realised I’d hooked him. That’s why I love secrets so much. If you reveal them at the right time, everything leading up to it is irrelevant.
He asked for details as he sipped his beer and I regaled him with a story that wasn’t mine to tell. I spoke in a whisper so he had to move closer. I looked at his lashes as he took it all in and I thought about how hypnotic it would be being fucked by him. Lying under him as he opened and close those big blue eyes with every thrust-
‘It’s not just Max, though.’ He said, when he’d finished his beer.
‘I know, it takes two to tango-‘
‘No, I mean it’s not just Max saying I should stay away from you.’
So we were back to this again.
‘People say stuff they don’t mean all the time. Like this afternoon, I didn’t mean to laugh-‘
‘They meant it.’
Under the table, I curled my hand into a fist.
‘I think you can tell that I’m sorry.’
‘But you haven’t actually said sorry.’
I dug my nails into my palms.
‘I bought you a drink.’
‘Yeah. Thanks. But you didn’t say sorry.’
His eyes bore into me. He was smirking. It was like he wanted me to be in the wrong. No. It was like he didn’t care who I was, like he’d seen enough. There was no use saying sorry because he’d made up his mind about me.
‘Well, if that’s how you feel.’
I got up from the table.
‘Enjoy the rest of your night.’
I picked up my coat before he could protest and marched for the door. He wasn’t going to get that apology. I was never going to apologize ever again.