John fell into the room. From the closet. Maria screamed. So did Vic. I stifled mine. Vic looked like he wished he were somewhere else – and dressed. Or at least completely nude; his heel bulged from his sock like a malignant growth. If someone had made us up the curtain would have fallen to uproarious laughter from the stalls. Unfortunately, the situation felt real. I was regretting the little blue pill, still - at least I wasn't wearing Vic's threadbare socks. By the way, John's my brother.
There was sobbing; Vic, not Maria, since you ask.
'How could you?' John asked.
The other two tried to answer at the same time. Perhaps he wasn't asking me. Anyway, it wasn't how it looked. It never is.
It was no more a film than something Cooney had thought up; but at this point, imagine, if you will:
a) Fade to black
b) Jump cut
or c) the wibbly water thing that bad directors use for a flashback.
Wimbledon, tiny pub by the sewage works. Only place you could get a drink during the competition. Bill was on the point of throwing in the towel. Local secret, so no match day bonanza, for Bill. England's great hope had lost, big surprise! John, Maria and I were sitting at a dimpled copper topped table. I just needed to fasten another knot to have really tied one on: Maria and John were at Bicker Stage III. This came just before the tears. If I had been only a quarter cut I'd have made my exit.
'Why can't you be more like Vic?' Maria asked.
'Who the fuck is Vic?' John countered
'See! You're not interested in any of my friends!' Maria volleyed.
John tried a lob, 'I could be, if you'd only...'
'Sex, that's all you care about.'
It was as downbeat as a drop-volley and John had no hope of a return.
'Drink, luv?' I asked her.
The eyelids fluttered, so I knew she was drunk.
'Gin and it, darling!'
I turned to John, 'New balls?'
Maria ran her hand up the back of my leg to my arse cheek as I passed her on the way to the bar.
In Soapland you'd hear the familiar few bars at this point: see end of part one across my arse in a font that changes only when the producer does. You'd better think about leather sofas on discount and price comparison sites for insurance before we go on.
My flat: dirty. But we'd been busy. Vic and I. We were off and on. I reckoned I was a closer friend of Vic's than Maria, but she didn't know that. We lit up a spliff; miles better than tobacco, afterwards.
'Ever done it?' Vic said.
'With a woman.'
He groaned like a teenager explaining nothing to his parent.
'No. Why would I?'
'Well...It's just, I'd like to.' He looked guiltily at me.
'Do it then. What's it to me?'
'See, I've got someone in mind...' he said.
'She wants you there too.' He smiled, apologetically.