Company of friends

Company of friends

She kept laughing at his interruptive quips. They weren’t all especially funny and the other members of his Company of Friends thought they were annoying but she laughed it anyway. Maybe it was because she felt at ease with him and not as uptight as Amanda had described her last week when she introduced her to this new crowd.
‘This is my friend, Florence. She is single and uptight’ was plainly what Amanda said. To her that was what being an SU meant but Florence knew she wasn’t an SU, at least she didn’t dress like one. She just had principles about relationships and men and how to manage both, these principles had kept her dignity between her legs so far.
Yet it was the way Amanda had said it that night that piqued her. She didn’t want to seem like a turn off to the others. She wanted to prove to Amanda and to herself that she wasn’t a total SU. She decided that if she was going to get a fling, to prove that she could let loose if she wanted to and was only restrained by her self-made principles, she would go with the most appealing guy in the group. So when Henry played his cards she gave him full hearts.
Henry was comparatively more attractive than the other guys. She knew he was a play boy, but at least he was the good looking one. To her ‘the only thing worse than a heartbreaker playboy, is a heartbreaker playboy with a face that looks like badly fried boli and a lips that reminds me of my pink church shoe.’ He was tall and broad chested, he had a light skin that had already endured the negative effects of bleaching before he realized and maybe stopped. He had a well shaved goatee that graced his jaws and when he walked it was evident that one foot was longer than the other. His looks were what he had to offer nothing endeared her to him more.
This was their first real date. It was his brilliant idea of a ‘nice time out’. The flickering multicolored lights pinching her eyes, the loud pop music being torn and scratched by D.J whatsoever bore coarsely into her ears and the strong smell of booze and cigarettes reeking from every mouth around her made her nose wiggle. Even Henry, snugged up beside her with his arms around her tiny neck, had a cigarette in his other outstretched hand.
While she giggled and laughed she was trying to find a plausible excuse to leave. She didn’t live with her parents so it wouldn’t work to say she was needed at home and it was a Friday night so she wouldn’t be going to work tomorrow. Annoyance and disgust welled up inside her. Across the table, snugged between two guys was Amanda, she held a beer and cigar in either hand and laughed hysterically at something she herself had forgot to laugh at. She stared at her and wondered how someone so opposite to her could be her best friend.
There was so much laughing going on and by the time Florence could bring herself out of her thoughts, Henry’s eyes was all over her like an owl. Her heart skipped.
‘What’s the problem, Flo?’ he spoke as if something was in his mouth. She shook her head to indicate a ‘nothing’ because her voice was too tiny to even try shouting over the loud music. He took a drag of cigarette and thankfully blew in the other direction bringing only the aftermath to her face.
‘You’re looking tense’ he said. She gave a wry smile.
‘Do you want to go home?’ her eyes lit up at the offer, glad to know he was a bit empathic. She nodded.
He held her hand and led her through the sea of sweaty clubbers. From nowhere there were sporadic shouts of his accolades. He seemed a hot shot around here for reasons she wouldn’t bother to inquire…

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