In the mid naughties, I was 25 and single. Still. Life should have been sweet, although most of my friends had gone a bit stale on me ‘cos they all had long-term boyfriends themselves. I was beginning to think that I’d never meet a good looking, kind, nice, genuine, honest, trustworthy, funny man of my own. And then I got invited out by some work friends one night to Widnes.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Guys of such calibre are a rare find, and finding one in Widnes was probably about as likely as marrying Prince William. (Ahh, I’m joking. I like Widdy really).
Anyway. I was in a bar in Victoria Square in Widnes and I caught the eye of this really cute guy (see, Widnes does have some hotties). Across the flashing lights and music, he was leant back against a wall, a beer in one hand. So I walked past him bumping into him on purpose and he stopped me. We chatted and danced and flirted for the next couple of hours until the bouncer started to do the rounds and throw everyone out into the street at closing time.
‘Where do you live?’ I asked him, as he bungled me into a cab. ‘Widnes’, he said. We fell out of the cab at his house (Ditton, I believe) and I soon wished I’d gone home instead. Don’t get me wrong- there was nothing wrong with the house itself, it was just that we had no sooner crashed onto the settee when we were interrupted by the doorbell ringing. Followed shortly by a fierce hammering that was a sign that someone wasn’t about to just cut their losses and go away. And then the doorbell started ringing again. My man *Mark did a commando roll off the sofa and then army crawled his way to the corner of the room out of sight of the window. I was still on the sofa and he told me, quite sternly- “Lie flat. Don’t move”. I think he’d been watching a few too many crime films, but I did as he asked.
The doorbell rang again. Followed now by some pounding on the window.
This went on, someone pounding on the door, then moving to the doorbell to ring it incessantly for what seemed like a lifetime, until eventually, Mark jumped up from trying to unsuccessfully camoflauge himself into his shagpile carpet and pulled me out of my seat by hand. He then pleaded with me to go and wait in the toilet in the kitchen whilst he went to answer the door.
So I did.
But only because I thought the mafia were outside. Or the bailiffs. Or the neighbour from hell. Or his wife.
So I heard him open the front door and this girl came in going ballistic. ‘Who’s here with you?’ she immediately accused him of being “cheating scum” and she ran upstairs, opening and slamming doors looking for the mysterious woman he was hiding up there. That would be me. Hiding in the downstairs bathroom.
I hardly dared breathe. I could hear him walking around, pacing up and down, consoling her as if she was delusional, and on finding nothing upstairs, the girl sounded even more hyseterical. I think she was crying more now because she believed that she actually was delusional, like he’d said. Grrrrr, I really wanted to jump out and put her out of her self-doubting misery, but then I didn’t really want a punch in the face for my effort.
Next thing I know, I heard them make their way back into the living room and she kept repeating that she was sorry and then it all just went a bit muffled and then suddenly, it was quiet. I think they were making up. And I mean – making up. Ewwwwwww. Errr, excuse me , but I am still here you know. I’m not a hologram’, I wanted to call out, and land him in deep shit, but then, through the stillness of the house, I heard my mobile ringing in my bag. I dashed into my bag for it. I scrambled around my bag and when I couldn’t find it, I shook the contents crazily and some of them spilled out on the floor. I spotted the phone and picked it up and held my finger on the ‘reject call’ button…but it was too late.
‘Hey. Who’s in there?’ the girl had sped up to the toilet room I was locked inside of and was banging on it. Hard.
I stayed still and said nothing.
She banged again. Louder this time.
‘Open this door! I know there’s someone in there’ she hissed.
‘Listen’, I could hear Mark trying to console, or rather, convince her. ‘It’s just my mate Kev from work. He’s pissed. Heprobably fell asleep in there’.
She appeared to believe him for a moment or two. ‘Kev?’ she banged on the door again. ‘Kev? Are you in there?’
I cleared my throat as silently as I could and prepared to try and disguise my voice intoa deep and convincing male one. I was actually going to go along with this?
‘Er, yuh hullo, its me. Kev, I’m ..er.. …just having a…’
Oh my God, this was ridiculous. What on earth was I doing?!!
I flung the door open and screwed my eyes shut and stood still for about 5 long seconds and when I didn’t get socked in the face, I chanced open an eye to see that her own eyes had practically doubled in size. There was an eerie silence and then, just like Helen from Sliding Doors, she just turned around, walked to the front door, opened it, walked through it, and closed it behind her. Cool as a cucumber.
I grabbed my coat brusquely and told Mark to piss right off. ‘Don’t you dare touch me’, I said. He wasn’t about to, it seemed. He didn’t even have the decency to look ashamed.
‘So. That was my girlfriend’ he then supplied, matter of factly.
‘No shit’ I said sarcastically.
‘Yeah’, he went on, and the he leaned in to confide in a low whisper. ‘She’s a bit unhinged, as you could see.’
I twisted my face to show how utterly unimpressed I was, and then just to add insult to injury, he wanted to know if I fancied fooling around now that she’d gone?
Errr, I felt like a fool alright, but not in the way he meant it.
‘That would be a no. A definate no. I’d like to say it’s been fun meeting you’ I said, exiting out of the front door. ‘But well’, I pulled a face, ‘It hasn’t’.
He shut the door behind me and I then had the mosfortune of realising that I didn’t have a taxi booked and my battery had since died in my mobile. Cue a marathon walk home in the rain to reflect on what a shit ending to anotherwise good night out in Widnes
*To protect the privacy of certain individuals the names and identifying details have been changed.