Chapter 8: London Bridge
The night bus was always a social experiment. Cass gazed out the window at the trendies in their own uniform of beards and neck tattoos. She wondered how they managed to get jobs, then realised that she was not 50 years old. She was sat in front of some “youth” which she did not find terrifying. Though very sober, they were gleefully sharing pictures of pornography on their phones.
There was a group speaking Polish sat in front of her. An aged British Jamaican got on, a little worst for wear. He stood in front of the Polish people. He pointed at them, loudly complained that he had lived in the country longer and had always paid his taxes. Cass got up and gave him her seat. He seemed to calm down and picked up a tattered Metro, turning and rustling the pages passive aggressively.
Cass hopped off the bus on the Borough side of London Bridge into the set of Bridget Jones. “God I wish I had some of her problems” she smiled to herself.
She met up with Sam. Sam was wearing a tiny black dress and a meter high heeled boots.
“Daniel coming tonight?” asked Cass as best she could without sounding judgmental.
“Nope he is with his kids, it is Christmas after all!” said Sam slightly defensively. “Why are you dressed like a middle aged lesbian?”
“What’s wrong with middle aged lesbians? Mary Portas is fabulous. And what is wrong with dressing to be comfortable? I am just going to be dancing,” Cass was wearing a short black jacket over a handprinted t shirt of a bird in flight from a stall in Spitalfield’s market. It had the obligatory “tuck” into the front of her jeans and a pair of silver sprayed brogues. “Anyway you know how ridiculous I look in heels, I look like I am taking my slutty 17 year old niece out.”
“I am so glad you love my dress! I am sorry, you know how I get about Daniel. You look great. Love the shoes,” Sam beamed
“You look stunning as ever! Who else is here?”
“Little Bro. Little Bro’s rather good-looking friend, Mark. Jens, of course. Luke has reappeared from where ever that walking STI goes, as well. Scandal of scandals he has a girlfriend with him!”
“You are kidding! Luke, the dog with two dicks, has a girlfriend!”
“She is called Sabina. She is German and he met her through Tinder. I think she is a surgeon.”
“Well I look forward to not really talking to anyone tonight and dancing my well rounded Christmas behind off!” said Cass grabbing Sam by the arm. Sam lead Cass behind Borough Market to some railway arches in a disused car lot. Cass’ guts knotted with excitement as they pass through the entrance to the seedy womb of the club.
Cass dreamily leant down to give Sam’s brother, Chris, a kiss on the cheek. Her nervous excitement showed as she stuttered hello to Mark, who laughed. Sam, seeing that Cass was embarrassed, acerbically stated, “Mark, why are police officers such arseholes?”
“Sam, shut up” Chris jumped to his friends defense.
“Well, he should not laugh at my friend,” said Sam childishly.
“I laughed because I find your friend sexy,” Mark stated frankly and winking at Cass.
Cass was taken a back. Chris leant nervously in again, “Don’t worry. He is just coming up.”
“See you later, Beautiful!” shouted Mark over the roar of music, blowing a kiss as he was enveloped into the next room.
“I better follow him before he marries someone,” said Chris, slightly embarrassed by his friend.
Cass turned to Sam and said flatly, “Have you got the E?”
“Yeap!” Sam affirmed brightly.
“Give me one, now,” commanded Cass mirthlessly.
“Rightie oh, lawyer lady.”
Luke came over with a drink for them both. A good-looking woman and Jens followed. Luke and Jens had shared a flat with Sam and Cass during the university. At the time the boys were rugby players. Both were underpaid barristers, trying desperately to make names for themselves. Jens had always been secretly in love with Sam. Tall, blonde and athletic, with a playful sense of fun which he had inherited from his Danish mother. Sam thought he was her viking hero, unfortunately he was too poor for her.
Luke was tall dark haired and blue eyed. He had high cheekbones, an aquiline nose and a strong jaw. He was magnetic. When Sam and Cass realised that they were sharing a flat with him, they almost fell out trying to get his attention. After a week of knowing him, they were putting everything on boil wash and hoping to god that they did not have crabs from the shower they shared with him.
“Here,” said Luke “have some over priced water. Feeling the effects yet?”
“Great to see you, too” Cass leant in and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Miss me”
“With all my heart,” Luke said convincingly. It was his trick. He could make Cass feel like the only person in the room. “Sabina! Meet my soul mate.” It was unclear whether he was talking about Cass or Sabina.
“Really nice to meet you,” said the good-looking woman. In the first instance you could tell she was lovely and warm. The slightness of her frame was exaggerated by Luke’s bulk. Her silky brunette hair reflected some of the club lights giving her a bubble gum pink hue. What the hell she was doing with Luke was a mystery to Cass. Perhaps she was a Urologist and she thought he was a petri dish on legs.
They found a table in a booth. Luke, Sabina and Jens went to dance. Cass and Sam remained in the booth. The pill hit Cass faster than most people. She sat there running her fingers through Sam’s pixi blonde crop, she whispered intimately to Sam,”You really are beautiful.”
“Knock it off,” Sam giggled, beginning to feel the effects.
Emboldened Cass leans into Sam putting her head on her shoulder looking lovingly at her, “You do fancy me though.”
Girlishly Sam nudges Cass,” Of course I do. But there is Daniel.”
“So” Cass smiles persistently, knowing she was winning.
“So, he will be jealous and might not forgive me.”
“He won’t know, no one is here, come on just a quick snog. I really do think you are beautiful,” Cass was high. She felt that nothing mattered, only this moment with one of her most precious people in the world. Lust and love always became confused when she was high.
“I think you are beautiful,” said a stranger to them. They turn slightly irritated to this be-dreadlocked trustifarian. The women both smile dangerously hoping he would go away. “White-man deadlocks” misreads the smiles, thinking it is an invitation to sit down opposite them.
He leans across to Cass, the locks snaking across the table, “I have been watching you” in away he thought was romantic. He then points to his groin, “I want you so hard.”
Normally Cass would have walked away from this weirdo, but she huskily said, ”Thank you but I want Sam.” In her drug addled logic, the guy was just high, not a sex pest. Cass was being a sex pest to Sam, so fair was fair.
“Oh for fuck sake” exasperated Sam. She turned and aggressively kissed Cass, sucking her lips and penetrating Cass’ mouth with her tongue. Cass’ hand caressed Sam’s naked thigh and she could feel the moist warmth coming off her cunt. The rush started and Cass felt powerful and euphoric. Cass wanted to finger her friend then and there, making her come loudly to Cass’ satisfaction.
A loud voice interrupted their indulgence, “God, you two are hot!” Mark, Chris’ friend and alleged policeman, was sat opposite them, smirking at them lasciviously. He was a welcome change from the NGO Tarquin who had finally taken the hint.
“Does Daddy Daniel know?” he teased Sam with malicious enjoyment.
“No he doesn’t and he is not going to know, if you want somewhere to stay tonight,” Sam retorted shortly. “I had to do something to save Cass from wandering off with that speed and viagra skank.”
“Cheers,” Cass feigning petulance. “I thought it was love.”
“You know you are the worst when you are up, sweetness,” Sam stroked Cass’ cheek lovingly.
“Oh please do start again!” Mark lent back pleased in the booth.
“Nope, floor show is over. I need to dance!” Sam grabbed Mark and Cass by the hand and they submerged themselves in the gyrating uncoordinated bodies in the next room. Cass thought it was funny that they were taking a “dancing chemical”. As far as she could see it only enhanced the propensity to make a lead booted arse out of yourself.
Cass and her friends only ever dabbled. This was a once in a year indulgence down the rabbit hole. Their lives were too regimented to be able to do this every weekend.
Mark pulled Cass into a corner, lent in for a kiss. It was sweet, short and gentle. It was the first time she had actually kissed a man since Jason, three years ago. She was taken back by how normal she felt. No guilt, no confusion, no real emotion. It was just fun.
“Fancy a smoke?” Mark asked
“How do you know?” Cass hit with embarrassment. She mentally checked; teeth, chewing gum, perfume, hadn’t had one since at home.
“Sam told me. Also it is like any other junkie, they recognise each other immediately.”
“Or Serial Killers” Cass quipped.
“You are funny, come on”
In the emphysema garden, they both imbibed the noxious heady vapour with a pleasure and relief.
Mark told Cass hushly that he works for vice and he got the pills from a massive haul. Cass looked at him, laughed, “You are a bullshit liar.”
“Okay, Chris made them”
“Thought so, he has always been the entrepreneur. David Cameron will be so proud. But he doesn’t do it that often?” Cass suddenly felt concern for her friend’s little brother.
“No, it is just we can’t bear that legal high crap,” Mark said honestly.
“Never tried it. I prefer to take something which I know the dangers of.”
“Took it once at training college. Complete waste of time. I felt like I had really bad pins and needles all night, with an uncontrollable hard-on.”
“Why don’t they just legalise the real stuff? Prohibition seems redundant now when you can get anything off the web. The ban has never worked.” Cass paused, smiles dreamily closing her eyes. “Sorry, the rush is coming again. I love this stuff.”
“I love touching you,” whispered Mark intimately, stoking her neck gently. She felt on the edge of climax with every tender caress. She braced herself against the wall and he leaned into her again, kissing where he stroked.
“Cass! I can’t leave you for five minutes. Put him down! You don’t know where he has been,” Luke was stood there, amused and pretending to look paternal.
Mark was slightly annoyed at the interruption. Cass held Mark’s hand protectively. “That is rich coming from you!” Cass squared up to Luke. They could feel the static coming off each other. Then Luke and Cass start laughing. Mark was confused by the scene. Luke and Cass, if they were honest with each other, were confused as well.