Somewhere outside a pub in Leeds.

‘What, her? Naw, she’s left.

Y’what?

Yeah she was there. In her fuck-me boots and that top.

Yeah, that’s the one.

Ha ha ha.

Y’what?

Hang on a sec… ‘scuse me, love. Thanking you.

Still there?

Yeah, it’s filling up.

Y’what, about…? Hey mate, I’m just talking.

No, I know, but you sound serious.

Ha ha ha…no, but seriously. You better just stop with that.

Well, she’s got a boyfriend. He dunt take kindly to people with designs. Not on Mandy.

Fucker’s six five and plays rugby. He gets shirty.

Look, he’s from Garforth and you stay in Headingley, you get me?

Alright, alright, don’t get upset!

Y’what?

Hey, you asked me. I’m just relating… yeah, yeah… how the evening went…

Before she were in? No, I’m telling… I’m on t’pre-lash in that bar the students go in. See some lass mouthing along to ‘Come As You Are’ on the jukebox.

I dunno, some emo bird…

Yeah…

…in a, in a crop top and drainpipes. Converse All Stars. Asymmetrical hair.

Yeah, tidy. Playing at being the DJ.

That’s it, little emo lifesaver.

I know, it din’t look promising musically, but… I was thinking, “Come on then, surprise me,” and fair fucks to her, she did, follows it with ODB, ‘Got yer money.’

Top. Now she’s mouthing along again as she sticks in more coins. But then Dirt McGirt’s closely followed by Green Day, sort of proving me right the first time, kind of, but anyway.

No, she was with about… thirty mates!

So yeah, I’m all ‘wake me up when this record ends’, about to finish up me drinks and move outside, and I notice Mandy, suddenly, playing Stu.

Stu.

Aye, y’know him.

He’s… He’s got… highlights and green day-glo socks.

Pink and green day glo.

That’s him. Mismatched socks.

He’s not, no, but Gordo thinks he is.

Why? “Cause he dresses like one.”

No, I dunno. Gordo’s…

Gordo’s a rugby player. I told you that already. Supposed to be a law student too…

…I know, it’s fucking deadly, innit? So Stu and Mand are playing pool and notice me slouching over by the bar. Stu’s like “Ah, just the fellow! Come and lend a hand, sir. Mandy’s tanning me arse here.”

Yeah, all that. That expression on his face.

I wan’t biting, no. I looked round nonchalant, you know, doing the de Niro face.

Yeah, internal. Voiceover.

Anyway, he looks a bit shifty, she looks like butter wouldn’t fucking melt as usual, then they both got a call about the same time and shifted sharpish.

No, that were it. I think it…

Naw… I don’t think Stu were at it, no. But I wouldn’t want to speculate.

Of course.

She’s hot, yes.

Shmokiiiiin’! Yeah…

Look, no one’s denying it. No. But seriously: no. Don’t touch her or there’ll be a palaver.

You’ll end up getting… fucking… rucked and mauled by this fucking… prop, whatever the fuck he is. Big bastard. Did you not hear about Nevitt?

Nevitt.

NEVITT.

Yeah, that’s him. ‘Have it!” Well, he tried. Got a kicking for his efforts.

Just sayin, know what’m saying?

Smart.

Yeah, well up for it later, mate. Give us a shout, we’ll see what comes about.

No, just outside… Blakies now.

Yeah, it’s filling up.

Having a smoke.

Alright then.’

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