“What, you’ve never done it?”
“No, never,” Jack answered, looking over his pint at one of his drinking buddies.
“I have,” Tim chirped in, next to him.
Jack shook his head and glanced around the bar, The White Horse was a typical English pub in London on a Thursday, that is to say the barman was Australian, the beer was crap and everyone sitting, standing or otherwise engaged drinking their beverage, was wearing a suit. The lads from work came in here every Thursday to knock back a few pints and wind down, Friday tended to be a quiet day anyway, and the management could overlook a few sore heads so long as targets were met by close of play the previous day.
Jack took a puff of his cigarette and turned to listen to Tim's story, the past fifteen minutes had been spent discussing how many times people had cheated on their spouses or girlfriends, started by the ever-popular and overly amorous Brad, who'd started with their company less than a month ago.
“...by this time, we'd spent about sixty quid each on dances,” it didn't take much to catch up on the general gist of the story; night out with the boys had somehow led to a strip club, “and so I'm just sat there supping my five pound lager when I notice this Blonde bird is checking me out. I'd had a dance with her like an hour before, so I'm thinking game on, yeah?”
“Of course man,” Brad said in his deep South African drawl, sounding thoroughly unbelieving of the tale being told to him and the rest of them.
“No, really!” Tim's voice went up a notch, and he took a long swig of the Carling in front of him to set himself for the next part of his story.
Jack turned off; he wasn't particularly interested in hearing tales, tall or otherwise about people cheating on their other half. As far as he was concerned relationship and marriage meant a lot more than that, he's been with Michelle for 8 years, since their last year at University together, and he'd never cheated on her or any of his previous girlfriends. He continued taking periodic drags on his cigarette and nodding his head at times when he noticed others doing the same, but his mind was thinking about Michelle now, He came back to here and now just as Tim was finishing the story.
"...worst shag I've ever had, seriously.” He ended, and then took a long drink of his lager.
Brad was in stitches, despite the fact he didn't seem to originally believe the story, the fourth guy with them; Julian was sitting there shaking his head with the look of a man as inexperienced as his mere 19 years suggested, Jack wasn't the only one to have noticed this.
“What about you, kid?” Brad queried Julian.
“Me...I...err...” Julian looked down at his drink, a Jack and Coke, the same as Brad. “Well, you know...sure.”
“Jacking off over Cathy in the toilets doesn't count as cheating Jules!” Brad said with a barrel laugh, Julian immediately turned a deep shade of red and Jack nearly spit out the beer he was drinking.
“Cathy! The receptionist!?” Tim exclaimed.
Julian looked around a little meekly through his burning cheeks and then his look turned to a glare as he reached Brad, and the older man just thwacked him across the back with a thundering laugh. “Well boys, my round!”
“Same again please mate.” Tim replied quickly.
“Yeah me too ya bloody git.” added Julian, making sure he got some payback.
“Not for me Brad, I think I'm going to call it early this week.” Jack said as he finished off his beer.
“Aww man, how come?”
“Well, been doing a lot of lates this week on the McIntyre Account, be good to get home and see Michelle.”
“Heh - I think we got him all guilty guys!” Brad joked.
“My arse, I told ya, I've never cheated on her, and I never will.”
“It must be love...love..love..” Tim started
“Der-Der...Der” from Julian.
“Yeah yeah, I'll catch you guys tomorrow. Take it easy.”
“Night mate, see you on the flipside!” Brad called as Jack grabbed his coat and headed out, he just heard Brad turning back to the other two and saying something about 'shooters' as the door closed behind him.
Jack took a cab home, it was only a few stops down the Tube, but he couldn't be bothered to wait for a train to show up that wasn't packed. It was still only seven and the District Line was a nightmare at that time of the evening. As they pulled up to his little two up two down terrace in Richmond, Jack leaned forward and gave the cabbie a tenner and exchanged the usual 'cheers' and pleasantries as he got out.
As he approached the door, he got his keys out and grinned, Michelle would be pleased to see him, he was never home this early on a Thursday. He put the key in the door and turned it round, good old Yale.
The door opened into the front lounge, as it often did with these old terraced properties, so he was used to coming in to the TV blaring away and Michelle sat watching some BBC drama or other. What he wasn't used to was the hairy arse of some guy pounding up and down into his cream leather sofa. Somewhere in his mind he filed away what he was looking at as 'bizarre', another part of his mind had already reached the conclusion that-
“JACK!” screamed a womans voice in surprise.
-that confirmed. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his cigarettes, he flipped the top and slid one out and into his mouth.
“Jesus mate!” came the surprised shout from the hairy arse, which was it seemed, attached to an Australian rugby player; typical, Jack thought.
The lighter came out of his trouser pocket and lit his cigarette like it was on auto-pilot. The Aussie was now scrambling for his jeans, while Michelle was yanking her blouse back over her exposed breasts; tears were welling up in her eyes.
“Jack...Jack...” she said sputtering, Jack looked at her, properly and for the first time since he opened the door about 10.2 seconds ago. Their eyes met, and he shrugged.
“See ya later love.” He took a long puff of his cigarette, turned around and closed the door behind him, the big black London cab was still sitting there having not yet gone off to another job. Jack went over and tapped on the window, the cabbie jumped with a bit of a start and turned to look at him.
“You a'ight guv?” asked the Cabbie.
“Not a bloody chance mate. Can you take me back to the White Horse on Kings St?”
The cabbie looked at him a little confused, but nodded, “Yeah - gerrin mate.”
Jack opened the door and stepped in, sitting back in the big rear chair, he took another long puff of his cigarette as the cabbie pulled off.
Edited by Ven Halcyon, 02 February 2007 - 09:07 AM.