You will leave with this girl.
You are single and she is pretty and we did not arrive together and there is no reason for you to be anywhere but here, leaning across this dirty café table scalding this young girl in the blaze of your attention. You are charming. I have been charmed. Now it is her turn to be flattered into wide-eyed adoration. You will leave with her and our other friends will sidle up to their temporary partners and drift off into the dawn. It is one in the morning and it is drizzling, and our flat is less than an hours walk away.
I stand and leave the table unnoticed. The rain comes harder when I am at the first set of traffic lights. There are rivulets of it finding the contours of my cheeks. No one has noticed my departure. This is a game and the teams have been selected and I am here at the edge of things, watching for a while, leaving, finding my way home.
At the venue there were bands and I felt like dancing but they don’t seem to dance anymore, this younger, cooler generation. A night of sitting quietly in corners, the tapping of feet. Every one so young and self-aware and beautiful.
The rain is heavier the further I trudge towards home. My dress clings to my body. The night is reflected in sad, damp puddles that lick at the edges of my shoes.