Chapter 2

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“So…how was it, mate?” Matt asked excitedly as I got into the car.

“Fine, I guess.”

“Well, look, this first month is sort of a trial period…”

“Yea, yea, I know. He explained everything to me. Thoroughly.”

“He’s a cool lad ye know, I met him…”

“Great, he thinks the same about ye.” I snapped, not really in the mood for talking. I wanted to be in my apartment, on my own, as usual.

Matt got the hint and just turned the radio on. When he finally pulled the car up in front of where I lived, I practically jumped out, not bothering to say goodbye or anything ‘cause anyway I was inevitably seeing him sometime later today and that meant I wasn’t wasting my precious solitary time on stupid social conventions.

Running up the stairs, I quickly got to my apartment-third floor- and, desperately turning the key in the lock, I finally entered paradise. My apartment, when on my own, was my definition of utter sweet tranquility and, therefore, happiness. I can’t really put into words the feeling I was overcome with when I breathed in that delicious privacy that the walls embraced.

If only I could marry my apartment.

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For obvious reasons, I’m not a fan of going out in groups. However, my mood does oscillate depending on what place we go to. Tonight, the club we were in was a pure nightmare: Cramped, full of people and making an incessant use of those annoying black light effects …it truly was a miracle I was still on my feet, listening absently at the football discussion that Matt, Jamie and a roadie were having. I couldn’t help glancing at my watch every two minutes or so, though.

Is it over yet?

“Al, for god’s sake stop being so…still. Let’s go get you some bird to have fun with!” Matt exclaimed a little bit tipsy, throwing his –rather heavy- arm around my shoulder.

Fuck me, not this again.

“I’m actually ‘aving a good time ‘ere …football, oh!…I’ve watched a match the other day, can’t remember the…” I tried to engage in the prior conversation they were having.

“Ye ain’t fooling anyone mate; better stick with your beloved, solitary tennis. Now, see that hot blonde over there, in that booth? … she was practically eye-fucking you just minutes ago. Easy target Al, let her do all the talk and just stare…yeah like that: mysterious…girls go all wet for that shit today.” Matt sort of advised before dragging me along all the way to where this chick was. He talked, probably introducing ourselves but I couldn’t quite pay attention to what was going on around me. I’d started to feel both dizzy and suffocated, symptoms I knew all too well to dismiss their importance.

‘Sit down’ was all I heard Matt said as he pushed me towards the couch and conveniently disappeared. Immediately after, the girl started blabbering and stroking my thigh way too enthusiastically. I attempted to get up but in that very moment she threw herself at me, literally. She was now sitting on my lap, kissing me voraciously.

“No, stop.” I somehow managed to break the kiss and put her ass back on the couch again. Not waiting to see her -probably upset- reaction, I fled to the exit- my yearning for seclusion burning my insides by then.

“The fuck Al, what in the world is wrong with ye?” Jaime shouted tugging my arm. I was shivering by then.

“I just need…I… I don’t feel…well” I did my best to form a coherent sentence while gasping for air.

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