Sarah grabs hold of my hand and drags me into the throng of pub-goers. She’s always been the outgoing one of our little group, a kind of Cameron-Diaz-kind-of-fun. The guys swoon over her, and most girls are intimidated by her, but we love her to the moon and back.
I try to relax a little with Hannah and Sarah excitedly bouncing through the crowd and dragging me with them. High-rollers, blue-collar workers and all other walks of life have gathered at Pandora’s Pub on Beaufort Street for their customary drinks, as a last salute to the weekend.
My reflection catches my attention in the mirrored wall through the sweaty crowd and I cringe. What the hell was I thinking when the girls asked me to come here? With my long auburn curls pulled up into a loose pony-tail, and my more-than-tidy outfit consisting of a sensible vintage-look blouse and knee-length skirt, I look more like a librarian than somebody out for a fun night with friends.
We find a space to dance near the stage and both the girls are grinning at me, thrilled to have won the tug-of-war. The band finally takes over from the dreadful disc jockey and their performance quickly captivates the crowd. They saunter out onto the stage, pick up their instruments and start with Little Red Corvette – the guitarist’s riff fills the tavern and sets the crowd buzzing.
‘I love this song!’ Sarah screams and jumps up and down like a teenager. I roll my eyes but smile back at her.
‘Me too,’ I shout over the music. And I do, I love music. Any song I can sing along to; when nobody is listening, of course.
I look up at the singer and boy he’s cute. I mean, in a celebrity-kind-of-way, of course – way out of my league.
Actually, on second thoughts, he’s unbelievably sexy and I’m suddenly feeling very hot in the cheeks. I size him up. Well-built, wash-board stomach and long legs. Is there anything sexier than a gorgeous looking man in a black t-shirt which sticks to his olive skin, glistening with sweat? His black curls fall across his forehead as he bends forward and of course the ladies all look more than a little woozy. I’m not sure if it’s the slight stubble on his chin, the way his jeans are torn on the knees or the way his muscles tense on his arms, that causes my breathing to quicken, but I’m in a trance. I study the veins which swell on his neck and follow them to a tattoo of some kind of wild cat, flexed across his forearm. I scan his face again.
He’s watching me stare at him. Oh, that’s embarrassing. What’s wrong with me? I clearly read too many romance novels!