I looked at myself in the mirror the silver chain mail dress draped across my body, it was everything and more that I remembered, short a slit up the sides, backless with a deep v, if a strong gust of wind came my way, I’d flash a lot of people.
I pulled my slick pony back and examined my make up I wanted something clean subtle eye line, lashes of mascara and gloss. I grabbed a matching silver clutch bag and my leather jacket as I waited for the uber to arrive.
It was just after 9 when the uber arrived, making my way to smokes I messaged the girls so they knew I was almost there, can never be too careful these days.
Smokes was a small east London club, it was dark and cool, they had great c o ck tails the music blasting the best tunes so you could have a good dance, it was the perfect place to head to on a Friday night, especially after a bad week.
Sabrina met me by the entrance as we walked in, she was stunning as always, matched me in her gold dress that matched mine, she wore her hair down in the soft blonde waves smokey eyes and nude pink lips with killer heels!
‘Hey gurl you look great!’ she airs kisses me as she hands me a drink, we clink classes and I take a sip, its strong and the taste burns my throat as I swallow it.
An arm wraps around my waist as Millie appears bringing me in to a tight hug. She has her red loose curls down red lips and wearing a black mesh lacy number that I can see half the men here drooling as she walks by.
Last to arrive is Ruby making a statement as always, she’s in black bodycon dress that shows off her curves, she is the envy of all of us with her perfect hourglass figure. Her long thick dark hair is curled, her tanned skin glowing in the lights with smokey eyes and red pouty lips.
‘Steph you’re here you look s**y!’ she spins me around before pulling me over to the booth she had secured. We all sit down taking our seats when some drinks are sent to us from a guy at the bar. Ruby raises her glass giving him a wink and blowing him an air kiss before we get back to our conversation.
‘So, my boss today was a right bit ch, she kept disappearing and then coming back demanding why all the stock hadn’t been put out on the shelves yet, there was a cue of customers and just me in her there today, basically me doing all the work!’ Ruby huffed as she took a swig of her drink shaking her head, she worked at one of the boutique stores near Saville Row the clothing sells for thousands, she makes good commission, but her boss is an uptight bit c h.
‘I’m sorry Rubes you need to find something else, I don’t know how you keep working at that place, my boss Ken was up to his normal pe r v ways, he brushed past me three times pressing his cro tch against me, once when I was making coffee, at the photocopier and then at my desk!’ Millie shakes her head she works at a marketing firm, arranging the events for campaign launches of new products. It’s really cool apart from her a s s of a boss.
‘You’ve got to report him Mills!’ Sabrina the mum of our group jumped in, Millie just nods her head and sighs.
‘I want to, but I don’t want to be out of a job, I love it there apart from him, he targets me when no one is around to see. So, it’s just my word against his.’ She takes a sip of her drink, Sabrina frowns slightly pressing her lips together.
‘You need a secrete nanny cam!’ I suggest jumping in almost spilling my drink everywhere in all the excitement. There heads turn towards me, some unsure some nodding in an agreement. Millie pauses pressing her lips together.
‘Where would I even get one of those?’
‘Where you get everything else … A****n!’ we all burst out laughing Millie is notorious for having packages sent to her at all hours of the day, her flat is basically an a****n show home, every gadget, decorative items you name it she has it.
‘Oh, nooooo I’m not that bad,’ she whines we all look at her before bursting out laughing she cra cks a smile eventually.
We all take a sip of our drinks before the conversations moves on.
We were 4 or 5 co ck tails in now and Ruby was ready to get her groove on! She had moved from sitting down to dancing next to our booth trying to get us to all come and dance with her. I smiled she is definitely the wild one of our group, although to be honest there isn’t much in it.
Where trouble seems to find the rest of us, Ruby is trouble incarnate, whoever she ends up with is going to have their hands full.
Eventually she gets bored of waiting for us, grabbing Millie’s hand they make their way to the dance floor, doing the half dance, shaking their hips and swaying their hair as they head out. I look over watching them, Ruby already has a man pressed behind her as she grinds her hips back to him, holding Millie’s hand as she spins her around. Sabrina turns to me shaking her head with a smile.
‘That poor boy has bitten off more than he can chew going after that one!’ she giggles after Ruby has sent him to get drinks for her and Millie.
‘Steph how are things?’ she stares at me earnestly a small smile on her face as she looks my way.
I give her my normal smile, but she knows me too well and raises her brow daring me not to lie to her. I know she knows my situation, it’s still raw but I don’t like to talk about it.
Seeing their faces take on that sympathetic look every time I saw them those first few months actually made everything worse, in the end I just started to pretend that everything was fine, so they stopped with those faces. I only really talk to Sabrina about this she still can treat me as me and not the girl that lost her parents and almost lost her sister although she only just survived but no one is entirely sure why. I take a sigh.
‘You know how it is, I’m just about keeping my head above water, I don’t have time to process the grief I just need to make it until Jess is better,’ I pout when I realize my drink is empty, I’m going to need another if the conversations stay like this. I can feel the tears welling up but I push them back.
Sabrina strokes my arm but nothing more, I don’t want to cry in the club.
‘I know babe, I’m here if you need anything, don’t pretend everything is fine if it’s not, okay?’ I nod and give her a smile, I’ve known Sabrina since I was about 6 years old, she has been a part of my life for so long the others we meet in university, there shared our dooms and we have been thick as thieves since then.
Sabrina actually met my family, she spent one Christmas with us as her mum can be … how best to put this unreliable. She’s basically my adopted sister, we even have a matching tattoo on our wrists that we got when we were 16, it’s just the letter S in a calligraphy style writing but it’s small enough know one really knows it’s there.
‘Oh my go d I love this song!’ she jumps up grabbing my wrist as we head to the dance floor rescuing Millie as Ruby is making out with the guy from earlier, I’m pretty sure her hands are under his shirt as he cups her a s s .
Millie gives us both a thankful smile, it’s not that Millie is shy with guys she’s just very selective, her and Sabrina are both the same they normally always have boyfriends, and this is the first time either have been single for a while.
Ruby is a free spirit and although she had a long-term boyfriend when she was younger likes her freedom to have fun. I had a long term boyfriend we were planning to get married before I caught him cheating on me, since the accident I haven’t even thought about men or sex. I now work all hours that it’s not possible. I like a good flirt and banter but as sad as that is, it’s all I have time for right now.
We sway to the beat, singing along to the words dancing with each other, Ruby joins in before spotting a stripper pole in the corner of the club she grabs my wrist pulling me along and I grab Millie’s taking her with me, she grabs Sabrina and whatshisname follows behind us.
‘Go on Steph show us your moves,’ she encourages pushing me up the podium, she has got to be kidding in these shoes and dress, I give her a look, but she blocks me from getting down, the other two cheering away encouraging her antics. I sigh I’m going to have to at least give it a go, I’m slightly taller than the rest of my midg et friends coming to about 5’7’’. Whatshisname settles leaning against the wall pulling Ruby into his arms kissing her neck, but she’s too focused on cheering me on.
Here goes nothing, I’ve seen people do this in films etc but I’ve never really given it a go, Ruby tried to encourage us all to take a class and I wish I’d gone now so at least I wouldn’t be standing here like Bambi on ice. I place my hand on the pole and start to walk around it slowly, on the second time I roll my neck flicking my hair and try to suppress my laugh as they all start screaming their encouragement.
I pick up the pace, speeding up before lifting my feet off the floor spinning around the pole landing on my knees, I try to smoothly do a body roll back up, I then h o o k my leg and wrap my arm before spinning backwards, another hair flick before I take a bow getting off the podium.
There’s a raucous applause and I’m relieved I didn’t flash anyone. Ruby gets up and does her thing. She has a whole routine, spinning, dropping to the floor even upside down at one point, whatshisname is watching her appreciatively his gaze darkens as she spins upside down causing her large breast to almost spill out of her dress.
I feel a tap on my shoulder turning I see a drunk man checking me out, he moves his hand over my shoulder pulling me to his chest before he whispers in my ear stumbling and spilling his drink all over me.
‘Baby you’re so hot want to work some of those moves on me,’ he drawls before turning and sniffing my hair. I turn towards him as he takes a swig of his beer, his hand moving towards my chest, he’s not unattractive per say tall and broad, he’s clearly had far too much to drink as he reeks of alcohol. I start to shove him away, I’m not being manhandles by anyone but his grip tightens on me.
‘Don’t be like that, let’s go back to my place,’ he squeezes me a s s and I shove him off me taking a step back and Sabrina grabs my arm pulling me towards her.
‘Don’t be a co ck tease, dressing and dancing like that your clearly up for it,’ his nasally voice just about heard over the music. Ruby jumps down off the pole gunning towards him.
‘What did you just say?’ she pro ds his chest her tiny 5’4’’ frame barely reaching his chest.
‘Your friends a sl ut, it’s not just me all the guys hear want to f**k her, f**k all you sl uts!’ he sneers looking each of us up and down. Ruby jumps up and slaps him hard across the face, angering the drunk, whatshisname finally steps in, squaring up to the other man before staring him down, he pulls Ruby towards him, his hand cuppin g her ass once more.
The guy looks back at all of us before slumping off. Sabrina squeezes my hand reassuringly.
‘My hero,’ Ruby coos to the giant she currently is pinned to, not that she needs his help she is super scrappy and will have no problem taking you down if you cross one of us.
‘On that note I’m gonna go home,’ Millie states, we all nod before heading out of smokes, whatshisname not letting go of Ruby as she tries to hug us all goodbye as we each get into our own cabs heading home, just as the cab drives away I see them kissing once again on the street corner before jumping in their own cab.
What a night, the sober realization hitting me that I spent far too much money already and probably should walk home.