Jo and Isabel have come to town on their day off from work. We're all meant to be studying but I can't be bothered because I've forgotten so much in the past fourteen years. It's a Friday afternoon and the sun is the hottest it's been all year. I meet them by chance in the bus station and suggest a trip for drinks. They go 'okay' and inside five minutes we're in Debenhams, looking at the city from up high.
We're looking straight down the High Street, out to Fore street and then way beyond to the Haldon Hills. 'Or Great Haldon as it is actually' I say. I bore people so easily, and say 'Sorry' too much. Jo is just smiling, looking like the picture I have on my desktop at home, whilst Isabel just looks detached. This is just fine. This is just normal.
We drink iced teas, all three of us. Jo says 'can we spike these with tequila?' and takes a flask out of her light brown suede bag. I laugh and go 'why not', and she's pouring it out, regardless of the looks that the old lady in blue sitting on the table next to us is giving us. I go 'Say it in French.'
Jo goes, hey, 'what did that mean? What you wrote on the class whiteboard?' I go 'Belle And Sebastian are a pop group.' I'm happy to leave it at that. But she demands more. So I add 'they make great pop records. They have made three so far.' She nods. I go on, 'One is called 'Tigermilk' but you can't buy it because they didn't make very many and a lot of people liked it. Then they made a record called 'If You're Feeling Sinister' and a lot of people liked that one too. Fortunately you can still get it.' Isabel yawns, but this is just fine. This is just normal. Jo leans across, she makes me want to hold her so badly, to touch her beautiful hair. 'And the third?' she says. 'Is what they used to call an 'EP'; four songs, called 'Dog On Wheels' if you must.' There is a lull. Jo's eyes are looking at me and I lean across and kiss her. Really, I am kissing her and she is kissing me back. The kiss breaks and the world starts spinning again. She looks in my eye and goes 'Now tell me again that you don't love anyone.'