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THE INDIE club exuded the sort of raucous atmosphere one could expect from it on a full and bouncing Saturday night, and nothing inimical to that seemed afoot. Saturday, February 23rd. If only I’d have known how the destiny of that night would deviate from what was anticipated, I’d have gone home there and then.

Looking back, it could hardly have been better, as the place danced to Fluorescent Adolescent, my good mate Callum threw me a can of Red Stripe, and so satiated did we all feel, the emotion could have been quantified in numerous cubic centimetres!

After a trip to the toilets — in as hideous a state as ever — the music transmogrified to This Charming Man, and then I saw him. Xander ‘‘Flex’’ Mason! My heart pounded at the unexpected excitement of running into this boy, not seen for some seven years, but never far from my thoughts. He must remember me, surely?

Throughout our time in the sixth form, Flex endowed my life with a cooler edge, a closer breed of ally. He may have been on the chavvier side of my ‘‘crew’’, but he had something about him. Intangible and indefinable, but undoubtedly present. I befriended him with the intention of having some fun times, and seldom was he found wanting. Drinks, laughter, all-night house parties, we even invented our own handshake!

Why did we fall out, I asked myself, as Cigarettes and Alcohol blasted out of the speakers? Well, the major difference between us was found in our attitudes towards confrontation: indifference in one case, relish in the other. He might also have become aware of my predilections towards him, which, though mostly unspoken, went well beyond the confines of conventional friendship. But that was just a phase, wasn’t it? So why am I this enlivened after having glimpsed Flex in this hallowed place?

I bought another can of my favourite lager, as Fools Gold came on. Callum engaged me in conversation, but he could tell I was inattentive. Of rather more pressing importance was how to approach this rarest of opportunities, this do-or-die moment. All the years ruminating, wondering why it all ended so abruptly, and whether I would ever get another chance to tell him how I really felt. Now was the time!

On we went, with My Number now playing. Unable to decide whether this newfound sensation was agony or ecstasy, I formulated a plan in my mind. All you need to do is introduce yourself; calmly, assuredly. That will set things up nicely, jog his memory. Then the ball is well and truly in his court.

Callum went off for a smoke, as Song 2 was given a spin, and after singing along, I sensed the destiny. The unthinking hedonism around us continued, to the tune of Midnight City, as I approached Xander apprehensively. Heart thumping, palms saturated with sweat. What if he doesn’t remember me? Mind you, will anyone here remember this night when they wake up tomorrow?

“Hey, how you doing?”

“I’m alright thanks, bit drunk though!”

“Yeah, we all are. Not seen you here before.”

“Oh, I only moved down here a few weeks ago.”

“Ah right, welcome to the best club in town!”

“Haha yeah, it’s nice here, isn’t it?”

“I know, I’ve been coming here for years. What’s your name, by the way?”

“It’s Patrick, Patrick Prins. What’s yours?”

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