This time the music didn’t work. My feet were like lead, my limbs stuck out at right angles and my hips had no rhythm. We’d been here for minutes but it felt like hours.
“Wanna get a drink?”
Thank god, a reason to get off the dancefloor. Jake had clearly seen me awkwardly hopping my feet out of time with the drums and felt sympathetic. He was good at that, sensing unspoken thoughts and feelings, and it made the girls like him more than the rest of us. I nodded enthusiastically and he clapped me on the shoulder with a laugh and steered me towards the bar.
The barman looked bored. Customers are mostly rude to bar staff because they forget that they don’t set the prices, or because they are impatient and assume they’re next in line, or because it’s hard to be polite while shouting over the speakers and when you’re pissed. I’d hate to have to stand there and serve drinks until I got tinnitus, but at least they don’t have to dance. And girls want to talk to them.
“What do you want man? My round,” Jake said. Truth was it had to be his round because there was no way a gimp like me would get served. I’d had to borrow Val’s older brother’s idea which had somehow worked on the bouncer, who had mistaken a seventeen year old shy kid for a twenty-four year old Italian; unfortunately barmen tended to be a bit smarter than bouncers.
“Just a beer, thanks bro.”
Bro? Where did that come from? Jake didn’t seem to react but I expect he made a log of it to laugh about later with the girls.
I stood my distance so as not to make it obvious who Jake was buying for. It wouldn’t have made a difference, the bar was so empty tonight that the barman could see plainly that the underage-looking kid he was serving was buying drinks for the similarly-underage-looking kid standing a few metres away. The DJ let two songs bleed into each other and for a few seconds they were out of sync, the drums and the bass fighting against each other. The barman took pity on us and fetched two bottles of becks from the fridge behind him.