"You're ... you're like a bloke," Nigel gasped. She'd grabbed him in the
hallway, placed his hands on her enormous tits (she assumed, rightly, that
Nigel was a breast man) and led him into the cavernous bathroom, unzipping
his trousers along the way. Now Anna was propped up on the edge of the
sink, legs flailing about at absurd angles around Nigel's shoulders.
Despite herself, she laughed loudly -- her signature laugh, a cross between
a bark and a neigh.
He clapped a hand over her mouth. "For fuck's sake. People are right
"Like I give a toss." That seemed to excite him even more, and he moved
faster. She braced herself more firmly, arching her back, and then he let
out a groan. She'd come a long time ago, and after a minute she sat up,
unceremoniously sliding herself away from Nigel and his limpness. She
jumped off the sink, wiped herself quickly, pulled on her tights, which
Nigel had thrown in the direction of the bathtub, and struggled to pull
down her bunched-up skirt over her ample hips.
Nigel was still panting, one arm leaning against the sink, his trousers
around his ankles. His white starched shirt was wrinkled and his face was
red, as if he might have a heart attack. "You look ridiculous," she said,
and laughed again. "Get yourself to the gym." She leaned around him to look
in the huge circular mirror, and when he tried to kiss her neck, she turned
and gave him a huge wet kiss on the mouth.
Candlelight from the votives flickered across the walls, reminding her
of church. The church of sex, she thought, and laughed again. Nigel smiled.
"You're one to talk about getting to the gym." He tried to grab the cheeks
of her ass, but she skirted around him. "See you in the kitchen," she said,
opening the door as the sounds of the party flooded into the bathroom.
At the bar, Anna poured herself a glass of tonic water and lit a
cigarette. Everyone at this point was completely gone, blitzed, as she
herself might be if she hadn't decided early on to take Nigel into the loo
and fuck his brains out. She laughed again and blew smoke toward the
ceiling. Men -- they were so funny. All it took was a bit of confidence and
there they were, limp (so to speak), in your hand.
Her friend Jane came weaving over to her. "Mission accomplished?" she
said, and Anna bared her teeth in mock ferocity. They laughed and Anna,
feeling triumphant and flushed, added a generous splash of vodka to her
tonic water. Jane was a great friend who also hailed from South London, and
not for the first time that night, Anna felt that she wanted to kiss her in
gratitude. She didn't have this many good girlfriends back in New York,
where she lived. Lots of men friends, yes -- Anna always had plenty of male
friends, stashed all around the globe -- but women, they were always so
much harder to get to know in America. You almost had to court them, they
were so cliquey and neurotic.
"How's Trevor feeling?" Anna asked.
"Blitzed. Out of his head. I think it was the coke. Did you get that
here in London, by the way?"
"Good Lord, no. I brought it from New York." Anna smiled and laughed as
Jane shook her head in humorous disbelief.
Jane, of course, knew all along what Anna had been planning that night
with Nigel. At the start of the party, they'd barred themselves in one of
the bedrooms with Jane's boyfriend, Trevor, as Anna expertly cut and
crosshatched the white powder.
"So what are you planning, Anna?" Trevor asked. "What are you plotting
and scheming about?"
"Anna doesn't plot and scheme," Jane said. She was stretched out on the
bed, sipping a Pernod. "That would be far too female of her."
"That's right, I forgot," Trevor said. "Anna is really a man in sheep's
Anna had heard all this many times before. "'She's just like a man. She
thinks like a man.' All because I like sex," she said, expertly drawing out
six lines. "And because I'm fat and I couldn't give a shit about it. And
because I fuck a guy and don't necessarily want to be his little
"Well, not to put too fine a point on it," Trevor said, stroking Jane's
calf. Trevor liked Anna and loved hearing her stories -- "vicarious fucks,"
as Jane called them. Trevor was one of those blokes that, in his single
days, would have loved to have fucked Anna but never would bring her home
to meet Mother.
"You men certainly think you hold all the cards," Anna said.
"Absolutely not. It's you birds who do. We just sit here like fools,
hoping you'll give us the privilege of a shag now and again." The three
laughed again, and Trevor kissed Jane affectionately. "How 'bout it, luv?
Fancy a shag?" he asked in broad Cockney.
Anna sniffed quickly and looked to the ceiling, eyes watering. "Right,
then. I hear that Nigel's coming tonight. I've always wanted to shag him,
so this may be the night."
Jane wrinkled her nose. "He's with this little twit, Kath. I heard they
broke up, but she's got wedding bells on her mind and I'm sure she wants
"Stupid cow." Anna passed the mirror to Trevor. "All the better that
he's with someone. As long as he doesn't bring her tonight. Actually, maybe
that will make it even more interesting."
Trevor sniffed now and coughed. "If you shag Nigel," he said, and they
started to dissolve in giggles again, "well, I'll eat my shirt. It's not
fair. It's just not fair." He kissed Jane's rump and she laughed.
They emerged from the bedroom looking guilty, that coke-induced pleasure
reddening the tips of their ears and giving a glint to their eyes. Anna was
smoking with Jane and another American woman from San Francisco, saying how
much she loathed to exercise, when she thought she caught sight of Nigel
across the room. He'd just arrived and was looking around, excited,
shouting "hallo" across the room to Caroline, the hostess. He'd gained so
much weight that Anna couldn't really be sure it was him. It had been five
years, and while Anna had always been a big woman -- and emphasized it with
her miniskirts and tights -- Nigel had been a rugby player, lean and
ruddy. Now he looked like a beached whale. Ugh, she thought. What had
happened to him? She smoked some more, drank a glass of champagne and
watched as he galumphed around the room. Of course he didn't even look her
way, but then men rarely did. At first.
Fuck it. "Hallo, Nigel," she said loudly. He looked pleased but confused
-- he obviously didn't remember her. She handed him a glass of champagne.
"Has Caroline given you a tour of the house? You know she just had the
bathroom completely re-done." Smiling, she moved her head almost
imperceptibly in the direction of the hallway.
"Well, I, em, just --" he began, but Anna had turned and walked away.
She heard his footsteps following her, just like she knew she would.