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Party Time

Series: The Adventures Of Cindy George

Chapter 2

So Greg had gone. Finally.  Cindy had seen him off at the station that afternoon.  This had been coming so long it was almost a relief it was over. He looked happy as he leaned out of the window of the train as it pulled off, a smile on his face. He was clearly excited by it all, a huge tour around Europe, and who knew where else, with no end date. Lucky boy, thought Cindy, we'd all like that. She knew he had been looking forward to it.

"I'll be back,” that's what he had said. "I'll be back for you.” Yes, I know you'll be back, she thought. Of course you will. One day. But what about until then? And why didn't you take me with you?

That was what got her. She’d have gone. He must have known that. They could have made a good pair, travelling the world together, in spite of their ups and downs. Two drifters off to see the world, and all that went with it. But he had decided he wanted the company of his college friends.  I hope you'll be very happy together, she thought as she saw him off.

She bought some new clothes as she walked back into town, went home and hung them up.  She didn’t do a lot for the rest of the day, just messed around at home, had a chat with her Mum about her plans for the evening.   She asked her if she was going out and she said she was.  Then she asked who she was seeing, now that Greg had gone, and she said she wasn’t sure.  There would be people round town.  There always were.  She might bump into one of her old boyfriends for all she knew. 

Then there was Donna and the gang who went in The Ship. She had spoken to them a few times when she had been in there with Greg. They had made her laugh, telling her about their exploits and the scrapes they had got into.  They had said she should go out with them sometime.  Now Greg had gone there was nothing stopping her.

She didn’t tell her mum this, of course.

The afternoon passed and soon it was time to get ready. She had a long soak in the bath, let the steam soak into her pores, wash away the grit and grime from the day.  Then she went into her room and fell on the bed, put on some music, something funky to get in the mood for the night, whatever it brought.  She picked up a magazine, flicked through the pages for a while, looked at the pictures, glanced at a couple of articles.  Then she dropped the magazine on the bed, lay back, and gazed at the pictures on her wall of assorted Hollywood brat pack boys.  She looked into their dreamy eyes, at their floppy haircuts. She blew one of them a kiss. She saw him at the cinema recently.  She loved that boy.

She got up off the bed and went over to her dressing table.  It was time to get ready.  What would it be tonight?  Something from her new wardrobe, one of her new tops, and a mini skirt and heels.  That would do the trick.  She sat down, blow-dried her blonde hair, wafted the warm air gently against it, and brushed it out, loose and sleek over her shoulders and down to the small of her back.  Then she blew it back from her forehead and sprayed it into place. Next was the war paint. You had to look right to go into battle. She put on blusher, applied delicately to her cheekbones.  Then the mascara and lipstick. She pouted in the mirror.

She got up from the chair and put on her brand new punky stilettos, the ones with the heels that looked positively lethal.  Then she stood in front of the full-length mirror and smiled. Perfect.  It was the look she wanted.  She was going to knock them dead tonight, be the hottest ex he’d ever had.

Now it was time for action.  She went downstairs and out on the street.  On the way she picked up a medicine bottle she had filled with vodka earlier and put it in her bag.  She clippety-clopped along, turned down the alleyway opposite The Ship, and stopped on the main road. When the traffic had passed, she crossed over and headed through the door into the pub.

The music was loud in here. That was what hit her at first, as well as the fact that it was quite busy. She felt heads turn when she walked in.  Boys exchanged looks, gave each other knowing glances.  She went up to the bar. They were here.  Donna and the rest of the gang, standing at the end.

Donna turned round as Cindy approached.

"All right darlin,” she said. "On your own tonight?”

"Yes,” she said.  "Should be for a while.”

"How come? Where’s that lad of yours?”

"Off travelling.  Gone round Europe with his uni mates.”

"So he's left you on your own?  To fend for yourself?”

"That's right.”

She rolled her eyes.

"Why don't you hang round with us,” she said.  "I mean.  You look like you know a good time.  We're going to a party later if you want to come.”  She gave Cindy a knowing smile. "A house party at one of the big houses on that new estate.  Imagine it’s Beverley Hills, a pool party without the pool.  Or a frat party at an American college.  You know.  The sort of thing they get up to at those.  Welcome to fun times.  You’ll love it.”

“Mm. Interesting.”

“It's going to be more than interesting.”

She stood and laughed, got to know the girls.  There was Donna, Beverley, Marie, and lots more, all ready to lead her astray, not that she needed any persuading.  They seemed wild.  It was what she wanted.  Exactly what she wanted.

They had a few drinks in The Ship and then tottered down the street in their heels, car horns sounding in approval.  Some of them were arm in arm.  Marie was drinking from a bottle of wine, Donna finished a bottle of gin which she threw over a fence.  Cindy was finishing a vodka and coke which she had smuggled out of the pub.

They walked down the main street.  They were singing loudly, songs that had been playing in The Ship.  Soon they were heading down into the estate and the scene changed. There was money here, serious money, it was different from some of the other parts of town.  It was the wider streets, the trees that lined every pavement, the distances between the houses, not to mention the cars that sat outside.

It was further to walk to the party than she realised.  They turned a corner and there was a pub in front of them which had all the qualities of an oasis.  They didn’t need to discuss their options. 

It was a new pub, nothing special, not blessed with any great ambience.  But it sold vodka, and that was all that mattered. 

"Evening ladies,” said the bouncer as they walked in.  "I hope you're going to behave yourselves tonight.”

"We will,” said Beverley.

"You especially,” he said looking at Marie. He laughed.

"I will,” she said laughing.  "I won't do anything I shouldn't.  Not tonight.”  They walked through.

"Why did he ask you that?” asked Cindy. 

"There was trouble last time we were in here,” said Donna.  Cindy laughed. 

"You weren't involved were you?”

"Might have been.”

They laughed and walked into the bar.  Beverley said it was her round.  In a few seconds, there was a double vodka in Cindy’s hand.

They stood at the bar for a while and had a couple more drinks.  Then they headed for the party.  It wasn’t far.  Soon they could hear the noise from the top of the street, music blasting out, the sound of laughing and shouting.  They walked up the drive and rang the bell. The door was opened and they were inside.

As soon as they went in, she could see what Donna meant.  It was the college boy set here, fraternity boys at home for the holiday.  All around, were guys in designer clothes, with cheekbones that could cut and trademark floppy haircuts.  They walked through the hall, past the modern art pictures that adorned the wall and couples in the early stages of the mating game.  

They headed straight for the lounge, where it was all happening, into a full-on spectacle of Ancient Greek proportions.  It was pure decadence. It was like a pool party, albeit, as Donna said, without the pool to go with it. It was dark in there and music was blasting out loudly.  They had disco lights in the ceiling which were flashing. Boys were crashed out on the floor and on the settee. There were couples getting it together in the corner and on the terrace and on the grass. People were hanging out in various states of undress.

They looked at each other and laughed and decided to join in the fun. First of all, they needed some fuel. You couldn’t be at a party like this without replenishing the alcohol. They went to the kitchen and got a  bottle of wine each from the side and went back to the party.  Cindy had a good drink of her white wine and started to get into the action.  She joined the rest as they danced round the lounge, thrusting their hips to the funky music, moving their arms, throwing their hair around.  It was a warm spring night and the patio doors were open and they mingled with the crowd.  They danced on tables. And on chairs.  Got into the mood.  Enjoyed the moment.

What would Greg have said if he had seen her now?  She was wondering this as she danced around.  Maybe he would have laughed.  Maybe he would have said, Cindy, I always knew you were a party girl at heart.  Maybe he would have had more incentive to take her when he set off travelling round Europe.  She didn’t know.  She drank the wine from the bottle, tossed her hair about to the music that was blasting out, took a cigarette from Donna, and let the smoke float off into the air.

Eyes were on them.  Of course, they were, how could it have been otherwise? They played up to it.  Cindy had found her own spot in the corner of the lounge and she was dancing as wildly as she could.  She drank from her bottle of wine.  The lights were flashing and the sound of voices were there in the background, with the occasional shout or scream.  A little cooling breeze was coming in from the terrace. 

And the time passed, as it always does when you’re having the time of your life and living in the moment.  The party got busier as the pubs shut and people arrived and that meant more fun and games for everyone.  There were frequent visits to the kitchen to replenish their supplies of alcohol and more than one encounter along the way.

Cindy ended up with one of the college boys, when it was well into the small hours and the sun was threatening to break through.  She saw him first, standing in a dark pink t-shirt, leaning against a wall. He was looking at her intently, with a grin on his face.  He had dirty blonde hair which was quite long.  Round his neck he had a gold chain.

She started to feel guilty.  Last night she was with Greg.  He had only been gone a few hours.  She didn't know where he was.  Now she was about to get together with this boy.  She should have had more willpower.  But she hadn't.  She put it out of her mind.  And he was probably doing the same thing.  She wondered how many notches there were on his headboard by now.

She threw her arms around and danced slowly over to his side of the room.  The music was loud and tough.  Someone had put on some hard-edged rock, with an infectious organ sound that just fitted the mood she was in right now.  She looked him in the eye and moved closer.  He stood there, looking into her eyes and smiling. And that smile sent shivers through her, got her pulses racing. She put the cigarette out in an ashtray that was conveniently sitting on the side, threw her hair back, and moved closer, all the time looking into his eyes. She thought again of Greg all those miles away and forgot him.

His name was Nat.  She found that out a few hours later.

They stayed at the party until early afternoon.  She walked back with some of the girls.  Only one showed any sign of displeasure.

"So you ended up with Nat,” said Marie.

"That's right"

"I see.”  She laughed.  “I've been after him for ages. Playboy of the year.”

"I didn't know, Marie.” 

"I bet you didn't.”

"Fair enough.”

“I’ll let you off, this once, because I’ve just met you.  But watch your step next time, or we’ll be having words.”

Cindy tensed up when she said this, didn’t say a lot.

"He's got a girlfriend anyway. Lives down south somewhere. You won't be seeing him again."

For now, she forgot about this conversation. But she had a feeling that Marie wasn't one to forget.

But any such concerns were for another time.  As she tottered through town later on, she reflected on the night she had enjoyed. There was life before Greg.  There were good times before Greg.  It was time to revive all that and become who she should have been.













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