Live and let... bruise

“Jamie! Jamie!” Her voice floated gently through my tears. “Good God, what happened to you?”

I looked up at her from the floor of the cubicle and tried to speak. She handed me a paper towel and I spat blood into it before managing “They didn’t like me.”

Her face registered the extent of my understatement, but her presence assured me that she liked me, even if those guys hadn’t. “Come on,” she said, offering me a hand up, “let’s get out of here.”

Gents’ toilets aren’t big on mirrors, so I was spared more than a cursory glance at the bloodied mess that was my previously-white blouse and my elegantly-cut gown, but I didn’t need that to know where it hurt. I’d caught my left hip on something as I fell: I was grateful for Jo’s steadying hand as I limped out into the night.

Her flat was a short hobble away and, as she peeled me out of my ruined clothes, I thought about how I’d pictured the evening. It certainly hadn’t gone to plan, but with a beautiful woman dabbing blood off my face, it could have been worse.

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