A bright white light shines like a star, making silhouettes of the band in front. The middle of the floor is oddly empty; everyone gathered around the edges of the room as if existing only in the periphery.
“We’ve come all the way to Foxbarrow for this?” I ask Jasmine who stands wearing band merchandise beside me, the band’s logo on her t-shirt with a guitar going through the writing.
Jasmine smirks, “Do you like anything?”
The lead singer is singing about a dirty magazine, “Would It surprise you,” I pause to get myself psyched up to say this, “if I said this band sounds okay to me?”
Jasmine raises a brow, “Only okay?” She shrugs, “If that’s the best I’m gonna get from you then its good enough for me.”
It’s atmospheric, ambient music. My favourite kind, but I won’t tell her that. The crowd of people is slowly dispersing throughout the hall so that we’re no longer just filling in the edges. Some people are swaying to the beat of the music; others are laughing and taking tokes of what I gather to be marijuana.
“Another dirty magazine to see me off to bed,” the band sings, and some people in the crowd join in.
I pull Jasmine to the bar away from too many mingling bodies,”Can we just sit here for a bit?”
Jasmine smiles, and for the first time, it seems like a sincere, warm smile, that smile only women know how to do that spreads a warmth with it. It’s like a smile that caresses you, makes you feel cared for, for a moment.
She lights up a cigarette casually and sits down, “Sure.”
Maybe it’s the music working on us like a drug, calming our nerves.
“Do you know what my soul sounds like?” I ask her, my eyes almost half shut from feeling so mellow.
“Like an explosion.”
I look at her lips, “Why an explosion?”
“Because you’re a wreck?” She shows her teeth in a grin, trying to pass it off as a joke. But we both know it’s true.
“No the explosion is history; this is the aftermath.”
I take a swig from my drink, “No, this music.”
We sit around for another hour not doing much, just taking in the dark atmospheric guitar strings ringing out with the deep voice now singing about poisoned kisses that they’re still chasing after. It’s their last song before they start packing up the stage in front of us and the hall starts to empty.
The hall erupts into silence, and we just sit back in our chairs. Jasmine looks at me, a question forming on her lips.
“Do you…” She seems shy all of a sudden gazing down at the table drawing invisible circles with her finger, “Do you really want to die?” I meet her eyes for one fleeting moment, both of us averting each others gazes immediately, “I’ve seen your internet history,” She explains, “All your searches about suicide.”
I get up out of my seat and look down at my laces.
“Can you just answer me this one question, Gilly? Do you really want to die?”
I shrug my shoulders, “I don’t know.”
She lifts her gaze to my face; I stare at her lip. “You don’t know?”
“I don’t know if ‘want’ is the right word.”
She draws lines back and forth with her finger now, “now that I’ve heard your soul I can’t help but feel sad.”
“But I thought you liked this music?”
“It’s good music, but it’s also sad music.” Her chair scrapes across the floor as she gets up to leave, the scratching sounds echoing through the hall. A man is stood waiting at the door holding it open for us, keeps shouting over that they have to get the hall ready for the ballroom dancing. Jasmine grabs my hand and starts running to the door; she flips the man off and giggles. The man looks crossed but doesn’t respond, just closes the door. ”What was that for?” I ask her
”Just felt like it.” She smiles as we wait for a car to drive past and then she pulls me across the road towards the pier.
The street lights wash the roads in orange like we’re living inside a tangerine. In the beginning, God made an orange. The evening breeze rustles through our hair. Jasmine runs ahead of me letting go of my hand giggling against the hush of the sea. I walk fast to try and keep up with her, the further we get away from the roads and onto the pier the less orange the world becomes, getting darker like we’ve reached the periphery of our existence. My lightbulb head flashing against the near black vastness. I can see her, just a figure at the end of pier leaning on the railings and I can smell the awful smell of marijuana before I see the smoke billowing out of her mouth like a chimney. I lean on the railings next to her, and she hands me the spliff. It’s funny to think how averse to germs, and human contact I am yet a very primal drive in me has allowed me to get past that and I’ve licked this woman out, kissed her lips! Just thinking about that at this moment when my primitive instincts aren’t currently ramped up by all the hormonal changes of sexual friction makes me want to heave. I take a deep breath; I mustn’t overthink this. I take a small drag and hand the spliff back to her. The hushing of the ocean lulls me into sleepiness. I turn to watch the lapping of the waves just visible in the dark and take a leak onto the sand between the railings, before I tuck myself away she grabs my dick,
“Here?” I look over my shoulder left and right as I feel her take me into her mouth. I’m getting hard, and into the moment driven by my primitive side again, I watch the waves blankly as her head bobs up and down on my cock, the fingers on my right-hand curling in her hair. I check over my shoulder and am stunned silent by a dark figure, who I take to be a man just leaning against the right side of the pier watching us. I pull myself out of Jasmine’s mouth in panic, but she moves forward and wraps her lips around me again before I can put myself away, “someone…” I utter through the conflict of pleasure and fear. I try to pull out and I want to hide and never be seen again.
She wipes my semen from her lips and is laughing till she peers at the figure down the pier. She stares startled then looks at me wide-eyed, “how long has he been….Shit!” She curses.
“I don’t know.” I lie