My friend Mark is one of the most important men in my life. A nurse by trade, he has the privilege of fielding all my medical questions (“Okay, so I was in the men’s room at Q Bar, and stuff was happening, and then I fell…”) A mechanic by hobby, he also has the joy of fixing anything that goes wrong with my car. In return, I introduce him to hot chicks who he might be able to convince to sleep with him.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing though.
My friends and I first met Mark at the beginning of Year 11. He was new that year and his parents had sent him to our conservative Anglican school after he’d been busted with a knife too many times at his old place of learning.
“Hey laydeeez..” he drawled, sidling up to us behind the science block at lunchtime, “Where do you girls go to smoke around here?”
“There’s an abandoned house across the street,” we offered, “And we’re having a party this weekend if you wanna come.”
That Friday night, as we passed a bong around my friend Kim’s backyard, Mark burst through the side gate and waved a bottle of Passion Pop above his head. “LET’S GET WASTED!” he suggested, and spun the bottle on the ground hopefully.
“Ew, slow down,” and we rolled our eyes as Mark went around the yard, sussing us out one by one.
Later we reconvened to share our experiences.
“He said I had an arse from heaven,” Kim laughed.
“He didn’t say anything at all to me, just went in for the kill,” I shuddered.
“He followed me into the cubby house,” my friend Bryony admitted, “And when I offered him a cigarette, he leaned over and whispered, I wanna suck you dry.“
“Good god, that’s fucked up!” we agreed unanimously.
However, it was at that moment, in the early hours of the morning, that we realised none of us had seen Mark for quite some time. We searched the house. We searched the yard. We walked up and down the street, calling his name. We found no trace of him, except his shoes ,which lay on top of the BBQ next to his car keys.
“Shit!” Kim’s mum wasn’t happy, “I’ve lost the new kid. The Christians will kill me!”
We sat up for a while wondering what to do. Then we passed out.
I woke up at sunrise to find myself on the couch on the back deck. As I mentally assessed my hangover, I heard a groan from beneath me. Slowly, Mark crawled out from the small space underneath the couch and turned to look at me.
“Hey, gorgeous!” he said.