Do I look ashamed to you?

76. 9.30am. Bottom deck, near the back on the right-hand side.

A very pretty, skinny girl in a hot-pink chiffon dress got on the bus and sat down opposite me. She was on her mobile phone, regaling a girlfriend with tales of her night at a friend’s house, which she was on her way home from this bleary morning. She kept emphasising the word ‘friend’, and I’m sure that the girl on the other end of the line thought, as I did, that she was protesting too much. ‘No no no, friend, friend!’

(Leaving aside her use of the 76 bus, this girl was on what used to be called a Walk of Shame. She looked the opposite of ashamed, though; she was positively gleeful.)

She was laughing so much that I couldn’t follow her story very well. She mentioned about twenty different kinds of luxury food, so at first I thought she worked in hospitality or catering and that the story was about an on-the-job liaison. But eventually I worked out that she had had a hilariously disastrous one-night stand with this ‘friend’, which involved her eating all of his food in the middle of the night and surprising him with an empty fridge in the morning.

Who needs fiction when real life throws us such tasty little adventures? I’m sure the girl will be laughing about this for some time. And I bet the ‘friend’ is still scratching his head.


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