By now it was about half 8, it had taken us a whole hour just to walk Lizzy to her bloody bus stop. I was feeling tense. It would take us ages to walk to where Cheese was waiting, at least I knew he would wait. He knows to wait for me, I always show up in the end.
Si still wasn't speaking. Silence had been nice in the beginning as we'd been walking through the town but it was starting to grate. It started to feel deliberate and I wondered what he was thinking about, despite myself I wondered if it was Lizzy.I felt a little lonely just listening to my own ridiculously high heels clicking onto the random assortment of pavement stones.
Every now and then we would be passed by the remaining business people that were finally making their way home. Maybe it was just the amber street-lights playing tricks on me, but I felt like they were all looking at us. I tried to catch eye-contact with them as they passed, a pinched elderly man here, a very 'hip' young business woman there. I caught the gaze of one who confirmed My thoughts, a chunky older lady with a blonde bob. She was wearing a bright pink suit, I'd seen many older women doing that for work. Perhaps it made them feel more sprightly, helped them to compete with the younger, more beautiful girls, even if it was just in their own minds. I never really cared for pink.
"So we're getting a score?"
I was so happy. Nighttime could start officially now.
"No, I'm getting a score and letting you share it, lets confirm that right now!"
"Yeah sure, that's what's happening. Then I suppose I might have to share these with you..."
He opened his thick black coat a little and I saw a white and red box in his pocket that brought an excited smile to my face, where he got that kind of money I had no idea, but I was always glad.
"Yes please!" I smiled mockingly at him, playfully grabbing at the pack he was dangling in front of my face.
"Hmm... Maybe, how much do you want it?"
As he said this he drew a cigarette from the pack, let me have a good long look at the other nineteen. I've never once had a cigarette that I didn't enjoy, and I was used to Mayfair! I really wanted the fag he was still not lighting.
"How did you even afford Marlboro?"
He chuckled, but didn't answer. Normally I'd assume he'd stolen it, but his silence told me he'd gotten it through more legal means. Simon loved to boast about his kleptomania, he was less proud of saving up for something. Maybe his mum had lent him some money. I pretended to be in awe. He chucked one at me as a reward.
"Can I not borrow a light?"
"Want me to smoke it for you too?" Oh come on Izzy! did you really think you could have gotten away with that without sarcasm?
He lent over to me and flicked his thumb, and I must say I enjoyed the intimacy of having it lit for me by him, it was the closest we could get this early. The streets have ears, and eyes. We stuck out. Any of the people we know would have recognised me instantly in my black platform boots. I was in black skinny jeans, a tight red shirt and even a leather jacket. I had it all, right down to the huge eyeliner and backcombed red hair. Oh if my mother could see me now... Walking through the street looking, and feeling, not much better than a high-class hooker. Of course Si wasn't much better in the black trench coat that contrasted with his shirt and tie and clumpy 'Doc Martens' because he was just so cool. I found him gorgeous, what am I saying?
By now we were finally reaching the Harvester (At Quarter past ten! I told you it was a long walk.) and Cheese wasn't hard to spot. I'd advised him a million times to stop wearing body warmers and bling... He looked like an American, very out of place in front of the tiny pub with it's thatched roof and elderly populous. I'd never seen so many Ford Fiesta's in one car park before.
"You alright Sugar?"
I jumped to hug Cheese, his massive frame impossible to reach all of the way around. I just about managed to slip a crisp 20 pound note into his puffer jacket.
"Good thanks, how're you? I have your foreign tobacco right here, select a bag!"
This was my favourite part, I loved getting choices, it made me feel in control. He held up two bags, each containing a lump of green. One was a lighter shade, and looked far more full, the other was darker, but was clearly a more condensed lump. The more packed dark green was a better option, more value from money. I knew his tricks, fill a bag loosely with a little green and it looks fuller, but any buyer with their head screwed on could see the difference clearly.
"Right hand please!"
"Are you sure?" Simon clearly didn't have his head screwed on that day. I explained to him the mechanics of my decision just as I have to you reader.
"How are you anyway Si?" Cheese ignored our discussion, as any good dealer would.
"Not bad man, not bad."
I let them engage in small talk for a bit while I took my package into my coat. It was getting cold now, starting to rain slightly and I was growing impatient. Si knew it, so he and Cheese finished their little 'Later bro!' routine quickly and we set off back to the now pitch black town centre.