It was quite the uneccessary act. They had talked about before how it would just be a fun night out, no drama. Of course it didn't happen, because it never does.
They headed back to their old haunting - it had changed since they had last been there. But the comfortable familiarity of the place was nice. Tonight they were going to ditch the new spot they'd been heading to for weeks now, and just have a night of drinking and dancing under lumiscent fluro lights.
It started because they were outside in the cold. She was impatient and wanted to go inside - he didn't because he didn't want to pay. She made a joke about how he liked to brag about how rich he was, and how it's not like he had to pay for accommodation or anything. As she waited for him to laugh back with her, she tensed when she noticed his expression change, and his eyes grow cold. The inevitable snap came - it happens all the time now when he had been drinking - if it's not with her, it's with someone else.
It's like a train gathering speed. Small hisses, as the speed picks up, and then steam and loud noises as it barrels over the train tracks.
The one change this time - She fought back.
His words hit under the surface of the carefully placed walls. Everything she had ever told him was thrown back in her face. He was relentless in his wanting to hurt her. She was weak for letting it get to her so much. Once he saw how upset he had made her, he angrily asked why she was still his friend. Deep down she didn't know. The answer?
'When it's good it's great. I understand you better than anyone else has, and you're the same with me. But I don't know how long I can keep doing this for.'
He called her every name under the sun. She didn't flinch, just watched through blurry eyes. He told her to walk away from the friendship. He towered over her as she sat, arms wrapped around knees tightly, in a defensive and protective gesture. He threw insults until he was red in the face.
Passer bys watched with changing expressions - amusement, pity, confusion. Some yelled out their advice. Other offered words of comfort to the girl on the stoop. She instantly had a way of making people want to protect her. She hated this about herself - She wasn't vulnerable. She hadn't built all these walls up over the years to be seen as weak. But there she was. Sitting on the stoop, shivering, tears running silently down, staring at the ground.
'Don't worry about him sweetheart! You're way too good for him!' A drunken man leered as he walked past.
Another guy sat down next to her, and stared at the guy as he continued ranting oblivious.
'Don't put up with this. Your boyfriends a pyscho. He's fat anyway. Walk away now.' He gave her a one armed hug and continued on his path. The only thing she could say back;
'He's not my boyfriend'
Finally her snap came. It was bound to happen. The tension of the last few months came out. He tried to talk over the top of her, but she silenced him. He immediately tried to get her to lower her voice, but it was like a dam had exploded. He denied her allegations, tried to make it out like she was making it all up. Deep down he knew she was right, but he was too arrogant to see it. She accused that he couldn't take honesty. She said she had always been the one fighting for the friendship. She demanded to be left alone. She walked away.
She made it to the next street, before sitting down, not knowing what to do from here. A group of girls came up and sat down asking if she was okay. This is the exact position she never wanted to be seen in. Thinking that, made the tears come again. The girl comforted her, smoothing back her hair, offering her make up and keeping an arm around her. She didn't deserve this kindess from strangers, but would remain grateful for it.
On her way again, she walked down to their latest haunt. She ignored the calls from him, coming every few minutes or so. He sent her a message 'if you don't come back this friendship is over.' In her mind, it already was. She got there, hands frozen as she tried to take out her ID - the security guard waved her in without looking. She went into the bathroom - she didn't look as bad as she felt. She slipped the mask back in place, and chatted happily with a few randoms in the line up, smiling and laughing along.
As she walked back through the pub, she spotted him, and he spotted her. He came running up and gave her a huge hug, apologising and laughing at the same time. She hugged him back, but deep down inside her something had changed. She wasn't going to let this happen again.