Affinity Excerpt – All I Want

Jul 21, 2015 by

 

Below is our first excerpt from Affinity: an Anthology.   All I Want is a story by London writer Richard Cabut.  We loved it’s humor and brutal, yet charming, look at the day after a hook up.  Richard’s Bio is:

Richard Cabut’s fiction and poetry has appeared in various magazines and books. His plays have been staged in fringe London theaters. He has also written for several national newspapers and media organizations. In the past, he played bass and proselytized on behalf of the punk group Brigandage. He lives in London, and works as a writer.

We hope you enjoy the opening few paragraphs, you’ll definitely want to buy the book and see how it all ends up!

All I Want

Richard Cabut

What you want and what you get. They’re like night and day. Chalk and cheese. The Louis V bags down Deptford market and those in the actual shop. They’re not the same thing at all. Not that I ever want or ask for much. Take my last birthday. Smellies? The Downton box set? The Louis V? I would have settled for a hug. I’m a cheap date! Course, I wouldn’t have said no to some chocs – Surprises are good, although I was about to have a few of those soon enough that day.

I woke up and, like I said, I really fancied a cuddle. That’s not a figure of speech either. There’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned cosy-up. It warms the cockles of your heart and makes your toes curl all at the same time. If you could bottle the feeling, you could put the breweries and dealers out of business. But the bloke I woke up next to was having none of it. He grunted when I tried to put my arm around him: ‘Geroffwillya.’ He mumbled that his head hurt. Mine ached, too. My brain felt like two hoodies had been having a big, vicious dust-up in it. Slugging it out all around my bonce. Shouldn’t have had those last few pints. I never learn! I was about to tell the bloke that having a hug cures all, even the blue can flu. But just then he turned around to reveal the biggest black eye ever. Not even a hug would’ve cured that! It was enormous – I could almost feel it throbbing…

Shut up! I’m talking about the black eye!

After seeing the shiner, I couldn’t stop myself: I pointed to it and had a laugh. Very rude of me I know. The bloke seemed a bit put out at first. He touched his eye and winced. That black eye must’ve hurt a bit, I tell you. That’ll teach him to get into scraps! Then he looked at me. I was still laughing my tits off. He gave me a big look. A puzzled look. Quizzical. He was peering at my face. I stopped laughing. ‘What?’ I asked. Then – you know what? – he started laughing. In fact, he was having a right noisy giggle. You know that saying ‘he who laughs last…’? Well, the bloke seemed like he was definitely having the final chortle. He was laughing so hard that, for a minute, I thought the acne on his chest would erupt. I looked at him blankly, mouth open. I raised an eyebrow in an inquiring sort of way. The bloke pointed at me. ‘Take a look in the mirror, darling,’ he said in between sniggers. I thought to myself: what is he on about? Have I got a spot on my nose? So what if I have. Big deal! I can go into the bathroom and have a squeeze. A good, satisfying pop. In fact, I thought, sod the bathroom, right here and now in bed will do. I know it’s the first date… if you can call it that. And it’s a well-known fact that you should never squeeze anything but your bloke’s hand, or whatever, on a first date. But, let’s be honest: there isn’t going to be a second date. There never is. So, sod it, I went to grab a mirror from the bedside cupboard. I dug through all the crap I’d dumped in there. Empty crisp packets and, what’s this? Half a biccy! Ooh, good find. I’ll have that later, I thought. But where’s the mirror? I can never find anything I need when I want it. Oh, here it is under a few scrunched up tissues. Yuk. So, anyway, I held the mirror up to my face. Sucked in my cheeks. Pouted my lips. Gave it the rock star stare from all angles.

What did I see? Nothing. Except the usual nasty wear and tear – enough of it to wring a little teardrop out of the corner of a girl’s bloodshot eye. If I’d let it. But I didn’t and I don’t. I make sure my waterworks stay turned off. Never show ‘em you’re hurting. Never show ‘em you’re feeling every pinch and poke that it – life in all its gory glory that is – gives you. Never.

And then I opened my mouth to speak. I was going to tell the bloke: ‘Nothing here to laugh at, so button it!’ And that’s when I noticed something weird in the mirror. I opened my mouth a little more and looked closely.

Arggh!

I had another big look.

Arggh!!!

My hangovers are bad, but I never hallucinate. Well, hardly ever. No, this was real… in fact, like they say, here was ‘too much reality’.

Where my two front teeth, my big pearly whites, should have been was… nothing! A void. A black hole. Mind the sodding gap!

Somehow, between leaving the pub and crashing out cold with the bloke, my front teeth had been knocked out!

 

Thanks for reading, and continue to check in with us for more excerpts from Affinity: an Anthology!

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