Author’s suggestion: The song playing at the nightclub as Matt and Alice dance is Brand New by Ben Rector. Try listening to it as you read for better effect:)
Feeling brand new
It was Martin’s birthday an’ they’d decided to celebrate it at Annabel’s, a fancy nightclub in London. Alice and Matt (Who was already fit enough to dance by now) were already setting the dance floor on fire with their dance moves. The birthday boy sat in a dimly lit corner, watching the happy couple dance while nursing his frosty beer. “You’re not gonna sulk and drink here all night are you? You only turn 38 once. C’mon, I need a dance partner too. Not gonna leave me hangin, are ya?” a chatty Deirdre asked, stretching out a hand towards him. “38 is just two steps away from 40. It’s the worst age to be. Who’d wanna celebrate when I’m two years away from middle age? ” he grumbled. “Whoa! It’s too early to be havin a midlife crisis, mate! You’ve gotta live while you’re young……An’ before that beer belly shows up….so, c’mon! Get your arse on the dance floor! ” she urged, pulling a groaning Martin to his feet.
“Alright, show me your moves! ” she teased. “Don’t have any.” he muttered, shoving his hands deep into his pocket and keeping to himself. “What d’you mean? Everyone’s got moves. ” she exclaimed in disbelief, frowning at his response. “Well, I don’t. I haven’t danced since….never mind.” he confessed, his voice trailing off towards the end of the sentence. “Fine. Let’s just sit in your corner an’ talk, then. How bout you buy me a Guinness? ” an understanding Deirdre suggested, shooting him a bored look. “Sure.” he agreed. “You still owe me a dance.” she reminded, staring behind longingly at the dance floor, before they walked back to his table in the corner.
“So…if you don’t mind me askin, why’re you such a philophobic person, Martin? ” the girl with a verbose mind asked, sipping her Guinness as she spoke. “Philo…What? ” he asked for the meaning of the word. “Philophobic. Why’re you so afraid of falling in love? ” she repeated. “Oh! How d’you know I’m afraid of fallin in love? ” he asked, in surprise. “Alice tends to gossip about her personal life a lot. Now, that we’re best friends, we confide in each other a lot. She said that you haven’t been able to stick to one woman an’ it usually ends with a bad breakup cuz you can’t commit or you end up havin a one night stand or end up divorcing Billie Piper. She says it’s cuz you haven’t met anyone as perfect as Kelly was. Who’s Kelly, by the way? ” she rambled on. “Someone from my past. Someone whom I still feel pretty uncomfortable talkin about.” he muttered, with a pained expression. “Oh…Sorry.” she apologized, realizing she’d accidentally opened an old wound. “It’s alright. Ya know, in some ways, you sorta remind me of her. That smile, those gorgeous brown eyes, that endless chatter….” he reminisced, listing the similarities between her and Kelly. “I dunno if this would help you get o’er her, but would you like to go out on a date with me? ” she asked, feeling sorry for him. He was silent for a while. “I’m sorry if you don’t wanna….Forget I even brought it up! ” she exclaimed, feeling embarrassed. “Sure. For someone who’s been infatuated with me since I started workin at the lab, anything.” he replied, with a teasing smile. “Oh, my god! Was it that obvious that I had a crush on you? ” a blushing Deirdre asked. He nodded, before turning his attention back to his beer.