When I was younger I had a good friend who was, well, how can I put this – freaking gorgeous. Blonde, busty, great legs, one of those cute heart shaped faces with little chipmunk cheeks. I, on the other hand, was short and curvy and basically pretty damn invisible whenever we were out together. But that was okay. We were friends and I’d slipped into my wise-cracking, best friend role very early in the friendship.
It was my job to say – ooh, cute guy ten o’clock checking you out. Or, don’t look back but I think you made that hot dude we just passed swallow his tongue. I was also the intermediary. I was the one who passed the notes in class between her and cute ruffled surfer boy or angsty rock dude or gorgeous geek guy or ….. (insert another teenage girl fantasy here) and I arranged places and times to meet so they could hook up. I sound a bit like a pimp now I come to think of it….
But anyway, this also meant that I was the one that stuck with entertaining his best friend. I tolerated that. Some of them were quite nice and equally as embarrassed as me having to watch as the other two made goo-goo eyes at each other and get busy.
Except for this one time at band camp…
Well, no, it wasn’t band camp. It was at a hotel poolside at a beach resort where we were holidaying. We were both eighteen and it was a stinking hot day. A day where the more fruity cocktails you drank the more dehydrated you seemed to become. I was already a very un-fetching shade of pink all over from the day before. All I wanted to do was lie inside in the air conditioning until I less resembled someone who’d had a nasty allergic reaction.
She wanted to go down to the pool and check out the talent. You can guess what we did right?
So, there we were, her looking all fresh and tanned and gorgeous like an invisible fan was blowing in her face, resplendent in a teeny bikini and me in a baggy t-shirt, my face plastered with zinc cream, looking like I’d contracted a tropical disease. Fortunately, as we were older, I wasn’t required to pass notes. Men approached under their own steam. And man, did they flock – always in twos! Thankfully she’d decided on who her target was for the day almost immediately – holidaying jock – so I didn’t have to suffer through too many alarmed wingmen thinking, Christ, I’m going to have to make conversation with a woman who looks like a flock of seagulls have pooped all over her face.
Within minutes he and his wingman were wandering over and before I knew it holidaying Jock was pulling up a chair and flirting like he was Joey form Friends and I was, once again, stuck with the best friend. And, unfortunately for him, he was stuck with me.
Normally I was pleasant in these situations. But I was hot and bothered and was not in the mood to be patronised. I didn’t want him to pretend interest in me, I didn’t want him to feel he had to take one for the team and be with the short, curvy zinced one so his best bud could score with my friend.
I wanted to go back to my room, turn the air-con on freeze and drown in a vat of icy Mojitos.
I decided to just pre-empt all the fake bullshit and let him off the hook.
“Hi,” I said, extending my hand. “I’m Amy.” Yes, I was just about to tell him he didn’t have to bother but good manners demanded I at least introduce myself before I gave him his marching orders.
He smiled at me then and his blue eyes sparkled. Yes, they freaking sparkled. “Hi, Amy.” He slipped his hand into mine. It was firm and strong and he didn’t seem to be worried that he might contract whatever heinous thing I had going on. “I’m not trying to impress you or anything but…I’m Batman.”
He said it so dead pan that for a moment I just stared at him and then, man, did I laugh. In fact, at one point I think I may have actually laugh-snorted. “Does that ever work?” I asked, after I’d pulled myself together.
He shot me a faux wounded look. “It’s true,” he said. “I’m Bruce Wayne.” Then he pulled out his wallet and showed me his driver’s licence.
Did it work? Damn straight it did!