Having decided not to compete again, we sat ourselves next to the pool table, together on a bench seat that merged with the chocolate wood panelling. I put my arm around her.

“Don’t!”

“Sorry.” I removed my arm. Stared at the table.

“Someone might see us.”

“The pubs empty.” Looking up.

“And the door is just there. Someone might come in.”

Back to the table again.

“I’m sorry, I know its hard. But you’ve got to trust me. I’m going to sort things out between me and Mark. You’ve got to be patient. At the moment you can’t be seen with me. You know that.”

It didn’t help.

I drained my pint, and went to the bar for another. Sofia was there, a girl from my first year class who I had asked out, drunkenly as that was the only way I ever had the confidence, and who had at least now switched to laughing with me after the two years had past.

“Two pints of Magnet please.”

“You okay Andy?”

“Just great. Just got essays, you know what its like.”

“Sure. I’ve got a couple due in next week.”

“I might get started on them soon. Or it will be another all-nighter.”

I paid for the drinks with more of the graduate debt, and went back to the table.

“Happy Thursday.”

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