The story so far: Derk and Vera are very good friends. Unlike Vera, Derk doesn’t like partying because it’s bad for his sporting performance.
Vera had being nagging Derk all day long. Why wouldn’t he join her and her girlfriends for a night on the town? It irritated him, he felt like she wanted to show off her ‘gay best friend’. He had finally been swayed by the elated mood in the city. The clusters of AID students roaming about the place reminded Derk of his own intro and made him feel cheerful.
‘See, you’re enjoying yourself, aren’t you?’ asked Vera, startling Derk. He lost his train of thought and reached absent-mindedly for the beer.
‘Yeah, it’s okay,’ he said, clearly grinning.
Vera’s girlfriends were already letting loose on the dance floor. Before long Derk was dancing enthusiastically with them. Due in no small part to the cocktails that were constantly being put in his hands. He kept on accepting them, even when he knew he’d had enough; scared that Vera’s girlfriends would think him a stick-in-the-mud. Hours later, when the dance floor was slowly emptying, the two of them drifted back to the bar.
‘Wow,’ said Derk. ‘Those cocktails pack a punch.’
Vera giggled. ‘Honestly, you’re the only person with less stamina for alcohol than me.’
‘That’s the only kind of stamina I don’t give a toss about,’ he said, grinning at his own quick-witted response. A little while later, there was precious little to laugh about. The whole world seemed to be spinning as Derk rummaged clumsily through the racks of coats, looking for his own. A couple of minutes passed before he remembered that he hadn’t brought a coat with him.
‘Are you okay?’ asked Vera, worried. He wanted to crack a joke, but only nodded. She guided him carefully towards his bike.
‘Do you think you can cycle?’
‘Yes, no problem,’ said Derk, though by now even he could hear he was slurring his words. They were soon cycling towards Mortierstraat. Thanks to the cool night air, Derk was feeling a little more sober. ‘That was fun, wasn’t it?’ asked Vera. But Derk had to concentrate too intently on his steering skills to answer her. To no avail. Swerving suddenly, he shot into the verge, right where a car was parked. Moving at full speed, he crashed into the wing mirror. When he had come to a standstill, Derk noticed that he was holding the mirror in his hands. On his handlebars, he saw flakes of white paint. He couldn’t help bursting into laughter, as the shock and the absurdity of the situation hit him. Vera shook her head without saying a word.
‘We’d like that back,’ said a man’s voice behind him. Only when Derk turned round did he see the two uniformed police officers.