Friday, April 07, 2006

The story of Henry and the red shirt

Once upon a time, I was a Bristol University student and one day I was in a busy bar, drinking. I was wearing my new red shirt (pictured), a real bargain, reduced to £5 in the sales.

Halfway through the night, I noticed that a boy called Henry was in the bar – an acquaintance whose name I knew and face I recognised, but who I’d never really spoken to. But this time, I couldn’t ignore him, for he was wearing the exact same red shirt as me. Being a bright and attention-grabbing kind of shirt, I knew he'd soon notice me too. I tried my best to ignore him and returned to my drinking.

Due to the constant movement of people in the bar, it wasn’t long before me and Henry found ourselves standing next to each other. How embarrassing. To try and stop the ridicule already pouring forth from our friends’ mouths, we complimented each other on our excellent taste in clothing and agreed to avoid each other for the rest of the night.

Five years later, it's summer 2005; I’ve moved away from Bristol, and left the student life for the world of work. I’m living in a house in London with four friends I met post-Bristol. I have a hangover. I get out of bed and wander into the lounge. I have no idea how or why, but lying on the floor, with an unidentified redhead next to him, is Henry.

"Hello," I say, surprised. He sits up, blinking away the sleep. He’s wearing the same fucking red shirt.

4 comments:

Jamie W said...

Presumably he had, at some point in the intervening 5 years, removed the shirt? Or do you think that through a freak of genetics his skin was actually identical to your red shirt? (For this statement to have its full effect, a cello played pizzicato should be spooling across the aural backdrop, as in the radio broadcasts of Philip K Dick stories)...

gemma said...

will you need to do a follow-up to this one. so how did henry get in your house?

Phu said...

yeah that's what I was thinking... you don't remember meeting him again? lol

Will said...

Not very interesting: he got in because he'd been out drinking with my housemate's girlfriend the night before. Coincidentally she also went to the same university as me, at the exact same time as me, without ever meeting me.

More interesting: The theory that his skin was red with white lines on it is almost certainly true. LOOK OUT! HE'S COMING AFTER US! RUN YOU FOOLS, RUN!