29: “But, much like Liza Minelli, he looks damn good in leather pants”

Jemima organized a night out on the town with her new work friends, Caleb excluded of course. She was very excited to spend more time with Bobby and Mo outside of work because she felt it meant they were getting closer to becoming real friends. She was a little worried that wouldn’t happen after Steve had butted in on their first outing together. It had been nothing short of disastrous, but Bobby and Mo didn’t seem to have minded. They hadn’t said anything about it to her at work since so she assumed it was fine.

They started the evening at Bobby and Mo’s shared apartment. Jemima made her way over there around seven o’clock on Friday evening. They lived in a area of Roehampton that had previously been fairly industrious. Bobby and Mo’s apartment building was an old mill that had been converted into loft-style apartments. There was a large population of young people in the area. It was up and coming, cheap but hip. Jemima had to transfer from the subway to a street car when she got closer to their neighbourhood and the majority of the people in the car with her with hipsters. Half of the men had mustaches and it was hard to tell if that was because it was Movember or just a regular trend.

Jemima waited for them to buzz her in from the lobby and then made her way up five flights of stairs to their floor. It was a lot of stairs. By the third flight, Jemima was willing to call it a day and just lie down, but the promise of new friends was enough to drive her further upward. Mo opened the door when she knocked, wearing an Elton John t-shirt tucked into a green and black plaid miniskirt with black tights. Her hair was up in two pigtail buns on top of her head and she was smiling at Jemima with deep wine-coloured lips.

“Motownphilly, let her in!” Bobby shouted from the apartment beyond. Mo rolled her eyes, but stepped aside and to let Jemima in. Jemima kicked off her heels and looked around the apartment. The ceilings were immensely tall and the living room looked massive. The couch was royal blue and there were two mismatched armchairs, one of which was floral and the other was bright yellow. There was a banged up coffee table, two mismatching end tables, and a TV. One of the walls was lined with windows and the TV was against another, bookshelves lined up on either side. There was a velvet purple pouffee next to the couch. They had giant framed movie posters on their walls, some small plants, an orange record player, and gold bar cart. It was super cool, which made sense because Jemima pretty much thought Bobby and Mo were the coolest people ever.

There were also two cats, one on the floral armchair and one in Bobby’s arms, struggling against her chest and looking very much like it would rather be literally anywhere else.

“That’s Madge,” Mo said, pointing to the grey cat lazing about in the armchair. “And that’s Louis.”

Louis was black with striking green eyes and a clear desire to kill.

“He hates this, the little fucker,” Bobby said, looking down at where Louis had began gnawing at her wrist. “But I feed him and he pissed in one of my shoes earlier this week so he owes me.”

“She and Louis have a very complicated relationship,” Mo stage-whispered to Jemima.

“That’s enough out of you, Moby Dick,” Bobby sniped.

“It’s a constant struggle because, like, ninety-eight per cent of Bobby’s wardrobe is black so Madge’s hair shows up when she cuddles her,” Mo continued, despite Bobby’s direct instruction not to. “But Madge is super friendly and Louis is the devil incarnate.”

As if to prove Mo’s point, Louis took that moment to lash his way out of Bobby’s arms, hissing like a maniac. He fled into one of the rooms off of the living room.

“He likes to hang out in the bathroom,” Mo explained as Bobby examined the scratches Louis had left on her arms. “Don’t be alarmed if you go in there to use the bathroom later and he’s lying on the toilet tank.”

“It will be alarming, but he won’t leave,” Bobby added.

Bobby made them play a terrible drinking game that, as far as Jemima could tell, just consisted of her chucking cards at them and yelling “drink!” Apparently there was a reason for the madness, but Jemima couldn’t figure it out and then, by the time they’d played several rounds, determined by some time measurement Jemima didn’t know, she was well beyond the point of being able to work it out. Steve texted her part way through their game, but Jemima didn’t have the capacity or interest to message him back. She flipped her phone over so that she couldn’t see the screen, but not before Bobby saw it as well.

“Can I ask you why exactly you’re with Steve?” She asked Jemima, being oddly casual. Jemima shrugged because she honestly wasn’t sure. If she was being totally honest with herself, it was because she was a little insecure and lonely and because she couldn’t be with Noel.

“We have a lot of history,” was what she ended up answering.

“Interesting,” Mo replied, nodding and slurring just a little bit. Jemima was pleased to see that Bobby’s drinking game had gotten to someone else as well at least.

“We’re real friends now,” Bobby informed Jemima, who was delighted. “So I feel comfortable telling you that your boyfriend blows.”

Mo let out a startled laugh so Jemima followed suit until all three of them were giggling madly. Jemima was having trouble working out what the joke was.

“But seriously,” Bobby cut in, managing to control herself. “I hate everything about him.”

It was incredibly blunt. It was something Jemima was sure her other friends felt about Steve as well, but none of them had outright said anything about it since she’d gotten back together with him again. Of course, she knew they weren’t fond because, when they had broken up the most recent time, Tallulah had made fun of his butt chin. For some reason, it resonated more when Bobby said it. Maybe it was because Jemima had assumed her other friends had been tainted toward him from all their other break-ups. Bobby didn’t know any of that history. All she knew was who Steve was now and apparently she wasn’t fond.

“Everyone has flaws,” Mo said, clearly an attempt to smooth things over before anything even happened. Bobby was not to be deterred however.

“And he just happens to have the most,” she replied. “The most flaws out of everyone in the world. Seriously, he’s the worst. I don’t like him.”

Jemima considered defending Steve, but she was having trouble coming up with something nice to say as well.

They went to a club nearby. Bobby was wearing maroon velvet pants and a tuxedo jacket. It seemed like a bold and warm move, but she looked incredibly cool. Jemima was feeling boring by comparison in her little black slip dress, which of course meant that they bumped into Noel as soon as they were ten feet inside. He was wearing his feather jacket and a pair of leather pants that could’ve been painted on his legs. He had surprisingly knobbly knees, which was a remarkable discovery for her to have made considering he was wearing full-length pants.

“He is so sexy,” Mo said as Noel bolted to the bar. He had declared that he would buy them all drinks and then left before any of them had a chance to refuse or even place an order. Jemima was wary.

“Right you are, Monah Hill,” Bobby said, thumping Mo on the back.

“Monah Hill?” She repeated, wrinkling her nose.

“Seth Mogan?” Bobby tried again. Mo shook her head.

“You know, my other friends think he looks like Liza Minelli,” Jemima cut in, changing the subject back to Noel.

“Your other friends are right,” Bobby said, nodding. “But, much like Liza Minelli, he looks damn good in leather pants.”

Noel spent most of the night with them. He danced with Jemima and bought her drinks and seemed to be paying her quite a lot of attention. Even Mo and Bobby noticed. They kept raising their eyebrows and making kissing faces at her behind her back, as if they were school children. Jemima tried valiantly to ignore them, but it did make her feel like maybe it all wasn’t in her head after all. She found him endlessly confusing and she could not figure out what he wanted from her.

The following afternoon, while nursing a truly horrendous hangover, Jemima dumped Steve. They met up for coffee at the cafe where Iggy worked and Jemima told him in no uncertain terms that it was over. He didn’t take it especially well. He blamed it on her hormones and told her she would be crawling back to him in no time. He even went so far as to wink at her as he was leaving, which was how she knew she’d made the right decision.

“I hate him,” Jemima grumbled bitterly to Iggy after he’d left.

“Does this mean we’re allowed to talk about how much we hate him now?” Iggy returned hopefully. “Because I think he’s the scum of the earth. And if you get back together with him after I’ve said that, I’m not even going to feel awkward about it. I mean it. He’s human trash. You can do eight trillion times better.”

Jemima grinned at her and then finished the chai latte she’d gotten instead of the earl grey vanilla tea she’d ordered.

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