By Juliet OC
"So which one is he? The tall dark one by the Gents? That blond one by the fruit machine?
Coast looks over to where Lynn is pointing. Lynn nudges Faye, raising her left eyebrow.
"It'll be the ugly one, the ugliest guy on the row, Faye says, lighting a cigarette.
Coast turns round catching the smile that passes between them. "Stop it both of you, I'm not playing your game, you know I don't get it. She grumbles into her pint, her fingers jammed into the shiny peanut bag.
Faye takes a long drag, lifting her head and blowing the smoke upwards. "When will you drop the pretence Coast? Are you telling me you can't spot which guy is the ugliest along the bar?
Coast frowns, her voice rising to a whine, a piece of peanut on her top lip. "You know I can't, I just don't understand that word, in that context. I'm face blind or something, I just can't see it. Do we have to do this every time we go out?
Faye rubs her hand through her short blond bob and lets out a rough sigh. "So you don't go out with 'the trogs' to make yourself feel better; and you don't go out with them for sycophantic adoration¦ she taps her red nails on the wooden table. "Do you go out with them because they have big dicks? She points to Coast's lip. "Peanut, she adds.
"Where? Lynn says, looking over her shoulder.
"Some do and some don't. Coast answers, brushing the back of her hand across her mouth then tucking her long brown hair behind her ears. "It always helps though.
"I knew it! Faye grabs her Chablis and takes a triumphant gulp. "So this one, your latest Honey Monster, well hung is he?
Coast shakes her head, her lips twitching. "We haven't got that far, we haven't actually met. It's the first time tonight.
Faye claps her hands together. "Well I'll be fucked! Well maybe, you never know, he might have a good looking friend of the 'un' sad, internet stalker variety.
"He is not sad and he is not a stalker... Lynn, tell her. Coast nudges Lynn's arm, her charm bracelet chimes.
"But you did meet him on the internet? Faye continues, leaning in and stubbing out her cigarette.
"Well yes, but I have spoken to him on the phone. Coast blushes.
"He sounds all right, Lynn adds, piggy in the middle.
Faye snorts. "He sounds all right? I'm sure Ted Bundy sounded all right.
"He's quite good looking, Lynn says.
"Who? Faye and Coast ask.
"Not helping. Faye gives Lynn a look, both eyebrows disappearing into her sharp fringe.
"That's why you're both here, Coast says, straining on her stool to scan the bar. "So you can keep an eye on me.
"So what's his photo like? Faye lights another cigarette.
Coast looks down into her lap, fiddling with her ring. "He doesn't have a camera.
Faye snorts again, tossing back her hair. "Doesn't have a camera my arse! He'll be 22 stone, long greasy hair; think Hurley from Lost, but without the fame goggles, which are like beer ones but stronger; Gerard Depardieu! My point exactly! She opens her palms and shrugs.
"But seriously Coast, Lynn interrupts. "How will you recognise him?
"You promise you won't laugh?
"Mm,mm, they murmur.
"You're smiling already. Coast wags her finger.
"Faye shut up and let her tell us. Lynn flicks the back of Faye's hand.
Coast's cheeks pink. "You'll laugh.
"We won't, we promise, Faye says, grabbing Lynn's arm and giving it a pinch.
"A copy of Captain Corelli's Mandolin.
"Yes¦ my favourite. And his.
"Faye, you promised.
Mmm,gch,gchg,kch, mm, mm, I promised, I did. I'm sorry, you soppy cow. Faye dabs her eyes, averting a mascara disaster. "So now we are looking for a Hurley look-e-likey, with a bit of Ted Bundy around the eyes, carrying a teeny-weeny paperback in a heaving bar. Where's your copy?
"Here. Coast slips it out of her shoulder-slung bag. She lays it on the table, her fingers sliding around the title. "What if he turns about to be ugly?
"I thought you said you don't do 'ugly', Faye says, winking at Lynn.
"No! My kind of ugly, you know, masked, false, not who I think he is.
Faye smans. "That's the last thing I'd be worried about, I mean he might be a midget or something, or only have one eye, or one ear, or be horrifically scarred. She pulls her lips into a frown and half shuts one eye.
"Well he won't need the book then, Lynn says.
"Not helping, Faye repeats.
"I've told you, I don't see that kind of ugly, it's all the same, until I see them, on the inside, then bits of them come alive, sort of come into focus; and I think, oh, he's got a big nose, and black hair, and he's shorter than me. But it doesn't mean anything, I just recognise him without having to speak to him or hear him¦ Oh God, I think that's him. Lynn keep your head there, I don't want him to see me yet. Coast ducks behind Lynn's broad shoulders.
"Tall¦ dark¦ no obvious physical deformity, but then we haven't seen his face yet. Faye stares determinedly towards the bar.
"Faye stop it, he'll see you. Coast tugs on her Gap sleeve.
She brushes Coast's hand from her arm, tugging her top straight. "Do you want me to wave the book? She reaches across the table.
Coast grabs it. "No, stop it, stop it! I'll go up to him. You two sit here; just keep an eye on me. She stands up, brushing peanut dust from her T-shirt. "Right here goes, wish me luck.
"Well fuck me! He's gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. Faye's mouth drops open, her tongue stud twinkles.
"Faye, stop staring, leave them alone... Lynn follows Faye's gaze. "God you're right! If I didn't have a man at home, I tell you I'd give him one.
"So how was it? Did he have to go already? Did he blow you out, that'd be a first, but then he makes a change from the freaks you usually find.
Coast sits heavily onto the stool. "He's ugly. She grabs her pint and takes a long gulp.
"Now I know you've got a screw lose, that man is an Adonis. Faye stares hard into the crowd.
"I thought his face rather thin and long, and his eyes drooped at the corners. The longer he talked the uglier he became. Coast takes another gulp.
"I don't understand Coast, you said he sounded perfect. Lynn reaches out and squeezes her hand. "What happened?
"Why didn't you send him my way, Faye mutters, her shoulders drooping.
Coast sighs. "He didn't know how the book ended. He said that they got together at the end, but that was the film not the book. If he lied about that what else does he lie about?
"Back to the drawing board then? Lynn pats her hand.
Coast smiles, her shoulders lift. "Well the barman was nice, he knew the end of the book, he's invited me for a drink tomorrow night.
Faye scans the bar. "Don't tell me, it's the one with the bald head and eye patch.
"It's that one. Coast says, pointing.
"Told you. Faye crows, crossing her arms.
"His eye is beautiful, Coast says, smiling in the direction of the bar. "I could almost see his soul.
"I give up!
Faye suddenly straightens and pushes her tits forward. "His mate looks all right though¦