Frankie shivered as she stood beside him, his cigarette smoke swirling out into the empty smoking area. “So what brought you down here for a change?” she asked, mid-small talk with the guy who had started chatting her up fifteen minutes earlier. “Just something different, isn’t it?” he replied, sipping on his pint. He was far from her usual type – there was no phone hopping in his hand, no beard, and not a single tattoo in sight. In fact, he even looked like he would reply to more than two-lined texts. He had approached herself and Gracie calmly, with his friend, while they were three gins into the night.
Frankie had arrived at her usual Saturday night spot as she always did – Ready for gin, ready for gossip, and probably ready to have her night ruined by a f*ckboy. She was absolutely spot on about all of it. After ten minutes of a charming entrance, he had invited her outside with him while he had a cigarette. It didn’t take Frankie long to notice the lack of people outside, in fact, she wouldn’t have been surprised to find a cricket perched on his pint of Heineken. The place was dead. “Shall we head out to the other smoking area?” she asked. He was quick to agree, but also quick to take the lead. He lit up another cigarette, smiled, but was noticeably quieter than he was about a minute and a half ago.
Frankie had come out for a quiet night – a jeans and a nice top, battered sausage and chips, bed by half 12 kind of night. The dynamic of this night was quick to change when three women stormed up, about to hop on her quicker than Frankie had landed in Penney’s shoe section when they were stocking the Valentino dupes.
All of the women introduced themselves on a sass level she struggled to compete with while she was sober and still recovering from a viral infection. “I’m Emma, what’s your name?” began angry girl number one as she stared Frankie up and down. “I’m Frankie, nice to meet you.” It was a complete lie, it wasn’t nice to meet her at all, the moment had spiralled out of control so quickly, Frankie instantly knew judging by their over the top “I hope you step on a plug” smiles that she was going to make it into some sort of burn book. Luckily, after the next ten seconds passed in what felt like three decades later, Aaron Samuels himself piped up with: “This is, er, my girlfriend,” loosely pointing his finger at the ever-so friendly Emma. Frankie stared from him to the three angry Cheshire cats who were at this point, still staring at her, instead of the two- timing slime ball who was still puffing away and about to hit the dancefloor to start requesting It Wasn’t Me.
After Frankie had managed to pick her mouth up off the floor and had allowed some seconds to weigh up the situation, she decided this was not a situation she was going to win, nor was it the time to be a noisy symbol for women everywhere. Resisting the urge to chuck her drink in his face and her pointy-toed boots in his baby makers, she ended the situation with a very calm: “I’m going to leave now.” It was quite clear, judging by his darling’s tone and the smoke coming out of her nostrils, that things were in fact, very awkward. She was expecting the arrival of the flying monkeys any minute now.
Visibly shook, Frankie ran back inside to drag Gracie into the bathroom with her, out of the grips of LeFou, while she left Gaston outside, hopefully having war with his girlfriend, although she hadn’t looked like she was ready to blame him anytime soon as she mentally boiled Frankie’s pet cat. Gracie made the decision not to go back out to dodgy Prince Charming number two, incase the second girl was ready to pounce.
“That could only happen to you, though!” was the response Frankie received from most of the gals she explained the story to. She was in complete disbelief that her love-life had sank so low, and also in disbelief that she was the villain here. She was a single woman enjoying an innocent gin and just happened to be chatted up by a man in a relationship who failed to mention anything about this relationship whilst on a night out with the woman he was in the relationship with. She knew some men could be fairly dodgy and a bit thick, but were they really trying to cheat while on a night out with their girlfriend now?
She got into her car at 12, slumped into the seat, exhausted, staring at her dad, contemplating how many more times she would get to see him before the girls from earlier would have her burned at the stake. Not only was she on a hitlist, she was on a hitlist over a lad who wasn’t even her type. No wonder he didn’t have his phone out, at least the f*ckboys don’t hide the other women, they’re very clear about the fact that they just don’t want any of you.
Frankie learned important lessons that night – Women aren’t always villains, value yourself enough to accept that sometimes the man you love is actually playing ya, hun. Also, you’re going to be crying at some point anyway, so you might as well be crying over a sexy sleeve and a stubbly chin. Stick to what you know, huns. And finally, never trust the lad who wants to get to know you in a deserted smoking area. You are a crowded smoking area gal, never forget it.