This is the third chapter that covers the Craig story. This is the last thing I will be writing from his story for a while – although I do have ideas for where the story is gonna go. I will be writing a couple of one off stories next about different characters. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this (whatever it is). Feedback is appreciated.
Craig sat in a dark corner of the club room snorting and sniffing away. Trapped in a stream of jangled thoughts, his heart swelled as he watched the dancers partying their night away. He thought about the club, and his role in the club, and the people, and the people in the club, and Jack, and Brent, and Dom, and Craig, and the club. He couldn’t imagine his life to be anything else.
Sometimes Craig spent his time considering how his life could have been. Everyone always told him that he could be anything he wanted – and he knew they were right. Often when he thought about how his life had turned out, he would be filled with anger. He would lash out at anyone and everything. But that night, in that moment, Craig had found something in himself that had long been forgotten. He’d found drive.
As he brought his keys – laid heavily with thin white powder – to his nose, a beautiful face stepped into the light of the dancefloor. Brent. There he was, smiling and laughing with a group of girls. Craig just watched him for a little while as he whirled around the room.
Brent loved life. All he cared about was Friday night, when he could be let loose from the shackles of society and dance. He loved dancing. Craig had never met anyone who liked to dance – and danced as well – as Brent.
Brent loved dancing, and Craig loved Brent.
Finishing his hit, Craig quickly rubbed his nose and made his way over to the dancefloor.
“Brent!” sung Craig, grabbing him and pulling him into his arms, “I’ve been lookin for you everywhere!”
“Oh my God, Craig! Wasn’t expectin to see you here!”
Craig snogged Brent ferociously, inhaling his essence. “I’ve missed ew, babe. Ows it goin?”
“Le’s go somewhere a bit quieter where we can chat.”
So Craig took Brent by the hand and allowed himself to be led back to the quiet room. The room was completely empty. It was coming up to closing time.
They grabbed a couple of beers and took a seat. “Ow come yer back yer then, Craig?”
“I got me ed sorted out. I ad to get out for a bit, like. Everyone was doin my fuckin ed in!”
“But everythin’s okay now, isit?”
“Yeah, yeah. Brent, I’m gonna properly run the club. No more fuckin about, like. I’m gonna be twenty-nine next month. Gorra get my shit together, like. I spoke to Jack an e says I’m welcome back, like. I won’t go disappearing again, I promise. I wanna be yer with you, Brent.”
“Isi?” remarked Brent. He stared at his bottle of beer. “I dunno, Craig. Like, stuff’s changed while ew’ve been gone…”
“Whaddyou mean?” asked Craig, ears pricking up. He knew what was coming and, suddenly, he wondered why he ever thought it would go any differently.
“I dunno…” Brent trailed off again, “You’ve been gone so long…”
Craig smiled reassuring, and surprised himself by how ready he was to have this conversation. That E was some good shit. He was rolling up the walls.
“Jus say it, Brent,” he encouraged.
“Well… Las night, right, I put somethin up on Facebook… Askin if anyone wanted to come and av a sesh, like. I was bored an jus wanted to ang about, like, ew know? Anyway… I got a load of guys sayin they were up for it… But…”
He had a pained expression on his face. Craig expected the breakup, but he didn’t expect what came next.
Brent sipped his beer. “I didn wanna see any boys, like. I jus didn. I dunno why. I asked this girl to come round and, like, I dunno, Craig…”
Craig knew. If it wasn’t for the strained look of sincere confusion on Brent’s face, then maybe he wouldn’t have understood. But he did. He’d been through it himself before.
He reached out a hand to Brent and squeezed it tight. “It’s alrigh, Brent. I geddit.”
Very few people in their circle did. And for that, Brent was grateful. “Ew do?” he asked hopefully.
“Yeah. Like, ew dunno where yer ed’s at. I geddit. I bin there. We both av. It’s alrigh, babe. Yer, just finish tha and go be with yer mates.”
So they drank their beers and talked and laughed. It must have only been about ten minutes, but to Craig it felt like hours. He loved that boy, but he knew full well that this wasn’t anything that they could control.
When they finished, Brent hugged Craig tightly. “I love ew, ew knows tha, yeah?”
“I know,” purred Craig.
Brent took a step back and looked Craig over once more before heading out the door.
Craig took a deep breath and took a second to feel alive. Gurning his face off, he looked out the window on to the street where people were spilling out from the club. His people.
His brain was firing off at a hundred miles an hour, but it wasn’t any effort for him to stumble into the back room, collapse onto a mattress and pass out with a smile on his face.
He felt ready. Free.