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Welcome to Hell: The Lovers are Losing

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Saturday rolls around and I'm annoyingly aware it's the first weekend in ages that no plans have been made with the beau - I worry that he has tired of my affections, (incredible as this may seem) although it's probably nearer the truth that he is spending quality time with his myriad shadowy offspring. My best friend Zoe saves the day with a text.

'Come to the pub tonight' it reads, 'You can meet Guy! And his hot flatmate!'

The Guy bit is intriguing - she's been dating this mysterious man for a couple of months now and noone has ever met him, probably because she seems to spend almost all her time at his plush bachelor pad in a smart South London enclave. Their burgeoning relationship is almost certainly a good thing - she's spent the last couple of years conducting tempestuous affairs with wildly unsuitable men and frankly, we're all bored of hearing about them.

I was less excited about the latter part of the text - Zoe's idea of a hot hunk is Prince Harry whereas being in the same room as more than five pairs of sockless deck shoes brings me out in hives.

So off I trot to Zoe's and rap loudly on their window; the doorbell hasn't worked since she moved in and probably never will. I hear her shriek loudly and this turns out to be because she's standing in the living room in just a pair of knickers having just stepped out of the bath.
'Do my back' she spits, handing me a tube of expensive smelling lotion as I walk in.

'Lovely to see you too' I reply, having not even had the chance to put my bag down. I apply the cream and learn that there is a 'situation'. She sent Guy a BBM four hours ago and he hasn't read it, let alone replied which has sent her into a spin.

'He could have been mugged!' she cries, 'or be dead!

She pauses for breath.

'Although he did get up really early to watch the rubgy so he might just be asleep' she reasons, calming down slowly. We agree this is more likely, though I know her well enough to realise that she's calculating which hospital she would ring first.

We sit down with enormous steaks and bottles of beer - Zoe is not one of those prissy cupcake-type girls, which is a large part of her appeal. We watch a David Attenbrough programme about mating bull frogs which just serves to reinforce my belief that absolutely every creature on earth is having sex this weekend apart from me.

She disappears to enable phase two of getting ready and I hack into her Facebook page to pass the time.

Emboldened by a gallon of Becks she decides to leave a voicemail informing Guy of our pub plans.

'Oh god you're doing that voice' I remark.

'What voice?' she snaps back, in more familiar tones.

'The voice you use on the man in the corner shop when you don't have enough money for a packet of fags. A kind of honey-tinged "you-will-obey-me" voice. Do you use it the whole time you're with him? It must be exhausting.'

She's still fuming as we march down to the pub and park ourselves in the garden with a bottle of wine. She's checking her phone an average of every ten seconds and craning her neck every time someone walks in. We spot the alleged 'hot flatmate' and he's everything I feared. A regulation Sloane in a stripey shirt and a head of that thick untamable hair that they all seem to have. He's perfectly affable but I find him maginally less attractive than Fred West. He's with some drunk equally posh girl who has a lowly job at a fashion magazine. She's been up all night and is making little sense. I fear these people are not my people. For a start they all look about 15.

Zoe is by now a bottle down and still sporting a face of thunder. Her phone has been notably silent, and the pub is due to shut any minute.

'Let's go back to mine' she asserts, 'Girly night in, just the two of us'. I know any form of resistance is futile when she's in this mood and agree. Just then the phone finally rings. Even though she's quite drunk she still manages to 'do the voice'. The elusive Guy has awoken from his mammoth slumber and now awaits her charms at his well-appointed duplex. Her eyes are shining once more as she eagerly tells him she'll jump in a cab.

'Do you think I'm a terrible friend for going to see him?' she asks and I don't; any form of normal relationship is to be actively encouraged.

As we walk out past the bar she asks if I can buy her a bottle of wine. Oh and give her twenty pounds.

Zoe earns a very decent crust but is permanently skint. Noone knows where her money goes; she doesn't appear to have to have an opium habit or a weakness for Swarovski crystal animals. It's a mystery. I stock her up, and she drops me near the tube. I watch as she bounces off giddily down the road, seratonin quota magically replenished.

I pick my way towards a seat on the Northern Line next to someone who doesn't look likely to suddenly produce a stinking box of dirty chicken from within their coat. I had been dreading heading home alone, whilst the rest of the world writhed around me in coupled-up ecstasy, but having witnessed the exhasting and complicated mating dance of two people who do actually really like eachother and want to be together, all I really felt was relief.