Liz’s parties rocked. Even now. We’d once been an amorphous mob. Now we were forming attachments, making commitments and settling down. But a party at Liz’s could still bring out our best.

Ted and Victoria got the night off to an unexpected start. They announced their engagement to loud cheers. Copious toasting followed, by everyone except Emma who was usually up for a drink. ‘On the wagon?’ asked  Jason.

‘Doctor’s orders.’

Slow on the uptake, us lads thought she was joking. Not the girls who swooped.

‘Eleven weeks,’ she said. After telling us all about Eduard and how she’d soon be joining him in France, she left the party early—how things were changing.

Ted and Victoria locked themselves together on the couch. Jose and Laura found a stairwell. Every time I came back from the kitchen there seemed less people to talk to and more couples. By two in the morning Liz was disappearing upstairs with Ron. I was alone in a sea of love. Ben and Kate—their on again off again thing decidedly ‘on’. Lucia and Hans—he must have thought Christmas had come early. And me with someone else’s beer.

It was time to go.

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