“I think I may have broken my neck,” I wince as I gingerly haul myself out of the Kiddi Koaster car. Ahead of me, the rest of Adventure Island makes for an impressive vista, but it doesn’t take away the pain in my neck, which was – I’m sure – not designed for such a small coaster with jerky stops and starts. I’ve been on all the other coasters, except for the big one H and 47 went on, on which they both felt they would die.
It isn’t the same Adventure Island as the one Robinson and I used to go and routinely rescue from a wide array of villains every playtime in Year 5… and yet Robinson is still here with me, and he has managed to not hurt his neck at all.
Because he’s short, probably.
We have less than five minutes to go if we can manage to escape the escape room. The other group – Mane, Mane Jr., H and my friend-who-is-a-teacher – have already escaped from theirs. We can hear the laughter, so we know.
The wizard prison theme goes completely out of the window as we finally unearth Thanos’ glove from somewhere. 47 places it on a sensor by the back door and we are out. Everyone collapses into laughter and I decide it best not to mention that I noticed the door we came in through wasn’t locked.
Everyone’s several drinks in when I suggest we play a game of I Have Never. The usual ones are rolled out – everyone else drinks when Einstein leads with “never have I ever had a crush on a co-worker” – and then 47 hits on the idea of doing ones specifically designed for me.
“Never have I ever written and published reviews of porn,” he says. I drink.
“Never have I ever written and published reviews of sex toys,” says Mane. I drink.
“Never have I ever had anal sex,” says Mane Jr. I drink.
“Never have I ever had sex with someone whose gender identity is the same as mine,” I say carefully.
“What’s that?” someone asks. “What’s wrong with the term ‘gay sex’?”
“Nothing at all,” I shrug. “Gay is great. I’ve just also had sex with an enby, so I can’t in all honestly say I’ve only ever had straight sex.”
I’m not sure I’ve explained it right. But a couple of people drink anyway.
I don’t drink alcohol. I’ve imbibed a lot of sugar. I’m relatively high when we decide to go to a pub for more drinks.
I still want to play this with sex bloggers.
“I don’t like Mr. Brightside,” I yell over the guy in the corner who’s singing it while banging out the chords on his guitar.
“You’re not having it at your wedding?”
“No! I don’t like it!”
“But it’s played at every wedding!”
“And it shouldn’t be! It’s about being cheated on! It’s not an appropriate song for a celebration of true love!”
“I hadn’t considered that…”
It’s after midnight and we’ve found a bus stop to drop H off at. It’s quite eerie, what with the neon lights of the bus station and the midnight silence, but at least I know it, and I know it’ll take her where she needs to go. There is a moment of calm when Robinson, 47 and I were the only ones left in the car.
“Right!” he says, revving the gas pedal. “Where to now? Stag stag stag!”
And then I realise what I should have known all along. That’s what love is.