The last of our six Fresher’s Memoirs, Arts Editor Esther herself reflects her own Fresher’s memory in ‘The Bar Crawl’
Clad in a short tartan skirt and a red vest top, I drunkenly stumbled down the road following the dregs of music and conversation that drifted towards me like a trail of breadcrumbs, leading me to my next destination.
The only thing that was keeping me warm in the late September night were the still glowing embers of the four large glasses of wine that I had downed at the previous bar. They made my skin glow, staving off the cold.
My eyes focused on the figure in front of me. Molly. The name popped into my mind and I found my legs turn on autopilot and start sprinting towards her.
One foot in front of the other. I thought to myself, focusing on the mundane task.
The evening had begun with the intention of being somewhere else. So, how on earth I had ended up on a bar crawl I had no idea.
But did I regret it? Not one bit.
There’s something very daunting about getting drunk with a bunch of strangers. A dozen painted on smiles looked back at me as we sat down at the next pub, all attempting to mask the panic that comes with forced adolescent interaction.
We were in The Star in Beeston, our third or fourth bar of the night.
I giggled loudly and turned to the guy beside me. His eyes were conker brown and he had an easy-going resistance about him.
I remembered seeing him amongst the crush of bodies that had made their way down the Highstreet a few minutes ago. As I rambled on nervously, I had felt those steady eyes on mine concentrating on the words that clumsily tumbled from my mouth as I spouted half-drunken nonsense.
He appeared too cool, too calm and collected to be interested in talking to me.
The night drew on and before long we made our way to Dino’s- the best place to get drunk food in Beeston.
The night air was crisp as the first hints of winter started to coyly peep through in the form of red bordered leaves and charcoal coloured skies.
The brown-eyed boy ran after me when I drunkenly swerved into Tesco car-park and held my arm to steer me in the right direction. His hand brushed mine momentarily and I blushed hard and jerked it away abruptly. We were both embarrassed and pretended it never happened.
It was strange to think that a year later we would be dating, something that my brain back then would not have been able to even begin to comprehend.
We walked past Spoons, which had long since closed up for the night. In the distance, I heard a car alarm go off like a lone whale call out at sea.
That night I walked home the same way that I would continue to for the rest of that year.
Little did I know that by the end of 2017 that would become a well-trodden route, the roads having watched me wander in the sunshine, rain, at dark, during day, drunk, sober, sad, happy – and every other state of being there was.
The security guards who had once appeared as mere strangers that I nodded politely to, gradually became good friends that would never hold back on telling me all the silly things that I had done the night before.
Once inside, I collapsed in bed and wrapped the duvet over my head with the memories of that evening still dancing behind my eyelids as I smiled and drifted into a dreamland full of nervous curiosities and fluttery expectations for the year to come.
How was I to know that the next day when I woke and walked into the kitchen that five pairs of eyes would be looking back at me in my obviously hungover stupor?
I would have no idea about the birth of the Quotes Wall and the little patchwork family that would soon be known as Flat 19.
But I would watch on as Monty and Kumar shared a look and started imitating me dropping my drink down myself.
To which I would roll my eyes and groan all the while waiting for Monty to ask the infamous question poised with his signature smile.
“So… whose coming out tonight?”
It was the year when I finally found a home in the city of Nottingham.
Including the place where it all started, Albion House.
Featured image courtesy of Georgia Butcher.
Image use licence here.
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