The Stale Taste of Recycled Air

Snowballs and apologies

We pulled apart as the cab stopped outside the hotel. Billie took up my hand as we entered the lobby.

"Do you think they came back?" I asked stopping to quickly scan the reception area.

"Most likely," Billie replied following my gaze around.


We both turned to see G and P sitting in the hotel bar. G waved us over and I sighed as Billie silently chuckled.

"Thank God for those Greeks or they would have witnessed that ridiculous fight."

We sat down opposite them, G smiling widely, Margarita in hand and smudged lipstick on her teeth. She was clearly plastered out of her mind. P grinned, I rolled my eyes as he rolled the glass of brandy he was clutching around in his hand.

"Bill m'lad!" He yelled slightly, "Wanna drink? You a brandy boy too? You look like a Brandy boy... " he turned craning his neck to the bar man.

"Brandy's err... cool," Billie gulped looking at me broodingly. I giggled as the barman brought over a brandy and a Snowball for me.

"P...a snowball? I'm not 80."

"Shut it, you need to start drinking like a bloody woman! Beer and whisky are not ladies drinks. Your grandmother used to drink snowballs! Get it down ya."

"My grandmother? Exactly my point," I sighed as I took up my drink.

"How was you're dinner?" Billie asked shivering at the taste of the Brandy.

I looked him worriedly, "P is that Ararat Brandy?"

"What else?" he replied clicking his teeth like I was stupid.

"Because you forget that you drink Brandy, Billie doesn't and he isn't used to it... "

"It's okay Erin really," Billie chuckled, intent on not making a fuss.

"Don't say I didn't try and warn you," I smiled.

"Billie we had alurvely dinner," G slurred patting his arm.

"We went to this place called... Peter! Peter what was it called?"

"Er... Christ Georgina I don't know... but they did a bloody good steak."

Billie snorted at my drunken parents, I held back a laugh. Think typical drunken English posh people and you get the picture.

"How was your dinner, Billie dear?" G blinked harshly trying to focus on his face.

"Oh, err, yeah, well, the dinner was nice... " he lied, gulping back some more brandy and shaking at the burning in his throat.

We sat there, listening to G and P drone on about this Greek couple for a while, Billie was on his fourth Ararat Brandy, his pupils were getting bigger and he was slurring his words. I giggled putting down my empty snowball.

"You don't have to drink anymore... "

"Hell he will!" Pete stormed at me, "Look he's enjoying it, let the poor bugger enjoy his bloody brandy!"

"You know Billie Joe; if I were 20 years younger you would be just my type." G slurred leaning across and pinching Billie's cheek. Billie grinned awkwardly at my mother as P sighed.

"Georgina leave the poor boy alone."

"What? I'm only saying how handsome he is." I sighed as Billie chuckled into his glass.

"Well thank you Mrs. Kenyon..err... I mean Georgie."

"Georgie! Oh I like that! Oh Erin, he's great!" G giggling gulping at her Margarita. I sighed clutching my forehead.

"Erin." I looked up and jumped back to see Brittany hovering over me.

"Can we talk?" she asked, her face tear stained and red.

"Err, sure." I gasped getting up from the table.

"I'll be back in a minute," I told the drunken three whom I was sitting with, they didn't listen, but continued talking about Greece.

"They seem to be having fun," Brittany smiled, leading me to another room in the lobby that was empty.

"Yeah they are all pissed," I sighed sitting down on a chair opposite her.

"Look Erin, I apologize for my behavior tonight and well... since we got here."

"Britt... "

"No let me finish," She cut in raising her hand slightly. "You have been nothing but nice to me Erin but I've been snotty and stubborn about the whole Adi thing and it wasn't really any of my business, who Billie or she goes out with for that matter."

"Thanks Brittany, I did like you, up until I thought you hated me."

She smiled at me, "Erin, you know, it may seem odd for me to say this, but I truly believe that you and Billie should stay together. He's happier and well, the whole band is. Adi though... "

She drifted, not wanting to say anything.

"She still loves him?" I asked.

She nodded, "She has been fooling around with this guy... "

I pictured the shadows in the window when we picked Joe and Jake up from Lisa's.
"...but she can't let it go, she sees it as her defeat because Bill seems so happy with you and... "

"He still has feelings for her." I stated quite coldly.

Brittany jumped back at my words. "Oh... " I could tell she wasn't expecting me to admit that.

"Well... he's bound to." I sighed running a hand through my hair.

"Erin that must be hard I mean...when I met Mike, he, he still had feelings for his ex wife."
"The key thing there is ex, not actual wife." I found myself chuckling.

She smiled at me, "I'm sorry I yelled out that thing about the teacher."

"I was bound to find out Brittany, but truthfully, it's not exactly how I wanted to."

She shook her head, "I know it was awful, I must look like a right bitch."

"Well, I'm making sure that once Adele wakes up tomorrow, hang over or not, she fucking apologizes, I got so angry at her."

Brittany shrugged, "She was just looking after her cousin."

I nodded, "There's looking out and then there's causing a complete scene."

"She's a good person Erin," Britt smiled. "Mike was so mad at me for loosing my rag like that."

"Britt don't worry about it really... "

"Thanks Erin, not many people are big enough to let something like that go."

"I have bigger things to deal with." I sighed

"I had a talk with Billie yesterday... " she twiddled with her hair nervously, looking hesitant to divulge the information.

I looked at her, intent on hearing more.

"And... well... Billie asked me if I had rung Adi and I said yes. He didn't seem too pleased about it, but, well, I figure I should explain myself; this is what I told him too. Adi was a good friend to me when I first started seeing Mike, I mean not many people are welcomed into Green Day's tight knit group and well, Tre has never really warmed to me. Adi was a really good friend you know I was trying to return the favour, to be loyal to her? I had so many insecurities, especially about Mike and his ex wife... " she drifted off looking at the rich carpet at our feet. Her eyes darkened and I felt so sorry for her, I realized that she had become caught in the middle.

"Brittany, let's just forget all that shit. I hate it when it gets bitchy and backstabbing, I mean from now on, I think that well, we should try and not turn this into some big saga that it is developing into."

Brittany smiled at me, "You have a gift of understanding." She chuckled wiping away a wild tear from her cheek.

"It's more of a burden." I grinned back.

We both stood up, knowing that this conversation was ending.

"Thanks Erin, for well, being so great." She awkwardly moved towards me.

"Thank you too Britt, It was very big of you to come over to me tonight."

"It's okay." She hugged me clumsily.

"Well, I best get back to the drunks." I sighed as we left the small lobby room.

"Yeah, me too, I have some 'making up' to do to Mike after causing such a scene." She giggled.

I smiled at her and turned to walk in the direction of the bar, only to find that Tre Cool had taken my vacant seat.

"Erin!" he yelled, also clutching brandy and holding watery eyes.

"ERIN!" The whole table chorused.

"Thought we'd lost you there kidda!" P cackled sipping at his drink.

"Yeah G was just telling us about the time you saw a spider in the bathroom and ran downstairs naked screaming," Billie laughed.

"I was SIX!" I yelled, utterly humiliated as I grabbed a vacant chair and sat down.
P clicked his fingers at the waiter and shortly another drink arrived for me.

"What's this?" I asked sniffing it.

"Desperado cocktail." P stated.

"Oh no don't give her that!" G flapped her hands wildly.

"Why?" P asked scratching his thinning hair.

"Don't you remember when it was her 17th birthday and she drank that whole bottle of silver tequila? She was vomiting everywhere!"

Tre and Billie burst out laughing as I felt myself going red. "G! Will you shut up?" I bellowed sipping my drink.

"Tre, where's Adele?" I asked as he slogged back the remains of his brandy.

"Upstairs in her room passed out." He grinned as another brandy soon replaced his empty glass.

"Oi, Mr K! Fill her up." Billie shoved his glass at P with an unsteady arm and a blinking eye.

"Nice Bill, nice, see I could tell you where a brandy boy."

"Yeah I like this shite man." Tre cackled.

"Mr. Coool." G slurred pouting at him, "Please refrain from using such language."

"I am sorry Mrs K." Tre slurred back, "I do apologize."

"Apology accepted Mr. Cool," She winked at him extravagantly, "But only because you're so damn handsome and charming."

Billie spluttered sending a spray of brandy across the table, I shook my head and ordered a double Jack Daniel's on ice. I couldn't cope with this.