IMagine if your friends had organised a suprise for you. You walk into the room, the light go on and…? 500 words.
To me, I winged this piece. It feels like I almost got this right, but the word constraint made me force a size 12 idea into a size 9 format. This was a piece I could have happily concentrated on the microcosm of people’s lives; the girlfriend who was shocked but “up-for-it”, the friends who would use the pictures for mischief afterwards, and the parents who were both disapproving and silently proud of their “vibrant” son.
“Come in here baby,” Diane purred from within the darkness, and I crept towards the voice obediently. This was it. We were going to have sex!
There was a flash, and I winced just as an unexpected chorus of voices rang out, and said “Surprise!” I forced my eyes open against the light desperately; about 40 of my friends, co-workers and family were staring at me, some gasping, others pointing with mobile phones in their hands. Diane, my beautiful girlfriend of only a few weeks, was covering her mouth in shock – and with good reason. I was standing completely bollock-naked, a half-erection in one hand and a condom in the other. I slowly covered my shame with both hands and smiled to my unexpected guests.
“Thanks…everyone.” The silence turned to a few claps, then chuckles, and eventually full-on laughter. There was no-where to run, no way to pass this off. I had been caught with my junk in my hand, by everyone in my world, and I had no doubt that I would be appearing on people’s Facebook accounts for the entire world to see.
Diane embraced me, tears streaming down her face. “When I said ‘take me home and I’ll give you a surprise’, you thought…”
“Something different.” I felt my cheeks burning with embarrassment. How could I be so stupid?
“ I’d love to know how you can get undressed so quickly.” She nibbled my earlobe. “Keep that condom handy. For later.”
Despite my predicament, I felt it twitch. “Please, Diane! You’re not helping!”
She let me go just as the first of my friends reached me to punish me with banter and painful hand-slaps. I was denied my clothes, instead handed a “carrot” thong and someone’s pink feather boa to wear. I didn’t care; dressing up as a total tit was nothing compared with being seen in a state of sexual excitement. I accepted all this with the best grace I could muster. After all, I was the birthday boy.
Throughout the party I downed every shot presented to me, sank every beer that was opened for me, and managed to provide good conversation without being too smutty or incoherent. At around 2am, the revellers started to leave, my mother and father the last to go. I slumped on the sofa, staring at the spinning room around me, and felt surprisingly pleased with myself. My girlfriend closed the door and dimmed the lights.
“That went well,” I slurred to a double-image of Diane.
She smiled sweetly, and then started to strip off her black dress slowly. “Now it’s time for your real surprise.”
I watched her for a moment, revelling in the rush of sexual anticipation, then silently passed out.