After the Valedictory Dinner everyone went home. Well, not quite everyone. Because you see, it was also Arabella’s coming of age and she and her friends were determined to not let that occasion slip without a celebration. I thought ‘three cheers’ in the foyer of the venue would have been adequate but her social network had other ideas.
One of the chaps in her circle who is actually a mate of Archie’s (they went to school together), was for a brief interlude, a boyfriend of Arabella’s. So brief was the interlude, he didn’t make it to ‘special friend’ status but they have remained friends. Tee-Koi, (as he is known), is now promoting nightclubs around Sydney and without any discussion with the birthday girl’s parents, he organised a bus to meet outside the Val venue and take Arabella and her friends and their parents to a nightclub in Kings Cross.
It was no ordinary bus either. It was a karaoke bus where the driver had one arm looking after the steering wheel while the other arm pumped the air in time with the loud music. Carl and I were horrified but pretended to look relaxed as we approached the offending vehicle. Arabella’s BFF’s were already on board and had merged towards the rear leaving seating for the oldies up the front.
We did a quick head count and noted someone was missing and yes, it was the birthday girl herself and I looked out the window of the bus and saw Arabella hurrying towards the bus in a new outfit. Somehow she had changed from the retro/vintage black sequined number to the dress we originally arranged for the night. Her BFF’s disembarked and created a guard of honour that Arabella walked through then stepped up onto the bus.
With everyone on board the bus took off and the girls opened all the windows and waved and yelled and screamed at everyone else on the road while singing karaoke at full volume. There was a Lionel Ritchie song and a One Direction song and a few more and while the girls were content to sing as a group, Carl insisted on performing solo. He stood at the front of the bus and looked back at the girls and sang, ‘You’re the Devil in Disguise’. They all laughed.
Having arrived at the venue in a not-so-subtle manner, we disembarked and headed to The Village where Tee-Koi had organised an upstairs function room. There were two security guards/bouncers on the door and they asked Arabella for ID and she produced it and they looked at it and studied it and ran their fingers over it and rubbed it and tried to peel it until I gave the guy holding it a slap and said, ‘Say something’. And he looked at me in a very shocked way and looked at it again and said, ‘Oh, happy birthday’, and with that we moved on in.
I needed to go to the bathroom so headed in the direction of the facilities only to be confused by the presence of cubicles and urinals. Yes, The Village has a communal bathroom so men and women have to share the facilities. Excellent!
Carl and I hung out with the other ‘oldies’ but were tired so gave Archie and Arabella and some of their friends funds for a cab home. I said, ‘And don’t you be too late, Arabella, you have a farewell breakfast at the school tomorrow morning at 7.30am’. It was midnight when I gave her this advice.
Carl and I disappeared into a taxi at around 1am. The next morning I woke Arabella and asked, ‘What time did you get home?’ and she said, ‘I don’t know, ask Archie’. So I went into Archie’s room and said, ‘You need to get up for Uni. What time did you get home?’ And he said, ‘Can’t remember’.
Let’s just assume then, it wasn’t early.