“Men … well … wai’re a bit sluttish, ya knaow. We loik a lot of sex, and wai aren’t always too pa’ticular about how we get it. Some men prefer it without ties, with strangers. I dunno. Oi had that when Oi was on the straits. Oi got enough fuckin’ with paiple who didn’t care about mai. Paiple who despised me. They thought that because Oi naided the money Oi was a nothin’. But sex is noice. Very noice.” He smiled suddenly, quickly and endearingly. “ And if ya can do it with someone you loike … someone you love … then it’s seriously good. Aiven a nice blaoke ya pick up in the pub. Long as he doesn’t look down on ya. Long as there’s somethin’ there. Some spark. Though Oi’m getting’s a bit sick of that too, if ya wanna knaow. Oi love Tom. And Oi reckon Oi’m getting’ half in love with you, Esmé. But Oi naid … fuck it, Ezz, Oi naid men in moi loife. Oi daon’t wanna hurt ya, and Oi’m sorry Oi have. But Oi could never be one hundred per cent straight. Never. No matter how much you main to me. If Oi promised ya Oi would, Oi would be lyin’.”
Esmé looked at him for many heartbeats. “I don’t know, Keith. I can’t. I … I need time to think.”
Keith looked bleak.
Esmé reached down and slapped his cheek lightly.
“Stop it.” She felt much happier than she had before. I’m getting half in love with you. But the more rational part of herself argued forcibly for normality—a boyfriend who was straight, who loved only her, who wouldn’t pick up men in pubs. Like they’re all queuing up, she thought cynically. “I said I’d think about it.”
“Can wai go on bein’ friends?” Keith looked so anxious she almost gave in right there.
“Maybe. We’ll see. Now drink up your coffee and go away!”
“Oi haven’t got any! Honestly, the service in this place!”
Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)