Josh* – Barman

I met Josh* back in early 2009. He was a barman working in a club I used to go to with my friends. Now Josh is someone I wish I had just stayed away from but hindsight will do that to you.

To set the scene briefly, I was out with a few friends one night and we ended up in our favourite club (who knows why because it’s awful). Me, being me, had spotted a cute looking guy working behind the bar but of course I was too scared to talk to him so instead I just kept going to the bar and asking for glasses of water from him: I know what you’re thinking and to answer your questions, I didn’t want to spend any money and yes, I was going to the toilet a lot that night as a result of this! So now that I was possibly the most hydrated girl in the club I decided there was no way I could pluck up the courage to talk to him so I went back to the dancefloor and reunited with my friends. I had briefly mentioned where I’d been and my failings. One of my friends, an over confident young man, figured he’d help me out so we went up to Josh and asked for his number pointing at me and explaining that I ‘fancied’ him like we were all back in year 5 at school or something! Excellent.

Well, much to my humiliation, Josh handed over his number and that was it. We started texting each other that night and decided to meet up for a drink – Oh no!

On the day of our first date, I met Josh at our agreed meeting spot and we started walking to the bar. On the way Josh spotted a few of his mates kicking a football around and decided it would be fun to go over and kick the ball around for a bit. What happened next was the start of a long old night. As Josh went to do some kind of hop, step over a little railing, his ankle twisted and he fell on it at a strange angle – ouch. Fast forward half an hour and I’m currently sat in the waiting room of the A&E department at the hospital with Josh sat next to me swearing about how much pain he’s in. We sat and waited in that room for 4 hours until someone could see us and take some x-rays. 4 whole hours of listening to a 23 year old moan on and on about his ankle and swearing loudly about how the kids playing were annoying him. Wow what a treat he was turning out to be. Finally, we got called through and Josh had some x-rays done. The doctor sat us down and explained that nothing was broken, it was just a minor sprain in the ankle (see, he was bitching and moaning about nothing really). The doctor then laughed and said “luckily you’re girlfriend was around to drive you here I suppose”. Well this is awkward. We both laughed and explained it was a first date (and last) and then thanked him and left. Don’t you worry, this isn’t the end of it all!

From the hospital, I then had to drive out of my way in the opposite direction to drop Josh home. Once there he invited me in for a drink which I, stupidly, accepted. It had been a long old evening and neither of us had eaten anything so Josh asked if I minded him eating some toast. Seemed a little strange to ask me if I minded but I guess he was being polite. Of course I didn’t mind. His next sentence has been repeated to my friends so many times with me telling this story that I will never forget them. “Cool because I have to take my teeth out”. Sorry, you have to do what?? I couldn’t help myself; I had to ask! Josh goes on to explain that he’d gotten in a fight and someone had punched his two front teeth out so he had to remove them when he ate. So out come the teeth and in goes the toast. That kind of killed all sense of romance so after that I looked at the time, feigned a yawn and left.

I never did see Josh again for another date. I got the sense that night that he was quite aggressive. Between all the fights he’d talked about getting into and his swearing about children in the hospital I got the feeling that shy little me who hates conflict would just end up in a bad situation. It definitely would not have worked. You’d think I’d have learned after the cage fighter that an aggressive boyfriend isn’t my type but apparently not.

Anyway a few years later I was reading a magazine and noticed an article discussing how offenders are found using social media sites. Whilst briefly skim reading the article a name jumped out at me. It was Josh’s name! As a side note to the article, there was a list of names of people who had been caught for crimes through social media. Wow. Josh* 25, Barman arrested for assault. Turns out Josh spent two and a half years in prison for grievous bodily harm (GBH). Well at least I know I can trust my gut instinct then!

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