Saleem wasn't rearing to go but the as time went by he began to get a little nervous and excited. He checked his suit out in the mirror and hoped he wouldn't sweat through it. It was only gonna last a couple of hours and this girl wasn't going to try anything. She was hand picked by family, she was muslim, hard-working, pretty, with a bit of luck he could marry her in a few years. His whole life could be set up by this date, no pressure then. He went down the stairs and his stomach churned as he opened the door. She looked beautiful. He was speechless. He invited her in and his family were all waiting for her the living room. Saleem 's mum with her camera, his sister making faces and he stuck his tongue out while his mum was fiddling with the film. They took their picture together and Saleem could tell that his family were chuffed and he was taking a step in the right direction. His parents followed them to the door but Saleem made them stay in so it wouldn't be too embarassing. Her parents had hired a car to take them. Saleem let his date get in the car first and was about to get in when he heard someone say "alright?" He looked ahead of him and there was Daz-with a date of his own.

"You're going?"

"Yeah, get to push ya luck with a bird and the booze is free, see ya there" Daz said as he looked at the girl smiling beside him. Saleem groaned and hoped they wouldn't see each other much. He didn't really want people to know thet that even knew each other, let alone were mates. He got into the car when Daz walked over.

"What is it?" Saleem asked him impatiently.

"Can we have a lift?"

"Are you mad?" Saleem's date looked at him and smiled at Daz, and said: "Course you can" Saleem looked at her but didn't want her to think he was stingy, so Saleem got in the car and left the door open. Daz and his date got in, impressed at how spacious the car was. Daz introduced him and his date, Megan to Saleem's date Aisha. Aisha liked Daz, he seemed friendly and his girlfriend Megan, was pretty. She knew they would get on. Daz held his girlfriend's hand while she talked about the car.

"I would have taken my dad's but he's got business" Daz knew that's what Megan was like, constantly trying to impress.

"We hired it just for tonight" Aisha told her she looked at Saleem before asking: "How long have you two been together?"

"Aisha" Said Saleem quickly "Stop being nosey"

"Keep your hair on Sal, it was just a question" Said Aisha shaking her head. Daz smiled at them both. "It's alright, not long, so I can ask now, are you two..." Saleem and Aisha looked at each other and stayed silent. Neither of them knew where this was going or even what it was. Daz relaxed back in his chair while his girlfriend gave Daz a strange look. They got to the hall and people were already eating, dancing, and drinking with the music taking over talking. Daz and his girlfriend met up with their other friends and Saleem met up with his classmates and introduced them to Aisha. They were impressed and Saleem felt that he got a girl that people would be proud of, they all started dancing with their dates and were able to act silly, with the party music, for the next hour, but Saleem began to get embarrased as the slow music came on.

The lads groaned as the girls urged them to cuddle them on the dancefloor and Saleem began to feel hot as Aisha pulled him towards her and he wrapped his arm around her waist and she put her head on his shoulder and they rocked in time to the music. Saleem looked straight ahead at the other couples around him. It felt good to be normal, to go out with a girl and have people pat you on the back, blend into a crowd and not have people wondering why you were on your own. He swayed moving his neck into the crook of Aisha's shoulder when he saw Daz staring at him while sipping beer. Saleem wondered where Megan was and got confused as Daz went outside needing some fresh air. The slow music ended and Saleem took Aisha to the table so she could talk with his friend's dates and excused himself and went to find Daz, he knew he was being ridiculous, but if Daz was upset, he just wanted to make sure than he was alright. He quietly went outside and saw Daz drinking by a bin.

"Where's Megan?" Saleem asked.


"You two row?"


"What's with all the staring? Ya like Aisha?"

"She's alright?"

"Do ya really like her?"

"Saleem..." Daz said bluntly, knowing that he was clutching at straws because he didn't want him to admit the truth.

"Why did you ask for a lift?"

"Cause Megan didn't want to take the bus"

"She's posh"

"Yeah" Daz agreed.

"Ok well I just wanted to see if you"

"Saleem, wanna walk around for a bit?"

"Daz, let me be normal, for just one night"

"What you on about?"

"Our dates are in there, see ya" Saleem walked off leaving Daz disappointed and confused. He drank the rest of the beer and went in to see Megan. He had to give it to her, she knew no-one but it looked like she'd been friends with them for years. This girl came from a well off family and she knew how to network, just like her mother. Daz was even surprised she showed. She messed him about all week and reckoned that the real reason she came was because she was bored. But she wasn't anymore, with lads staring at her and girls commenting on her designer dress. Daz lingered by her until people started leaving and He went and found Saleem to see what he was doing.

"Ya going home?"

"Yeah in a bit, I'll call you over"

"Cool" Daz walked over to Megan talking with a group of girls and said that they would be leaving with Saleem and Aisha in a few minutes. She responded rudely.

"I don't think so Daz, if I have to see them again I'll scream"

"What ya doing then?"

"Well I've spoken to Angela and Chris, let's go with them"

"We don't know em"

"We do now, and speak properly, the last thing I want is for people to think you're from the chav ghetto or something" She turned around to her new friends to talk about her arrangments and Saleem nodded for Daz to come over. Saleem, Daz and Aisha went out and the hired car was there. Aisha got in when Saleem and Daz heard Megan's voice.

"Daz...there you are, let's go"

"I'm going with them" Daz said, turning towards the hired car.

Megan grabbed his arm and steered him away from them "Look It was bad enough them taking us there, but they're not taking us back, how will that make us look?"

"What do ya mean?"

"I shouldn't have to explain it to you Daz, people like those two, need to stick to their own type of people, we're not like them, why would you even want to associate yourself with them?"

"You were happy to lick Aisha's arse, when ya got in their car"

"They were a last resort, Chris and Angela, like myself are way more sophisticated, you're not yet, but you're cute and at least you're the right..." Daz walked off knowing that he couldn't hear any of this any longer. "Daz where are you going?" That was the last question she asked him as he sliently got in the cab. Saleem and Aisha looked at him.

"Megan not coming?" Aisha asked.

"Nah she's busy" Daz said, they drove off and the hired car dropped Aisha off Saleem said goodbye and to his relief, she gave him a peck on the cheek. Daz looked down at Saleem's car place and Saleem got in and shut the door.

"She likes ya" Daz noted.

"Well at least some girl does, what really happened?"

"With Megan?" Saleem nodded. "She had better stuff to do and people to see"

"She was a cow weren't she?" Saleem guessed.

"Calling her one's offensive to cows mate, I'd never hit a girl but I nearly got me phone out to call a girl that could" Saleem asked the driver to drop them off here and gave him a tip. He called his mum to tell her everything was alright and he'd be back soon. The driver drove off and Saleem looked at Daz questioningly.


"What did she say?"

"A lot of shit, I wasn't really listening, I Better go, give ya the chance to be normal" Daz threw back at him.

"Sorry about that, I Just get so paranoid around Aisha, around you..."

"That's a good thing"

"Trust me it isn't"

"Wanna come to mine?"

"I want to but I have to get back" Saleem reluctantly walked home wondering if being normal was going to be normal for him, While Daz got to his flat and deleted Megan's number and put his phone on the side. He watched TV, staring at the screen to delete thoughts of Megan's words tonight and hoped he'd never see her again.