PART 1: A club, a key and the Trevi fountain

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“He’s asking if we’re sure we want to go there,” Dan translated our taxi driver’s Italian for the benefit of the rest of us, who didn’t have an Italian-speaking bone in our body.

This wasn’t a good sign. We had only been in Rome for a couple of hours for our ‘winter getaway’. We had had enough of assignments and lectures, and we seriously needed a small break. Luckily, we found the cheapest flights online, which happened to be to Rome, we booked and left straight away.

“Of course we’re going! Facebook says it’s a great club!” Mandy said, whilst turning to the driver telling him the same, just louder and in Italian.

The driver shrugged and drove off.

The ride was short, yet we had enough time to plan what we were going to do the next day. Since our apartment was right under the Trevi Fountain, we decided we would get breakfast from the little cafe around the corner, where we would also plan what to do for the rest of the day.

The driver dropped us off in front of an alley.

“This is how horror movies start”, I promptly told Dan.

“It’s fine don’t worry about it! Just enjoy the night”, he replied cheerfully.

“We have no doubt that you will, don’t worry,” Alan joked whilst waving his plaster-casted arm at Dan. The poor guy fell down the stairs two weeks before our departure, so he had to try and make do with the situation he was facing, one handed.

We walked along the alley until we saw a group of people smoking in a corner next to a black door. Right next to the door there was a big guy wearing all black, the bouncer, which meant that we had managed to find the club. We walked in and found a little corridor with a small window and a curtained doorway at the end. While we could hear the music pumping inside, a lady stopped us at the window, asking for our IDs and 5 euros.

We walked through the curtain and found another lady, this time with wristbands and a tray of shots.

Dan and Mandy had already downed two by the time our entire group (consisting of five people) had gotten their wristbands. I looked over at Anna and gave her a looks-like-we’re-going-to-have-to-drag-them-back-home look. She half smiled and shrugged in agreement.

The bar was not crowded and yet not empty enough for us to discourage ourselves for the night ahead. The bar was using the good old tokens system, so we exchanged some money for little nifty looking poker chips. We got our first round of drinks and settled ourselves at the end of the bar, next to the big bowl of freshly made popcorn.

“At this rate we’ll be back home in an hour,” I told Anna… or rather shouted as the music was too loud to hold up a proper conversation.

“Us maybe, but look at those two,” she replied in the same tone, as she nodded towards Mandy and Dan, who were intently looking through the shots menu debating what to get. They finally settled on some Tequila shots, which as their drinking history recalled, they were definitely in for some hardcore dancing that night.

“This should be entertaining,” Alan chimed in to the conversation. He looked like he was feeling rather uncomfortable, as he sat down resting his casted arm on the table. “There is no way I’ll be anywhere near the dance floor tonight”, he continued looking down at his arm and sighing.

Anna gave him a sympathetic smile and being the good girlfriend that she is, promised that they would not stay out too late if the rest of us decide to stay. He gave her a big smile and winked, which was my queue to leave the two lovebirds alone.

Dan came up to me with two shots in his hand and handed one to me. “Stop third wheeling and come join the singles club! The mission tonight is to have fun and forget about all the stress back home”.

I took the shot with him and all too eagerly cheered to his proposition. As the alcohol oozed down my throat, I thought Dan was right. We should enjoy every minute of our holiday, considering I was going to have a huge workload to catch up on when I get back home.

The club started filling up with more and more people, which was not a surprise considering it was a Friday night. Dan, Mandy and I got into a conversation with a group of locals who heard us speaking in English and were intrigued as to where we were from. Luckily, they knew where Malta was, and even more surprisingly they had actually visited during the summer.

My phone started buzzing in my pocket and I looked to see who was calling. It was Anna; I looked over to her and she waved me over; they were going home. I, on the other hand, decided to stay as it was still early and the music was getting better by the minute.

Dan and I got more drinks and met our new Italian friends’ friends. Everyone knew where Malta was and we were discussing the differences between our two countries. I looked over at Dan expecting to see Mandy with him but he was looking in my direction expecting the same.

“Really? It’s not even eleven o’clock yet and we have already lost her?” he joked. She had a tendency to pull a disappearing act, only to show up at the end of the night, right before we decide to go home.

“It’s Mandy, do you expect anything less?” I say and we both laughed in agreement. The only problem was that she had the keys to our apartment, as Anna had taken the second pair.

I was going to tell Dan but he was already back on the dance floor. I decided to join him because the music was really good and it was turning out to be a really fun night. We danced to a couple of songs and then I shuffled through the crowded dance floor to go to the ladies room.

I walk in and see Mandy walking out of one of the stalls.

To be continued…

Written by

Marie Clare Grima

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PART 1: A club, a key and the Trevi fountain

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