I loved our heels in the dark, the click-clacking on the pavement that said we made no excuses and if people stared at us we’d be like fuck it, let’s keep going. Red Bull cans clattered against the curb and a neon orange wristband got stuck to my shoe. The sky looked like a slit-open trash bag. On the street, scooters revved loudly and boys shouted at each other. But it’s not just the Leidseplein crowd that quick-draws the city out of its holster and goes from one club to the next to see where the action is, it’s also the preppy guys in Handboogsteeg who only want black girls when they’re drunk and wearing shitty old jeans like they have zero fucks to give.
‘It’s NYX or bust tonight,’ I said to Amma.
She nodded, because people eat her up wherever she goes.
It was a Thursday, freaking Thursday at NYX, and Amma was bouncing up and down to ‘Old Town Road’ and looking sick in her Orsay dress. Her arm was undulating in the air – her sleeve a vortex of glitter. It was supposed to be a different kind of night, the kind where you have a few drinks at Palladium and do lots of looking before heading home, because she had an early shift at the supermarket and I had to cut hair at school, not for real but on the practice head with the cracks in the blue eyes. But Luka and Nabi came over to our table, and they were throwing around fifties and the mojitos and the shots just kept coming, until we said that’s enough, but those guys don’t know when to quit, so when they went out for a smoke we quickly got up and left. We headed down Korte Leidse to the tram stop, or we pretended to at least, because we always act like we don’t want to keep going. Until something or someone happens. It was Amma who said it this time: ‘We’ve been drinking anyway, we might as well go to the club.’
It was banging when we turned up, the club was packed, I was pressed up closer and closer to my girl, they were playing good shit, we were vibing, we were everywhere and yet we were together. Suddenly Amma stopped dancing and I felt an arm being put around me. Fucking ballsy. I turned around, brown hair and dark eyes – it was sick how handsome he was. He asked did I want a beer. I told him even pretty boys at least get us gin-and-tonics. He laughed, his teeth sparkled and his brown eyes were on me and bam, it was my night and we were on. It didn’t take him long to come back with three G&T’s and three tequila shots on the side for good measure: we clinked our glasses before knocking them back. Two of his friends came and stood next to us, I looked over at Amma, we were OK, and he started talking again, the way white guys always do even if you can’t hear what they’re saying, so I waved my hands and slid back into the music. He folded his hands around my hips. I leaned against him and we grinded, my ass rubbing against his crotch. Amma turned around and disappeared into the crowd—that was a good sign.
First we kissed on the dancefloor and I felt it in my toes. His lips were softer than I expected and he immediately stuck his tongue into my mouth. He tasted like cigarettes. When he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the door his friends cheered – they were wearing identical jackets. Two guys were fighting outside the club so he pulled me along further, toward Rokin, where he raised his hand and pushed me into a taxi. In the back seat we kept making out and his hands disappeared under my skirt and he slipped a finger under the elastic of my panties and fuck it was hot but no way was I doing this in the taxi, so I pushed his hand back, and then suddenly he began:
‘So, you’re the first black woman I’ve ever – ’
I immediately kissed him so he couldn’t finish his sentence.
The taxi didn’t stop for a long, long time, until we were past Amstel Station, in front of a big house by the water. We drove down a gravel road and stopped in front of a staircase with large planters in front of a metal door. I thought: he’s loaded. He said it was his place now that his parents had moved to Spain.
Once we got inside he pushed me against the door. He lifted up my top as he kept kissing me, he unhooked my bra and the metal was cold against my back and his hands squeezing my breasts were warm. Suddenly he stopped and took a step back, as if he’d realised how this would be a scene in a movie. He had to take a moment to say it after all:
‘You’re the first black woman I’ve ever fucked.’
I thought of the lion’s head hanging off the front door, with a big brass ring through its wide mouth. When push comes to shove I never come out and roar. I couldn’t believe I was still
‘This feels so fucking good,’ he said. ‘And I gotta tell you, I thought you were the hottest one, way hotter than your friend. I like black, but not too black.’
I turned into cold metal and he could tell, because he took a step back and ran his hand through the fine brown hair that had been cut in a straight line above his ears.
‘Of course, I don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes. Or maybe a black woman’s life is like a neverending hazing.’ His laugh sounded like Nabi’s. Earlier, at Palladium, Nabi had stuffed his tip into a full glass of rum and coke and just about lost it when the girl behind the bar tried to fish it out with a teaspoon.
This was what my night was going to be. As I knelt down, I felt a marble floor.
I looked up as I unbuttoned his jeans. His eyes darkened as I took his hard dick between my lips. My tongue was a vortex, and he moaned before I sank my teeth into him.