On the 1st of January at 12:02 AM, the following took place at The Wash nightclub in Dalston.
On the roof terrace:
Graham shuddered to the first orgasm he had ever shared with another person and thought that this was going to be the best year ever.
Paul was one of many people who were pretending they couldn’t see the couple shagging behind the azalea bushes.
Simone was wondering why there weren’t any fireworks. Weren’t there supposed to be fireworks on New Years Eve? Where were the fireworks?
Fergus was considering throwing Simone off the roof if she didn’t shut up about fireworks.
Tammy was having her last cigarette before quitting.
Keith was trying to discreetly roll a spliff without attracting too much attention.
Georgina thought Keith looked like a young Jeremy Vine. Apart from the dreadlocks, obviously.
Maria was trying to get people singing and didn’t understand why no one was joining in.
Claudette was one of several people wondering why Maria was singing “How Much is That Doggy In The Window?”
Hadley wanted to go back inside.
Sandeep was wondering who his ex-girlfriend had kissed at midnight.
Tara thought she and Sandeep had a future together.
Harry was wondering who the fuck invited their dad out for New Year’s Eve.
Ron was talking about the pills back in the day and how you just had to take one and you were on one for the rest of the night.
Chas hadn’t felt old until he’d seen the expressions of amused contempt on the faces of those kids as they took the piss out of his brother.
Billy looked at the skyline and wondered what the year ahead would bring.
On the upper staircase:
Caroline was crying.
Julianne had her arm around Caroline, was rubbing her shoulder and said “there, there” but wasn’t really in the mood to be going through these dramas so early in the evening.
Nicholas stood around awkwardly, wondering what – if anything – he could do.
Genovese was knocking on the office door, so Ken could reset the credit card terminal.
In the office:
Ken was busy racking up lines of coke.
DJ Dan Diamond was promising himself that he would stop taking crappy bookings in these shitty two-bit clubs.
Chantelle was wondering if Ken expected her to shag DJ Dan Diamond.
Vicki wished she’d been able to get tickets for Ministry.
Pete was fairly sure he’d once had a handjob from DJ Dan Diamond at a festival in Berlin.
In the stock cupboard:
A mouse was nibbling on a pistachio nut.
In the first floor bar:
Sam was ignoring his boss’s previous warnings about drug use and necked two pills behind the bar.
Georgia thought that if Sam wanted to keep his job, he should either be more discreet or learn how to share.
Hamish still couldn’t get served, even when there was nobody else standing there.
Chris wasn’t sure whether to say Happy New Year to Pauline or Sabrina, so just stood there with his arms half outstretched to the room in general.
Sabrina was hugging Pauline and telling her that it was going to be their year. THEIR YEAR.
Pauline wished that Sabrina hadn’t eaten so much garlic before coming out.
Freddie was waiting for Sabrina to shut up so he could say Happy New Year to Pauline.
Tim was putting something in Pauline’s drink.
Kenneth wasn’t sure he wanted to hang around with Tim any more.
Michelle was wishing that she had stayed at home.
Tom was wishing that Michelle would take that look off her face and at least pretend to have a good time.
Carol hoped that she and Julius didn’t end up like Tom and Michelle.
Julius felt homesick.
Maxine was sick, but kept her mouth shut and was doing her best to swallow it without anyone noticing.
Jack tried to make a move on Maxine and didn’t understand why she wouldn’t kiss him.
Sharon watched Jack make a fool of himself and knew that she would be the one he went home with at the end of the night.
Andy thought he definitely was in with Sharon.
Penelope suddenly felt a sharp pain under her chin, like she’d been punched by an iron fist. She fell to the floor and was dead before reached it.
Kevin thought that Penelope was just staggering because she was drunk and was about to laugh at her. Then he saw the blood.
Jocasta was about to slap that fucking bitch that was bumping into her.
Coralina wished she’d worn better shoes. That heel was just about to snap.
Patti wasn’t going to be able to take her top back tomorrow. Not with Bacardi spilled down the back and sweat in the pits.
Carl had his hands on the skinny arse of some girl he had been introduced to twice, but whose name he had forgotten.
Jemima wondered if wanting to get off with a black guy – any black guy – was racist.
Callie had never seen what happened to Jemima when she drank and now understood why she generally only had lemonade at their works do’s.
Samson wanted to know why this one wasn’t as much fun as her friend.
Roxanne wondered what the point of wearing makeup and putting on nice clothes when guys went for scruffy old tarts.
Jack thought seventy-five a gram was extortionate, even for New Year’s Eve.
Toby would have given the gear away for free if it meant he could go home and be with Joy and the baby, but Ansell needed his money and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Sandra watched the deal go down and reminded herself that she was off-duty.
Bea was only pretending to be drunk. It was the only way she could justify acting the way she did.
Kayleigh wondered why Bea had to get so wankered every time they went out.
On the lower staircase:
Kyle was explaining this theory about a universal consciousness and how we are all different vibrational frequencies of the same energy.
Sharon had no fucking idea what this guy was on about.
Pauline was just pleased that she had found somewhere to sit down.
Derek had surreptitiously bombed a load of speed and wanted to head back to the dancefloor.
Rose made a joke about ants in the pants, then blushed furiously for no discernible reason.
Luke had no idea that the woman he was snogging would be his wife by this time next year.
Cora was glad she had brought mints and condoms out with her.
Dave skipped down the stairs two at a time, keen to get back to the serious business of strutting his stuff.
In the gents toilet:
Bill was completely missing the target and pissing all over his shoes.
Kamal couldn’t go.
Wendall was thinking that if he didn’t pull tonight, he might try being gay for a bit.
Nigel was remembering the time he ate a urinal cake for a bet and had to go and have his stomach pumped. Why didn’t he have nights like that any more?
David didn’t notice that there was blood in his piss, but could feel the stinging sensation.
Pete was trying not to be rude as he knocked on the cubicle door, but he was about twelve seconds away from shitting his pants.
Clyde told whoever it was outside knocking to fuck off and die.
Jacques was tapping his arm, trying to find a vein.
Andre hated toilet men and tried not to make eye contact.
Keith smiled as he held out a towel to the guy washing his hands.
Idris waited patiently for his turn and was careful not to make eye contact with anyone or any thing.
In the main room:
DJ Cheddar didn’t care if it made him a sellout – this year he was definitely going to produce a mash-up version of “Auld Lang Syne” and make a fortune.
Cheryl had dropped a contact lens and was weighing up the pros and cons of trying to find it versus spending the rest of the night winking like a pirate.
Liz wished she wasn’t on her period.
Kevin thought Liz smelled funny.
Theresa had dropped six pills and didn’t feel a thing. If she saw that scrawny fucker that had ripped her off, she was going to rip his tits off.
Dreamer was just there for the music. He didn’t hold with this new years shit.
Christos had been dancing for over and hour and hadn’t moved his feet once.
Sami thought house was for poofs and hairdressers, but these girls seemed to be into it, so…
Hector made the box.
Charlene liked to dance, but preferred it if guys were a bit clumsy. For some reason, she found it reassuring.
Veronica had been saving the last few drops of her vodka and coke for twenty minutes, waiting for someone to buy her a drink.
Bettina wondered why she was getting funny looks.
Lewis didn’t want to stare, but couldn’t help but notice that girl’s dress had gone totally see-through.
Bernard didn’t mind staring at all.
Francis thought they didn’t make tunes like this any more, even though the song had, in fact, only been released three weeks ago.
Indigo would rather have been in Bali.
Karl couldn’t work out what that guy was so upset about.
Frank knew trouble when he saw it and was pushing Karl and Dayton away from the dance floor.
Dayton was pissed off they had to leave. That girl in the see through dress was hot.
Fiona saw the flash above the crowd and thought it was a firecracker.
Ben did his best to aim Stephan’s hand way from the crowd, but couldn’t stop him from pulling the trigger.
Stephen had got the gun from his uncle and would have used it on that pussyhole motherfucker, if Ben hadn’t smacked his hand upwards and sent the shot into the ceiling.
Jason felt his eardrum burst as something loud exploded near his head.
Isaac knew what that pop meant and started running for the door.
Jen wanted to know where the fuck Isaac was going.
Freya didn’t know what the fight was about, but felt certain that her stupid little brother had been the cause of it.
Gemini thought it was typical. You couldn’t go for a dance without stupid men ruining everything.
Inga wanted chips.
Marco was feeling self conscious, but didn’t want anyone to know it.
Heidi was never drinking Jagermeister again.
Delores was considering a round of Aftershocks.
Jacqui thought she might go blonde this year.
Krystof kept one eye on his rucksack, which was in the corner of the room.
In the ladies toilet:
Kirsty had noticed that one of her pupils was larger than the other and couldn’t stop staring at them.
Petra was wondering if her top made her look too slutty… or not slutty enough.
Christine was systematically washing every square centimeter of her hands while counting to five hundred and fifty five.
Jessie was using her lipstick to write “Cora is a big fat slag” on the cubicle wall.
Verity was wondering whether she could ask the girl in the next cubicle if there was any loo roll in hers.
Kat thought she felt something snap in her nose as she took that last bump.
Gina didn’t like the way Kat was scratching.
Louise had totally emptied her stomach, but still had the dry heaves.
Clair was holding back Louise’s hair and wondering whether putting her in a cab and sending her home alone made her a bad person.
Joe was having his first night out as a woman and apart from a couple of odd looks here and there, was actually starting to have a good time.
In the cloakroom:
Petra realised that she’d forgotten to put any tickets on hangers and was looking intently at items of clothing to see if she could remember to whom they belonged.
Paolo slid an iPhone out of a coat pocket and put it in his bag.
On the door:
Ansell was telling a pissed student to fuck off home.
Miguel was laughing.
Donald didn’t know why these guards were outside his hall of residence and wouldn’t let him go to his room.
Tania was one minute into the New Year and had already broken her resolution to stop smoking.
Heidi was wishing she’d worn tights. It was freezing out there.
Donna thought that drunk guy went to her university and might be on her Introduction to Economic Theory course.
Marie was trying to get a signal on her phone to send messages to all her friends.
Penny had a signal, but no messages.