Gin opens the door to me, wearing an orange Kiss t-shirt and tweed shorts. Her feet are bare and her toenails are painted blue. She is clutching a champagne flute in one hand.
"I'm making cocktails," she announces.
I follow her into the house. Her room is on the ground floor, to the left, and she leads me in. Her room looks like someone took the possessions of a kawaii-obsessed Japanese teenage girl, combined them with the possessions of a middle-aged Metallica-obsessed English drummer, and then blew up the result.
I sit on the Pokemon bedspread and look at the Lars Ulrich poster. I notice that Gin appears to have been playing her drum kit again; the last time I came round, it was shoved in a corner with clothes piled on it, and now it has been pulled out and dusted off. I'm pleased about this. Jason didn't like her playing the drums; he thought it was weird and unfeminine. It's a good sign that she's started again. Perhaps she is finally starting to get over him.
When Jason met Gin, she was playing with Freddy's band Appleseed. He pursued her for months. Wherever we went, there he would be. It got to the point where we would be out and Amanda would say: "Look, Gin, it's your stalker."
Once she said this to Jason, which was inadvisable. Their friendship never really took off after that.
Gin was never particularly interested in Jason and Amanda and I were surprised when she started seeing him. It might have had something to do with the fact that she had fallen in love with Freddy and they had a tempestuous affair, with a lot of ups and downs, ins and outs, and screaming rows in the street. This left Gin unhappy, vulnerable and shaken up and, as Amanda observed later, it was then that Jason saw his chance.
Jason and Gin were together for a little over two years. For the first nine months it was great. Then, slowly, things changed.
I've noticed this before. Sometimes people fall in love with someone and when they get in a relationship with them they then proceed to work as hard as they can to change the person they fell in love with into a different person. When this inevitably works, they blame their partner for not being as exciting or interesting as they were at the beginning of the relationship. I find this kind of hamster-wheel logic both very common and completely pointless.
In Jason's world women aren't drummers. Black people should be slightly ashamed of themselves. Women don't really ever enjoy casual sex, they just do it for attention. There are strippers and there are wives.
It interests me that he was so attracted to Gin. I think perhaps it was that he could take this woman, this bright, vital, experimental, sexually free person, and control her. Teach her that he was right. That she had to be someone else to be loved, that what she was, who she was, would never do.
I remember Gin telling me, very seriously, that Jason had saved her from herself. The memory still makes me shake with anger. There was nothing she needed saving from.
Gin makes me a cocktail. Prosecco, jasmine tea, sugar. It's very nice.
There's a knock on the door. Amanda comes in, all six feet of her, filling up the room with blonde hair and silver high heels. She flings herself down next to me on the bed, squashing a plush Totoro in the process. She picks it up, looks at it, puts it down next to the bed.