The Case of the Train Station Scuffle

“Get out now, John! There’s a bomb in the station. You need to get out!”

My best friend was swaying from side to side, being completely unreasonable, and utterly convinced he was the fictional character Sherlock Holmes. This wasn’t the last time he did something like this, and one day I’ll recount the time I was rescued by Batman whilst on a night out…

We’d met in the morning, in our hometown where we consumed a pub-brunch consisting of breakfast wraps and lager. Then we got on a train to a pleasant town about sixty miles south, simply because we thought it would be nice to visit somewhere different (… to drink somewhere different). It was a Monday.

The refreshment cart came by twice during the train journey, and we both ordered refreshments twice during the train journey, so by the time we arrived at our destination we were already a few drinks deep. Then the first thing we did when stepping out the station at the other end was suss out the first pub and dive in for a quick one.

In that first establishment, we established that this would be a pub-crawl of sorts. After our drinks in the first place we walked down the street to the next place, until we arrived at the fifth place in the early afternoon, and decided that 10 would be a nice round number to set as a goal.

We were getting there by that point. On our mission, by some great coincidence we bumped into two different old friends who had made the town their home, and they each showed us their favourite haunts throughout the evening, and our drink choices became more adventurous, until the fog descended and now nobody knows what happened…

My recollection of the night is compromised, but memories of the train station and the journey home lie near the surface. Perhaps we’d been role playing as Holmes and Watson. It wouldn’t surprise me. We both trained in acting, and often liked to bounce characters off each other. But unlike Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, we were just two drunk people, standing in a train station on a Monday night, arguing about something neither of us could remember or comprehend.

“You need to get out! The bomb!” He said.

“No! You can’t say that! Not in a train station. We need to go home!”

“Get out, John! Go on without me!”

“No, don’t be a hero! Don’t do this to me! You can’t!”

Anyway… This dramatic back and forth seemed to last forever, and I really can’t remember how it started, but it ended with me punching my best friend in the face. My best friend. I punched him. In the face. My best friend. He’s effectively my brother. We’ve been through a lot together.

He was quite annoyed about it for a while, and wouldn’t speak to me for most of the train journey home, but then when he was sick in/on the train toilet, I made him agree to come to the hospital with me to get his head checked out.

It turned out I gave him a black eye, and he received a special card that said, “I have had a head injury…”. The hospital staff clearly hated us. I was the obnoxious drunk girl who staggered over to the A&E Window and blurted out, “HELLO, PLEASE HELP, I HAVE PUNCHED MY FRIEND IN THE FACE.” The receptionist seemed perplexed when my brother insisted that I was his emergency contact. I think she wanted to call the police, but by his own admission, “It’s ok, I deserved it. I was being a dick.”

But I still haven’t forgiven myself. It doesn’t matter if he was being a dick. I shouldn’t have punched my best friend, my brother, in the face. Hitting people is not ok.

Callousie Futthand is a writer, currently compiling a collection of cathartic confessions of misspent times under the influence… You can email her at callousie.futthand@journalist.com