‘You only live once,’ you figure. The same rationale that you use for that ‘last’ shot of tequila, the kebab on the way home, unprotected sex, and blowing a week’s rent on a new pair of shoes.

The burger is okay. The meat might be questionable but loaded with cheese, mayo, ketchup, and a gherkin, you can barely taste it anyway. Refuelled, you head off in search of somewhere to dance. You leave Simon to the delights of the Horsemeat Disco and look in on Secret Sundaze, with its’ rather more appealing mix of hip hop and groove. The area is full of talent, and not the young dad variety but the cool, retro polo-shirted type instead. You and Alice go ahead and drop it like it’s hot by a guy with an afro and his mate in the librarian glasses.

Librarian glasses guy takes an immediate shine to Alice, and starts throwing some crazy shapes around her as she wiggles her little bottom in her cutesy shorts, trying not to look too excited about him. Meanwhile afro dude sidles up to where you are swaying on the spot.

‘I freakin’ love this brother’s vibe,’ he says.

‘Yeah, me too,’ you say, wondering what he’s talking about. Presumably the dude with the sunglasses up on the stage? Or perhaps the general atmosphere?

‘Are you into Chicago old skool then?’

‘Umm, sort of...’

‘Yeah, I’m more of a Detroit man myself. Ouch, that breakbeat is phat!’

‘Right!’ you grin inanely, and shuffle away.

‘Come on Alice,’ you say, ‘I’m too intimidated to dance.’

‘Oh, but...’

‘Come on!’

She whispers something into Librarian guy’s ear before following you. It transpires she made an arrangement to hook up with him later. You go and extract Simon from the aptly named Horsemeat Disco, and the three of you follow the trail of weed-laden smoke to the Rizla tent.

Once inside it doesn’t take Alice long to source a couple of joints. So you sit and chill out and listen to the psychedelic music along with all the other lazy potheads. Simon was happy to be rescued, it turns out, having spotted 3 exes within the confines of the disco dancefloor. He was staying cool but finding it a bit of a strain – and for once is just as happy to hang out with the breeders. Before long, Alice agitates to head back to the sound of the so called phat breakbeats. Simon and you decide to make a move. After all, the main benefit of the London festival is that you can head home whenever you want.

On the way home you feel distinctly ropey. Clammily sweaty, a little lightheaded, and properly nauseous.

‘What’s up?’ asks Simon.

‘I don’t know. I guess I had a beer too many. Or maybe that dodgy weed that Alice scored wasn’t such a great idea...’

‘Maybe you should have steered clear of that greasy burger?’ says Simon.

The thought of it provokes a wave of nausea.

‘Oh god. I think I might just hop out here and walk home. We’re nearly at my place anyway.’

‘Really? You’re sure walking through Camden is gong to make you feel better?’

‘Quick! Stop the car,’ you say, and stagger out, your hand over your mouth. After a couple of gulps of fresh air you do feel a little better, and wave Simon off with a ‘Don’t worry, I’m fine.’

But as you head up the hill towards home you start to feel even worse. You do your best not to think about the burger but it keeps forcing itself into your mind, and making you gag.

It’s almost a relief when you start to throw up. Vomiting on a Camden pavement might not be the most dignified thing you’ve ever done, but you’re sure you’ll feel better after this. Better out than in, and all that. As you finish blowing chunks into a bin, and straighten up, a voice from behind says,

‘Hey, are you alright?’

You swallow, which is disgusting, and makes you gag a little, and nod. Pushing the hair back from your sweaty forehead, you turn, to see a concerned young man standing by.

‘I’m fine. I’m not pissed.’ You shake your head at the inanity of your reply, and look down at your lovely wedges, now splashed with a little diced carrot.

‘No, right. Do you want some water?’ he says holding a half empty bottle of Evian out.

‘Yes please,’ you say, grateful for anything that will take the taste of vomit out of your mouth. ‘I ate a dodgy burger this afternoon.’

And the thought of it – combined with the water hitting your stomach – makes you hurl again.

The nice bloke continues to stand by, kindly looking away, to see if you are okay.

‘Oh god, sorry,’ you say, as you stop for what you hope is the last time. ‘Listen, I’m fine, really. You don’t have to wait or anything. Thanks.’

‘No, not at all. I don’t want to just leave you here. Do you live nearby? How will you get home?’

‘I’m a ten minute walk away. Okay, it might take me a bit longer tonight, but I think the walk and the fresh air will do me good. So I’m really perfectly fine on my own.’ As you say it, you rather doubt yourself, for your legs are properly wobbly. But you nod as he looks quizzically at you, and stand up straight as if to show that your little puking incident is over.

‘Well, okay,’ says the nice guy. ‘I don’t want to be pushy. But can we swap numbers at least? So you can let me know you got home safely? I feel kind of bad just leaving you here on the street.’

This could just about be the nicest guy you’ve ever met. You agree, swap numbers, and insist that he doesn’t waste any more of his Saturday night on you. You walk slowly home, clutching your empty stomach, wiping the sweat from your face, and cursing your luck. Of all the ways to meet a kind-faced stranger... And you were looking so hot in your Lovebox outfit too – till you sprayed sick all over it anyway. Damn.

You send Alex, for that is his name, a text when you get home, saying you are fine. Sadly this is not the case. For the next 12 hours you produce more than your own bodyweight in vomit.

‘Ah well,’ says Alice, watching with concern as you sip your peppermint tea. ‘Think of the weight you’ll have lost.’

‘Yes,’ you say, and begin to nibble the edge of a digestive, very very nervously. ‘And something tells me I won’t have an appetite for junk food for some time now.’

Incredibly, Alex gets in touch again a few days later. His first text is just an inquiry into your general wellbeing. Is this the nicest, most concerned man in the world?, you wonder, as you reply. No, it turns out it’s a man who fancies you.

‘Maybe we could go for a drink sometime?’ he says, somewhat tentatively. Well, you read tentativeness into it, with your special female text message intuition.

Hmmm. He wasn’t bad looking, if you remember right. Though you were in the throes of a big puke, so it’s all a bit hazy. He’s obviously very nice. Too nice?

‘Surely there’s no such thing?’ says Alice.

‘Yes there is.’

‘Okay, there is. But hey, he might not be. He probably doesn’t give a shit about your wellbeing. He just thinks you’re hot. You were wearing shorts and high wedges, after all. You were looking good.’

‘Alice, babe, I was spattered with sick and all clammy, bending over a bin hurling my guts up. I really truly was not looking good.’

‘Wow. And you still pulled. Good skills.’

‘Right. But the thing is, I’m just not sure I really want to go on a date with someone who’s seen me in that condition.’

‘No, I know what you mean. It’s not a great start, is it?’

What will you do? This is your final choice:

If you see Alex again go to Chapter Seven VII to face the consequences

If you politely decline, go to Chapter Seven XII to face the consequences