"Take me away.
A million miles away from here!
Take me away.
Find a place for you and me!
You're taking me higher,
High as I could be!
Take me away.
Forever you and me.
Take me away!"
- 4 Strings, Take Me Away
If Alanis Morissette cited 21 things that she wanted in a lover, with most I agree; I can roughly declare mine: successful at work, party animal, smoker, drinker, sweet smart talker, living large, french speaker (preferably been to a french school) and good looking. I know I raised my bars up high just to block every mean to meet "the one", if ever existed. It's very difficult to find all of these points in one person, and even if they are all miraculously met in a way or another - what are the odds that this unique person would fall for me in return?
Mica had them all!
What made my fascination even higher and bigger was because I always used to open the picture which he sent me and peek at the hot stud standing in the middle. I was taken by his charming smile, the attractive and stylish outfit and sexy eye contact. There he was, walking towards me among all those foreigners, Arabs and people occupying the space between us. His smile, letting glow his white teeth were the first thing that stroke me. His lips when he came closer were my desired passion.
If Susan Mayers was standing in my place, with all her confusing and spontaneous acts, she would have looked smarter! I lost my words; as well as my cell phone again which fell off my pocket when I was trying to put it away. Before even greeting him, I was bending to collect my phone, cursing my tousled way in controlling my amazement mixed with a very strict judgment on the way I acted with him during those two years online.
That was on my birthday, a wrapped gift sent to me from up above.
"Hey Mica", I said, evading an eye contact. I was ashamed and torturing myself.
"Heeeeey!!", he answered cheerfully. "How ar..".
I didn't let him finish the sentence. Unfocused, I said:
"OKay let's go up to the bar".
I can't remember how many floors we were supposed to go up, but I felt small; too small standing next to him in that tiny small elevator. Time passed slowly, too slowly waiting for the elevator's door to open. He was standing there, next to the mirror, right in front of me. He then suddenly said, as spontaneous and unexpected as he always is:
"Sharm's sun really fucked me dude!", he then raised his shirt - showing me his lightly drawn abs - and saying: "My skin is totally messed!". I couldn't help but let a side look at his body. He was showing it to me and I had to have a preview! He then tilted towards the mirror and started checking himself out. The doors opened on the bar's top floor. I always loved the scene when I walk out of the elevator, greeted by that wonderful purple blue lit with air bubbles rushing up faux-water wall.
We were welcomed by the captain and he directed us to my reserved table. I sat on the high chair and, before opening the menu, Mica looked off the surrounding glass, gazing at the beautiful Cairo august night by the Nile and said:
"I just love this view!"
I loved seeing him in that view as well.
"I'll take a Manhattan", he then said.
"Cosmopolitan please, but could you put instead of the Hibiscus shot a normal Cranberry one?", I commented while handing the menu. Grand Hyatt's bar have invited that Egyptian Cosmopolitan that you would casually find striking at your face when you open the menu.
"You don't watch Sex and the City, do you?"
"No", he answered. I quickly said: "I don't know why I order it always as a starter now, but I guess Carrie's lifestyle is taking over mine!"
Lame joke - I was confused, ashamed, amazed, fascinated!
We started talking while having the drinks. He talked about his life in the States and how much he missed having friends; how much he was missing Egypt even if things weren't even comparable between both countries. All that time my adolescent thoughts were taking over my normal ones: was he "the one"? Is this my fairytale? How would it be if we were together? Will we look fine in a relationship? Relationships? No. I am not supposed to start a new one. But what if? What if right then, that very moment was the one that I was meant to reach via all my entries, blog, relationship, complaining, heart break, sorrow, laughter! What if that was it? Should I let it go? Is he even interested? Did he like me?
"You ever been in a relationship before, Mica?", I suddenly asked.
He was silent for a moment then said: "Yeah. Once". I smiled. Even on the "relationship" level he was fitting. Experienced, yet not a slut or a player. I didn't want to ask much about his previous relationship since that would be "too cliché" in terms of checking him out. We talked about hotels, management, IT, fags and even Marcus!
"You know him?", I shouted! "What a small world! We haven't met but last Christmas he was in Egypt and wanted to meet me so much, but I couldn't make it".
He laughed then said: "Next time you chat with him, just tell him "Mica says hi". You'll see what he'd answer."
I poked him and wondered what's that story.
"Well, he came visiting me in the States. After a fun night getting drunk in major clubs where I live, I invited him over my place to sleep. Of course he made big plans in his head that we would definitely be having sex - and to be honest with you I like giving that feeling a lot. So there he was, laying on bed and starting to flirt when I walked in and said: Marcus - you are sleeping on the couch in the living!", Mica then laughed and continued: "The poor guy looked really disappointed. He then wanted to give me a massage at certain point, I was like nice, thanks, feels good - then I wished him good night". He took a sip off his Manhattan then said: "We never had sex, and he's always wishing we could hook up anytime soon!"
The story intrigued me in a way that made me reformulate my words and strategy: he might be a player. I mustn't show him any interest, care or crush. Just in case, I don't want to be the Egyptian version of Marcus, just like that fake Cosmopolitan I was having.
Time flew: it was already 3 in the morning and I hadn't had enough of him. I wanted to know him more and maybe bound in a way or another. He impressed me when he said: "So you're from that French School? We always consider you guys our elder cousins". I laughed then said: "No matter how much rivalry we had during school time, we always tend to be good friends afterwards! Question of the educational culture!" I couldn't ask him to stay longer time, but I just looked at the clock and said: "We'd better leave - listen I am driving you." - that way I am guaranteeing a good half an hour maybe with him more.
He then said: "That's sweet, well thank you. Can you drive me to Ramsis Square? My family's building is there and it's nearby. I could sleep with my cousin". It stroke me. Cousin - the cousin he told me about? The first time sex cousin? The typical paranoid crazy jealous Leo in me woke up. I have barely met the guy for a couple of hours and I was already declaring my possession of his lifestyle.
"Sure of course I am driving you", I answered while receiving the bill. Even though I was expecting him to pay for me, since it was my birthday and he hinted that we'd meet up wherever I wanted, his treat, but we split the amount. It sounded in my head what he told me earlier: "Some people I meet look at me sexy maybe, but mainly as a cash machine, because I live in the states. I hate that!" - Good hint, Mica. A bit subtle when you said it, but good when you implemented it.
We hoped in my car and I spinned my iPod to play some Madonna. I was in mood for her Live Confessions Concert. The sexual and tempting music was totally fitting that warm summer night with that hot guy sitting next to me and alcohol blowing in both our minds. More precisely, with that emotion growing inside of me.
As if things couldn't get any better, Mica just relaxed in his seat more and put his hand on the back of the head-rest of my seat. He then started playing with my hair. Electricity moved down my whole body. I froze, flooded with joy, euphoric with Mica's spontaneous action. He likes me. He's attracted! If that wasn't a sign, then most probably him telling me: "Digg, I like you!" was the killer line, "I feel like I know you for ages, well, technically true we have been chatting for two years! Even though you were acting strangely". I then decided declaring it:
"Mica, your way online was very annoying! Your questions and annoying chats were making me feel uncomfortable". He then answered:
"You know what, Digg, I was doing that on purpose to annoy you. I also felt that you were some kind of geek or something! Whenever you were online, I always wanted to make you act the way you did! It was pleasurable poking you".
He suddenly changed the subject:
"Do you have Take Me Away by the 4 Strings?". I quickly answered: "So you're into Trance and House Music?". He nodded. Another score!
I played the track and raised the volume up. I was feeling like a little kid who had found the path to the candy shop: emotions jumping inside of me, going up in my head exploding, a firework of warm feelings and certitude that I was, finally, on the right track.
I was in Heliopolis area already when he said: “I am hungry - let's have a bite”. I proposed KFC, since it was the only food outlet open at that late hour. He ordered a Zinger Supreme and I slowly drove to Ramsis square as he had asked me earlier. He then said: “Wait I check on my cousin if he’s up. He has the key!”. He kept calling several times but no answer. I offered driving him home in Maadi. He protested that it would be a long drive for me, but I was actually happy and eager to stay as much as possible with him that night. His cousin then called back.
“Hey! How are you?” *pause* “Aren’t you home?” *pause* “No it’s okay, my friend here will drive me to my place” *pause* “No it’s cool. I am with him in his car”. Then he hung up.
I started driving towards Maadi. He guided me to his place since it was in a newly constructed area in Maadi district. When we reached it, I was speechless. It wasn’t a house, but a mansion. That was his parents’ place; while there was a smaller in scale building nearby that was under construction at which he pointed and said: “This will be my home. Still unfinished. My parents insisted having our houses next to each other, including my brother”. He then asked me to drive around the area to give me a guided tour when he suddenly asked: “Do you know Amgad?”. I tried to remember the person, in vain. “He’s a tall tanned guy with deep black hair. He had a dog”. It all came back to me!
“Yes! I know him”, and I mentioned my little adventure with him.
He tilted his head towards the side window and said: “That’s my ex boyfriend”. I gasped!
“I’m sorry really. I mean what happened with him.. I am really sorry. I didn’t know I shouldn’t have said it!”.
“No it’s cool. It’s over now”.
I then said: “Well if it has any condolences to you, he never stopped mentioning how hurt he was after breaking up with you. I didn’t know it was you really! He kept all your details away and confidential”.
He smiled then said: “Yeah, hurt; I bet his new boyfriend is consoling him now!”.
I decided to shut up. What I have told him happened was too much already!
We kept driving around his area till it was 6 in the morning. I drove inside the main house entrance and he stepped out, thanking me for the sweet night and wishing me happy birthday: “Could you SMS me when you get home?”. I was euphoric. I waited till he opened the gate and went in before I started driving back home. I kept playing the most cheerful and uplifting songs I had in my iPod; specially 4 Strings’ Take Me Away. I took note of the tracks that he wanted me to bring the next day.
Even though I knew that he was staying in Cairo for only 3 weeks vacation, the butterflies I had flying inside of me were confirming one fact that I couldn’t deny or ignore anymore. An action that I kept evading, ignoring and escaping from during the past three years: I was finally dating someone.