Thursday, 4 February, 2016.
Still Day 46
So, where were we?
It’s 6 p.m. that very same evening. An uneventful evening, it’s turned out to be.
Anna’s feeling pretty as she unlocks her door and enters her flat – soaring with stonewalled energy…
🎵 I was going out tonight, but still feeling alright…🎶
What am I supposed to do?
She has a big glass of water and goes to her couch. The apartment is warm and nice. Tidy. No chores to do. She stretches her legs, placing her feet over the coffee table – an old rough chest she’s added wheels to.
Not tired in the slightest.
Ah, I can’t believe I’m here alone. Free on a Thursday evening!! Eu#r&gh&!!!
And feeling lonesome for a moment, just wanted to have a good time. And nothing?! Seriously?? Humft.
Don’t feel like watching TV.
Anna grabs her phone and starts swiping.
A minute later – literally – and there’s a match. He starts chatting. She checks his profile out.
Mm, good looking.
Such spirit in his eyes.
Oh, he claims to be a doctor. That means smart – and I like smart.
Hmm, foreign name?
Ah, I’ll just google him.
Yes, there’s a Ümit gynecological surgeon in Helsinki. Yep. His photo on google pictures. Let’s see, here’s his clinical practice…
Hmm, I wonder where he’s from?
…I’m from Turkey, btw.
Anna, come and have a drink with me? I’m here at Casa Largo. You know the restaurant? Just arrived. Are you busy? Let’s meet!
Oh, really? That fast? So different from Finnish guys.
Really? Sounds fun, but we’ve just chatted for two minutes.
Come on. Are you near? If you have time, it would be nice to meet. Why not? Shall I send you a cab?
That’s crazy, but I do like his attitude.
I don’t know. How about a phone call first?
He gives her his number. She thinks for a second.
Ah, what’s the danger? A drink with a surgeon in a central restaurant?
She calls him up.
His voice is nice, masculine, fun. There’s a beautiful foreign accent in his English. Kind of sexy.
You see, Anna’s an English teacher and she a-d-o-r-e-s foreign accents and World Englishes! Indian English, Nigerian English, Korean English. They’re all cool.
She even tells her pupils, “Speak with an accent – even a strong one. Rally English! But do speak. It gives you personality. It tells me a little of your history. And, hey, can you imagine if Antonio Banderas spoke American English without a Spanish accent? How boring would that be, huh? He would lose half his charm…”
But she could die for a boyfriend with British English.
Sigh, sigh. I’ve got Hugh Grant’ to blame for that.
Uh…Where were we again?
This Turkish doctor’s so lively. Warm.
Ops. I missed a thing or two he said – daydreaming here. He does sound very convincing, though, doesn’t he? Self-confident. Mm. I’m hypnotized.
“Ümit, I’ve never accepted a date like this before – before chatting a few times and getting to know the person a little better first…”
“Ah, come o…”
She interrupts him, “But, I happen to be ready – just came home – and I just happen to have time tonight.
“Maybe I’ll humor you, go with the flow. Will come by bike and… see you in half an hour?”
“OK, great! I’m very glad. Meet you at the bar, Anna.”
Now she’s sitting opposite him at his table. The place is crowded. Loud chatter, everybody well dressed.
Wow, I didn’t know this many people went out on Thursday evenings.
I guess they’re like me? Divorced? Teens quite raised? Time in their hands?
What is this?
Ümit is talking, smiling, looking deep into Anna’s eyes. Sweet. Already? Ha-ha.
🎵 The best thing about being a woman
Is the prerogative to have a little fun 🎶
He’s wearing a casual blazer and a nice shirt. His hair is more grayish than in the pics. Ah, but that’s no surprise. Her previous eight dates looked older than in their photos, too. Most, much older.
I guess guys are just not into having their pictures taken, like us ladies. Not that into their looks – which is good.
Hmm, I wonder if I look older in person, too? Gotta find that out.
Ümit is making her laugh, he’s so energetic. Very smart. She’s finally having some fun again.
That’s what I’m talking about, baby.
It’s distracting. Comforting.
“Anna, what would you like to drink?”
“Oh, just water, please. I don’t really drin…”
His turn to interrupt her, “But tonight you’re drinking. — he says decisively — “What shall I order?”
“OK…” — maybe just a sip.
She tries to think of any drink names she can recall — “Maybe a caipirinha, then…?”
He goes to the bar and comes back with a caipiroska for her. Apparently, they don’t make caipirinhas in Finland. How would I know? I’ve never bought a drink before.
Hmm, it’s delicious.
“You have such beautiful eyes, Anna.”
Sweet-talker. She smiles. Cute.
Just a little flirty – like in South America. I like that.
And they’re sitting there smiling, animated. The chat is quick, witty. She’s entertained – and sure. He can feel it.
A couple approaches them and stands by their table. It takes a minute for Anna to realize they remain standing there, frozen. Just looking down at them.
Anna looks up to see a beautiful, foreign-looking, brunette young woman, accompanied by a smartly dressed young man, a bit fairer than her. They’re just staring at us because…?
Why aren’t they saying anything? Do they want extra chairs?
Anna looks at the doctor. He’s quiet. Calm. No stress. Everything’s good.
She looks up at the good-looking couple again. Oh, the woman looks so serious. Angry? The guy has a relaxed smile.
What’s going on?
The doctor finally chuckles saying, “Anna, this is my daughter Patricia and her fiancé Sabri.” — and looking at them — “Sit down, do sit down with us.”
Say what…? Family date? Was this planned??
Getting more fun by the minute.
“Nice meeting you, too.” — Anna responds, trying to figure it all out — “Are you staying in this hotel? Do you live in Helsinki, too?”
“No,” Patricia says. “We live in Turkey. We’re just here for the Avant Premiere of my documentary tomorrow.”
“Really? Wow. Impressive. Congratulations!
“What is it about?” — Anna wants to know.
“Ha-ha-ha-ha.” — they all laugh — “It’s about my complicated relationship with this difficult man here,” — she waves her hand in his general direction — “My father.” —
Anna joins their hearty laughter. Way more entertained than I bargained for. And turning her gaze on him. The old devil’s looking very pleased.
I bet he likes the attention. The spotlights. Artistic like his daughter?
“…And if you come to Finnkino’s DocPoint Festival tomorrow – I’ve got tickets – you’ll learn the whooole truth.”
Ha-ha. Do I want to??
Later, her curiosity will kill her cat.
“Ohhh, I just realized.” — Anna exclaims — “A friend of mine posted a recommendation of your documentary on her Facebook yesterday!” — and she quotes — “‘All of you who live in Helsinki, you’ve definitely gotta watch this. I can’t, but don’t miss it. Article below.'”
“Show me that FB post, will you,” Patricia asks me intrigued.
I open it and, “No way! Katja? You know Katja? She’s my best friend!” Patricia exclaims.
What are the odds? Turns out the mutual friend Katja, who posted the article about the documentary, is Patricia’s best friend from high school and Anna’s best friend from university.
Small Finland – indeed.
“Wait, I’ve just gotta text Katja! Let’s take a selfie together. Here.” Smiles. Click.
Patricia sends Katja the selfie on WhatsApp with the message, “Check this out. You won’t believe who’s on a Tinder date with my father!”
No, she definitely won’t.
Tinder and Anna??
You see, Katja knows her from the time Anna was working in church.
And married with the pastor.
They sang together in the gospel choir. Alto, both of them.
“No way. Impossible!” Katja replies — ringing Anna up two days later to hear all the gory details about the cat’s death.
Ah, where are Sabri and Ümit?
Smoking outside? Hmm.
Patricia takes her leave. She’s going to a Directors’ Gala.
“Anna,” the surgeon says with a voice that carries a mix of affection and lively sensuality, “Are you hungry? Let’s have dinner, the three of us.
“I’ll treat you. Let’s go to the other side, to the restaurant.”
Anna’s still sipping her caipiroska. A little food would be good. She’s feeling a bit lightheaded.
Tinder, tinder. Unpredictable.
Anna sits on Ümit’s left, opposite his son-in-law, an artist. The sirloin steak tastes muy esquisito and a second caipiroska has just materialized.
They chat about careers, art, religion, South America, Turkey, politics.
Trips. The future. Finland.
But every ten minutes or so, Ümit stops whatever he’s doing – a bit dramatically.
He turns towards Anna, looks deep into her eyes and says, “Now let me swim in the green sea of your eyes for a little while.
“Ahhh. Sigh. That’s better.”
She just giggles. It’s nice to get some warm attention after such a long time.
“Tomorrow evening, Anna, you’re going to be my date in the Avant Premiere.
“You’re going to wear a dress, high heels and red lipstick. Loose hair.”
“Is that so? Says who?” — Anna teases him.
“Please, I’m a bit nervous. Be nice to me. They’re going to expose my life for the whole world to see. Come and support me with your company…
“Please?” — puppy face.
“Yes,” I promise. “But I’m bringing some people, too – your daughter gave me three tickets, so… behave!!”
He keeps diving into her eyes from time to time. Out for a nice swim.
Then he turns back and kisses her fully in the mouth.
Ohhhh! Great kisser. Hot stuff.
But what if someone I know sees me through this enormous window?
OMG, I’m in full display here. Workmates? Some church people?
Whatever. They’ll just have to be shocked and accept it. I’m a free woman.
Doing nothing wrong.
🎵 Oh, oh, oh, I wanna be free yeah, to feel the way I feel
Man! I feel like a woman! 🎶
What if Mr. Ex is walking the dog and sees me???
She kisses him back. A long delicious kiss.
What? He’s very bossy with the waitress.
And then whispers some spicy words into Anna’s ears.
He’s quite bossy with me to, come to think of it. I’m amused.
“Gosh, a few minutes to midnight! I wake up at six.
“Gotta go. Thank you, Ümit, I had a great time, ” — Early school morning tomorrow. — “I’ve really gotta go.”
“Thank you again for the lovely dinner. Bye!
“See you tomorrow, dear.” — hot kiss is his reply — “Bye.”
© 2017 rf
Obs. Day Sorry, I’m a little tipsy.