Chapter 76 – The Day After

This blog is a book. Maybe better to read from the beginning? 🙂

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Monday, 22 February 2016.

 

A Little Dark Cloud?

 

Anna and Christian’s first date and night together turned out to be surprisingly special. So much so that she spent the morning smiling – and writing about it in her diary. Now, he is back at his hotel for work and Anna is taking a nap.

 

13:52   I’m wondering if there are any games that you have that I know… and to which you can’t make up arbitrary rules!! 😊

14:28   Hi Chris.

Hey. Sorry I gave you a late night.

It was fun!

For me, too.

14:32   Yes, let’s go play more games and watch a movie? I’ll beat you!

In the games…

Haha. Only because you don’t tell me the rules. Where is James Bond? Cute dog. Cute owner.

Lots of good things happening. Have made my business calls.

Getting a tattoo later.

Funny guy!

 

Anna approves of Christian and feels that there is some potential in this man…

She is on holiday – the sun is shining so bright! And ahhh to be free for the first time in my life! Ready for some loving and some action. Some TLC.

Nonetheless… why has life gotta have lows too, huh?  Do you know when a little dark cloud comes out all of a sudden and overshadows your perfect sunshine?

After writing in her diary, she is feeling a little intrigued by something she read about Christian, as she googled him a little earlier. Hmmm. Anna, be smart!

Well, at least I’m going to have a good week.

Minimum. 

His part is his job. To prove himself worthy of my trust and interest. But, what’s the hurry?  Sometimes frogs become princes… We shall see.

Ops! What if a prince can turn out to be a frog, too??

His choice entirely!

 

At 4:30, Anna visits her sister and then goes to meet Christian at his hotel reception, as planned. This time the feverish Englishman is there. Sweet.

A nice kiss on the cheek and he says, “Hi pretty one! How was your day? How are you doing? I would have found your home this time. Believe me!”

“Well, I did not want to take the risk of you being two hours late. Again. Haha.”

“Oh, those things never happen twice with me. Don’t worry…

“Anna, I want to take you on a proper date tonight. My turn to treat you. Where do you want to go? Choose your venue!”

“Oh! That’s nice, Christian. Hey… why don’t we make it practical tonight? We are planning on watching a movie and playing a game later, aren’t we? So, instead of going to the city center, let’s have a pizza near my home? Then you can come and give the nurse here a proper visit, Mr. Englishman With A Bad Cold!”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Let’s do that.” he smiles with warm eyes.

 

They walk down towards Ruoholahti without holding hands. He is looking nice, smartly dressed, and she is showing him places and sharing little stories about the neighborhood as they walk to Pizzeria Daka by the canal. The place is not fancy at all, but the pizza there is delicious, in Anna’s opinion.

They sit opposite each other. She doesn’t really like the style of his blazer – hmm, it makes him look older – but she does like him…

“Anna, how has your day been? Tell me all about it.”

“Oh, good. Saw my sister, took a nap, wrote a little…”

“Wrote? To your other Tinder matches, huh?”

“No. This week is all yours. Haha. Maybe! Hmmm… Just in my diary.”

 

Anna is a little serious, more quiet than usual. She’s thinking. A lot.

 

“I had a great time yesterday, Anna. Thank you for a wonderful dinner.”

“Oh, me too. Thanks for the champagne, Christian! Nice to finally meet you.” she smiles.

“You are so thoughtful. I hadn’t realized you had that serious side. It looks like you’re plotting!”

“No! everything is OK. I’m just thinking.”

“About what? Would you tell me?”

“Ah, not yet. Someday. Just some things… Never mind. I’ll tell you later.”

“Phew. Good. You are giving me The Look!”

“Yes, I am. But for now, you’ll just have to wonder what it means.” she laughs, feeling more relaxed.

And he is nodding really quickly. Awww.

 

“Chris, I love your nodding! Has anyone told you how cute you are when you nod fast?”

“My nodding!?”

“Yes. Have none of your girlfriends told you that?”

“No. That’s hilarious! Must be a Finnish thing.”

“Yeah. It’s adorable! Crazy ladies didn’t tell you.”

“You are the first… Anna, when I like someone, I nod.” he looks at her affectionately.

 

During dinner yesterday, Anna had asked him how many serious relationships he had had. He’d gotten married around the age of forty, after all, and then separated three years later, so she wanted to check – lightly – about him possibly being an eternal bachelor.

“Btw, I counted today. I have had 14 girlfriends.”

“14?? That’s a lot!!”

“Well, I had about twenty years for that… Working in the Karoo desert for fourteen… It wasn’t easy to find a wife there. Guess I was just waiting for the right person… Until I grew tired of the whole place. Tired of waiting. I missed Germany! All my friends had families and kids. I went on many dates, met a nice person and proposed after six weeks. Crazy! Everything happened so fast.” He comments on the story he’s told her before.  “The rest is history. But I’ve never had a shy girlfriend. All crazy!”

“What about me? Am I shy? Am I crazy?” Anna wants to know.

“You are not shy at all! Crazy…? Hmmm. I am leaning. You do have a wild side.”

“Yes, but I am shy at first. Reserved. But not about being honest. I love honesty… Honesty with love…! Still, it’s good to be the more quiet one for a change. I get to be thoughtful!” She teases him.  “I get to plot!”

“Hope you’re not plotting your escape!?”

“No……” She’s laughing now.

“Do guys normally dominate the conversation, Anna? I like to listen. Then be silly. Then serious later.”

“Most guys I know are more quiet than me.”

“Am I quiet? I’m a bit sick. Scared to talk with my girlie voice!!”

“Haha. Don’t worry. It’s funny. Besides, I like playing nurse.”

“And I like to hear you talk.”

Score!

Anna believes a guy should always listen to the woman a little more than talk himself. I want them to see my heart!

“I’m glad that you like to listen, Chris. And happy you make me laugh.”

“Well… I haven’t really made you laugh yet! Laugh until you cry. Best medicine!”

“But you are the one in need of some of that, don’t you see?”

“Yes, Ms. Nurse.”

 

It wasn’t easy to lose a husband after twenty years. I like this guy so much already. What if I lose him, too? I don’t deserve that. Can I take more heartbreak already??

She gets more talkative now. They keep chatting and laughing as they have the pizza. Her mood is finally on the rise again.

“Did you like the drawing I made of you, Anna? Are you going to keep it on the wall?”

“Yes, of course! It’s so cool. Can we draw some more tonight, Chris? Please?”

“OK.”

“I think I’m gonna draw on your back. More fun! You’re being a good distraction, Christian. I need that! And lots of hugs. Lots more.”

“Yes, you need more. I agree. Are you going to tattoo my back? You can draw the Brazilian flag there – with your nails!”

“We shall see what I come up with. Shall we go? Lots to do. The games are waiting, the movie, the tattoo.”

“Definitely. Let’s go, Anna.” As he waits for the payment to go through, he puts his arm around her shoulders and kisses her head.

 

Now they are walking like that, his arm around her shoulders. Awww.

My God! This feels so nice! I’ve missed this! A lot. Just wanted to meet a warm, confident man. She thinks with her heart melting a little. Healing a little. Can this be? Can life be this sweet?? Really? I’m feeling very glad again right now.

 

“Anna, I liked the pizza, but tomorrow I’m going to take you on a proper date. This place was way too simple. Where do you want to go?”

They stop and kiss affectionately, while good expectations for the night float in the cold wintry air around the canal.

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Any red flags? Maybe not. Besides, I’m not perfect either. And healing feels soooo good!! Oh, let me heal fully. Let me just dive all the way in!

 

 

Chapter 59 – 3D

 

Thursday, 18 February 2016.

 

Day 60

 

Anna is on her way to work – alone – because the teachers who usually carpool with her have a shorter workday today. That gives her a whole hour to reflect, while she drives in the dark, heavy early morning rainstorm.

Hopes and dreams. Needs.

Frustrations and the hurt she’s determined to leave in the past.

Good things to look forward to!

Ah… how I’d love a boyfriend.

I feel young(ish) and pretty. So much affection to give! So much that could be shared. So very much I’d love to receive. And life is for sharing! We are social beings.

And I’m so passionate!!

I’ve been through too much to care for stuff. Materialism, shopping? Despicable. Meaningless bickerings? Wasting life?

And aren’t the best things for free, anyway?

Affection, embraces, kisses, caring, playfulness, chatting, loving, helping others. Smiling. Shedding emotional tears and other goodies.

With an equal.

Attraction, vulnerability, growth.

Interesting dates – fun!

If not hilarious – to say the least.

 

She finds that it’s been good to meet up as quickly as possible after matching on Tinder and enjoying some pleasant interaction.

You see, when you’re just online, you start building up a mental picture of the other person in your head. Maybe you imagine a certain height, weight, voice, appearance and body language.

An imagined person based on words and a few 2D images.

It’s like when you’re reading a novel and deciding for yourself what the characters look like. And, more importantly, how their personality shines.

Then comes the date and… even if you keep an open mind and heart, the longer you’ve imagined the person in a certain way… the more difficult it can be to make the shift from 2D to 3D.

Oh!

Tonight is date #14. With Aarne – the one scheduled three weeks ago, since he lives in Turku. Coming to visit his daughter and excited to meet me – he says.

Hmm. He’s 54.

Finnish.

Uh… I just wonder…

…if I’ll like Christian in person — Anna laughs.

She parks her car and reads the Englishman’s last messages again.

 

4:30   Sorry. Went to bed super early and now I can’t sleep. 😞  Still feeling ‘energised’?? 😊

 

🎼  I’ve got sunshine in a cloudy day… 🎶

 

9:21   Still feeling like that, yes. But at 4 I was fast asleep.

Glad that you wrote any way. 😊  How are you feeling today? Any coughing? Sore throat?

11:31   Morning. Feel much worse today. Cold is finally coming out. Throat feels better though. Nose will be raw by end of today.

Hope you’re having a nice day there.

 

Ah, is he really going to make it with his cold??

 

14:24   Oh, no!! Get well soon. I hope you can stay in bed all day today again. Maybe the salt helped with the throat?

Raw nose? Try lip balm around there a few times per day. Solves the problem. 

Awful weather here. Raining hard. Would be perfect to be under covers with good company and watch a nice movie, drinking hot cocoa…

14:47   Eurgh. Struggling today. Glad I don’t have to be anywhere else. Raining? No!! Bring back the snow. ☃️  I like your ideas for spending a rainy day. 😊

15:00  😊 Maybe Monday?

15:01   OK. Hoping for rain in that case. 😊

  Me, too!

🎼  When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May
Well I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way? 🎶

 

Got hotel booked today. Staying at Radisson Blue Royal hotel until Tuesday.

15:24   Nice place! And walking distance to my flat. About 1 km downhill and you’re at my door. Maybe I could choose a restaurant between the hotel and my place, instead of Vapiano. Maybe Koti Pizza? Since you’re ill… So you won’t need to walk that much. What do you think?

15:41   That sounds like a great plan. 😊 And downhill too! Can I ski there??

Haha. You can try to ski there. I’ll watch. It’ll be funny!

During the week, we could have some wonderful veggie soup at my place. Would be good for your cold, too!

Meeting up at 8 or 8:30?

If you could meet me at hotel around 2015 that would be great. I’m still not that familiar with Helsinki….but improving. This is my 4th trip. 5th in March. 😊

Nice!

Let’s do that. Should be there by then.

If the flight is late – snow storm or something – I’m sure we’ll manage to find some other place open.

Healthy pizza sounds great. And your soup. 😊 Want to try that. I won’t let you starve and hope to take you out a few times.

16:22   So we have ourselves a plan. 😊 Oh, I eat very little nowadays. Can survive with 4-6 eggs and I’m happy.

16:24   You should keep chickens!!

Soup, salads, eggs. Volleyball. Not much more that I need. Except a little loving.

That’s good exercise too. 😊 Miss that.

Blink slowly at me with those dreamy eyelashes of yours… And that voice. Maybe I won’t be able to resist. Not sure. Who knows??

Hmmm. I’m just coming out of a long long relationship. So no hurry.

Christian… Should I maybe tell you something?

I’m not really the wild kind. My values are important to me. Having said that… I’d love to get to know someone slowly. Find a boyfriend. Someone to enjoy life with, respect, spend time with whenever possible. Have my person out there!

I read something that makes sense. Something I’ve experienced in life, and it was totally worth it. Even though it ended… ☹️

 

“I want my eroticism mixed with love. And deep love one does not often experience… You do not know what you are missing by your microscopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.”  And… “Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning or your soul — you create suffering.”

16:58   I’m quoting Anais Nin. Ever heard of her? Beautiful!

   I’ve had it and hope to again. Someday!

How do you feel about this? Are you looking for something completely different?

You seem to be a nice person. Friend? Boyfriend? Who knows? We have to meet first, spend some time together. Will there be any chemistry? Maybe.

But I like sincerity and I think you do, too. When there’s honesty, people can make informed decisions and be on the same page.

Would love to hear your thoughts. A little now and more later.

17:14   Thought-provoking quotes there. I haven’t seen them before. To start with, friendship is so important for me – hopefully much more, but it takes a lot of time to get to know people.

Somehow, I can sense that you are such a good person!

I had some bad people in my life. It was only recently I decided to cut my ties. There are too many nice people in the world go bother with the bad ones.

I love what you write. So… looking forward to Sunday. Hope you won’t be disappointed. Either way, we’ll have a fun evening. And some good food and laughs.

🎼  Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Ooh yeah 🎶.
.
.
And… You have to teach me ‘Hazel Eyes,’ Love Letter and Ingenious – all the games you told me about. You promised! 😊
.

17:23  You sound wise. Looking forward to Sunday!!

Fingers crossed for rain. 😊 Back in bed.

18:08   Good! You need that!

Can’t wait to feel well again. Btw, is my hotel close to station? I’m catching bus from airport.

The hotel is about 600m uphill from the station.

Ok. Hope I can make it uphill!! 😊 They need a chairlift.

You’re so funny! I wish I could pick you up, but it’s sauna time and the teens are coming over for that and then leaving.

Won’t have much luggage so should be easy. Oh. I would never expect that!!

Don’t want to miss the sauna.

Sauna is the right place for you.

 

🎼  I’ve got so much honey the bees envy me
I’ve got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees 🎶

But I would have loved picking you up. You would have been able to hear me singing in the car from moment zero.

Not necessary at all. But thanks.

18:13   No singing necessary for you then. LOL! 😊  Loved your suggestion of getting myself some chickens!

  unnamed (4) – kopio

18:15   Meant the lift. Please sing away!! 😊

Look at my dinner.

Mmmm. Making me hungry.

I knew that you meant the lift. Was just teasing you a little.

You teasy-joker! 😊

 

Anna sends him another picture of her taking a nap. Under lots of covers.

 

Are you having another power nap?

No. Actually just eating those eggs.

OK. Thought you were multitasking. 😊

Teasing is kind of fun, too. I’m in an energetic mood all the time nowadays! Beware. I might grab you.

I was wondering where you were balancing the eggs. 😊 Grabbing? I like a bit of energy.

(Love how witty you are)! Just a bit? I heard you…

Haha. OK. A lot!!

 

🎼  Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Ooh yeah 🎶

 

So lucky to be on holidays from tomorrow afternoon. 😊 Hiihtoloma – our spring break – meant for skiing in Finland.

18:22   Enjoy! Holidays at last.

I’ve brought home some games for 2 from school. Some of my own, so that we’ll have enough to do in case of bad weather.

Great. 😊

Competitiveness and intelligence are big turn-ons!

18:30   So I have to win. What are the games?

Ha. You want to practice, huh? Ingenious. That’s one of the games. 😊 Ticket to Ride. 6 Nimmt.

I want to do my homework for the teacher.

The rules are in Finnish, so, too bad!

Haha. I see. I will just have to trust your teaching, then.

Are you going to sleep soon? Get your energy back for me.

Yep. Sleeping. But I’m thinking about your hazel eyes.

Sweet dreams… I’m going out soon.

Enjoy. I will be thinking about sauna games, as well.

You do that and try to come up with some cool rules. Talk to you later then, handsome eyes.

Sleep well later.

P.S. Three days!! X

Three days for you and me in 3D. 😊 Finally!

 

🎼  I don’t need no money, fortune, or fame (ooh hey hey hey)
I’ve got all the riches baby one man can claim (oh yes I do) 🎶

 

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 60 – hey, hey, hey! 🎶

(My Girl © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)

 

 

Chapter 44 – For the Love of Writing

 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016.

 

Day 52

 

Anna loves chatting – and writing in general. When she was a teenager, she used to have over two hundred pen pals. It was so exciting to go to her mailbox after school to retrieve up to ten letters from all over the world.

Such joy and excitement. Emotions.

Every single day.

Her boyfriend at the time was a long-distance relationship, and they too sent each other fun, romantic letters for three long years. Drawings, gifts, books. Paper kisses and longing.

Anna’s father, Marcos, is the one responsible for teaching her the love of reading and writing.

You see, in her childhood her family used to move almost every year – from city to city and country to country. Dad, always the affectionate artistic type, didn’t want his kids to become estranged from their relatives and best friends, and so he taught them all the joys of letter writing, when Anna was about 9 years old, and her sister Sarah, 10.

She recalls the day when dad came into their room, holding the beautiful letter paper their mom Riitta had bought. They were living in New Jersey at the time.

 

“First, write the city and the date on the upper right-hand corner, you see? Like this.

“Good. Well done, my darlings.

“Then you start with ‘Dear Y, how are you?’ Always tell them how you are doing, as well.

“Sarah, watch your handwriting! You’ll want people to understand what you’re saying. There, that’s better.

“Now, you can proceed to share nice things about your life, your pastimes, school and trips. Tell your pen pal how you felt during certain events, not just about the things you’ve been doing. It makes the reading experience more intense and interesting.

“It’s also very important never to forget to ask them about their life. Be curious and show interest. That’s how you make friends and, above all, keep your old ones.

And with a little kiss on their heads “I’ll proofread your letters when you’re ready and then you’ll go with your mom to the post office.

“Ask me if you need any help, sweethearts.”

 

Day 17. Grownup Anna has just been on Tinder for a couple of days when she matches with a guy named Tino. Remember? Their chats are so intense and Anna’s feeling very excited to meet him… Unfortunately, he cancels the day before their coffee date, becoming her Tinder disappointment #1.

That is when she reads some advice online, and decides to stop chatting for days and days before meeting up with her dates.

 

Day 36, and along comes Christian.

Remember him? One of the Englishman? The one Anna matched with after she decided to change her criteria about who to swipe yes to on Tinder.

Yes, that CEO of a new start-up in Finland who promised to come from Germany soon to meet her in person.

The one with the long, manly nose. — She smiles at the thought.

Not knowing if she’ll really ever meet him or not, she decides to make an exception and keep in touch with this guy. They’ve been chatting on a daily basis for over two weeks now.

And every day the chats grow warmer and more fun.

They’re intriguing.

Kind Christian has become the exception.

 

10:01   Morning!! 😊 Just reading your messages. I see some selfies up there! 😊
Very frosty here. Hope you slept well. Any dreams?
It’s a nice tattoo. Discreet. And sexy.

10:11   Hi Christian…

 

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 52 since moving out of Mr. Ex’s home, their last home together.

 

 

Chapter 40 – I Simply Remember

 

Monday, 8 February 2016.

 

Day 50

 

And the lesson goes on.

 

“My dear 8C, now that you’re all awake… Your homework was to think about your favorite pastimes and such, writing a list with at least ten items. Who has done that?”

Hands go up everywhere.

Anna shows the class a video – My Favorite Things, from The Sound of Music – one of her favorite movies. And the boldest of her pupils sing along with her.

“🎶 I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad!”

Ah… Nice.

“Encouraging, isn’t it?” she smiles.

“So, today your task is to be creative. Take your list of favorite things and transform it into beautiful art. A poster, a video, a play. The sky is the limit. If you’re not good at drawing, write a colorful list that will look great on the wall.

“You can also draw stick men, like I did.”

Anna told Christian (one of the nice Englishmen from Tinder), that she’s been working on this theme at school. He insisted she share her list with him – wouldn’t take no for an answer. So endearing! So she drew it for him.

How Anna loves feeling inspired with the silliest of things!

Now, she projects the images she drew on the smart board, hoping to ignite her pupils’ creativity. First, she wants them to speak up and practice their English.

“Hey look, here are my very own favorite things. Can you tell me what they are?”

 

ft1 – kopio

ft – kopio

ft2 – kopio

ft3 – kopio

 

Chatting with Chris has been so lovely. A mix of witty, smart, gentlemanly and flirty. Guys are a mystery, but it’s gradually getting warmer.

She drew him a couple of extra (burning hot) pastimes on the back side. 😍

Completely scratched over now, of course!

 

Hmm. We shall see…

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 50 since moving out. Warm beginnings!

 

 

Chapter 33 – Empanadas de Queso

 

Friday, 5 February 2016.

 

Day 47

 

🎶 The girls need a break, tonight we’re gonna take
The chance to get out on the town
We don’t need romance, we only wanna dance
We’re gonna let our hair hang down 🎵

 

Really? Really, like really?

 

“You look good, Anna.” The surgeon arrives and gives her a hot kiss in the mouth. Despite the fact that she’s not wearing a dress, high heels… Nor red lipstick.

She is beautiful in her own way, thank you very much.

They go and sit down in the second row of the movie theater. Anna’s sister and niece on her right side. Ümit on her immediate left. And next to him, his daughter and Sabri, her fiancé. All united for the Avant Premiere and the spilling of Ümit’s guts.

A typical date.

Sure.

Very curious to know what I’ll learn about his life…

 

The documentary starts after a short presentation. The lights are dimmed and Anna can sense the surgeon’s nervousness.

He grabs her hand for support. It’s cold and he’s shaking like a wet puppy. Poor thing. She smiles and assures him that it will be alright – patting his hand affectionately.

In the very first minutes of the show, there’s a scene in which the surgeon’s daughter is assisting him in filling an online dating form. So, right at the start and Anna already discovers about his preferences in women. Funny.

Everybody in the theater laughs heartily during the show. Well done! Talented director.

The documentary portrays him as a strong-willed, stubborn, funny, hardworking man. A loving/controlling father, whose daughter finally moves to Turkey to have breathing space, connect with their relatives there and grow as a person.

Anna can feel how they love each other immensely. She is happy for them.

Reader dear – yes you! No need to tell you much more, because if you’re the curious type, I’m sure you can easily google up this documentary, using just your brain a few key words.

Flashforward to October 2017 and Anna’s at the cottage again, one of her favorite places on Earth.

Writing.

She calls Ümit from there. She wants to ask for his permission to write about their dates, since he can potentially be recognizable.

“How are you, Anna? he asks with his sexy accent and warm style “Have you remarried?”

“Oh, not yet,”  she laughs “but I did fall in love last year…”

“Really, tell me about it!”

“That’s why I’m calling you, tbh. I’m writing a book…”

“Interesting…” he comments. With a rising, curious, investigative pitch in his friendly voice.

“It’s about the experience of being a woman, a mother, an ex-wife, a teacher, a friend… A vulnerable, yet strong human being. Someone who, though brokenhearted, still has the courage to believe in new love. She needs to deconstruct and reconstruct herself. She just needs to find out who she is now. And she joins Tinder and, voilá, you’re one of her dates. Number 9. Just 46 days after her separation.”

“Wow, you were quick and active!”

“Oh, I met Mr. One a few dates after ours. Actually, just a few days after meeting you, as well.”

“Ha-ha. Good. And is he from Finland??”

“Well, you’ll have to read the story to find out. You know how poker-faced, mysterious and slow Finnish guys can be, don’t you? But I won’t reveal anything at this point.

“So… I’ve reached the chapter where it’s time to write about meeting you. And… our dates were so different from the others. Really fun (well, mostly), that I’d rather not change them too much, if that’s OK…?

“You know, I was lonely and I direly wanted some fun that evening. You distracted me. I needed that!”

“Good, good.”

“I can change many details in my writing. For example, if you want I can say you came from abroad to Helsinki for a medical conference. We matched, and you took me to the conference gala as your +1. A gala where you were going to give a speech and receive a prize? What do you say?”

“Hmm. Let me think for a second. Maybe you could just change my name and my city? Now I’m seeing a nurse, but at the time I wasn’t seeing anyone. We were both single, we had a good time. So…”

“Yes, and I want to describe all the positive stuff.”

“Yes. You do that. It’s your story. Write from your heart. Maybe I can proofread before you publish it?”

“Yes. And do send me a Turkish name you’d like? On WhatsApp?”

 

Ding!

Anna receives some suggestions to choose from. As well as…

 

Write briefly about our night ending with talks about religion.

Did it happen? Remind me please. Tell me what you remember and I’ll use some of it. Co-author. 🙂

I remember feeling excited! Let’s meet and reconstruct it all again?

Funny guy! Now I know why I had such a great time with you!

Seriously!

Hmm. I’ll think about it.

 

Ümit says he could be a gynecological surgeon in the story. What else? Anna emails him the previous chapter and he likes it.  He’s quite flattered and wants nothing changed. I told you he likes the spotlights. Artistic man!

 

But now, back to Day 47 and our second date…

Ümit is being interviewed on stage after the documentary. He looks pleased. And relieved.

Anna’s sister congratulates him and leaves with her daughter. It’s late. Anna and Ümit walk to the cocktail celebration hand in hand.

There, she meets his people.

This is a very Turkish-South American kind of date. Extended family?? Friends. Ex-wife and her lover! Workmates. The whole bunch.

Bring the kebab already. Empanadas de queso, por favor!

Noisy. Warm.

“Anna, in a couple of years, you will already have raised your teens and we will travel the world together! I’ll buy an apartment in Rio – sea view – and we’re moving in together. OK?”

 

Hours later, after much kissing and some grabbing, Ümit opens his heart a little. He’s looking a bit sad.

“Anna, I have everything. A career (I’m a good surgeon)! A wonderful daughter. Money. Trips.

“A documentary!

“What’s the meaning of life? Where will happiness come from? Does anything make sense?? What about this big void? What else is there?”

“Oh Ümit.” sigh “Those things are all good. You are so privileged!

“Still, I believe that only God can fill our deepest, biggest void.”

“But I don’t believe in God. Isn’t money the god of this world?”

“Well, are people really fulfilled with money, careers and all that stuff?”

“No.”

“So there, you see?

“I’ve had lots of problems and suffering in my life. Everyone suffers in different ways sooner or later, sadly enough. I don’t know where I’d be without my faith in God and the strength I get from it. He is the one who fills my void, ultimately.”

“Really?”

“Yes, and if you want, we could pray…”

He closes his eyes, they hold hands and Anna prays with him. For them.

“Anna, it’s late. Let’s sleep now.”

No! She wants to go home and sleep in her own bed. He walks her to her car, like a true gentleman.

 

 

Day 48

 

The next afternoon, he calls her up.

“Anna, let’s meet! Let’s spend the day together. I like you!”

She is feeling a little sad. “No, Ümit. I don’t think we’re right for each other.”

“Ah, come on. Let’s make each other company, have some fun!”

“Thank you, but I think we’re looking for different things in life. You want company and I’m looking for a relationship.”

“Eurgh. Why do women always want to define things? Can’t we just have a good time? I could send you a plane ticket. We could travel together. I’ll cook for you!”

“Ümit. I admire you very, very much!

“You paint your own house and plant your own apple trees. You cook like a true chef – I’ve heard. You seem to be a very loving father – raised your daughter alone. While studying Medicine in Finland.

“In Finnish!!

“Becoming a good surgeon in a country like this. Amazing! Truly impressive.

“But… you smoke, you swear, you like to party hard? I think we’re just too different… Besides, I’m a little angry at you!! So…

“Friends?

“Thank you! Ha-ha. OK, let’s be friends. Yes.”

“And I think you’ve achieved so much! You could find lots of purpose in helping others with what you have to offer.”

They discuss that for a bit and he gets excited. He says he could start a social project to support single dads. I’d be so proud of him if he did that!

There’s a time for everything, but Anna believes that if we’ve been given any strengths and special advantages in life, they’re not to just be used for our own benefit alone. We should try to relieve people’s pain with it. Protect the vulnerable. Help the weak. Bless the needy… Make someone’s life a little happier?

Yes, that’s our main purpose in life.

 

Now, remember the cat?

Well…

…You’ll just have to keep reading. 🐱 Yes?

The gory details. Are you any curious? Do you want to know?

© 2017 rf

 

Obs. Only day 47 of does everything happen for a reason?

 

 

Chapter 32 – Tinder Date #9

 

Thursday, 4 February, 2016.

 

Still Day 46

 

So, where were we?

Ah, yes.

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.

Literally.

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?

Ah, yes.

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 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.

Probably.

 

Ümit is making her laugh, he’s so energetic. Very smart. She’s finally having some fun again.

Finally!

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??

Yes.

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.

Small world.

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.

Ops.

Tinder and Anna??

Noooo.

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.

“Would you?

“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.

Mmmm.

 

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.

 

 

Chapter 26 – Ding! Plo-Plim. Ding! Ding!

 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016.

 

Day 45

 

Ding!

Plo-Plim!

Anna feels enthusiastic every time her phone dings.

Ding!

 

Yay…! Connecting with new people has been so interesting…

Sharing ideas, discussing big subjects, some intellectual topics, too. Being a little playful – a little flirty at times, of course! It’s all novel stuff, so our Anna can’t help but get all wired up.

There’s a time for everything, and this is the first time that Anna is free, you see? Free to explore, free to rediscover herself. Who am I now?

I don’t know, but this sure is fun! Yay.

Ding!

 

Don’t get me wrong, my dearest reader. When someone conquers her passionate heart, she’s ever the loyal and adoring type – aren’t twenty years proof enough, huh?

It’s exciting, too, being that passionate. And she’s undoubtedly a romantic daydreamer.

Ah…!

Plo-Plim!

 

Yet, her personality type adores to explore.

Excitement, creativity, laughter, flexibility, sensations, curiosity, energy, drama, novelty intelligence, feelings, fun and unpredictability. That’s what I’m talking about, baby. That’s the kind of stuff that delights her.

Ah…!

Ding!

 

Besides, I’ll let you in on a little secret now.

Anna has yet to understand that about herself, but truth be told, our Anna’s a bit of a drama queen. She needs a couple of challenges from time to time to ignite her adventurous problem-solving mode.

Yes, she even needs a little drama in her love life. Otherwise she’ll feel bored.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 45 since moving out.