Sunday, 21 February 2016.
D – Welcome T😊 Finland
Anna walks James Bond round the block to Kaisaniemenkatu. She spots a tall man standing by the tram stop with a suitcase and his back towards her.
Suspense is in the air.
Is he even who he says he is?? Be brave, now…! Jack Chi 007 will definitely sniff him and scare him off if he’s a bad guy!
She approaches the man and says, “Hi, Christian?” with a careful smile.
He turns slowly.
Her heart skips a beat.
Oh……..! He’s just like his best pics! (See, Anna? That crazy, clueless selfie. I told you to take the risk and meet him in person – otherwise you’d never know!)
Christian is tall – good built, back straight.
1,82 against Anna’s 1,61.
Aww. He looks d-r-e-a-m-y. Yummy. — Inner giggles.
1 x ?
Her careful smile widens as her suspicions melt away a little bit. She can already see a glimpse of the the mysterious Englishman who’s made her laugh and feel important quite a few times in the last three weeks.
“There you are!” — He smiles back, enveloping her in his arms. The way she likes it. Awww.
His very first embrace (Can you believe it?) is firm and nice, “transmitting human warmth,” as the saying goes in Portuguese. Christian seems to be used to hugging, and comfortable with touching new acquaintances in a natural way. A confident manner.
2 x ?
“Hi Anna,” he exclaims with a joyful voice, “How are you doing?
“Wow, you look exactly like the girl in the pictures!” — Oh God, that sexy voice. His Queen’s English is to die for. Eurgh! She gets goose bumps all over.
3 x ?
Stop. This is torture! And she’s dropping her guard already.
Act cool, Anna.
“Really? Oh, thank you.” Anna replies.
“No.” He sounds adamant now, “You look even better!” He adds while squatting to greet James Bond, who swings his tail and sniffs him approvingly.
Surprise, surprise. This dog always loves everybody. I’m not giving Christian extra points for that!
“Hey, little one!” Christian says, patting the dog and chatting with him.
Meanwhile, careful Anna quickly scans the Englishman some more.
She checks his luggage to see whether it has recent flight luggage stickers. He could be a street bum with a smart phone, the Tinder app and a desperate need to find lodging, after all.
Good! The Finnair stickers match the story. Check. ☑️
More points? No, just relief. Same score.
3 x ? So far so good on my side of things.
Christian is wearing Hugo Boss glasses, a ¾ length dark gray overcoat, jeans and hiking boots. Casual and elegant. Smooth face, no wrinkles. Bald, but his remaining hair is nicely trimmed – the Karoo Desert cut, as she suggested and he promised.
4 x ? Yay.
He’s 45, but hmm, he could pass for 42.
“Christian, you’re so late that all the restaurants have closed down already. That’s Helsinki on Sundays for you.
“Why don’t we go to my place to have that veggie soup?” Now that he showed up. Hey, about that….. She suddenly remembers his tardiness and feels she deserves an explanation.
“Yes, it’d be my pleasure, thanks. Can we drop my suitcase at the Radisson first?”
“Some mysterious hotel you booked yourself there, huh?” she teases him.
“Oh. Soooo sorry. I haven’t found it yet. Please, would you show me the way?”
“I thought you knew Helsinki well, Christian! What’s happened?” — she smiles, a little suspicious again.
“Oh Anna, I think I have a fever. I’m feeling pretty weak.” — puppy eyes.
“Poor Christian. Let me feel your forehead.”
She touches him and – oh electricity, butterflies, zizzz – “Yes! Maybe you do have a temperature. Oh no! Whatever shall we do?? Talking of which…” — she opens her mocca leather bag and…
“Here’s the scarf. Where are my manners. Do you like brown? It’s a gift from my mom to you!” she smiles as she wraps Riitta’s very own art form around his neck, touching his skin a little bit again. Zizzzzz.
“There you go!” says Anna, looking into his beautiful eyes. “That’s better!”
Their gaze locks for a few seconds. More butterflies. More zizzz, zizzzzz. Oh… 🎼 Tonight’s the night we’re gonna make it happen. Tonight we’ll put all other things aside…? 🎶
“Very kind of you. Yes. I feel better already.” — English manners…
5 x ? But what about me?? What’s my score? I must definitely be 10 points ahead, just for having been kept waiting. Ha!
“Thank your mom for me, will you? Btw……. may I buy another one of her scarves?” he asks while they walk down the path she’s leading.
“Oh, no, no. Mom has hand-knitted about 800 of them, so far. One per day. Aren’t they perfect? Her project is to make a thousand and give them away around the world.
“I help distribute the scarves to whomever wants them. Mom says she prays that the people wearing them will be blessed. You can have a few more, if you’d like.” (He later chooses a green one).
As Christian follows Anna, he explains that he had tried checking in at the Radisson on Mikonkatu, by the railway station.
“Oh, that’s where you texted me from, then?” Yes. When his turn at the reception came, he had been told that he was at the wrong Radisson.
“A person in the streets pointed me towards Ha-ka-niemi…!? Hakaniemi, is that how you say it? I walked there and back. By the time I came back to Kaisla, I couldn’t stand taking one more step. Until you came to save me.
“There must be at least three Radissons in Helsinki, Anna.” He protests.
“Oh, really!” — Coughing and spluttering like a dying vagrant in the drizzling rain, an Englishman takes refuge inside a pub. — “Your hotel is in the complete opposite direction, silly man! Come on, let me lead you there.” Anna laughs, relieved to have their earlier missencounter accounted for.
OK. The slate has been wiped clean.
Suitcase drop at Radisson ☑️
James Bond returned to Mr. Ex ☑️
Christian survives the walk to her flat in Jätkäsaari – uphill with no ski lift and downhill with no bicycle basket ☑️
“Welcome to my humble abode, Mr. Englishman.”
Anna feels just a little shy. A little self-conscious, while making that 2D to 3D shift. You never know what will happen next, no matter how many times you’ve imagined it.
And that’s fun.
“Thank you, it’s so great to finally be here,” he says as he puts down a shopping bag on the entrance floor.
She shows him around the apartment. He likes its modern architecture.
“Yes,” Anna says. “Even though it is only 59 square meters, all the spaces look huge and have been well-planned.”
“Definitely. And I love your sofa. What a great choice!”
“Thanks.” — she opens up the practical sheet she sewed the other night, explaining the whole concept to him — “When the teens are here, the apartment can feel a little small. Especially if James Bond is also with us. But we are South Americans, so we love proximity. This way we can easily hang out, talk and hug!” — she giggles.
“Here, let me show you something in the bedroom. My son is an artist like me, so I’ve painted him a black board directly on the wall. A DIY.”
“Wow. You painted this yourself? Well done,” he says, touching the board with his long fingers, “Can we draw? Give me some chalk. You go and draw something, as well. There. On the other end. Don’t look. No peeping!
“Uh, no peeping, Anna! Make your own drawing. Gosh.” — he feigns annoyance. Funny guy.
Anna is drawing a dog and she’s feeling curious. What is he up, too? I’m the the artist, after all.
This is fun.
“OK, now you may look.” — He smiles, visibly satisfied with his masterpiece.
“Oh……. What is that?”
“Can’t you see the necklace, Anna? It has your name on it. It’s you!” — he is laughing now.
“What?? What is that snake?? JB is a dog, not a snake. That’s ridiculous!”
“Oh, that’s your mysterious tattoo, the snake, Anna. The one you said you have on your belly!” — he teases her and they laugh.
“I don’t have a snake on my belly!!” — Oh, gosh! He is looking so handsome. Anna feels the urge to to kiss him, to be hugged again.
She doesn’t lose control just yet. But all her insides are going 🎼 I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it. 🎶
“Yes, you do! It’s a snake. I know it.” — he laughs.
“It is not.” — Fun guy my ass, he’s a clever dog! That’s what he is. — “Hey, the soup is boiling. Let’s go and have that dinner now, shall we?”
Paracetamol and a convalescence dinner of strong homemade veggie soup ☑️
Christian is looking better already. Happy to be here. There’s so much his eyes seem to want to say, but Anna can’t tell what. There is no clear flirting during dinner.
Pleasant conversations – polite, smart, interesting. Kids, their separations last year. Work, hobbies. Blah, blah, some laughter, blah, blah. ☑️
He’s mysterious – what an intriguing guy – making her want to find out more. ☑️
You see, Anna is being mysterious, too. She is a bit competitive and loves a nice challenge. Oh, how I miss kissing. Sooooo much! And I like him…
Wrap myself around you
I want to squeeze you, please you
I just can’t get enough
And if you move real slow, I’ll let it go 🎶
He loads the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. “My job!” — he gently pushes her away — “You did all that cooking for us. No, don’t help me.”
“OK.” — she retreats, putting the leftovers in the fridge and the French baguettes in a plastic bag.
“Btw, I bought the champagne I promised to. At the airport, Anna. To celebrate finally meeting my tattooed mystery! Shall we have a glass tonight?”
🎼 I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you 🎶
“Yes! And, Christian…?”
© 2017 rf