Outside the Metro at Opera today
Yes, (my new friend) invited me to go on vacation with him...out of the country. "Are you going to go with him?" asked 9 of my closest friends. "Yeah, I am." was my standard reply. "WHAT?!, Are you CRAZY?! You don't even know this guy!" was the standard reply from 9 various friends at different times...
Today he and I met at the Opera Metro, to walk to Starbucks to plan our vacation, followed by dinner plans, but first I had to confirm a small scheduling issue. I promised Adrian I would help with Property Rentals when the company property manager goes on vacation next month. I need to know what his exact vacation dates were.
I promised my new friend I would go on vacation with him, during the last two weeks in August which are the only weeks he has available for this vacation.
I send a text message to the property manger to ask for his exact vacation dates. He replies...the last two weeks in August.
I'll have to break a promise to my new friend...Maybe my friends are right; maybe its a bad idea that's really not meant to be...but I think I'll wait until after dinner to tell him. We have coffee at Starbucks and stop there to use the wifi. My friend eagerly pulls out his laptop to show me where we are going to go and start scheduling reservations for our vacation. I want to wait until later to tell him that I won't be able to go with him. Why am I so afraid to tell him the truth? I can't delay.
He glances up from his laptop..."Uh, I have something to tell you...." He looks up, with the most pleasant look on his face, as if he's waiting for me to say, "I love you." or something really nice like that. How can I disappoint him? "Uh, I can't go on vacation with you." I spurt out the words, almost sounding like a question, waiting for his reaction. He stares at me as if he doesn't understand my English. Why does my heart start beating so fast? What am I so afraid of? "I uh, promised Adrian I would help her with the properties when the manager goes on vacation, and I just found out that he is going on vacation the same dates you have planned...I would only have two days to go on vacation with you...see..." I pulled out my calendar to show him the dates and hoped that he would stop staring at me, blink or say something.
He starts typing briefly on his laptop again, not saying a word then slams it shut on his lap. Still not saying a word, still staring at me in an icy way. So I ask lightly, "Where were we going to go anyway? Where were you planning?" "What does it matter to you now? You cannot go." he replied coldly, ending the conversation as he quickly shoved his laptop in a bag beside his chair. He leans back in his chair and asks with a puzzled look, "What do you want from me?" "Uh," I replied with a puzzled smile. "Nothing ."
"Ramadan starts on the 21st of August and it's over the end of September plus 6 days. During that time, I cannot see you, I cannot call you, I cannot think about you. So I will have to wait until after September to see you again." he explained for an unknown reason, then he smiled a very pleasant smile.
"Come on. It's time to go." he said as he reached for my arm, but never touched me. "Are you taking the metro back to your apartment or the bus?" he asked, followed by "I'm taking the train, I'm going to see my mother." I said, "I'm taking the metro." Immediately knowing in that moment, we were not going to dinner as planned.
As we crossed the street, I told him I was sorry we couldn't go on vacation together. He replied. "It wasn't meant to be." Then he kissed me on both cheeks and waited for me to go though the gates at the metro.
On the way home, I stopped at the market and bought some cream cheese, vinaigrette, green beans and crackers for dinner. I ate alone, but it was nice because I could eat as many crackers and cheese as I wanted knowing there would be no more broken promises today.