I was kind of dreading my class on Friday, mostly because I was dreading what Sasha would say. When I arrived he wasn’t there yet, but I got from the others that this wasn’t unusual. He was studying and working in Munich and his work was paying for his courses, so it was mandatory for him to be there. Even though he could have easily paid for them himself. I didn’t want to pry but the others were so fascinated with him that only bringing up his name once made them chatter away like monkeys. „Honestly, the guy is so rich, I heard that he sometimes goes out with thousands of Euros in cash and he spends it all on booze and women.“ „Yeah, I went out with him once. It was insane. He kept inviting us for 300 EUR bottles of champagne and Vodka and when he was out of cash he just asked one of his friends to go back to his apartment and get more cash for him. He doesn’t really do anything for himself,“ said Kevin. „And what’s the deal with the pretty red head?“; I heard one of the Spanish girls say. „I think she is something like his girlfriend, but she never speaks and when we went out, he didn’t introduce us to her. I think she might only speak Russian, that’s why she sticks with him.“ Oh so he was Russian, now I knew. All I knew about Russians was that they could drink a lot and that it was pretty cold over there. When class started they were still on the subject of Sasha and barely seemed to want to shut up. Ms Schwartz started the lesson with a recap from Wednesday and after the first five minutes were over I started fidgeting in my chair without even knowing why. After the next five minutes I started eyeing the door and after the next five minutes I couldn’t even sit still anymore. I knew that it had been 15 minutes because I had been checking my watch every other minute. I could barely concentrate and by the end of the class I realized why I was so nervous. He didn’t show up. And I was upset about it. I couldn’t believe that the fact that he didn’t come to class did this to me and I was angry at myself for acting so stupid. I told myself that I was probably mad at him because I had wanted to give him a piece of my mind, that I had wanted to tell him what an arrogant asshole he was and the thought of that made me a littler calmer. After class Megan told me she was going to go out with a couple of friends for an after work beer and asked me if I wanted to join them. I thought about it for a minute and decided that I could really use something to take the edge off and went with them. I didn’t even hear my phone vibrate in my purse and when I got home around midnight I had 4 missed calls and 3 texts from Joey. I had totally forgotten that he was supposed to call me. I quickly grabbed my laptop and opened Skype. Luckily he answered right away. „Babe I am so sorry, Megan asked me to go out with them and it got a lot later than I thought it would, and I didn’t hear my phone.. I am so sorry.“ He seemed pissed but not too much. „Well I was really worried about you, I mean it’s ok for you to go out with your friends but you could send me a text, you know.“ „I know, I am sorry. It’s never going to happen again, I promise. I am just so happy that I finally have someone here that actually likes me.“ I couldn’t help sounding like I was about to cry. His voice softened „Come on babe, how could anyone not like you. And even if they didn’t you could always come back and I would like the crap out of you.“ He just always knew the right words to say to me in times like these. I was relieved that he wasn’t too angry with me and that I had made everything ok again. I promised myself, more than him, that he would never come second again.
I spent the weekend with Lena and her boyfriend and went for a walk in the park with Megan on Sunday. Even though I could sneak in some phone time with Vicky and my parents and also my dinner / breakfast date with Joey I finally felt like I was at home in Munich.
„Hey pretty lady“, I heard a voice behind me. „I couldn’t wait to see you again.“ I turned around and saw Sasha’s smiling eyes looking into mine. „Uhm yeah, nice to see you again as well.“ „So tell me did you miss me too?“ I couldn’t believe this guy. Who did he think he was? I barely knew him, I had never even really talked to him and he pretended like we had some sort of thing going on. „No actually, I didn’t miss you. I don’t know you, and I don’t know what kind of girls this bullshit usually works on, but not on me.“ There I had said it. But he didn’t back away, he just gave me an even bigger smile and told me „Oh you are feisty. I like that.“ It didn’t happen a lot but I was speechless. I opened the door to the language school forcefully and stormed in with Sasha right on my heels. When I rang the doorbell on the upper floor I felt his soft touch on my shoulder „Look, Emma. I like you. I just want to get to know you better, I hope you give me a chance.“ I turned around to look at him. He had the same look in his eyes like my dog used to have when he knew he had done something stupid, like pee on my stuffed animals or eat from the bag of chips that I secretly stacked under my bed. For some reason all I wanted to do was to be mad at him but I just couldn’t. „Ok, maybe you want to be a little more normal about it, then that would be ok.“ I couldn’t help but smile and at the same time hope that he wouldn’t see this as a sort of invitation to try to hit on me. „Ok I’ll try for you.“ He lowered his eyes. I somehow had to make sure he understood that I wasn’t available „Is your girlfriend coming to pick you up again today? She is very pretty.“ „She is not my girlfriend. She could never be my girlfriend.“ I didn’t know what to say to that, plus I had hoped I could sneak in the fact that I had a boyfriend myself. „Why not?“ I simply asked. „She could never love me“. How did we get from hitting on me inappropriately to this. „Oh, ok, I didn’t mean to pry, I am sorry.“ „Don’t be sorry, you can always ask me.“ I was glad that the door buzzer finally sounded and they let us in. „I am very happy I met you, Emma“ he said as we entered. „Yeah, me too.“ It was a good thing that he couldn’t see my face turn crimson.
During class I tried to focus on the new vocabulary Ms Schwartz was teaching us but every time I looked over to Sasha he was looking at me, just like last time. The others started noticing this too, as Matt leaned over and whispered in my ear „What did you do to the little Russian, he is all over you.“ I laughed silently but stopped when I noticed the hurt look in Sasha’s eyes. I didn’t want him to think we were making fun of him. „I don’t know, maybe I speak better English than you guys do and he is happy he can finally talk to someone.“ „Yeah, right.“ Matt laughed. Sasha kept eyeing us when Ms Schwartz called his name to ask him for the answer to her current question. He answered correctly and went back to looking at me. During break time he asked me to stay back, well aware that Matt and the others could hear every word. I hesitated slightly but did as he asked. „Emma,“ he said intently. He had a habit of saying my name whenever he got a chance. „I have a feeling that you don’t like me very much, yes? I want you to like me. I think you are wonderful.“ Once again I wasn’t sure what to say to that. „Uhm no Sasha, I like you just fine. I don’t even know you yet. And you can by no means know that I am wonderful yet.“ I tried to joke. „But yes, I do know that. I saw it right from the moment I met you. Can you please go out to dinner with me, so I can show you that I am a nice guy.“ „Actually I can’t, I am sorry but I have a boyfriend and I really shouldn’t..“ „Why is he not here?“ he interrupted me. „Excuse me?“ „Why is he not here? Where is your boyfriend now?“ „Well he lives in the US., you know where I come from.“ „If you were my girlfriend I would make sure you would never have to be alone anywhere. I would never want to leave your side and I would definitely not want to you to live so far away. Why didn’t he come with you?“ „Uhm, because he has a job and this was what I wanted to do and not him.“ I couldn’t believe I was defending myself and Joey in front of this guy. „He must not know what he has in you then, Emma.“ Before I could say anything else he got up from his chair and walked out of the room. He didn’t come back for the second half of the class.
When Joey called me later at night he sounded off, like something had happened. I asked him what was wrong but he wouldn’t tell me and the more I kept on bugging him the more angry he became. When I couldn’t take it anymore I told him it was probably best for us to end this conversation and talk again tomorrow, and he finally caved. „Ugh, Emma, it sucks that I am taking this out on you, I am sorry. I didn’t want to tell you because this was supposed to be a surprise, but I was going to come visit you in two weeks from now. But today my boss told me that I could not take any time off until fall, because we have these big projects coming in and he needs all the help he can get. I am sorry, I am just really disappointed.“ I just wanted to take him in my arms and cuddle him until he stopped looking so sad but at the same time I was close to crying myself. It would have been wonderful to have Joey here with me. We could walk through the city and have Bavarian food and we could have bought him one of those traditional outfits and then taken pictures together. We could have rented bikes and driven through English Gardens. I couldn’t believe that this wasn’t going to happen now and I was just as disappointed as he was even though I hadn’t even known about his visit until a minute ago. „Oh babe. Of course I understand, you must be pissed. I would have loved to have you here and shown you this place and my new apartment. Is there really nothing your boss can do? Maybe he can give you a week or so?“ „Believe me, I have tried everything, I even told him I was going to work from there but he just can’t do it right now. I know he is sorry and he would really like to let me go but I think this project is too important for him to take any chances.“ „I understand. Well I mean you can always come in fall, I will have some time off then and maybe I can even come home then as well.“ „Yeah I guess.“ He sounded crushed and small and even I couldn’t find a way to recover our conversation afterwards.
After we hung up I was in desperate need of some distraction so I called Lena to ask her if there was anything to do tonight. It was Monday after all and the German’s seemed to like to spend their Monday’s at home doing laundry and watching TV. Fortunately I could count on Lena to be different and it took me only about a minute to convince her to go for a drink with me. Her friends were all busy so I called Anna as well and she agreed to come meet us at a bar close to my place. Since I knew Anna to be somewhat of a bombshell and Lena to be really quirky and cute I decided to make myself feel better by dressing in some of my new clothes that I had bought the weekend before including heels and skinny black leather pants and a simple, low cut, white T-shirt. I liked my new look. It wasn’t too sexy but it was a little more adventurous than I had been at home and I still felt like myself. When I saw Anna waiting for me in the bar, I was glad I had chosen this outfit. She looked incredible with a black jumpsuit cut low in the front and back and leopard print ankle boots. She sat on one of the bar stools, so I went over to her and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. „You look great“, she smiled. „Thanks, it’s new.“ „I love it. Is your friend coming in here or shall we meet her somewhere?“ „No she should be here any minute.“ I said as I sat down on the chair to her right. „Great, let’s order something to drink then.“ She ordered a glass of champagne and I decided to do the same even though I had no idea what that might cost me at a place like this.“ „This one’s on me, yes.“ I heard the familiar accent behind me. What was he doing here? I turned around „Hi Sasha, what are you doing here?“ I asked him somewhat harshly. „Relax, I am getting a drink with my friends.“ He said pointing over to a table full of guys. „And I couldn’t help but notice the most beautiful woman in the bar.“ He looked straight into my eyes. I saw Anna from the corner of my eye who gave me an enquiring look. „Uhm Anna, this is Sasha from my language course, Sasha, this is Anna, my cousin. „Nice to meet you Anna.“ Sasha glanced at her quickly and then turned his attention back to me. „You look very pretty tonight, Emma.“ Luckily at this moment Lena entered the bar and walked straight over to us. „Hey Emma, I almost didn’t find this place.“ I turned to Lena and introduced Anna and Sasha to her. Once again Sasha didn’t give her more than a second of his attention. I was getting more and more uncomfortable, I wanted to spend the night with the girls but Sasha obviously had other plans. He placed himself between me and Lena. „Emma, when can I see you again?“ „Well you see me now, right? And I will see you on Wednesday at class, if you show up.“ „Yes, I will be there. I can’t wait.“ He brushed his lips against my cheek and I caught a whiff of his scent. He smelled of Vodka and expensive cologne. „I will leave you girls alone, it was very nice to meet you.“ And with that he was gone. They both looked at me as if I was supposed to explain how I knew someone like him. „He is in my language course.“ I told them once again. Anna pulled up one eyebrow. „He is hot.“ „Yeah, he has something about him. What’s his deal?“ Lena asked. „Uhm you have a boyfriend, remember?“ „Yeah of course, but you never know.“, she winked. „Well I do know. He is an obnoxious asshole and I feel really weird with him being here. Can we please go to another bar?“ „Come on,“ Anna protested. „We just ordered,besides, he’s busy, you see?“ I didn’t want to turn around, but when I eventually did, I saw a pretty blonde sitting on his lap, stroking his cheek. I had no idea where she came from or who she was but I felt a pang of jealousy spreading through my body. I quickly looked away. „Yeah, I guess you are right.“ I couldn’t help but turn around again a second later and caught him staring at me and toasting to me with his own glass of champagne, while the blonde was already nibbling on his ear.
After we finished our champagne I was in the mood to go home but I could’t really leave the girls on their own after I had dragged them out on a Monday night. I suggested for them to come back to my place and call Joey and cheer him up as well. Surprisingly they were both up for it, so we asked for the check. As Sasha had said, he had already taken care of it. I was angry with him, because now I had to thank him but when I got up to go over there I couldn’t see him. I felt relieved and anxious at the same time. Did he leave with that blonde girl or did he just go to the bathroom. I decided I wasn’t going to find out, told the waiter to thank him, grabbed my coat and left the bar. Anna and Lena were right behind me.
I think the girls had more fun calling Joey than he did. They were giggling and asking him all sorts of questions on how I was like as a teenager and when we were going to get married. I had to hand it to him, he didn’t freak out, or at least he didn’t show it. He was sweet and charming and told them to take good care of his baby girl while he couldn’t be there. I couldn’t help it but Sasha’s remark popped back into my head. „if you were my girlfriend I would make sure you would never be alone.“
The girls left at around eleven, because they both had to get up in the morning and I was glad to be alone. I brushed my teeth and put on my sweatpants and put up my hair. I took my laptop and curled up in my bed. When I opened my browser the google window popped up. I started typing the first three letters and google immediately autofilled my search for me. I pressed enter and the first 12 out of 202.000.000 results for „Russia“ came up on my screen.