"Mom, please, I have told you so many times before.It has nothing to do with Joey. It's the long distance thing. I just couldn't do it." "But.." "No, but. I have made my choice and maybe when I come back we can talk about it again but for now this is better. And no, there is no one else." "Ok, but Emma?" "Yes Mom?" "Joey is devastated. I know you don't really care, but I mean you guys have been together for 6 years, you owe him a real explanation at least. The way you left it with him wasn't right. I know you know that because I raised you differently. Please promise me you'll think about it." "I will think about it. I have to go now, mom, bye." "Bye sweetie." When I hung up I knew she was right, i knew to the point that my heart hurt so much I thought it was going to splinter into a million little pieces in my chest, still I knew I wouldn't call him. I wouldn't be able to make him understand what happened with Sasha and how I could never go back to him because I never felt for him what I felt for Sasha.
"Hey pretty lady," I could feel my face light up as I saw his name on the screen. "Hey handsome, where are you?" "I am still at work, I will pick you up in about half an hour." "Can't wait." "Me neither princess, oh and by the way, I think you should check if someone left something at your door." And with that he hung up. I ran to the door almost stumbling over my new black Christian Louboutin sandals that Sasha had gotten me last week. There was a huge dark brown bag with the letters LV on it, the handles bound together with a gold ribbon. The card attached to it said. "Put me on and wait outside". I took the bag inside and closed the door in a hurry. I took out the package wrapped neatly in golden paper and tore it open. It was something I had never dreamed of owning before - a black strapless leather dress. The dress wasn't solid though but it was rather like it was made of different leather bands that wrapped themselves around my body leaving small spaces in between them open to reveal parts of my stomach and legs. When I put it on I was amazed by how mysterious I looked. I added the new sandals and danced around the room intrigued by my own reflection in the mirror. Sasha would be here in about 20 minutes so I had to get ready fast. I took of the dress and shoes to get ready and looked for a youtube tutorial on how to do my hair and make up. I decided it would be fastest to just pull my hair into a tight ponytail and put on eyeliner and red lipstick, all things I had bought since I got with Sasha. When I was done I checked my reflection and was happy with what I saw, because it was finally the same thing Sasha must have seen when he was with me. I put the dress and shoes back on and the ring with the black diamonds that Sasha had gotten me as well. He said to wait outside and I wanted to make him happy so I grabbed my purse and went downstairs.
He pulled up only a couple minutes after I had made my way downstairs. It still took me longer than before since I wasn't used to walking in 5 inch heels but I was getting better. He walked around the car to get the door for me and give me a kiss. "Hey pretty lady. You look amazing. I am the luckiest guy in the whole world." "Thank you." I should have gotten used to his compliments by now, but they still made me blush. When I got in the car I noticed the joint that he had left in the ashtray, while getting out of the car. "Uhm Sasha, you know that's illegal here, right?" "Yes, so?" "well you might get in trouble." "Don't worry, I will never get in trouble." And before I could say anything else he had taken the joint, inhaled deeply and kissed me full on the mouth, exhaling the smoke between my parted lips. "There, now we both get in trouble." "Sasha.." I rolled my eyes. "Let's go, I want you to meet some very important people." "Ok, where are we going? And who am I meeting?" "It's a surprise. But you are meeting my friends. I think it's time for them to meet my girlfriend, yes?" "But Sasha, we haven't really established that yet. I mean I have just gotten out of my relationship and you know that I have feelings for you but I don't think it would be a good idea to make this official yet." "I don't care if it is official or not, I just want you to meet them, ok?" He looked hurt. "Yeah, ok fine. I just want to take things slow, ok?" "Anything you want." he answered curtly. I knew this was a difficult topic for him. Even though I had broken up with Joey because after kissing him I clearly couldn't pretend that there was nothing going on, I still hadn't really said yes to being his girlfriend. We had been making out and going out a lot but I wasn't ready to take the final step and admit what kind of person I really was. Of course I couldn't deny that each time I looked at him my stomach flipped and all I wanted to do is be with him with everything I had but I didn't want to feel like Joey was nothing to me. Every time I brought up the fact that I wasn't ready, Sasha acted like a spoiled little kid that had been told he could't play with his favorite toy but he usually got over it pretty quickly. He had been pushing me to meet his friends for a while now and I had always said no, so this time he had apparently just decided that it was time. They were waiting for us at the restaurant. When we entered, for the first time I didn't feel like an outsider. I was dressed like them and it felt great. I spotted the 2 guys by the window right away. They were tall and muscular and dressed similar to Sasha, in expensive looking jeans and shirts. He introduced them as Nikolay and Dima. They seemed reserved but friendly and spoke with Sasha most of the time. When our champagne arrived he lifted his glass and motioned me to do the same. The guys had their glasses in the air already. I had a feeling like they were used to him giving toasts all the time, or maybe it was a Russian thing in general."Kolya, Dima, look closely at this girl, because I will marry her one day. To the most beautiful girl in the world." My smile froze on my face as he looked at me proudly. So this was his idea of keeping things quiet for now.
I excused myself to get up to go to the bathroom but instead I took a turn and went outside. I wanted to breathe for a second. Sasha was like a blanket. Usually he made me feel safe and comfortable but there were times when the air underneath the covers started to suffocate me. Nevertheless I was seeking his comfort. After a couple of minutes I started to become cold, wearing only my dress and no coat and just as I decided to go back in, Sasha was next to me. "Hey. Why are you out here?" "I just wanted to get some fresh air. "Oh." "Don't worry, I was just about to come back in." "You don't like my friends?" "Oh no, it's not that, I was just really hot from all the champagne." "Ok, I was afraid you wanted to leave." I wasn't sure if I misheard or if he had said "leave me". "No, no, I am coming back." "I am glad" he smiled again. "Can I have a kiss?" "Of course." I gave him a small kiss on the cheek and wanted to go past him but he held me back. "What was that?" "What do you mean?" "That wasn't a kiss, this is." He pushed me against the wall and kissed me full on the mouth. He had one hand behind my back and the other was holding on to my ponytail. After he let me go I still couldn't breathe, but for a whole different reason. He looked at me like that had been his plan all along.
When we got back into the restaurant the guys were ordering Vodka. "What would you like to eat?" "Well I am not sure what's good here." Frankly I was just overwhelmed with the prices and the strange sounding food on the menu. "I'll take care of it." It was as if he knew that this made me uncomfortable. When the waitress came over again to bring us a carafe filled with Vodka he ordered something for me and himself. I told Dima that I wanted to try the Vodka as well, and when he looked at Sasha he just nodded at him like it was ok for me to do so. He poured me about double than what Sasha had given me the night he came over. I didn't want to look like I couldn't handle it so I said thank you and waited for them to toast again. The Vodka was so cold it took my breath away for a second. It's now familiar taste reminded me of Sasha and probably always will.
"Can I come in tonight?" Sasha had parked his car in front of my building in the no parking zone. Germans were pretty anal about this sort of thing but by now I knew better than to remind him. He had walked me to my door and was waiting for my answer. I had thought about it all the way from the restaurant to my place. I wanted him to come in more than anything but I was afraid if I let him in tonight I would let go of the last control that I had over this situation and I wasn't sure I was ready yet. Even though my apartment was the place, where it all started I still saw it as my safe haven, a place that was all mine and hadn't been invaded by his presence yet. But on the other hand I knew that I would have to let him in eventually, just as he did every single day since I had known him. He didn't know anything about me, not even about the way I broke up with Joey to be with him. I had concentrated all my energy on him not finding out who I was, that I feared if I would let him in now, he would just be disappointed and leave me. "Please, Emma." "Ok," I said reluctantly. "I just forgot my jacket in your car, let me go get it." But when I got there I saw that he had already looked the door.
"I am happy that you decided to let me come in tonight. It hasn't been easy for me, not knowing if you still want me or not." Sasha sat down on my bed with his shoes still on. I held my breath, I knew I hadn't been fair to him, after all he had told me what he wanted from the very beginning. "I know, I am sorry. But you are here now, and we can start figuring out where to go from here." I took my shoes off and sat next to him. I put my hand on his thigh and kissed his cheek. "I just want you so much, Emma." He had his eyes pointing towards the floor looking beaten. I wasn't sure what to do next. I wanted to tell him that we would be together from now on and that he could call me his girlfriend but somehow I couldn't. I had wanted to tell him that it felt weird, him telling everyone that he would marry me some day but I didn't do that either. I knew it was hard for him having been disappointed so many times in his life. "Can I tell you something?" "Anything." "I was thinking about leaving Germany, before I met you." "Really, why?" "Because I wasn't happy here. I mean I only came her to help my mom, but I never felt at home here. But with you, it's different. You are my home now." Wasn't it a little early for this kind of talk? On the other hand I had heard my friends complain about guys so many times how they were afraid of opening up and committing themselves to you, so this was probably a good thing. I had to relax. "That's sweet of you" "I am not trying to be sweet. This is who I am, I am fucked up." "No you are not, I think you are wonderful." I could see that he wanted to believe me but something made it impossible for him to do so. I just wanted to make him believe, make him see what I saw in him, just like he had been doing with me. Because I didn't know what to say, I just kissed him again. If I couldn't tell him what I felt, maybe I could show him. This time I could feel him surrender to me and I knew I wouldn't fight him any longer.