30 May 2018

Previous story in series: A perfect hello 2

The perfect hello

As she boarded the plane, her heart was racing. This was the first time that she did this and she was afraid that she may be too naive to go through with this. But this man, whom she met online only a couple of months ago, had a way of capturing her thoughts and speaking to her soul like no one else has ever done. She put her small overnight bag in the overhead compartment and sat down in her seat, immediately strapping herself in as if to convince herself that there is no turning back anymore.

Finding Uber was easier than she though. She didn’t expect him to pick her up at the airport because she knew he was a busy professional who didn’t have too much time for such things. The fact that he made space for meeting her in his busy schedule had a peculiar effect on her state of mind… he set time aside for her, despite the fact that she did not want to promise anything other than coffee and chatting. Surely that meant that he really wanted to meet her, not just mess with her?

As the driver drove past the mountain and she saw the city before her, he elaborately explained where she must look and then told her whatever he felt she needed to hear about that particular spot. Interesting facts. Historical facts. Just something that’s good to know. Warnings to not wander around there alone; especially at night; and thoughts on which areas are safe for a lady like herself to walk around. She only caught parts of what he said, but he didn’t really notice. She was taken aback by the splendour of this place; in complete awe of the grey and white rocky mountain raising to the sky on the one side of the highway and the busy yet beautiful city arching down towards the sea on the other. She felt an inexplicable sense of belonging while her Uber tour guide carried on about Christiaan Barnard and the Groote Schuur Hospital.

As they got closer to the city and also to the place where she arranged to meet him, her phone pinged.

“I can’t wait to meet you!”

Her heart skipped a beat when she read his simple yet meaningful message and whatever doubt she felt earlier suddenly disappeared to make space for pure excitement.

“Neither can I. The driver says we should be there in 10 because of the traffic. Sorry for the wait…”

“No problem. I’ll be here!”

A thousand things were rushing through her mind as they entered the CDB and took the turnoff onto the street where she agreed to meet him. It was her first time in Cape Town City, but she didn’t feel overwhelmed or scared; she did in fact feel at home.

When the white Avanza stopped and the driver turned around to ask if this is the spot where she’s supposed to be, her phone rang.

“I can see you!”

“But I don’t see you… where are you?”

“Here! I’m walking towards you now.”

Then she saw him. A tall, dark and very handsome, casually dressed man was walking towards the car as a whirlwind kicked up a cloud of dust and early autumn leaves.

“Oh… I see you! Yay!” She giggled and could feel that she was blushing a bright red like she last did when she was still in high school. This is it, she thought to herself as she tried to focus on her breathing instead of contemplating all the possible scenarios of how this could go wrong. She got out of the car, watched as the kind Uber driver took her bag from the car’s boot and thanked him once again for bringing her here safely. When she turned around, the man who cast a spell on her in a cyber world was standing right in front of her. She froze and for a moment, completely out of character, she could not form a single word.

“Hello.” It was all he said before he unapologetically wrapped his arms around her and gave her a hug.

In that moment, she knew that she did not make a mistake to come all this way to meet him. All of her fears disappeared and she felt safer than she ever had before. She breathed in his scent and felt the warmth of his chest; the comfort of his arms holding her.

“It is really nice to meet you… at last.”

She didn’t have to look at his face to see that he was also smiling. They both knew that this could have happened months ago if it wasn’t for her own stubbornness and fear; her inability to trust. But that was not what either of them was thinking about. They lingered in the most wonderful hug for just a few seconds longer, soaking up the moment, the peace and comfort it brought and forever etching it into their memories.

It was the perfect meet-up… the first, she was sure, of many.

(To be continued...)

Next story in series: A perfect hello 2