It was a chance. Mary loved taking chances. Although you wouldn’t give it to her, if you saw her shopping. Mary was a very neat women. Everything in her home had a place. When you saw her shopping for example, everything on the counter needed to be in it’s right place, also her book collection at home. No book would ever be set in the wrong place. The only way she mixed things up was in the way of sorting her books. Her clothes also went in the same place. Now she was mixing things up. She was different the last few months. Friends asked her what changed. She had been such a clean cut lady.
It had been in the stars, she said. Mary was not a spiritual woman. Mary would be one of the most rational women you would ever know in your life, if you knew Mary in real life. She didn’t like to take chances, although, the old Mary didn’t like to take chances. Old Mary liked to schedule out things, week in advance. Old Mary would have told her friends that she couldn’t come because she had planned something. New Mary would ring up her friends herself, any time, to do something. New Mary was nothing in comparison to old Mary. It seemed old Mary was gone.
Books. Books can change people. Books can turn bookish old Maries into vibrant, outgoing new Mary’s. Mary had found such a book. Mary wanted change. Mary wanted more fun in her life. Mary had always been the one silent in class, always taking notes, not looking at the boys. She wanted not to be involved with the boys, because it could affect her grades, but it actually deeply affected her life. She was still single, and virgin, at 30. It had to change, and change it did.
Thanks to the book she was reading, she decided to travel. She only lived once. “Live once” was the title of the book she was reading. “How to live once and enjoy every step of the way” had been the tag title. She was hooked on the book the moment she saw it. She was rebranding herself. She had been to the hairsalon after chapter one, to signify that she was changing. Done with the long hair. Done with the old Mary. In the mirror she would say her affirmations: “I’m worthy of change. I need change.”
On her journey to Egypt, the first time she went out of the country, she met Geoffrey, an Englishman. She loved his accent. He had traveled around the globe, almost. He had told her. He had loved her hairstyle. She talked about how she decided to make a change. To take things into her own hands. She told him, after a few wines, about the book. He saw that Mary wasn’t used to drinking. Geoffrey was very intrigued. Mary had something. Mary liked Geoffrey. She didn’t know if it was his smile or his blue eyes and dark hair that charmed her, but something in her began stirring. She leaned in for a kiss, but Geoffrey declined politely. “Maybe you will regret this when you sober up.” He walked her back to her room and gave her his number. “Call me when you want to meet again. If you want to meet again.”
It wasn’t because she was drunk, but she felt a kind of magnetism. He had something special. Something she didn’t see in the American men back home. American men were obsessed with guns and politics. This man loved something else. What she didn’t know, but he was softer, more in tune with himself. What she loved most was that he didn’t take advantage of her drunk state. She called her girlfriends. “I want to meet a guy like that.” one of her girlfriends said. “Such a gentleman” declared another.
He had left an imprint on her. Even when she visited the pyramids, her mind kept wondering back to his smile. His class. His eyes. What was it about him that kept her so captivated?
She wanted to meet him one more time before she it was time to go back home. She rang his number. “Yes?” he picked up. “Hello? It’s Mary. From the bar?” she said. “Hello Mary. Sobered up?” She felt herself blush. “Yes.” Maybe she stressed the s a little to long. “Is there a snake with you as well?” She couldn’t help but laugh. “Want to meet again later.” She nodded on the phone and forgot to answer. “What about 8 o’clock?” She confirmed the date and put down the phone. Never had she dreamed of doing things like this, like calling up a guy. Being asked out.
Never had she been kissed, but the kiss with him was something most women dream of. No groping of bodyparts. A special tingle when his lips met hers. Something that surged through her whole body. How he gently bit her lip and how she wanted more, but he didn’t make the first move. If she wanted more she had to make the first move, did she dare?