There is always another day. That’s what I used to believe once. I used to live accordingly. Believing there would always be another day to pursue your dreams. That I would always have time. And then, three years ago, this believe proofed to be the biggest lie of my existence.
Sometimes there isn’t another day. Sometimes you had no time to be brave later but live with your cowardice instead. And sometimes everything you didn’t say, hurt more than all the things you said.
Three years ago a jump down a very high bridge tore my world apart. The one person that had always been there, the one person I’d been so sure was the one for me – gone.
No more tomorrows. No more maybes.
Adam had been my first everything: My first enemy when we met in kindergarten and I made him eat sand after he tried to steal my shovel. My first playmate, when he made me a sand cake a few days later. My first real-life hero when he saved me from the kindergarten bully. My first friend when we realized that we actually liked each other. My surrogate family when my dad got sick and my mum had to leave me alone a lot to work extra shifts.
And later – much later – he became the first boy I had a crush on. The first boy I kissed…and eventually the first person in my life that died.
I had been 18 when my world split into a million pieces and ever since then, I was on the run. From all those memories, the pain and from all the things I never got to say to him.
But I guess mostly I tried to escape myself.
After finishing school – barely – I couldn’t decide what to do, so I enrolled in a university course that seemed to be fairly interesting but turned out to be incredibly boring. So instead of learning, I started partying. Going out with anyone willing to come with me. Getting drunk as often as possible. Almost hooking up with random guys but always backing out at the last second.
But it all didn’t help. It didn’t even numb the pain enough to be able to breathe again.
And then one day I got so drunk that I passed out and woke up lying on the ground between two dumpsters. Alone.
That day I picked myself up, got home, cleaned herself up – and then took all her savings from my account and booked a flight to Dublin.
Why Dublin? Because it was the second country I’d always been drawn too. The other was Adams home country and I just couldn’t do it. Sweden had to wait for later. For tomorrow. For a future where it wouldn’t break my heart just thinking about it.
But it turned out that your problems kept following you, regardless of where you went. The pain came back, even more fiercely. So I did the only thing I knew to numb it again: Partying. Drinking. Breaking the heart of nice boys like Drew who clearly deserved way better.
Until three days ago when I sat in that bathroom thinking about my fucked-up life and had this surreal encounter with sexy office-Swede. Of all people, it had to be a Swede again.
I didn’t really believe in a god, but somehow it felt like someone was having a good laugh at my expense.
I’d spend the whole Sunday battling a rather nasty hangover – kind of successfully – and trying not to freak out about ever having to see Gustaf again – a complete failure.
Logically I knew that the chances of bumping into him where very low – they usually didn’t cross paths more than two or maybe three times a month. Not that I counted.
So when Monday came and I didn’t see him at all, I was equally relieved and disappointed. Tuesday passed too with no sightings, as did Wednesday. All was like it had been before – most of the girls from the German team scowled at me because of Drew – as did the Irish and English. So I started hanging out with some of her Dutch colleagues who didn’t really care about Drew and their almost relationship. And I also kept trying not to look for sexy Swede, which didn’t really go that well but they never crossed paths.
Now it was Thursday and I had almost convinced myself it didn’t matter. What was far more important was figuring out what do with my life. How to go from here. Because I knew I couldn’t keep running from her demons forever.
I needed to change my life.
Be stronger. Be smarter. And…
I froze and slowly turned around.
Gustaf Andersson was standing right behind my, looking pretty amused.
Oh shit, did I talk out loud to myself again?
It was my lunch break and I had been standing in line at the sandwich counter – which was as usual a long queue, since this was the only kiosk around this office complex that served food.
And now Gustaf was standing right behind me in that line.
Talking to me.
Laughing at me.
“I did mumble didn’t I?” Yeah and as usual my brain disconnected from my mouth and I babbled out every random thought.
“A little.” Now he almost smiled. Just a tiny bit. It was even more devastating then I remembered. Not fair. Not fair at all!
“Great.” Deciding that there was no way I could actually talk to him I just turned around.
“So are you feeling better?” Apparently sexy Swede didn’t know what it meant when someone turned their back at you in the middle of a conversation.
“Yes, thank you.” I tried to go with a clipped tone, not turning around.
Part of me felt really bad doing this but mostly, I was sure this was the best way to proceed.
This time he seemed to get the message because he kept his silence.
And no, I was not disappointed about that. Not one tiny little bit.
Instead I just stood there and waited until finally, it was my turn. I ordered a sandwich as quickly as humanly possible, went to the cashier, paid and walked back into the office building, straight to the kitchen they used as a common room.
None of my Dutch friends were scheduled on the same break as me and two of the German girls sat there just glaring at me when I entered the kitchen. It kind of felt a bit like one of those cheesy Hollywood-movies in which the heroine got bullied by the popular girls in Highschool.
Except this wasn’t school and I certainly wasn’t a heroine.
More like the opposite.
Still, I didn’t really get why those girls hated me so much. Yes, I knew that one of them had been harbouring a crush on Drew forever – he told me once – but shouldn’t they be relieved now? He was back on the market.
It was not like me and those girls had ever been friends, but still…I didn’t get it.
The English and Irish yes, I kind of got it. Drew was Irish and they all were a pretty tight bunch.
But the German? Nope…
I shrugged and went to an empty table.
Let them glare then. Not my problem. I had enough of that already.
Just when I finished unwrapping the sandwich, a pair of jeans clad legs came into view.
“Is this seat taken?”
No, it can’t be…
I looked up and yes, Gustaf stood in front of me, still looking like he was greatly amused by something. Probably me.
“Uhm…yeah, sure.” This was absolutely surreal. What on earth did he want from me?
Damn, I needed to stop gaping at him like an idiot, so I concentrated on her sandwich again. Unwrapping it carefully and eating very slowly. I was actually surprised I managed to eat at all with him sitting there. Saying nothing.
From the corner of her eye I saw the two German girls who glared at me before. Now they openly starred.
Yeah, no clue what’s happening here either.
At least that thought made me grin.
One of the girls saw it and shot me another death glare, which made me grin even wider.
“What’s so funny?”
I almost choked on my sandwich.
“Uhm…stupid people I guess”, I mumbled while trying not to die or spit my food on the table. I’d take choking to death over the embarrassment of spitting an almost eaten sandwich in front of Gustaf Andersson.
Yes, that probably made me a very shallow person, but I couldn’t help it. I really had spit out enough food in his presence for a lifetime.
I saw him turning and look at the two girls. Both instantly looked away.
He chuckled. “I take it they don’t really like you?”
I shrugged. Thankfully the food had gone down the right pipe by now. “Too be honest I have no clue what I did to them.”
“Besides breaking up with the blonde’s ex-boyfriend?” He said turning back towards me.
“That Irish guy, Drew – he and the blonde were together for a while.”
“Okay, how do you know this?”
Yeah, still way too devastating.
I looked down on the table quickly.
“You do realize that in this office EVERYONE talks, do you? And I just happen to have THE gossip queen as a flatmate.”
Surprised she glanced at him. “Who is your flatmate?”
Kyle indeed was known as THE gossip queen of the office. And he was one of the supervisors I actually liked. Probably because of his funny Scottish accent and the fact that he was totally gay. I had always been more comfortably around gay men.
“Still, you didn’t strike me as the gossiping type.”
“Oh? So what type do you think I am?” Another one of those almost smiles tugged at his lips.
Devastating. Mysterious. Irresistible. Way out of my league?
“Uhm…silent I guess.” Yeah, I’d really just said that.
He chuckled. “And why do you think that?”
“Well it might be because of all the nodding.” Oh crap.
One second he was silent, than he smiled. Actually smiled – a big and open smile, revealing perfect white teeth and a dimple. Fucking hell, that smile should just be illegal.
For a second I felt like a deer in front of the flashlights. Completely paralyzed, though I was rational enough to realize that I probably looked like the biggest idiot in the whole world.
“I will try to remember that in the future”, he said with a chuckle.
“Yeah, do that.” Yeah, it was official, I was queen lame. I should get a plate with that.
Trying to not embarrass myself any further – though honestly, did it even matter at this point – I started concentrating on my sandwich again.
He seemed to be content doing the same.
But there was one thing, I just had to ask after all: “Why are you doing this?”
He frowned. “What exactly?”
His frown deepened. “Because it seemed like the seat wasn’t taken?”
“But you never even talked to me before…well that party.”
He didn’t answer, just looked at me silently. He really had that silent starring thing perfected. I also couldn’t read his expression at all, which made me even more nervous than I already was with him just sitting here.
And because being nervous wasn’t one of my strongest suits I said the first thing that entered my mind: “I bet you don’t even know my name.”
He cocked his head to the side and studied me for a second.
I could feel my palms getting sweaty and dropped the rest of my sandwich on the table.
“Sabrina. With an unspeakable German surname. Though you seem to prefer Sina.”
“How do I know that? Well first off – gossip queen. And second, you seem to have told quite a few people that you absolutely love Sweden. And I’m the only Swede in this office, so of course some of those people told me that there is a new German girl in customer support who loves Sweden.”
Yeah that made sense. I had told a lot people that I loved Sweden. And yeah, quite a lot people told mer about “sexy Swede”. So I knew what to expect when I first saw him – well, to an extent at least. No one could be prepared for that much perfection, but still.
So of course it made total sense that he’d heard of me as well. I would’ve just never thought that he’d actually care. Then again, I guess I knew nothing about him.
Except the fact that he obviously was a pretty decent person. So far no one had said anything about me getting shit faced at the last party and hiding in the bathroom on second floor – which meant he hadn’t said anything. He also hadn’t even mentioned it once since this whole bizarre lunch started. Other than asking if I was okay.
And yep, I was staring at him again.
“Uhm…well, I do. I mean love Sweden”, I mumbled.
“Well, I had a friend whose family originated from there and they always took me with them on vacation.” Because my own family couldn’t afford to go on vacation like all the others.
Then it hit me.
I’d just talked about Adam. Without even thinking about it.
Instantly, my insides turned to ice and for a second I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I knew this feeling, knew I was proceeding towards a panic attack, but there was nothing I could do about it.
“Are you okay?” Gustaf looked worried.
I took a deep breath, forced myself to calm down. To breathe.
To my relief I felt the panic starting to fade a few seconds later.
“Yes, sorry, I gotta go.”
Before he could respond, I crumpled the rest of my sandwich in the wrap, stood up and left the kitchen, dumping the food in the bin on the way out.
Well, that went well.
—-> Read more in “Sina Diaries 3”