Friday, July 20: Today is the first day of our weekend and this morning, I just relax and sort through emails. I find this one from R. Yesterday, he told me that today he would be at a “remote and secluded location,” unconnected by internet. For some reason, I find this a little disconcerting. Something about it doesn’t ring true. His response tells me that he couldn’t stand being disconnected for so long and he had to go into campus so that he could write to me.
C, Thanks so much for sharing. I’m away from the office and couldn’t get my laptop to connect wirelessly. I got so frustrated not being able to check gmail 9 times in the 3 hours I sat there that I had to hike to campus to get on-line. So, here I am. I fear that if I didn’t get this fix I would be totally unproductive for the rest of the day.
And the silliest thing is that I really have nothing to say. Nothing new is happening that either I haven’t told you already or that wouldn’t bore you into falling asleep right on the keyboard. But I’ve never let having nothing to say stop me. It just feels good typing, and thinking about you reading it. (Over there!?!?)
Do you realize that this is the 8 week anniversary of when we met? I’m not counting the first lecture when I first was attracted to you. I mean actually meeting on the trip. Happy Anniversary!
Do you realize that of that 8 weeks, you’ve been in Cairo nearly 4. And here we are. Was it the water? Is there something in the air? Are we 16? OMG!
Having dinner with an old friend/colleague from ITC tonight. One of the smartest guys I know and he owes me a dinner. I’m hoping to pick his brain for ideas for the productivity consulting ‘thing’ I’m trying to develop. Most days at work motivate me to work harder on this. I’m hoping to have a marketable produce within a year. We’ll see.
Typing away, minding my own business I almost hurt my neck because someone walked by with your hairdo. I instinctively over-reacted. It’s funny; as I walk along and see your hairdo– always, sadly, on someone else– I flutter. Within a half second I consciously remember that it cannot be you. But that first half second seems long. Long enough for a tingle to surge through most of my body, like a tiny…well, whatever.
Whew, it got hot in here all of a sudden. I think I better go take another shower.
Thanks again for sharing. Give my best to Mahmoud’s wife. Give her Michelle’s phone number.
Stay safe please,
Some of our emails are missing here, but something didn’t sound right to me about R’s “remote and secluded location.” Knowing R, I wouldn’t put it past him to spend the day with another woman, being “incommunicado.” At one point during his “secluded” day, I call him to say hello and a woman answers. I hang up the phone. I am shaken. So my suspicions seem confirmed that he is spending the day with another woman. I’m angry because I have been very open with him about my experiences in Egypt, and I expect the same in return. I think I write him a short email, now lost, telling him that I phoned and a woman answered and I’m quite upset. The woman answering, combined with the “secluded location,” makes me feel he’s being dishonest. I send the email. Then I get off the computer and don’t get back on until late this evening.
In the afternoon, Basim picks me up and we go to a remote and desolate location for the Cairo Hash House Harriers run/walk. It is a small group that meets today. Basim seems standoffish the whole day. I end up walking with my friend Ahmed the Egyptologist and some other Egyptians and expats. The whole time, Basim is engaged chatting with a young beautiful woman. This is my least favorite of all the hashes I go to in Egypt because it’s such a hot and harsh environment, the group is not as lively or friendly as at the other gatherings I’ve been to, and Basim is acting socially awkward and remote.
As Basim is driving me back home from the Hash, he tells me he must go to Alexandria for some business on Sunday and Monday. He invites me to come along. I say it will take some doing, because Dr. Jones gets angry at students who miss Arabic classes for any reason. But I agree to come along with him. After all, how can I miss out on another adventure?
After I return from the hash, I get an email from R explaining that the “woman” who answered the phone was him. He says that often when he answers the phone, he gets mistaken for a woman. I have a hard time believing this. I write him that I think he has spent his “secluded” day with another woman.
…so obtuse, or so not forthright? I don’t get it. Why would you feel that you have to hide something from me, especially considering how open I have been with you?
So, that’s all I want to say about it. I’m just disappointed. I thought we had agreed to be honest. And I’ve tried to do that this entire trip, as well as during our entire 8 week relationship.
I didn’t have to tell you anything about Mohsen, or Basim, or anyone. I didn’t have to tell you anything personal going on with me at all. But I did. Knowing full well that you could easily push me away, or remove yourself from continuing with me. That’s the thing about honesty; sometimes it means that someone could not like what you say and could push you out of his life.
Today Basim asked me to go to Alexandria with him on Sunday and Monday. I wonder if I should tell you what I decided. Or maybe I should just say that on Sunday and Monday I’ll be away from the office trying hard to get something productive done away from any distractions. Yes, that might work. It just might. If I tell you that, you’ll never know about the possibility of me going away with him and possibly sleeping with him. That will save you a lot of heartache, won’t it? And it’ll keep you trusting me, as well. I want that. Because if you trust me, I can get away with anything. I can let you know everything on a need-to-know basis. The world will be my oyster.
I’m sorry if I sound upset. I am. Because I thought I would surprise you at your “private” location and have a nice chat with you before your “out of touch” weekend. I am feeling a little sorry I did.
Take care and I hope we can chat about this soon. I care so much for you and this is why I feel hurt.
R writes back to me:
I answered the phone. I’m not sure what happened, but the call ended, I believe on your end, while I was saying hello. I can assure you it was me. I often get called ‘Ma’am’ or Ms. R on the phone. I’ve quite a complex about it actually. I tried to call back but the international call didn’t go through. And I thought you’d call back. You can take to the bank that I was in a private place, which I am looking forward to showing you, and was being very productive. Alone, offline, lonely, a bit frustrated, but very productive. Since I’m going to be home all weekend, what possible reason could I have to
mislead about being home on Friday as well. And what possible reason would I have to mislead about being with L, since I’m with her virtually every day, at least for a couple of hours with the other 7 people living at my house. And no, I don’t have anyone else. The only person I misled is L, who thinks I was at GMU all day.
I apologize for the confusion. But believe me, the only females who would answer my phone are L, or any of my 5 daughters or possibly their friends, or anyone else who might be near a ringing phone. But today, it was only me. I work at sounding deeper when I remember, but when I saw the long number, I just forgot.
I really am very sorry because it would have been so wonderful to talk to you. Not that I didn’t most of the day. It just would have been great to have you actually answer.
I really don’t know what to make of this as R is a very charming man and I know his history. I’m not sure if I believe him or not. Either way, I determine that I will go with Basim to Alexandria and I will most certainly have a good time. 🙂