Kendra calmed herself. It took more than an hour to do so, but she finally calmed herself enough to call Asra back. She looked at the number on the paper. She hadn’t noticed it was a London number. It meant he was in London. Everything was getting more and more wonderful. Suddenly possibilities seemed endless. Suddenly that kiss in Egypt was not the end of anything; it was the beginning of something. Kendra rested her quivering hand on the phone, unable to go any further. Right then everything was lovely and possible. A call would put things in motion and who knew what might happen? Things might go wrong. She wasn’t ready for another disappointment. She savoured possibilities for a moment.
Annah stood over her almost as nervous as Kendra. Kendra looked up at her. “Are you going to call him?” Annah asked.
“Yes. I’m nervous. I’m trying to get the courage.”
Annah took Kendra’s hands in hers. “You are a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent young woman. Any man would be dead keen to get you. What do you have to be nervous about? Call him!”
Annah went out the door saying she needed to get something at the ticket office but then poked her head back inside. “Good luck!” Then disappeared for good.
Kendra knew she had to do it now or she never would. She dialled the number. She was surprised she knew his voice straight away. “Asra? It’s Kendra, I’m calling you back.”
He sounded relieved. “Oh good, and just in time. I hope you don’t mind me calling you at work, I didn’t know how else to find you.”
He sounded so unsure. How could a man that beautiful be unsure about calling a woman? “No, it’s fine…it’s great actually. I’m glad you did. I was so happy that you’d called. So are you here? In London?”
“Yes, but only for a few hours. I had a lay-over. I got in last night.”
“So do you have time to meet up?” Did she sound too desperate? He hesitated. She did sound too desperate, she knew it. Now she’d scare him off. “Or maybe the next time you’re in London? Do you come often?”
“Yes, I think next time is better. Maybe in a couple weeks.” There was awkward silence and then he said, “I just wanted to tell you Kendra….”
There was that hesitancy again. Kendra didn’t understand a man like Asra. To her he seemed so self assured and powerful, but his voice seemed to say something else. “I wanted to tell you, since that night in El Gouna… I’ve been thinking about you a lot.”
Kendra could see his deep blue eyes, his strong chin, his lips. Something moved in her, she felt a need to be near him, an overpowering desire she’d never felt for any man before. What was going on? She barely knew him. How could she feel so attracted to a man she barely knew? Still she wasn’t surprised when she heard herself say, “I’ve been thinking about you too, Asra, but I thought it was silly because I’d never see you again. I’d never talk to you again. I tried my best to just think of that night as one wonderful night, nothing more.”
“You don’t remember? I said until we meet again.”
Kendra laughed. “Yes, you did, I just didn’t think it was possible.”
His voice was suddenly serious. “You should believe me when I tell you things. I’ve been lied to before, I would never lie to someone I cared about. I know how much harm that does. I knew we’d meet again, it was fate.”
Kendra was really making a mess of this conversation. “I’m happy you called, really happy.”
She heard someone speaking in the background. “Kendra, I need to go. But when I’m back in London in a few weeks I’ll call you. I want to see you again. Is that alright?”
Kendra gave him her phone number and she hung up. An hour ago she was nearly a spinster, her biological clock run to zero, she was alone and lonely with an ancient, obese Carmen as her only solace. Now she was at the beginning of a proper relationship- almost- with the most fabulous man she’d ever met. She dumped the éclair in the dust bin, she didn’t need it anymore. Her life was perfect!