The El Gouna marina was like something out of The Rich People’s Guide to Living. A single one of the yachts parked along the pier could likely fund a small country for a year or so. Everyone was in the latest designer gear, drinking the latest designer drinks, talking on the most expensive cellphones and trying their best to pick up the hottest partner using the latest lines. The fake tourist town on the Red Sea had become one of the party places for the world’s noveau rich and the newest of the new rich were the Russians who filled up the clubs with their wide chests (men) and absurdly long legs (women). There was an outdoor stage set up under the cool, clear desert sky. A band played covers of international dance songs, oddly addicted to songs from ABBA, the BeeGees, and (even odder) Willy Nelson. The crowd gyrated in front of the band like one massive dance monster while Kendra remained planted on the chair she’d occupied since they arrived. Three mojitos down and still she felt no inclination to mingle or dance. She’d already turned down invitation number three- but still they tried. She gave them high marks for effort.

“Hello,” a very tall, very thin, and very pale blonde man said sitting down uninvited in Bianca’s vacant chair. Bianca, in direct opposition to Kendra, had not set her bum on her chair for more than a few minutes; she’d been dancing since the first bars of Dancing Queen. “You don’t look like you’re enjoying yourself much.”

He sounded Scandinavian, perhaps Dutch. Close up, Kendra was surprised to see his hair was nearly white it was so blonde. She’d never been big on blondes. And close up, she could see he couldn’t be older than 25. That would make him ten years younger than her. She never liked men who were younger than her either, one or two years, maybe, but ten and you get to a place where people had very little in common. Ten years younger and they were talking about Lil’ Wayne as if he was a guy who lived in his neighbourhood and if you mentioned that your favourite singer is Bryan Adams they said who? At least that was her experience. Mr Blonde man had two strikes against him before he even made his first move.

He was holding out his hand to her. “Hi, I’m Sven.”

She shook it. It was cold and slightly moist. Strike three. Time for Sven to move on. “Kendra. Actually Sven, I’m enjoying myself just sitting here watching the stars and listening to the sea. I like being alone.”

“Oh no! Never! I know the women. They are looking for the men. And I’m here. And you are there. So everything is hunky dory for our happiness. ” Sven was proud of his deep insight into the female psyche. Kendra suddenly felt a piercing headache behind her left temple.

“No, really, I’d really, really like to be alone,” Kendra said, rubbing her head.

“No Sven is seeing that you are unhappy. Old ladies they like the young fresh men like Sven.” He smiled and Kendra held her hand to stop it from shooting out and punching him in his chiselled jaw. Old ladies? She was 35, that’s not even considered middle age anymore! He really needed to overhaul his game if he was expecting to make any progress tonight. How would she ever get rid of this dooffus?

She looked over Sven’s shoulder and saw a tall, well-built Egyptian man walking her way carrying two glasses. She’d noticed him earlier. He sat alone like her. She’d noticed him also because he looked perfectly content just to sit. No ogling. No gang of boys surrounding him. No posing. It was odd to see men like that. Men needed groups or a woman. If not that they needed to be moving. A man alone was like a shark hunting, always on the move, if he stops he dies. But not this man. He seemed to prefer stillness and his own company. Kendra noticed him as soon as they’d arrived. He seemed to know a lot of the people too. Many waved to him from the dance floor or passed by where he sat and spoke with him for a moment, none sat and stayed. He had an air about him that said he wanted to be alone. He had short hair sprinkled with grey at the temples but his face showed he could be any age. He had a confident maturity about him, but also a vibrancy. She guessed he was at least her age. He had the wide shoulders and the trim waist of an athlete. She wondered what he was doing here in El Gouna at the Marina. An air of seriousness surrounded him one that jarred with the frivolous, expensive El Gouna nightlife. The Marina was not the place for non-frivolous men wanting to be alone.


Tell us what you think: What do you think of guys like Sven?