Reunited in London
I had to fly to London the following week, probably visiting the subsidiary offices in London. I was a little embarrassed to see the London staff after the drunken night, and they did receive me with a bit of friendly snigger.
They let me use the conference room for a few hours until I could take an afternoon off to walk around London. Before long, Stuart came in to greet me. I told him I was going to see a bit of London, and he told me about a few places he thought I might enjoy, one of which was Carnaby Street. I thanked him for the information and made a bold move to ask him to come with me. I was surprised by his unhesitating agreement. So I dared to add, “I also want to watch the new Bridget Jones movie.” And he said, okay. “I stay in Gloucester Road,” I said, with “se,” in the middle, and was corrected, “glo-stuh.”
He came to my hotel in the late afternoon, and we took the tube to Piccadilly Circus and walked to Carnaby Street. Their famous Christmas decoration had attracted a crowd of tourists and Christmas shoppers. Yet, the street’s central theme was the red, white, and blue of Union Jacks and the tube station logo. Stuart stood tall beside me and looked picture-perfect in my fantasy of Cool Britain.
Stuart took me to a cinema in Leicester Square (again, no “se”) for the movie. He looked around the audience and said, “I am the only boy!” It didn’t occur to me until then that boys didn’t watch Bridget Jones Diary, so he must have been very kind to join me for the second movie of the series he had never seen. I felt bad, but soon I heard him laughing as Mark and Daniel plunged into the fountain for a very awkward fight.
When we came out of the cinema, and before I could ask him to join me for a meal, he told me he had to go because he had people to meet. Still, he brought me back to the front of the hotel to say goodbye. I looked up into his eyes. He kissed one on my right cheek, one on the left, and I stood by for one on my lips. But he separated his face, his hands still on my shoulders, told me it was lovely to see me, and wished me a pleasant flight back home. I still gazed at him expectantly, but he started to walk away, waving me the last goodbye.