London, England, September-December 2000
Just like back in September 1998, I had booked a room for two weeks at a hostel. This time the location was Edgware Road, right in front of the flyover and behind the Hilton Hotel. It was a single room with shared kitchen, shared toilet and shared bathroom with shower. The state of the accommodation was inhuman. The kitchen hadn’t been cleaned in months: a great party for billions of bacteria and insects. The toilet was so tiny that one could not shut the door when seated: there was just not enough space for the legs. The shower was slimy and a brownish liquid was leaking constantly from the ceiling. Discouraged by cooking in that dirt, I set up a kitchen on the small desk in my bedroom. An electric cooker, a pan, a dish, a mug, a fork, a spoon and a knife were all I needed. I cleaned as much as I could before unpacking all my stuff. When I was ready, I took a shower, I shaved and I called Daryl. He sounded excited to hear my voice, I told him I lived in Edgware Road and he asked me to meet him at 10pm in front of the tube station… “I work in Warren Street, that is just a few stop away with the tube on the northern line…” He said.
10pm. I was there, in front of the exit of the Circle line stop: Egdware Road. Daryl wasn’t there. I looked on the London underground map and I realized that the Bakerloo Line also went to Edgware Road. There had to be another exit. I called Daryl and I made him aware there were two exits and that I was waiting in front of the Circle Line entrance in Edgware Road. He told me not to worry and that he was going to be there in a few minutes. 15 minutes later Daryl called me saying that he could not find the other exit and he was going to take a taxi because he had walked in the wrong direction. At about 10:40 Daryl was still not there. I had the feeling he was just making fun of me and I decided to call him and to tell him I was going home. No answer. Voicemail. “Daryl, I am sorry, I will go home now, please call me when you are there, if you ever will…bye”. How could he have walked in the wrong direction for a few minutes and taken a taxi for over 20 to come back? I could not trust the guy. It started raining, I was quite upset, I went home and I called Rob for a few minutes to hear a trusted voice. My mobile run out of credit after a few seconds: calling the USA was not cheap. Then it rang. It was Daryl again. He said he was waiting in front of the Hilton Hotel. I run outside, I turned the corner and there was he. I had not seen any pictures of his but he had described himself in the chat. He did not have his “brolly” with him and his blond hair was totally wet. We smiled at each other and I took him to my place. That night we made love and he became my boyfriend, the first guy I have really loved. “Why were you so late?” I asked. “Coz I went to Edgware on the Northern Line, which is about half an hour away from Edgware Road!”
Love was surely found, however there were still two things missing in my life: a better flat and a job.