Crossing back into Canada I was on a mission. To get to Ottawa as quickly as I could. The visit with Ayns had been lovely and he really was the delightful man I thought he was from all our chats in the Parlor. I understood all about wandering eyes and testing the waters to see if you are still attractive to others. Our self-images and egos need boosting more often then we think. Enough time had passed that I didn’t hold that first heartbreak against him, and I knew we would always have a lovely friendship.
Now as I flashed past Guelph I was overwhelmed with guilt that I wasn’t first stopping to visit with my best friend. I knew that if I did – I would never make Ottawa. So I waved as I drove past and stopped instead in Toronto where I rented a shower in a truck stop and freshened up. I expected to be in Ottawa in four hours and wanted to arrive clean. Those four hours turned into eight with all the construction on the major highways and the delays. In Kingston I helped some students raise money and let them wash my car.
I had called Dragosani when I was in Detroit and told him I was at the border and that I would call when I got closer. His parents lived in the country and he had arranged for me to meet him in a little village close to where they lived. His parents were beside themselves that he was meeting someone from the internet and his mother insisted that she meet me to ensure that I wasn’t an ax murderer. I didn’t know how I was going to prove that I wasn’t, but I thought I might come up with something on the spur of the moment.
When I knew I was about half an hour away, I found a payphone and called again to get detailed descriptions of the meeting point and of the car to look for. As I drove into the tiny village I started to sweat. I was nervous about meeting Dragosani even though I had talked or emailed or chatted with this person nearly every single day for the last 6 months. We planned to spend the weekend in Ottawa and see the parliament buildings and the other sites. But - I didn’t have a clue what he looked like and now I not only had to meet him, but I also had to meet his mother and prove I wasn’t going to kill her firstborn.
The car seemed to slow of its own accord as I frantically worked out in my head why I had arranged and agreed to a whole weekend with someone I had never met. What if I didn’t like him after all? What if he wasn’t who he seemed to be in the chat room? What if we just didn’t get along? What if he was weird? What if I did want to turn into an ax murderer by the end of the first day? Ayns had been safe with his family behind him and I knew that and hadn’t been nervous at all. But this was an entirely different matter.
Feeling like I was going to throw up, I edged my car in towards the country store where we were suppose to meet and turned off the ignition. I looked into my mirror and studied my eyes to see if they looked calm or were more like huge screens, revealing my inner turmoil. I also checked to see if I looked like an ax murderer or not. I figured the answer was not. I freshened my lipstick and tried to reassemble my hair after I had run my fingers through it nervously a million times. I waited.
A red car pulled into the parking lot and my heart leaped to my throat. I held my breath as the two people got out and headed into the country store. I exhaled. Just as I started to relax once more another red car pulled in and I knew it was Dragosani who got out of the passenger seat and turned and grabbed a knapsack. A blond woman got of the driver’s seat and started towards my car with a firm look on her face. I took a deep breath and went to meet my fate. Dragosani shook my hand and introduced me to his mother. She looked me over and I did my best to appear calm and ‘nice’. On the spur of the moment I opened the trunk and showed her my lack of an ax and tried to raise a smile on her face. She gave me a half-smile, but that was it. After severe instructions to ‘call home’ which were obviously a repeat, we got in our separate cars and I watched as she pulled away, that look on her face seemed set in stone now.
Turning to Dragosani I said, “So you fight vampires do you?”