He’d provided the answer to this very question not twenty minutes earlier, but my brain was working overtime to ignore the glaring fact that I might not like Aiden. At all.
“Kramer vs. Kramer?,” I responded. He mentioned that his parents divorced when he was young, hadn’t he?
"License to Kill," he corrected. "Aiden’s favorite movie is ‘License to Kill’.” he reiterated, shaking his head and laughing. He put his arm around me.
"Don’t ask if I have one," he whispered, laughing some more. Then:
“Come on, Sugar, let’s take a walk.”
“‘Sugar’?” I asked.
“I call all my special girlfriends ‘Sugar’,” he confided proudly.
And just like that, without so much as a kiss yet between us, I became Aiden’s girlfriend. He drove me to the only American restaurant in town for a celebratory beer and a cheeseburger, after which I liked him a little better. Later, I wrote to Sandie, "Aiden spent time at the US Embassy in London. He even knows some famous actors! You’ll never guess his nickname for me. It’s ‘Sugar’. Silly, isn’t it?"
After two more dates, Aiden and I kissed, and while he’d tried to speed things up, I wasn’t in a hurry. I knew this state of chastity couldn’t last forever, therefore I wasn’t terribly surprised when Aiden invited me to spend the weekend with him in Krakow. I was, however, terribly surprised when I agreed. In any country, such an invitation is an unspoken agreement to take a relationship to the next level. I tried hard to ignore this and the other secret fact — that by now I hated him – all because I hated sleeping with cockroaches even more. Maybe I could sleep with Aiden for six months, just until my service was over. He wasn’t all that bad, was he?
That weekend, Aiden opened our hotel room door revealing a stunning view and the ominous bed. Later, at dinner, Aiden and I discussed Aiden’s likes (sports and more sports), and Aiden’s dislikes (losing and bad sportsmanship). I failed another pop quiz and chugged four shots of vodka before we returned to our room. Aiden lit a candle, put his lips on mine, and pushed me gently back onto the bed. My bra slipped off, his hands slipped down, and … my brain went haywire. I sat up and said, “I can’t do this, Aiden. I’m sorry.”
Later, Aiden dumped me at the metro stop, and I watched as the life that I could have had disappeared down the road. The babushkas stared as I joined the usual throng of people shoving their way onto the overstuffed train. I lugged my suitcase four flights up the pitch-dark stairwell of my rank-smelling building and waved a weary hello to the cockroaches. I wrote to Sandie, “Aiden and I broke up because it turns out that I hate him. The cockroaches are back, but I can live with them for six more months. It could be worse.”