One year ago, I asked you to watch my bag not knowing that you would watch my bag every day from that day on. I remember walking to the bathroom, looking back at you and wondering why you were the first guy from Saudi-Arabia that I saw in Bali.
“Thank you“, I said when I came back, unconscious about the fact, that, with slowly sitting down into that big, soft, grey-brown beanbag right next to you, I pushed down the record-button for my own Eat, pray, love-movie.
I heard you talking to your friend about Dr. Joe Dispenza and while this topic was new to you, I smiled because I knew exactly what Karim was trying to explain. I glanced over wondering if I should join your conversation. But then I turned around and looked over that shimmering turquoise water in front of me, that turned the colour of my bikini from white to yellow later that day, and I decided to keep to myself. After 3 days of being very sick in bed, I finally felt better. This was one of these rare days in life I could truly see the beauty and purity in the little things. I unpacked my e-reader because reading was suddenly all I wanted. But nothing I could. Because I got distracted by the rustling wind between the palm trees, the inviting water, promising to cool me down, and this awesome surrounding beach club, reminding me of Neverland and a huge version of peter pan’s home where he lives with the lost boys.
I ordered a basil-cucumber-juice and a blue-white-striped towel for 100 Rupie, because I didn’t bring mine and the pool was calling me. I wasn’t expecting to find a place like this when I left though now, after all this time, it seems obvious, that Neverland shows itself when the time is right and not when you are prepared.
The waiter brought my juice right when you left to jump into the pool. Seeing you move brought me back into this moment and I remembered that I wanted to read. Just when I turned on the screen, you swam towards the pool’s border, facing me. You waited for some time and I could see you out of the corner of my eyes.
Then you asked: „Are you here by yourself?“
Until then, I didn’t know I was excited to talk to someone. I was surprised how energized I suddenly felt after I was so relaxed and in peace just two minutes ago. We started talking. You, standing inside the pool, me still sitting in my comfy beanbag with no intention to leave.
„Where are you from?“, you further asked.
„Germany“, I replied, and you showed over to your friend, in surprise, who was still sitting in his chair.
„Karim is from Germany, too!“
Karim and I, both looked at each other, smiled and waved. I don’t know if it was just because he was from Germany, as well, or if I was just happy to know that Karim and you met in Bali too. But knowing Karim was there gave me a feeling of security. I felt bad leaving him alone when we started talking just the two of us, as he finally was the one you came with to La Brisa. But I could have guessed that that German guy, who knew so well about Dr. Joe Dispenza, would have never distracted the very first careful, slightly little piece of magic that happened right in front of him.
„You sound more like you are from New Zealand“, you mentioned, and I could feel my cheeks turning red as this was one of the compliments I had never known I was longing for.
You told me you were from California and though you were not in Bali for surfing it made way more sense that you were from the US than from the Middle East. Since that day I have seen you talking to strangers so easily so many times just because of your exotic look. Japanese, Indonesians, Chinese, Philippines – people from all over the world feel connected to you just because they feel comfortable in your presence. Maybe like I did with Karim. You and me together, we cover six nationalities, we met in a seventh. And though this doesn’t mean anything, it sometimes feels special to know that love itself really doesn’t know any borders.
After a while of talking, you asked me to come over into the pool. „I can barely hear you“, you claimed.
Later that day you asked me to put my arms around your waist on our very first ride together to get dinner at Betlenut. Classic guy from California, I told myself. Wouldn’t miss a chance to touch just a couple of hours after we met. You keep insisting that you really couldn’t hear me in that pool. That you really couldn’t drive properly without me touching. And that I had to cover you with my rented towel when you were fully wet, and your skin looked like a raisin, because you didn’t want to spend the money to get your own one. Only asking me to be your mermaid in the pool, you admit, was planned. But though I was judging you, my heart opened up, because it was new to me that someone liked me right away and wasn’t afraid of showing it. Apparently, I misunderstood. But in that case, it was a misunderstanding that should help us in the end.
Today, when you tell people the story of how we met, you emphasize that you thought I told you I was waiting for a friend when I asked you to watch my bag. I honestly didn’t say that but maybe I was. Maybe, I was waiting for you. I should have known right away, as it was so easy to talk to you. I should have known when we were sitting in this natural hot tub, three hours after we met, watching the sunset at the beach together, while Balinese people were meeting up behind us, enjoying Sunday night, the only free day they had. You, in your blue shorts, slightly too short. Me, in my bikini, way too white for my pale skin. And I should have known when we ate at Betlenut and I couldn’t eat my food because of my still week stomach. You shuffled your very first food-gift for me together: a little crab-chip with rice on top, as a gesture of caring. I should have known that this was just the beginning. And the truth is: I did.
One year ago, we met in Neverland. Since then, we have visited 9 different countries and 13 different cities together and there is for sure so much more to come. But Neverland? We never left.