Until Max Came Along

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I first met Bettina six years ago. That was in the summer of 2006, at The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

I had spent almost a year in Stockholm, without a girl friend. Many of the girls I'd met did not really interest me, because of their smoking habits. I was allegic to cigarettes. But when I set my eyes on Bettina, I knew she was the right person for me.

They say love's not love, when it's characterised by conditions. When I saw her, I knew she was the right one for me, whether she smoked or not.

Her image lingered in my mind for weeks. I was filled with an insatiable desire to meet and chat with her.

An opportunity presented itself when I saw her on a Friday afternoon, sitting in front of the school's Info Center. It was a sunny afternoon and she was having a wonderful time under the sun, alone. I approached her.

''Hej, do you have a cigarette to spare?'' I asked her.

''Sorry I don't. I don't smoke.''

''Cool. My name's Danny. Can I sit?''

''Of course.''

''What's your name?''

''Bettina.''

''Nice name.'' Bett, Betty, well, I'll call you Bett. I bet no one has ever called you Bett. Bett, what do you study?''

''Media Management.''

She didn't look happy

''You don't look happy, Bett, vad hander? What's going on? Is it me?''

''No. I am fine.''

''Nice to know. Why don't you smoke? Most of your friends do?''

''My friends? You know my friends? I don't even know you. Have you been following me?''

''Yes.'' I admitted straight away.

''Why?''

''Because ever since I saw you, I've felt this craving for you. This craving to reach out and touch you. This craving to reach out and kiss you. This craving to embrace you. This craving to walk by your side, where ever you go. I have been here for almost a year. I've never asked a girl out. If I ask you out now, know that you are special - very special. I don't fall in love easily. And when I do I go all the way.''

''You want me to be your girl friend?''

''Yes.''

''Fine.''

''Fine?''

''Yes fine.''

''Cool.''

''But let me get your number.I'll call you. If I don't call you, it means I turned down your offer.'' I gave her my number.

''What's yours?''

''Unfortunately, you won't be able to call me.'' She rose, shook my hand and disappeared. And that was the last time I saw her for a long time..

I waited for her call. It didn't come. Not until two months later. She asked me to meet her in Drottninggatan, not far away from the Stockholm Central Station.

I'd hardly seated infront of her when she broke the news.

''I am pregnant.''

I was disappointed but I tried as much as I could not to show it.

''Congratulations,'' I told her.

''Aren't you disappointed?''

''No. I am happy for you,'' I lied. She smiled. The waitrress came and we made our orders.

''Did you mean what you said?''

''About?''

''About your feelings for me.

''Yes.''

''Do you still love me?''

''Of course. I will always love you.''

''My boyfriend, Max, who made me pregnant, told me to abort the baby.''

''And?''

''I refused.''

''And?''

''He left me. He disappeared.''

''Just like that?''

''Just like that. I've been thinking. If my being pregnant with another man's baby is not a problem to you...''

''It's not, Bett.''

''So, you still want me?''

''More than you think I do.''

Bettina and I got married four months later and remained married until Max came along, again.



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