Love in Stockholm
by M D Zigo
(London, United Kingdom)
love in Stockholm
It was a party - a send-off party. Jessica knew it was her last party at Stockholm University, where she'd spent two years studying for a Masters' Degree in International Relations.
Her charming dark eyes scrutinised the party hall. All her friends were on the dance floor, dancing to the tune of Basshunter's ''All I Ever Wanted.'' Every one was having a wonderful time.
Jessica sighed. She had every reason to be happy. She wasn't. She'd been in an incredulous state since morning. She didn't comprehend how things had turned out that way. Her stay in this Nordic country had been incredible. But she'd wanted to return to the East Coast of Africa - to Tanzania, where she was born and where she'd hoped to put her knowledge into good use.
However, it now appeared her trip back to Africa would be delayed for a few months.
For two years, she'd lusted after, even fantasied about the young, very handsome but proud Dr Karl, the son of an African man and a Swedish woman, who'd successfully carved his way through the Swedish Educational System. At 28, he was already a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science. International Relations was his field of expertise.
Many female students wanted him, including Jessica, but it was clear he didn't want any affinity between them, except the one they already had - a student-teacher relationship. He had no time for the girls' little pranks and games to get him into some kind of affinity. Maybe it was as a result of this that it became wide spread in the department and beyond that he was proud, something that he was absolutely nonchalant about.
As much as Jessica wanted an affaire de cour with him, she'd never approached him to confess her love. She'd assumed, maybe erroneously, that he understood her body language. It was an understatement to just say Jessica was beautiful. Her beauty was far above average beauty. She knew it and had, in many occasions, used it to communicate with the opposite sex and obtained what she wanted, even without saying it verbally. In Dr Karl's situation, he'd not seem to notice her!
She hated to admit it, but it was true- she'd hated him for the simple fact that she could not get his love.
As she sat there and watched her friends on the dance floor, her mind wandered to the activities earlier in the day.
During the day, all students had defended their masters thesis. It was clear after the defence that Dr Karl's assignment to review her paper and the consequences of it, had brought Jessica's hatred for Dr Karl to new heights.
Her Thesis had focused on war and its impacts on warring parties. She'd asked a pertinent question: are wars really necessary in modern times? She'd used Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently, Libya, to send her message home- a message that called on war mongers across the globe to ''think twice'' before resorting to war as a means of resolving national and international conflicts.
Her paper, in her opinion ''stood out'' when she compared it to other papers she'd read. But when the ''almighty'' Dr Karl started to shred her paper to pieces, she'd known there would be trouble.
His review of her paper had centred on three important review areas: comprehensibility; validity and relevance. Was her Thesis clear, explicable and understandable? Were conclusions and statements well reasoned? were questions, analysis and conclusions suitable and applicable within the problem area of the research?
Despite her paper's good points, Jessica felt her paper belonged to the garbage bin, when the young lecturer finished his review. She didn't think she was up to the task, correcting her paper or writing another one. She didn't know where she'd start again. The idea of even looking at her paper again gave her a serious headache.
Dr. Karl was just doing his job, but Jessica found it hard not to hate him.
''I don't ever want to see him again.'' Jessica shouted, just as ''All I Ever Wanted'' came to an end. Dancers waited for another song to play. Nothing was played. Instead, the MC came on the microphone. He looked around the hall.
''Are you enjoying the party, ladies and gentlemen?'' he shouted.
''Oh yes, we are.'' a chorus shouted back.
''Good. Today's your day. Enjoy it. We have a surprise for you. One of our lecturers just dedicated a special song to a very special student,'' he said
and pulse. Everyone became expectant.
''Dr Karl,'' he continued ''has dedicated Enrique Iglesias' ''Hero'' to Jessica Adila of the Department of Political Science. Everyone's invited to join them on the dance floor.''
At first, Jessica didn't believe what she'd just heard. Everyone was smiling and clapping, and looking at her. Before she even understood what was going on, a tall figure, dressed in a very diplomatic manner- a dark-blue suit and trouser, black shoes, white shirt and a dark-blue cravat. It was Dr Karl, more enchanting than he'd ever been.
''Let me be your hero,'' he told her. Before Jessica could say a word, he took her hand and gently guided her to the middle of the dance floor. No one joined them. Instead, everyone started to clap and shout as the song started to play.
Jessica felt a fire inside her. Everything so far had thrown her off - balance. She'd been totally unprepared for this kind of thing, reason why, she decided to flee after the song came to an end.
''Thanks, Dr.'' She told him and twisted out of his grasp. She hurriedly disappeared outside. Once outside, she decided to go straight home.
Her apartment wasn't located close to school. But the main campus at Frescati was located not far from the underground railway station - the Universitetet metro station. There, she'd use the red line back to Stockholm City. She started walking as fast as she could.
''Jess, stop,'' someone called her. It was Dr Karl. Then he ran up to her.
''Jess, where are you going?'' He asked in a very sexy voice.
''Home.'' Jessica told him.
''But why? I thought the evening was just starting. Did anyone hurt you? Did I hurt you by my actions?''
''No. But I just want to be home.''
''Ok, there was something I wanted to tell you.''
What is it, Doctor Karl.''
''Please, call me Karl.''
''Jess, I love you. I've loved you since I set my eyes on you. Give me a chance, Jess, to love you in a way no one had ever done.''
Jessica heard as though it was a dream. She didn't believe in fairy tales, but what had just begun a few minutes ago was becoming just one of those tales. First, a very romantic song dedicated by someone she'd never had suspected and at a time she didn't expect. And secondly, this.
She wanted to speak, but she felt her lips quavering, shaking!
She turned away from him. He took a few steps closer to her. She felt his masculine presence - his warmth and the smell of his cologne.
It was a moon-lit night, with a star-filled sky.
''Jess, give me a chance...''
''I thought you didn't like me...''
''Like you? Why do you...''
''You never had time for me. And then you destroyed my thesis this morning as no one had ever done to a thesis...''
''Oh that? It didn't mean I didn't like you. I was doing my job, remember and despite the short comings, you produced one of the best thesis. I read all the papers. It just depended on who reviewed the papers. When you've done the necessary corrections, your thesis may win the department's award for best thesis of the year.
But we are not talking about like, are we? We are talking about love -deep love. I love you and I have always seen it in your eyes, that you love me too. Do you love me, Jess?''
Jess turned and faced him again.
''Where have you been all this while?''
''I have been trying to ensure I don't let you know how much I love you - to protect both of us. But now that your studies are over, I could not wait to spill my love for you. Jess, I more than love you.''
It was so nice to hear those words, especially from someone she'd had a crush for, for two long years. She looked up into his charming eyes. Her eyes were inviting, begging him to kiss her, to hold her in his arms - to make love to her. And as he placed his lips on hers and pulled her closest to him, she wandered how she'd been able to go along, for such a long time, without the guy of her dreams.
''I love you, Karl, more than you know I do,'' she found time in between kisses to profess her love for him, under a beautiful Stockholm moon-lit sky.