***This post is dedicated to Maz and Laura (names have been changed), thank you for the stay over, your generous hospitality, and your overall awesomeness! Miss you guys! Soul xo***
As much as I loved Dubai, I couldn’t be happier than to arrive in much cooler place. Chicago was where Daniel’s business was and I was dreading this part of the trip because I didn’t want to feel emotionally departed from Daniel. We were having so much fun that, like The Emperor in The Emperor’s New Groove, I didn’t want our groove ruined.
The plane wasn’t all too bad save for the crying screaming child three rows in front of us, and the fact that at some point during the flight, I took out my laptop to write and immediately after, started feeling sick. Oddly enough, to Daniel and the man he quickly befriended on the flight, another James, the descent was a nauseating experience for me.
James was thirty years old and had one son via a previous marriage. He lives all over the place due to the demands of his occupation but he currently lived out in Arizona. He showed us interior pictures of the new house plus a girlfriend, whom he said he was going to propose to her on Monday, about three days from now. He told us he was carrying the ring around for two years now and decided to do it spontaneously.
“I don’t know what I was waiting for,” he said. “I’m just going to do it.”
The thought of it alone got me excited. Then a silence came between the three of us, like James was waiting on us to say something but our lips were locked.
“It’s our one year anniversary,” Daniel finally said.
James nodded. “Fantastic.” He continued nodding and murmured lastly, “fantastic.”
The conversation faded out into nothingness from there. Was marriage a mood killer for Daniel? Was I missing something? I hope not.
After the flight, we took a cab to where Daniel’s friend was staying at. A place not too far from Wrigley central, including the famous stadium of the famous Chicago cubs.
Maz, a recently graduated artist, resided in a cosy flat paid by a reception gig. And I couldn’t stop staring at the two racks of condom storage hooked up on his wall. At least he was a fan of protection. He was skinny, and white. A dark brown beard that matched the colour of his eyes that matched the colour of his hair. His voice was the best though, because no matter what he said, he always sounded like he had something important to say. He was the Jewish Morgan Freeman!
After we dropped off our luggage we hit a local bar with some of their friends to grab some pizza. Later on, Maz’s girlfriend, Laura, joined us. She had pale skin and red mid-length wavy hair. If she wanted to do, she could be a supermodel. She could even be more super than Miranda Kerr. I know that’s hard to believe but O-M-G, I’m practically having a girl crush.
After the pizza we quickly went back to Maz’s so that Daniel and I could take a shower. When I got out, I saw Maz and Laura sipping on a doobie. Daniel apparently refused, but there was so much smoke lurking that it barely seemed like a refusal was possible. Maz asked if I wanted some and I politely refused-ish as well.
“It’s Anna’s birthday coming up,” Daniel said.
Maz was on the floor creating a little sketch, and Laura was sitting cross-legged on the couch, smoking and listening to some country on a classic turntable. They both looked up and smiled.
“Really?” Maz asked. “Did you want to do something tonight?”
I shrugged and blushed. “I’m not sure what there is to do.”
“We can go to Wrigleyville,” Laura suggested.
“You ever been to Chicago?” Maz asked.
I shook my head.
“Let’s just go out and chill out. You guys are leaving tomorrow once Daniel comes back from his little business thingy so we may as well.”
“Do you want to?” Daniel asked me.
I smiled. “Yeah, totally. If it’s not too much trouble and you guys are up for it.”
Laura pulled in the last wave. “Let’s do it.”
The night was cold but it was so beautiful. We walked all the way to Wrigley stadium, took some pictures, and then to a local café called Pick-Me-Up. It was at this place that I started to fall weary and couldn’t keep my eyes open. The entire walk back, my arm was hooped through Maz’s, who politely offered it to me as I followed along with my eyes closed, trusting him the whole way. Even though Daniel and Laura were walking side by side, I only heard a peep out of them here and there. The night was mostly taking over the conversations.
When we finally arrived at Maz’s place, he gave us the entire flat to ourselves.
“Sleep on the bed,” he urged, “it’s comfy.”
I nodded my head like a bobble head and then hugged and thanked both Maz and Laura for their hospitality.
“No funny business,” I mumbled jokingly to Daniel as he held me from behind once we were all warm and tucked in.
Daniel kissed the nape of my neck. “No funny business,” he agreed. “Sweet dreams.”