“I’m going to marry that guy one day…“
…I proclaimed to my best friend Johan when I first laid eyes on Him.
It was the height of summer 2007. Like every Saturday evening, Johan and I would hit the gay bars of Soho’s Old Compton Street, the heart of London’s gay scene. We started our night at Village for some karaoke then headed to Comptons bar to flirt with the Daddies (who bought us a few drinks). Then we ended up at the G.A.Y. Late Club where we danced till the early hours. All the pretty boys came here!
As soon as we entered G.A.Y. my eyes were drawn to this hot Greek-looking guy dancing topless on the dancefloor.
I could not take my eyes off him!
I grabbed Johan…
“Johan, Johan, look! You see that guy? Him, over there. One day I’m going to marry Him, but he doesn’t know it yet!”
And He wouldn’t know it for another few years: I was too shy to go over and say, ‘Hi’. What if he doesn’t like me? What if he’s got a boyfriend? What if… The fear of rejection got a hold of me.
He was dancing with his friends and didn’t see me. We went to the bar to grab a few drinks but when we returned to the dancefloor He had disappeared.
I didn’t see Him again, but I knew I would never forget Him – my mysterious handsome stranger who had just pierced my heart with the arrow of love. And He had no idea.
The next day Johan slams a copy of the latest weekly gay “QX Magazine” on my desk. On the front cover was a really hot guy dressed in a skimpy football outfit modeling for a new sports themed gay party at Central Station (a gay bar in Kings Cross famous for its themed parties) stood next to another guy wearing the similar kit.
IT WAS HIM! And oh-my-GOD, he looked HOT!
Johan sneered at me and jokingly said:
“That guy from yesterday, Seby? That’s him right there on the front cover with another guy! Dream on Seby, you’ll never have him!”
We both laughed, but deep down I knew that somehow, someday, we would meet again.
Two years later, Johan and I are in the same gay bar. We were tipsy, giggling, gossiping, and watching all the pretty boys come and go.
Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I spotted Him.
“Johan, look! It’s Him – the guy I told you I was going to marry. Remember? From two years ago? He was on the front cover of QX in his football kit…He is right THERE!”
This time He noticed me. He was in deep conversation with his friend. He would glance at me every so often. Our eyes would lock, and for a moment, time would stop!
He would then smile at me…
“Go and talk to Him Seby! Just say hello and ask where he’s from”, said Johan.
Despite Johan’s encouragement, I was transfixed, frozen to the spot. My legs refused to move.
After a few drinks, I plucked up the courage to go over to Him. I got close and managed to whisper, “Bonjour!” but got so scared that I quickly ran away to the bar.
I blew it!
I re-joined Johan feeling silly and glum.
The evening in the GAY bar progressed but despite my failed attempt to communicate, He continued to look over at me, each time smiling, each time causing the ground to tremble beneath me! Neither of us spoke to each other. He was also shy.
After a while, He put on his coat and began to leave.
“Not again!” I thought. Maybe Johan was right, how on earth could I really believe that I could ever get with a guy like Him.
That toxic thought was quickly burst by His friend who came over to me and handed me a piece of paper.
“Hi, my friend really likes you but he’s too shy to come over, so here’s his number. Please can I give him yours?”
Words cannot describe how I felt. I was ecstatic. My heart was RACING- it was the most exciting moment of my life! I quickly scribbled down my number and gave it to his friend. I was walking on Cloud 9…
A few days later I had my first date with Him. It was Friday 27 February 2009. I took Him to Le Beaujolais, a French bar I love in Leicester Square.
His name was Stefan. He was originally Greek Cypriot, born, and raised in London. He was also irresistibly charming (and still is!).
I was besotted with him!
Very quickly into our date, I told him that I had always dreamed of traveling the world. At this point, he took my hand and said to me with the sweetest smile, “I would love that too”.
And so, we did!
Fast forward to June 2018 when we got legally married at the Ealing Town Hall, I turned to my best friend, Johan, and with a great big smile on my face proudly declared:
“I told you I would marry that guy!”