Before he left on the trip he looked up her phone number and thought about giving her a call but then decided to wait until he got to the hotel. During his three-day stay, he did try to ring but it said the phone was either disconnected or out of order. There was an address in the directory, so on the last evening he missed the delegate’s dinner and got a taxi to where she lived.
After paying the driver he stood outside the faded apartment building for a while before venturing in. He tried the button in the hallway but there was no reply there either. Although he thought she might have moved without mentioning it on Facebook he decided to at least knock on the apartment door.
He climbed the two flights of stairs with his heart pounding and then stood there looking at number 302 wondering whether he was doing the right thing. When his knuckles tapped lightly on the wood he had butterflies in the stomach, just like the ones he used to get when he saw her at school.
The door opened cautiously and a rather attractive young black woman peered round at him. When he asked if Cristina Santiago was in the woman became visibly upset, but she invited him in.
“I’m sorry to call unannounced like this,” he said, apologetically, “but I couldn’t get Cristina on the phone and I did try ringing the buzzer downstairs but got no reply.”
“She had the phone disconnected, it was in her name,” the woman sniffled, “and the buzzer doesn’t work.”
“So she doesn’t live here anymore?”
“No she doesn’t,” she sobbed, “And we’d made a pledge to spend the rest of our lives together.”
There was a photograph on a nearby cabinet of two women kissing, one was the big titted Cristina, he would have recognized her anywhere, and the other was his present company, who later introduced herself as Taisha.
“We were happy as pigs in shit,” she said, “but then she went all straight on me and took off with a guy who came to repair the gas stove.”