Maria, Felicio’s wife was showing Kacper their apartment, where they lived in Madrid. ‘And Kacper, this is where you are going to sleep, while you are with us’, she opened the door and let him inside. It was a small, but a very beautifully decorated bedroom. Kacper loved all vivid colours of walls, and tastefully chosen furniture and decorations inside it. ‘Look, O Pensador!’ he exclaimed, when he noticed a familiar looking wooden statue of The Thinking Man, which the couple had brought from Angola. Kacper turned around, and embraced Maria, and then Felicio. ‘Guys, thank you for inviting me over to stay with you! It is wonderful to be with you again’ he said in Portuguese. ‘Kacper, feel at home… this is actually your home, you know that’ stated Felicio. ‘Frycek…you are great!’ – Kacper was genuinely moved. Felicio smiled, when he heard him being referred to as Frycek. When they worked together in Angola, Kacper for some reason decided to give him a Polish name, which grew to him so much that everyone around, including his wife and their business partners wouldn’t call him anything different but Frycek! ‘Yes, your Frycek is here for you…’ he confirmed amused and pleased.
The three met a few years before in Luanda. Frycek and Maria arrived to Angola, right after Kacper. Frycek was to become the country director of the organisation, Kacper worked for then, while Maria came to live with him, as his partner. Both Spaniards originated from very affluent and wealthy families. They decided to spend a year in Angola, in order to contribute towards, what they believed, a fairer world.
They went to Segovia. Kacper’s Spanish hosts wanted to make sure that he had a chance to visit places outside of Madrid. It was a sunny day, and they just sat at one of cosy cafes, where they decided to eat a light lunch. ‘Kacper, you really scared us, when you called from Scotland…’ started Frycek. Kacper knew that sooner or later, they would talk about his mental crisis that he had gone through some weeks before (Post 15). ‘I know Frycek, I know… if this is any consolation, I scared myself as well’ answered Kacper. ‘Why was it so difficult to tell us what was happening?’ asked Maria. ‘Do you know that if you succeeded in taking your life, you would have made so many of us suffer, suffer the way that you can not possibly imagine Kacper’ she went on. Kacper blushed. ‘Maria, I know… it is just that when you are depressed, you tend to be more egoistic than in normal circumstances, and you only concentrate on your own problems… You also think that there is no way out Maria… Really, you stop seeing solutions to even the easiest problems’, he answered. Maria hugged him. ‘And you really thought that people would stop loving you… such a nice person as you… just because you are attracted to men rather than women?’ she asked and then continued jokingly: ‘OK, it might be more challenging for me to conquer you now…’ they all laughed. ‘Then on the other hand, I will have someone to talk to about handsome men around me… I can’t do it with Frycek – you know…’ she kept on teasing. She had tears in her eyes. ‘God… Kacper, I am so glad you are still with us…’ she hugged him again. ’Promise us… when you feel unwell, you just tell us… tell us right away, and wherever you are…’ she demanded. ‘Yes Maria… I promise’ assured Kacper, believing that he would not do the same mistake again.
Kacper felt good: He felt accepted, he felt his silliness was forgiven, and above all, for a first time for many, many months, he started believing that he can lead a happy and fulfilled life. Life without lies, and life without pretending… ‘I will offer myself to people the way I am’ he thought… ‘People might want to choose to accept me or not… but I will not be taking these decisions for them’ he concluded his considerations.
‘Kacper, we have a surprise for you tonight’ suddenly announced Frycek. ‘What is it?’ he got curious. ‘I can’t tell you… it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore…’ he teased Kacper. ‘You will love it’ said Maria. ‘Come on guys… this is not fair, you need to tell me now’ demanded Kacper. The couple just shook their heads. It was obvious, they would not tell him anything, he needed to be patient.
‘Are you ready Kacper? Dressed up and all?’ Frycek looked impatient. Maria looked at Kacper, and at a shirt that she had offered to him as a present. ‘You look hot baby…’ she decided. ‘You will need to look hot tonight… I tell you Kacper, you will need to look hot’, carried on Frycek.
They were in their car. ‘We are going to a gay club’ finally revealed Maria… ‘Did I hear well… I am not going to any gay club… you are mad!’ Kacper got extremely upset. ‘I have never been in such establishments… it doesn’t feel right’ he went on resisting. ‘Kacper, our friends are already waiting for us there… we are going, and just take it easy’ decided Frycek. Kacper was overpowered, and had no choice but give in. He felt like he was going for an execution… stressed and uncomfortable. It is just because Maria and Frycek were with him made him feel a bit better. ‘If they go there… if they are with me, perhaps it is not going to be that bad…’ he tried to comfort himself.
They entered a very elegant looking bar. It was not full yet. ‘People are just gathering’ noticed Frycek. They sat at the table. Kacper looked around. The place actually looked friendly and hospitable. There were many men and women couples there, but there were groups of mixed people as well. It was all a new territory for Kacper, and despite being over 30 years old, he didn’t know what to expect from a gay bar. His uneasiness was slowly passing. A young waiter came to take their order. They all asked for a glass of wine. When the waiter left, Maria blew a kiss at Kacper. ‘He was good looking, wasn’t he?’ she asked. Kacper didn’t answer anything, just blushed.
‘Felicio… Maria!!!’ someone shouted. A couple of two men approached their table. ‘This is great you are here!’ one of them addressed them. He kissed Maria and shook Frycek’s hand firmly. The other guy followed the suit. ‘And you must be… the special friend from Poland’ he switched into English. He smiled and shook Kacper’s hand. ‘I am Mario… welcome to the dark side…’ he added. They all laughed. ‘Kacper, please do not pay any attention at him’ said the other man. ‘My boyfriend is misbehaving, as always… My name is Fernando, and I will make sure I will protect you from this weirdo…’ he introduced himself, and looked at Mario with lots of affection.
They all engaged themselves in conversations. Frycek explained how they had gotten to know with one another in Angola. Kacper was explaining where he was from, and what he did in life. Fernando talked about his career as a journalist, and Mario was extremely excited to tell Kacper all about his bed and breakfast that he had recently opened in Sitges, near Barcelona. ‘Honey’ he addressed Kacper ‘you will always have a room there for free, and you will love the place’, he invited Kacper. He was a bit shocked by being addressed as honey by another man, but then it was meant to be a night of surprises. ‘Perhaps I should relax a bit more’ he considered.
‘How did you enjoy the evening?’ asked Frycek the following morning during breakfast. ‘It was unusual’ answered Kacper. ‘At start, I felt uneasy, but then it went better later. Mario and Fernando are really nice people!’ reassured Kacper. ‘Why did it feel uneasy?’ asked Frycek. ‘I don’t know… I am just not used to such openness… at least not yet’ he smiled. ‘I am so glad you came over… It doesn’t matter whether you will like to hang around in such places or not, it is important that you know that they exist though, and that there are many people like you – normal persons, who happen to be homosexuals, and like Maria and me, who don’t mind, and more than that, who are friends with just about anyone… as long as they are good human beings, rather than gay or non-gay!’ he said and offered Kacper some coffee.
The last evening experience, the conversation with Frycek forced Kacper to think. He slowly started realising that focusing so much on his homosexuality was actually silly and immature. ‘People happen to be gay, straight, men, women, disabled, black, yellow, white… Some were crazy, some are quiet, some speak languages, while the others are good in singing. Finally some are more likely to be accepting than the others… All of these similarities and differences make us special and unique’ went on through his mind. Kacper realised that there was really no reason to dwell on his sexuality, and think about it so much – the quicker he gets it; the better off he was going to be.
Frycek seemed to have been reading Kacper’s mind. ‘Perhaps, you will meet people that will not accept you because you are gay, or you are disabled Kacper… and although it might hurt a bit… at the end, does it really matter?’ asked Frycek. ‘As long as it is not you hurting other people, you will be fine. You will also learn to be able to take some, what may seem to you, unfair treatment towards you’ he carried on. ‘If this happens, accept it as well. Don’t fight it Kacper… After all, it is not everyone that has been as lucky as you have, to be exposed to differences, the same way, you have been, and not everyone understands that one can enrich oneself from them rather than being threatened by them’ finished Frycek.
Kacper relaxed, and realised how lucky he was to have friends like Maria and Frycek… ‘What would I do without you guys?’ he asked. ‘Thank you for looking after me so well’ he added before going to bed. Tomorrow was another busy day. They were planning to visit Frycek’s family, outside Madrid. Kacper was told that many people were eager to meet a guest from Poland.
PS. Kacper will be flying to Warsaw this weekend.