From the moment I saw him, I hated the guy. I mean really hated him. My friend Claudia, who normally went for guys in their forties (we were both eighteen at the time), actually pointed him out as someone she considered attractive. I have to say, she normally does have great intuition, even if she doesn’t believe in it, but at the same time, this time she was way off line. My first thought was, oh ugh. All that guy has to do is smile at a girl, and she’ll melt like butter in the sun. I didn’t know the term then, or else, I wasn’t using it enough, but if I had, I definitely would have called him the Alpha Male Supreme. This guy didn’t need the Player’s Manual to get the hottest chicks in town, they’d come to him out of their own volition; he really did have that system all figured out. I did like the other bartender though, they were all bartenders, and when I mentioned that to Claudia, she mentioned that he was a friend of the Alpha. I turned away in disgust.
But he kept watching me, the Alpha, which ticked me off in some ways, but made me feel safe in others. It wasn’t exactly the most reputable bar. It wasn’t seedy either, but you did have to be careful when you spoke to people. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when he was around, the Alpha guy, I felt safe. I’d never go out with him, but I kept watching him a lot. I was sure he hated me though, for reasons I couldn’t define. There was just that feeling. Until one night, when we were at another club and ran into him, he was coming down the stairs as I was going up. For a second we both stopped and looked at each other. When he nodded, there was a small smile, which I knew didn’t happen a lot in his book. And I also knew that he didn’t hate me.
He was my brother, and he gave me a lot of time to figure things out. After that nod, we started talking. It took us a few years before we’d become friends, but the foundations had been laid. And through him, I got back in touch with my Hungarian roots, that I’d always somehow rejected, after finding out about them when I was fifteen. And Hungary was a whole new world. . . .