Best Friends, Maja, memories

When Maja “Saved my life”

2001maja

I dunno how many of you actually look at comment streams under these blog posts, but in case you are curious about what Maja wrote underneath “So Cool, eller?” I have decided to explain a portion of that night here.

Stating that Maja “Saved my life” may be a bit dramatic of me to say (hey, I always was that theatre kid)- but at this point I had lost my virginity already, so she wasn’t entirely saving that. However; on February 16, 2001 at the Monkey Bar in Fridhemsplan, Stockholm, Maja effectively saved me from being raped. This is not a dramatic over statement.

After having a big family party at Maja’s house, Maja and I went out to celebrate our mutual turning 18 birthdays – mine had been just over a week prior. We decided to go to The Monkey Bar, partially because it was in an area of town that we knew (just down the street from our school) and partially because we did not yet really know too many other such establishments.

The Monkey Bar had a stereotypical bar area when you first walked in and a dance/club atmosphere in the back room. Regardless of the events that happened this particular night, I continued to frequent this establishment with her and other friends… I just never went back to dance again.

On this night, we decided to do our dancing first as we had already had a few drinks at Maja’s house. We made our way to the back of the room where it wasn’t overly crowded. Relatively quickly we located dance partners and separated. The young man that approached me to dance was stocky and muscular, a blond who was slightly shorter than me (not unusual for me at this point – I am 5’9.) He was relatively attractive.

He said something to me, of which I couldn’t hear over the loud music. “Va?” I asked him. He said something again and I leaned in a little closer, indicating to my ear and told him I could not hear him. “Va?! Jag kan inte höra dig!”

He came up as close as he could and put his mouth up to my ear and told me “Du är fina.” (You are fine (pretty)). I blushed and said “Tack så mycket” in thanks. We danced for a few minutes and then I realized he was slowly backing me to the wall. He got up as close to me as he could and I started to feel uncomfortable so I said “Erm… Maja… Maja! ….MAJA!” I don’t think she ever actually heard me, she just happened to look around at me casually at just the right time and saw the look of panic on my face.

She swept over with an apparent plan to ensure this man knew I was taken or something… I dunno really what was going through her mind… but she came straight for me and said “Gumman! Där är du!” and planted a kiss full on my mouth as she wrapped her arms around me. Then she gave him a look of disdain that clearly said “Who the fuck is this guy?”

He backed off and put his hands up in surrender, said something about “seeing how it is” and then put his hands in his pockets and stalked off.

Maja and I started laughing and then she ensured I was okay before going back to her flirting. I assured her I would be fine – because I was naive and thought he naturally wouldn’t come back. I really should have moved and situated myself elsewhere, but I didn’t.

Only a few moments later, after Maja was distracted by her dance partner again, he came back. He came back with a friend. They looked determined. I don’t know if this is hindsight that makes me think this or if I actually had the thought run through my head at the time, but they seemed to have a sinister look on their faces. I also noticed that his eyes looked somewhat glazed and I realized I hadn’t noticed the smell of alcohol on him earlier.

They made a beeline for me and backed me straight into the dark corner I happened to be near. “MAJA!” I yelled, but she couldn’t hear me. The blond grabbed me around the waist and as I struggled the other laid his hands on me in an attempt to help his friend out. “MAJA!” I continued to call out. After what seemed like an eternity – but obviously wasn’t more than a minute or two given they hadn’t gotten what they wanted yet – Maja turned and saw what was happening just as I made one final attempt to shriek her name.

She ran over, taking them by surprise as she pushed them aside, grabbed my arm, and said “OhMyGodEmma! We’re late! My mum is gonna kill me!” as she yanked me forward and we started to run. We ran all the way to the front of the bar where it was more crowded and a little quieter. She hugged me and asked me if I was okay. I thanked her for helping me and she sat me down and told me she would get us a drink – her treat.

You know, now that I write this all out – more fully than what I put in the book about it – I realize that I am so grateful to have Maja in my life and I feel bad how I treated her sometimes when we were in high school. I was jealous of her, she was gorgeous and I felt so inadequate next to her sometimes. I’m just so glad I’ve grown up since then – and I am so glad we have remained best friends to this day. I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t been there. Now just look at me, crying like a baby over here…

Jag älskar dig, hjärtanskär.

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