Last time, Lucy had a first date with Adil, a handsome Pakistani guy whom she met on Tinder in Nairobi. If you missed that, you can catch up here.
Although Adil turned out to be attractive, chatty, and a perfect gentleman, there was something odd about him that Lucy couldn’t quite put her finger on. It wasn’t anything that he did, specifically, just a gut feeling that there was something about this one that didn’t feel quite right.
But he’s smoking hot, and she has zero other options on the table right now, so she decides to let the thing play out and see what happens.
It all carries on promisingly enough, if slightly oddly. The day after the date, Adil sends her a video of the view from his balcony, showing his garden and swimming pool, without comment. Lucy’s not entirely sure how she’s supposed to respond to this, so she sends a video back, of the thing she’s currently doing, which is trying to figure out how to dispose of a giant cockroach that she’s managed to trap under a wine glass.
Adil does not reply. Maybe the glamour of her current living arrangements was too much for him to cope with.
Lucy finds his silence a little annoying, so the next day, she follows up.
Maybe Adil’s not so weird after all. He clearly has excellent taste at any rate.
Lucy replies the next day, which happens to be a pretty important one.
He wants to take her out for a fancy birthday dinner? What girl wouldn’t say yes to that? Ok, he was a little odd on their first date, but he’s being very charming now, so she should definitely give him a second chance.
Lucy’s a little surprised by the screenshot – Adil really does have no other Tinder matches. She’s not sure quite what to make of that, but it’s not like it’s a problem. Maybe he’s just the kind of guy who likes to only date one woman at a time. Maybe he doesn’t go on Tinder very often. Or maybe he’s already decided that she’s just so astonishingly wonderful that he’s already deleted everyone else. Don’t laugh, ok? It’s possible…
The following weekend Lucy’s being forced by her company to pack up the apartment and move to a new one. So she arranges to meet Adil for this exciting birthday dinner on Sunday night, which will give her something to look forward to after a weekend of shoving shit into boxes.
She wakes on Saturday morning to a mysteriously deleted message in the middle of the night.
Was he drunk texting, by any chance? And if so, what did it say?
That was the deleted message at 1 am? A screenshot of his step count?! Lucy calls bullshit. Who sends health tracking data to a date, while out drinking? Then again, Adil might. He is pretty weird, after all.
Lucy also thinks it’s sweet of him to offer to help with the packing, but also kind of odd since they’ve only had one date. Is he bored? Lonely? Gunning for a shag? Or just trying to be nice? She has no idea, but she politely declines anyway, saying she’s fine, and she’s looking forward to seeing him for dinner tomorrow.
He’s ‘heading out to plan dinner’? What on earth is he up to? Lucy doesn’t know whether to be excited that he might be planning something nice, or freaked out that he’s getting a bit too intense too soon. She really doesn’t want a repeat of the Brad situation.
They continue to text throughout the day. It’s raining heavily, and Lucy’s at home, quietly enjoying the sound and sorting through photos from her last weekend away. Adil sends her a selfie video from his balcony of him with the rain falling behind him. In it, he’s wearing blue reflective Ray Bans and a cute smile and he looks absolutely delicious. Lucy might just be beginning to look forward to this birthday dinner after all.
Yes, there is definitely something just a little bit strange about this one. Nevertheless, she plays along.
Lucy’s beginning to get wrinkles from furrowing her brow so much while trying to understand Adil’s cryptic messages. It’s most confusing, though in fairness it doesn’t matter all that much. In person he was chatty and charming, he’s clearly interested in her, and all she’s really after right now is someone to hang out with who is not Brad. Adil is certainly good for that.
Second date Sunday arrives, and Adil messages her to ask how her dinner was last night.
Lucy doesn’t reply right away, and then, twenty minutes later, he adds something very strange.
Wait… what? Hold on! ‘See you in two weeks?’ Aren’t they supposed to be going out for dinner tonight? Didn’t he go out yesterday to plan something special?
Lucy’s confused. He’s joking, right? So she messages a jokey reply.
And then… nothing. All day. Not a peep out of Adil at all. And now she’s properly confused. Maybe he wasn’t joking? If he was, he’d have replied, right? And he’d have messaged telling her when and where they were supposed to be having dinner. But… nothing. Lucy doesn’t get it. All week he’s been flirting, and full of compliments, and saying how much he’s looking forward to their second date, and now he just disappears? This is just too totally weird for words.
By 6.30 it’s clear the date is off. Lucy’s not overly upset: it’s pouring with rain still and it’s not like she’s fallen madly in love with Adil. Quite the contrary: it’s starting to become clear that he’s possibly a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. So she doesn’t really mind him cancelling, but what she does object to is him just disappearing, no explanation, no apology. That part is just fucking rude, to be frank. And since Lucy’s not the sort of girl to go quietly, she messages him again.
Four minutes later, he replies.
But does he send an apology? An excuse? A sorry, I dropped my phone in the loo and I had to put it in a bag of rice to dry out? Or, I’m afraid I fell in a manhole and hit my head and I’ve only just recovered from the concussion?
Nope. None of that. Instead, he sends another video. Ten seconds of a baby cooing at the camera. No comment or explanation, just a baby.
Lucy is utterly bamboozled. What the actual fuck is going on? This guy is properly, completely deranged! Should she call for help, because it seems like maybe he needs some?
In the end she does nothing. And hears nothing further from Adil, until two days later, when he sends a second baby video. Thirty-seven seconds this time, of the same baby, rolling around on a rug and making the sorts of rubbish meaningless noises you’d expect a baby to make.
Lucy scratches her head in sheer, confused, wonderment at the ridiculous madness of it all. She’s certainly not going to grace any of this bullshit with a reply. What the fuck would she even say? So she archives the chat, and goes back to doing whatever it was she was doing at the time.
Ah well, so much for Adil. He was hot, but on the hot/crazy scale, he was definitely WAY off in the danger zone. So a lucky escape, when all’s said and done. Who knows what he might have done if she’d actually gone for dinner with him.
One Month Later
The rest of Lucy’s time in Kenya passes. Some of what happened you already know about and the rest is not that interesting. There are certainly no more hot dates, and Lucy essentially just settles into doing her job, and enjoying her travels, and trying not to let Brad upset her too much. And before she knows it, her time is up, and she’s boarding a plane to fly home to London.
And as if he has some sort of sixth sense (or maybe he’s been stalking her), Adil pops back up again, out of the blue.
Just what the fuck is that even supposed to mean? Jesus Christ, this guy is off the charts.
But because she’s actually kind of intrigued to know what the living fuck he thought he was playing at, and because at that precise moment in time she’s bored, in transit, in Doha airport, in the middle of the night, she replies.
So he likes adventure, travel, sunsets and walks on beaches. How very fucking original. Lucy half wishes he’d had this profile when she first matched with him: she’d probably have swiped left.
Also: doesn’t drink but likes fine wines? How exactly does that work?
And what is all this business with renunciation and falcons? Is it some kind of code? Maybe he’s a spy. Maybe she was supposed to reply with ‘The golden eagle soars majestically to the north’ or somesuch, and then he’d give her her secret mission. In fact, the more she thinks about it, the more convinced she becomes that he might actually be a spy. Maybe his Tinder profile is the way he contacts other agents. Maybe the baby is a spy baby. Or the videos were coded and the baby gurgles are actually a secret language.
But since she doesn’t speak baby, she says nothing. And a moment later he messages again.
Lucy is absolutely gobsmacked. He’s trying to convince her that after one fairly mediocre date he was already madly smitten with her? And THAT’s the reason he cancelled the date? That doesn’t even make any fucking sense!
This must be a joke. He’s trolling her, that’s what this is. He binned her off because he was bored and he’s a dick, and now he’s just entertaining himself by trying to mess with her head and see how much bullshit she’ll fall for.
Nothing like an ‘I’m sorry, I’m leaving the country and I’m not coming back’ as a good excuse to say no to a date. Lucy wishes she could use this one more often.
Is he now trying to convince her that (a) he’s already fallen for her, even though he binned off their second date and sent her nothing but baby videos for a month, and (b) that she should now agree to embark on a long-distance relationship with him?
This guy is either giving an absolute masterclass in trolling, or he really needs to sit down, have a nice cup of tea, and try to get some perspective.
But also… ‘Rapist dolphins’? ‘Gay lions’?? What the actual fuck is going on??!!
I know. I have no idea what just happened either. But my advice would be, if you’re going to Kenya, maybe steer clear of Tinder, m’kay?