Hank stormed out of the room just as quickly as he entered, slamming the door behind him.
My first thought: WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?!
My second thought: I want my mom.
Other than the sounds of my cousin and I crying, the room was silent. We were all in shock, completely unsure of what to do next.
Then, our professor spoke up, saying "Um, that was inappropriate."
At that, everyone started talking, rehashing all they had just witnessed. I apologized again for even saying anything in the first place. My cousin and I quickly came up with ideas of how to barricade our hotel room door and we were all trying to figure out how to interact with Hank the next time we saw him.
My cousin's future husband even jumped up and said, "I'm sleeping on the floor of their room," pointing at us. Yes, yes you are and I now owe you my life. I will name my first-born after you.
Our professor immediately started figuring out a plan of how to move forward. We had only two more days in Paris and then we were on our way to Barcelona. The thought of spending 12 hours with Hank on an overnight train to Barcelona was not my idea a good time. In fact, I thought that would probably be a very good setting for him to run me through with his new sword.
My mind was racing: "Holy cow! How did I get here? Why did I come on this trip! Why don't my legs want to move? Why did I have to speak up? And just how many bodies have there been in the past?? Seriously, were there no background checks going on? I demand a refund. I need peanut butter."
However, none of us were prepared for what came next...
While we were all talking, one of the guys in the group stood up, cleared his throat and said, "I have an announcement to make. I have never said this to anyone before but since we are all here and this seems like a good time to do it, I want you all to know that I am gay."
Silence. Crickets chirping...
And with that, he walked over to the door and opened it. He turned around, scanned the room, and specifically addressing the men in the room, said "Don't worry boys, I am not attracted to blondes."
And he left.
More silence. More crickets.
Looking back on this scene, I could have sworn we were being Punked. But you just can't make that stuff up. Our freak flags were flying that day, my friends!
It just so happened that Mr. Out Of The Closet and Hank were roommates. Thankfully, Mr. OOTC was one of the nicest guys around and had the ability to calm Hank down. Later, we discovered that Hank was sulking (read: scheming, planning, finding burial plots) in his room and Mr. OOTC was able to smooth things over.
Meanwhile, the rest of the guys (who just all happened to be blonde) were rebounding from that shocker and our professor was trying to figure out why she had signed up for this trip.
Actually, she was on the phone with the airlines and Hank's parents because she had deemed his statement inappropriate enough to be sent home...at his parent's expense. It looked like Hank was leaving us and I was completely comfortable with that decision.
However, the next flight available was not until after we had already traveled to Barcelona so that meant Hank had to travel with us and catch a flight home out of Spain.
To say that the next few days were awkward is an understatement. Somehow Hank and I co-existed without further interaction and I seemed to have a permanent body guard by my side at all times. Mr. OOTC was a wonderful middle man who had the ability to put the group at ease and keep Hank occupied. And Mr. OOTC was happier than ever.
When the time came to board our train to Barcelona, I made sure I squeezed into a room with lots of others. And Hank and his sword stayed far away the entire time.
In fact, the only mishap we had was when an Egyptian man met my cousin in the hallway and offered to buy her for a few camels. Since my cousin is tall, blonde and beautiful, this did not come as a surprise. But as her family representative on the trip, I politely declined his offer, saying that he didn't have enough camels in the world and she had no desire to be added to his harem.
Shortly after our arrival in Barcelona, Hank boarded a plane and that was the last time I ever saw him. I heard rumors that he was suspended from his college and later left the town. My cousin once thought he showed up on her doorstep as their UPS man, but I am going to pretend that it wasn't him. Denial is bliss, people. And thankfully she doesn't live at that residence any longer.
However, our time in Barcelona was stupendous! That is where I first learned to salsa dance and where a maverick seagull dive-bombed me and left a deposit on my shoulder. A pretty well-balanced trip, don't ya think?
So there you have it, folks. That was how I almost got axed by a wacko in France. Crazy, huh? That just goes to show you, it doesn't pay to get mad or speak sternly to guys with fake braids.
And if you ever find yourself with someone whose only desire is to buy a sword, run far, FAR away.