I met Rodis through my wonderful girlfriend Daphne. They have been close friends for years and the two of us met very soon after I started 'seeing' Daphne, a little over 2 and a half years ago. Since then I have enjoyed many delicious meals at the Savvakis household in Athens and Crete, and at Rodis' flat in London. I have also been fortunate enough to stay at his parents beautiful home on the Isle of Crete on more than one occasion.
I truly love all of Daphne's family and friends, they have all been extremely friendly and hospitable to me and Rodis is no exception. It has been great getting to know him a little better while he has been studying in London for the past 9 months (and without kissing his arse too much), he's intelligent, easy to talk to and opinionated - I just need him to become fanatical about either United or Spoken Word and we'll definitely be good friends for life haha.
Who is this kid on my bunk bed?
Growing up in small town Greece, where every kid had a brother or a sister, I felt left out and to be honest, rather annoyed with my parents for not providing me with the company of a sibling. But it seemed I was always destined to be an only child.
When I was 7, we moved from the city centre to a new house in the countryside. As a result, my whining about being alone reached its peak. All I wanted was a brother, it was the answer to everything.
One night, a few after weeks moving in, my Dad returned home from work to find my Mum sitting on the sofa, moved to tears, by a documentary about children who had been mistreated in foster care, before finding a new life in an institution called “SOS Children Villages”.
That night, my parents asked me if I still wanted a brother. Assuring me that they would continue to love me as much as they always had, they explained that since they had the love and money to support another child, they wanted my opinion on adoption. They actually said that I would be "finally happy to have a brother to play with".
The sibling I had always wanted! I should have been consumed with elation but instead the thought of having to share my toys with another person shocked my 7 year old self. As for sharing my parents, I was used to constantly having their full attention and it was supposed to stay that way!
I politely declined their offer of a permanent play companion, by stating that I did not find it necessary at all, as I was now a second grader and therefore a big boy. My parents asked me if I was sure, and judging from my facial expression of anger and constipation (as they later described it to me) and my declaration of being perfectly fine on my own, they dropped any plans of trying to adopt the intruder.
A few weeks further down the line, I woke at around 5 in the morning, to go the bathroom. Instantly, something in the room wasn’t right. I though I had heard someone breathing but I wasn’t sure. I crept out of my bed and as silent as a ninja, checked the “upstairs compartment” of my bunk beds. To my sheer terror, there was another boy, slightly older than me, sleeping in my room. My fears had come true! My parents had taken in a child! I was shocked and confused. I had clearly said that I didn’t want it! Why hadn't I been told? It was more than someone to share my toys, and my mum, with. He was officially a pariah!
In a state of shock, I didn't go to the toilet, probably too afraid that the sleeping new brother would invade my bed as well as my room and kick me out altogether. After a few minutes (that seemed like years) of utter horror and frantic planning of how to get rid of the intruder, I must have fallen asleep again.
The next thing I remember was my dad walking in to wake 'us' up for school. 'Alex' was already awake, staring out of the window, quite puzzled himself. The realisation of who he was washed over me and the huge weight I had on my chest was lifted.
Unknown to me. The night before, when I was already asleep and the house was still in a “just moved in”, unopened boxes and much less furniture than needed, state of undress, my mum’s Dutch friend Ellen and her son Alex had come for dinner, in exchange for much needed help with the unpacking.
Alex, went to my school but was a year older than me. Fast asleep on the sofa my mum and Ellen had decided to let him stay the night and put him to bed above me in the top bunk.
Weight lifted, I leapt out of bed and hugged my Dad with more than the usual affection. When he asked me why, I told him that it was a reward for hearing me out. My Dad nodded, clearly without understanding. But I decided not to explain. I thought it better if I didn’t remind him of the whole adoption thing. Ever again!
(Edited by Anthony Hett)