I didn’t have the next destination after living almost three months in North Macedonia. So, when I received Ida’s call, I said yes immediately.

“Benjamin, I will take a month off during the summer. Do you want to meet me in Montenegro?”

So I packed my stuff and took a bus from Skopje to Podgorica. I wasn’t super comfortable, but it was decent. While travelling, we had to wake up twice in the middle of the night; the first was to cross the border to Kosovo and the other to enter Montenegro.

This time I travelled solo since Martin stayed in North Macedonia. He wanted to get a visa to Toma to visit his mom in Canada, but the guy didn’t even have a passport. So he stayed there, helping Toma with everything.

Ida’s message came a few days after receiving an email from James Punjabi. He told me that Jessica needed urgent help. He said that she was in Lebanon, left alone.

 

“Thanks for reaching out, Mr. Punjabi,

Even though I had an adorable relationship with Jessica, I don’t know why I am the only one that can help her. Why don’t you call the police if you are constantly updated with information about her?

I hope Jessica can find what she was looking for in her chosen path.

Yours sincerely,

Benjamin Gunst”

I didn’t receive any reply so far. So I continued with my life as if nothing had happened.

I went to the airport the next night to wait for Ida. She took a Scandinavian Airlines six-hour flight from Aarhus to Podgorica, making me rethink how big Europe is. Her cousin Mariana gave her a ride to the airport and sent me a bottle of Spanish wine with her. I smiled when I saw it. It was the same Tempranillo we drank last year at Ida’s place.

“How is Mariana?”

“She is in loved,” Ida replied, “It seems that they decided to form a triad.”

“Weren’t they before?”

“They were. But not romantically. After a couple of years, Mariana and Kristina also decided to establish a relationship.”

“Wow! That’s amazing! After all the recent seatback the world has experienced with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the United States Supreme Court derogating progressive laws, it is good to hear that love is something that is still moving forward.”

“That’s why I am here, Prince Charming.”

I couldn’t close my mouth for an hour because the smile Ida put in my face was impossible to remove.

We stayed in an aparthotel complex closed to Novi Grad in the City Centre to take advantage of the size of the city. We visited most of the tourist attractions while walking around.

On the second day, we had breakfast in a café nearby and told her about James Punjabi’s last email.

“I think you should go to the police. The whole communication with that guy doesn’t make any sense.”

“I know, but this doesn’t feel legit. I think Pietro is probably trying to scam me because he is jealous. It doesn’t make sense that he writes me every once in a while.”

“You have a point.”

In the meantime, we continue enjoying Montenegro and ourselves.

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