She arrived at the platform in plenty of time to make the train to Chicago. She was excited about the adventure she was about to embark upon. Her small town life to that point had been relatively routine to the point of being boring. But then, three months ago, she went with her two best friends for a girls’ weekend in the big city and that was when her life changed. That was when she met him.
She was shocked when she caught him looking at her and smiling across the crowded lounge off the hotel lobby. She blushed demurely and her two besties giggled when they saw what was happening. They encouraged her to smile back at him, which she did.
A moment later, that handsome man approached the table at which the three young women were sitting and introduced himself. Her two friends quickly excused themselves to go powder their noses, leaving her alone with him. He was so easy to talk with, so sophisticated, so smart, so well-spoken. And he was the most beautiful man she’d ever seen…in real life, anyway.
Her two friends seemed to have disappeared and after about an hour of stimulating conversation, he asked her if she was staying at the hotel. She told him she was, but pointed out that she and her two friends were sharing a room. He smiled, said he’d be right back, and left her alone at the table. When he returned, he smiled at her again, showed her a key card to a room he had just gotten, and asked her if she’d like to accompany him to his room.
She’d never done anything even remotely close to this before and knew her answer had to be “no,” but the word that came out of her mouth was “yes.” He stood up, held out his hand to her, which she readily took. They left the lounge, crossed the lobby, and stepped into the elevator that took them up to the floor where his room was located.
That night with him was what every young woman fantasizes about. A gorgeous Prince Charming sweeping her off her feet, and making her feel like a fairytale princess in every possible way. It was magical.
She met up with her two besties the next morning after she had shared breakfast in bed with that incredible man. Her companions wanted to know all the details and she was eager to tell them all about her night.
Three months had passed since that remarkable night and she had returned to Chicago on her own for three more assignations with her knight in shining armor. And now she was standing alone on the platform at the train station about to board the train that would transport her to another weekend of paradise and fulfillment. And she was sure he would be asking her to leave her small town life to live with him in the city.
When she heard the “all aboard” announcement, she froze, unable to move forward and to step aboard the train. She watched as the doors closed and saw the train begin to pull out of the station. She started to sob, tears streaming down her cheeks. She thought about the amazing man who would be expecting her at Union Station and how disappointed he would be when he realized that she wasn’t showing up, and that made her sad.
But that sophisticated, glib, Adonis of a man was not the cause of her sobs and her tears. They were brought on more by the guilt she was feeling over the hurt getting on that train leaving the station would have caused to her young husband and their two small, darling children. She chose them and reality of a mundane, small town life as a housewife and mother over the fantasy of the man and the thrill of the big city.
Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: George Natsioulis.