Thursday, April 16, 2009

Three Minutes, Continued

Escalator steps tend to be higher than stair steps, but at six-one I can still take them two at a time without breaking a sweat.

I thought.

Turns out that's only true for one flight. As I pivoted between the top of the second flight and the bottom of the third, I was silently cursing my idiocy. There's no way he's still there. I told him 12:00. There's no way he's still there.

I slowed toward the top of the third flight - I couldn't help it - my legs simply refused to keep up - and I took a deep breath to steady myself.

As I stepped off the frozen escalator, I immediately looked over to the table where we'd had lunch the day before. Someone was seated there, facing away -

- but it wasn't him.

I stood there numbly for several moments, searching, as the tightness inside faded to a still heaviness.

I've heard people say that you don't recognize the important moments of your life while you're living them. It isn't true. I knew with absolute certainty that this was an opportunity I'd lost completely. Losing touch that day meant losing touch for good.

Things would go back to the way they'd been, and I'd move on. I'd enjoy life. But I wouldn't forget him.

No, I definitely wouldn't forget him, because there he was, standing up and lifting a hand from a table at the far side of the atrium!

Delighted - yet casual! - I beamed and ambled across in long, easy strides that cover a lot of ground fast to greet him with a cheerful kiss and a profuse apology.

We didn't have time for lunch. (I really did have to get to the airport.) But I definitely had time to get his telephone number and email address and to give him mine. So with a hug, and a promise to stay in touch, I left.

Even with all that drama, it seemed, things had still gone back to the way they'd been. We would email (maybe) or call (as if) and I'd see him again next year. Just like it'd been before.


I've heard people say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It isn't true. Sometimes the tiniest change can set off a series of ever-greater changes, and nothing is the same.

And that's not necessarily a bad thing, either. You see...

Dear Reader, I married him!

Image thanks to


loonyhiker said...

What a romantic story! Thanks for sharing!

Judo Rhapsode said...

Nice Jane Eyre allusion.

Melissa B. said...

You definitely had me wrapped up in your story! And without giving away the ending til the end, too!

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