I couldn't decide whether to go to this event alone or with a date. My guess was that this would be the type of event where the odds of meeting someone interesting would be very high. Then again, I thought the same thing about the last few similar events, but they turned out to be a little awkward since I was one of the few people without a date. I really didn't feel like experiencing that again, but I just had a feeling that I'd better go alone this time, so off I went.
When I arrived I was immediately stunned by the elegance of the affair. The location, the crowd, the food, the music---everything was first class. As I stood there enjoying the evening, an unrecognizable feeling came over me. It was anxiousness, nervousness, stimulation and excitement all wrapped up into one. My heart was racing like I was preparing to jump out of an airplane for my first skydive. What was going on? I realized that I had just brushed shoulders "her." She was quite tall, nearly matching my 6'1" frame in her heels. She had an earthy, natural beauty that radiated throughout the room. There was just something about her that drew me to her, something beyond the physical, something much deeper. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. Our eyes met. That one lingering glance let me know that she felt something too.
As I stood there, I almost found myself staring, though I really didn't want to do that since: (a) staring at a stranger is quite creepy, and (b) she was with someone. I had to find out who she was. Was she wearing a ring? Who was that guy she was with? Maybe it was her cousin, or just a friend. Of course that was what I wanted to think. I knew that was simply wishful thinking; cousins and friends don't touch like he was touching her. I couldn't stand watching him pull her into his body like that. I had to move to another room before I did or said something crazy, or just plain went crazy. I had to get away. I needed to start working the room, striking up conversations, networking---anything to get my mind off her. After an hour or so of mingling, I recognized an attorney who I was working with on a deal. We talked about the last few remaining deal points and managed to close a deal that had been lingering for weeks. It turned out to be a productive night after all, though not exactly what I had expected. Now, I'm not exactly the type to shut down the party, so I started thinking it was about time for me to head home. Of course I was hoping to run into her again, and I walked through the entire building in hopes of doing just that. But my luck had run out. There was no sign of her.
As I walked out to give my claim check to the valet, I began to get that feeling again. But this time it was even more intense. I knew she was around, but where? I looked up to the front of the long line of cars, and there she was--getting in her car—ALONE! For a split second I was frozen. I wasn't sure whether to call out to her, run after her, or what? I couldn't just stand there and do nothing. Before I could react, the valet closed her door and she sped off.
I was left there in stunned disbelief clutching my claim check, which by now was crumpled and wet from my sweaty palms. At that moment, a strange calmness came over me. I heard a voice telling me not to worry. I knew I would see her again. I knew I'd get to know her favorite color, her favorite cereal, what she buys too many/much of, what type of music she likes, her favorite song, how she likes to dress, etc.
When I got in my car the first thing I wanted to know was exactly how I had managed to stay out so late on a week night. My bed was going to feel so good tonight. There was only one slight problem---my gas light was on and it had been on for a while. I hate stopping at gas stations late at night. But tonight I had no choice. As I pulled into the gas station, I began to feel excited again. I noticed a car pulling off that looked strangely familiar. “Oh shit! That’s her!” I sped off in pursuit. She was not going to get away this time. No way. I pulled up beside her and tried to get her attention. Of course she wouldn’t look! I ended up driving beside her for several blocks, waving, gesturing, doing everything I possibly could to get her attention. Then I realized that my luck was about to change for the better as I noticed the traffic light up ahead turning red. Unless she was planning on running the light, she was going to be stopped right beside me. The problem was she didn’t seem to be slowing down. As she got closer to the light, my heart sank as her engine roared in acceleration. She was running the light! Well, if she’s running the light then so was I. I’m not missing this woman.
Unfortunately, after passing through the intersection I noticed the flashing lights, followed by the amplified voice of the officer directing us BOTH to pull over. The three cars formed a line on the shoulder, hers in the front and mine in the middle. When the officer walked up to my car I was practically grinning from ear to ear. He wanted to know what was so “funny.” I explained the situation to him, and proceeded to beg him not to give her a ticket. After checking my license and registration, he went back to his car. It seemed to take forever for him to come back with the ticket, but as long as she was still there, it didn’t really matter. Finally, he came back and asked me to wait. I watched him walk up to her car and start a conversation. He gestured for me to come forward, and started walking toward me. He approached me and said, “the lady would like to thank you for standing up for her. I’m not supposed to do this but I will wait here a minute for everyone’s safety.” Then he went back to his car.
As I approached her car door, I could see her straightening her hair and puckering her lips to even out her lipstick. She rolled down her window just enough for her to speak out of it. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “I just wanted to thank you for what you did. I really appreciate it. Have a good night.” Before I could even say a word, she rolled up the window, put the car in drive, and drove off. I looked on in disbelief as she sped away, my body covered in waves of blue from the officer’s flashing lights. Just as quickly as she’d left, the officer drove away, and I was left all alone of the side of the road. I hadn’t gotten her phone number, or even her name! I didn’t even have a chance to introduce myself. Worst of all, every bit of dignity that I left home with that night had completely melted away. How could my inner voice have been so very wrong? What a damned cold night.