Here’s the next entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. Just reminding, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…
He glanced up suddenly at her, and then smiled – a bemused smile. He removed the headphones from his ears, and then studied her intently for a moment. She swallowed uncomfortably, looked at her boarding pass to check which seat she’d been given, and then cursed her luck. She was in the wrong seat.
Worse luck yet, her actual seat was just one row behind. She got up, and then looked at the numbers again.
“Excuse me,” she told the guy, who still wore the same bemused smile on his face, “But I think that is my seat.”
“So it is,” he said, getting up and moving to seat next to hers. She took a deep breath, composed herself, and sat down.
There was a loud crunch. She got up, shocked, and then winced when she saw that she had sit down on top of what she presumed were his glasses. He grinned more (what was making that man smile so much!?) and picked up the glasses. She could see that the glass had cracked.
“I’m really sorry,” she began, only to see his expression change for the first time to a frown.
“Sit down, Liz,” he said, his tone suddenly different from what it had been a moment ago. Suddenly he was no longer the polite stranger, but the old acquaintance. The shift made her heart start beating a little faster. His frown turned deeper, the chocolate brown eyes squinting in a way that she remembered rather fondly. “You do remember me, don’t you?”
How could she forget? The fairytale whirlwind romance, the wild week in paris with the handsome stranger, those days when she was happy?
“Of course I remember you,” she said, but she had to struggle for a moment to place the name. “Brian.”
“I’m glad,” he told her, and the boyish grin that she also remembered very fondly returned. “I haven’t seen you for…what…two years now? How have you been? And what’s up in Sydney?”
“I’ve been, fine,” she answered cautiously, not really sure where she wanted to take this. “Just going on a vacation…what are you doing?”
“Visiting my family. My dad lives in Sydney. You know – Rottheimer, from the Rottheimer and sons…”
His dad was the biggest business man in Sydney? Now that was really something she would’ve liked to have known before.
“So, as you’re in town,” he said with a grin, distracting her from her thoughts. “Why not join me? For, say dinner, this Tuesday?”
She opened her mouth to reply, but he ran a finger on her hand, reminding her of too many things at once, making her forget what she was going to say.
“Sure,” she said instead, and decided to leave the explanation of the fact that she had a boyfriend for another day.
Later, years later, when she tried to remember (or forget) this meeting…she felt bad – just not bad enough.