A Single Encounter


For years, she had dodged the well-meaning friends that wanted her to meet some sweet gentleman because they could not bear the thought of her spending the rest of her life alone. After three failed relationships that broke her heart and hurt her pride, she was content to call it quits. Thankfully, she often reminded herself, she only married one of these men. Over the years, she came to understand that she must have some secret penchant for bad boys since each “good” boy she met had a fondness for blondes and alcohol, and not necessarily in that order.

“Just come over and have drinks and meet him. If you don’t like him, you can always leave,” chided Bobby. The two women had been best friends since they met in sixth grade.

“No, I don’t want to meet anyone. I am through.  Besides, I think I need to come with a warning label because I find that I get involved with closet alcoholics, or I drive men to drink which could be a genuine possibility,” Amy replied. “I know you mean well, but if you really love me, you will drop this nonsense. I am happier on my own.”

And for the most part, she meant it. After her separation, Amy felt as if she had risen from the dead. Although she attended college and was earning a teaching degree, she found time to write again. It was exhilarating to write. She loved all of it, even the endless research and the essays that came with it. Since her daughter was older, she started writing for the pure magic of it all too. Through college courses and on the advice of friends and professors, she began submitting her work. She enjoyed seeing her work in print. Her writing made her feel alive again.

And then it happened again, not once but twice. Two more men, who swept her off her feet, made charming promises, offered love and adventure, and then broke her heart into a million pieces. The first was another who loved blondes. The second was another who drowned his sorrows in the bottle. And this time, she knew her romantic life was cursed, and she swore she would remain alone. Many of her friends fussed and fretted about her choice, yet Amy was quite content with this decision. Staying single offered such a wondrous freedom, for she often found that she lost herself in her relationships and stopped doing the things she enjoyed most.

Over the last four years since her previous heartbreak, she started living the life she imaged once again. Teaching kept her busy as well as her little house nestled in a prairie with sweeping mountain vistas that offered spectacular sunsets. In the evenings, the city lights from the east sparkled. Her home was such a welcoming haven, well when she wasn’t battling tumbleweeds and gophers; that is. Still, she found herself happily devouring interior design magazines that showcased warm cottage homes, and she found herself dreaming once more of her little cottage creation. She added two little pups to the mix, and she began writing again too. Life was perfect.

Yep, life was perfect until the day she had her oil changed, and her tires rotated. After handing her keys to the attendant, she made her way into the waiting area. She set her caramel coffee creation on the end table and scanned the reading material. Leavings of yesterday’s paper laid crumpled on one end table. Popular Mechanic, Field and Stream, and Bowhunting were strewn across a coffee table. Across from her sat a man who glanced up and smiled as she looked over the slim pickings of reading material.

“I guess I will have to bring in some Women’s Day and Country Living to help some of the female clients out. Although I know my granddaughter would enjoy the hunting magazine,” she told the man across from her.

He smiled, and the two began talking. They chatted for almost an hour about children and hunting, and their love of the outdoors. And as she watched, he smiled. She noticed his smile reached to eyes and crinkled when he laughed. This man and woman talked nonstop, and they spoke as if they were old friends who just happened to run into each other, just out of the blue. And when the attendant came and told her that her car was ready, the two kept on visiting. Finally, she stood, so that she could pay her bill. He followed her into the reception area and waited across the room. When she looked up, he was watching her. She still didn’t want to leave, but she felt awkward and didn’t know what to do. She waved to him and told him that she enjoyed visiting with him. He nodded and smiled. Slowly, she walked to her car while secretly hoping he would follow her. No such luck, she slipped into her car, and as she pulled out of the parking lot, she noticed that he had stepped up to the window and watched as she drove away.

And here she was, still one week later, thinking about the man she briefly met. The woman that vowed to stay single could not stop thinking about the man with warm brown eyes that made her heart beat faster.

Photo Courtesy of bady qb @ Unsplash

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