If you’ve ever had a dream crushed, no not crushed, brutally assassinated by decapitation with a chain saw and your heart feels like its being skewered on disease infected rusty pole and slowly being baked in an oven in the middle of earth’s core, you know what its like to be me. I was good at what I did. But it wasn’t what I wanted. It was what my father wanted. Nobody would ever dream about being an accountant. What I was good at was math, which quote “Would help me in the long run”. Algebra one in sixth grade, geometry in seventh. I was, again I quote “A genius”. But that wasn’t the path I chose. I chose literature. I went to my private school and told my father I was taking extra math classes. I lied. I took writing classes, reading classes, and anything else that would help me in my path to being a writer. But my dad found out what I was doing and stopped paying for my school. And that’s how all I had worked for was ruined. So I left.
I met a man by the name of Dunn, James Dunn. He worked for a publishing company in Springfield, Illinois. Apparently he had been reading my work over my shoulder but I didn’t mind. He gave me a card for the company and I accepted it gratefully. He also said that there wasn’t a great chance that I would have success with my idea but it was worth a try. It definitely was. This chance may never come again. In life when you have a shot to make it you gotta do what’s best for yourself. So I was taking that shot.
The cold Chicago air brushed past my neck and rattled my ice cold bones. I wriggled my toes in the space I could in my dress shoes. I was wearing a dull grey suit and a fleece jacket. The jacket wasn’t quite doing it’s job. Running through my mind was a checklist, making sure I had everything I needed for my pitch in Springfield.
My laptop- check
My Blackberry- check
Every story that I’d written since eighth grade- …check
I stepped down the tiled stairs gradually and painfully into the depths of the Chicago train station. Miserable people walked past me as I lowered my head to avoid the painful awkward stares they were giving me. It was six in the morning and below zero. No time to be outside. I tried to kill some time by playing solitaire on my phone while I waited for my train. Then I thought of how I hadn’t said a word to anyone in about a month. The depression got worse as I thought of how horribly lonely I was. I was getting into the part where I thought about never being married and not speaking to anyone so much that I forget the language I’d once spoken, when I was interrupted by a beautiful young woman with long wavy black hair. She was wearing a pink jacket with fur around the hood. She had on tight black jeans and pink converse. I couldn’t guess how she was withstanding the temperature. She looked about twenty years old and around her neck was a poke-a-dot scarf, again pink. She had small, almost Asian features that were extremely beautiful.
“Excuse me,” she said, “Would you happen to have a pen I could borrow? I need to fill out this form,” she held up a piece of paper.
I took a moment to answer for I was stunned by her incredible good looks, “Oh yeah of course.” I opened my briefcase and fumbled through the pockets for a pen. My eyes caught a blue one and I snatched it up. Our hands touched and I handed her the pen.
“Thank you,” she said and sat down next to me, “I’ve been asking around but no one would give me one. I really appreciate it.”
“No problem,” I mumbled.
She looked at me for a second then reached out her hand and said, “I’m Kelly Hart.”
I immediately took her hand and introduced myself, “So…what is the form for.”
“Oh, I’m auditioning at a performing arts college. I’m a dancer,” she seemed happy to tell me.
“So where is it,” I asked.
“New York City,” she said.
My face fell. More disappointment.
“Where are you going,” she pleasantly asked me.
“I’m pitching an idea for a publishing company in Springfield. I‘m a writer. An amateur of course,” I said.
The joy left her eyes when I said Springfield, “Oh. Well the college I’m auditioning at has a creative writing program too,” she paused, “You know if the pitch doesn’t work out the way you wanted it too, you could always go there.”
“Thanks, I’ll think about it,” I said.
“Really? It’d be cool to know someone there,” she said, the hope showing through her voice.
“Yeah, I’ll check it out.”
We talked a little longer about our homes and families, past jobs, friends, pets. She was an incredible girl and I was sure she liked me. There was so much chemistry between us. She was the one…if I didn’t make the pitch.
“Well, I have to go, my train is leaving soon. But it great talking to you,” she stood still as much as she could in the cold.
“Yeah you too,” I said.
We stood there inches across from each other for a long moment. She broke the silence, “Well good luck with your pitch and maybe…I’ll see ya later.”
“Yeah, I hope so.”
She made one last indescribable smile then turned and walked away. I watched her strut along the cement for a couple seconds. Then she turned around and I moved my eyes to her face. She waved. I lifted one hand and waved once. Then she continued on her path to a better life.
My mind ran over everything that had happened to me. Going to Springfield was my shot that I needed to take. But maybe this school was too. I’d been waiting so long for a pitch like this and I finally got it. But I’d also been waiting for someone like her. And…I got her.
I made my way to the nearest ticket counter. There was a man there waiting for me. This was it…my decision. I’d taken so much time pursuing this dream to become a writer. But I had something new to pursue, and she was definitely worth it. I’d waited so long for this a chance like this pitch.
I stepped up to the counter, “One ticket to New York City please.”
And the wait goes on.