Beyond the Western
Candice had purchased the winter coat at an upscale used clothing store in New York City. It was a fawn colored mid-length coat of fine leather and bore an exclusive label. Normally, she didn’t shop in used clothing stores, but the coat was in the window and it caught her eye as she passed by. She felt compelled to purchase it.
It was only $400 and well worth every penny. The shops owner told her it was part of an estate purchase. The woman who owned it had married and moved to Europe. She took nothing more than her new husband and a suitcase.
Candice researched the coat’s label. Turns out the company was originally located in Chicago, but had gone out of business five years earlier. At that time, the coat was worth $1800. Needless to say, Candice was pleased with her new purchase.
She was examining the lining one evening when she discovered a small inside pocket. She had previously overlooked it as it was hidden within the folds. It felt as if there was something in it. She reached in with her fingertips and pulled out a photo. It was an image of a very handsome young man, maybe in his early thirties. Dark hair, hazel eyes and well dressed. On the back side there was a note.
It read, “Dearest Hope, This coat reminded me of you. I couldn’t pass it up. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I’m sorry things didn’t work out as planned. No matter what. Remember me and remember our date. I’ll meet you in the lobby of the MET in New York City on November 11, 2020, noon. Looking forward to seeing you already. I’ll be wearing a blue rose in my lapel.” It was signed, Ben.
Candice believed in synchronicity. That things happen for a reason. Could this note be meant for her? Everything seemed to line up. Purchasing the coat, discovering the pocket and finding the picture, she was single, Ben was about her age and her middle name was Rose. Then there was today’s date. It was October 28, 2020. November 11, 2020 was only two weeks away. The most interesting detail of all was that for the last six months, she had been working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The very MET Ben and Candice were to meet at. What were the odds?
For the next two weeks Candice tried to find out all she could about Hope and Ben, mostly Ben. She fantasized about meeting Him. How he would be disappointed that Hope didn’t show, but would be enchanted with her. They would fall in love, marry and live happily ever after. Was this the dream of a lonely woman… or something predestined?
On November 11th Candice was a bundle of nerves. Just before noon, she slipped on her coat and went to the lobby. She stood off to one side looking intently for a man with a blue rose in his lapel. She noticed him as soon as he walked through the door.
His eyes were searching, but not finding. At 12:20 Hope had still not shown. Candice decided to make her move before Ben decided to leave. Just as she stepped out of the shadows a woman stepped between her and Ben. They embraced, kissed and walked off together in deep conversation.
Candice was extremely disappointed. She turned her back to the couple and walked off as she headed back to work.
She was lost in deep thought and payed little attention to where she was walking. She literally ran into someone she once knew. An old friend she hadn’t seen in years. They talked at length. He was single and still living in New York. He asked her to dinner.
© Copyright 2020 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.