By Tava Hoag
I was running late and I knew it, my appointment with my professor was at 2:30 at the Thai Restaurant in the North End. It was now 2:20 and the subway that departed from the Commons across the street from Emerson College was leaving in two minutes.
“Dammit.” I hissed pushing through another crowd of jabbering people to get to the subway entrance. It normally took her thirty seconds to get from her dorm room to the park across the street, and now at a slight jog it was taking her five minutes.
“Why is it, that the streets are always so unbelievably crowded when I have to be somewhere important?” I thought.
It was October, and most people left Boston in October, venturing farther north in New England to see the beautiful fall foliage. No, not today on a random Tuesday. Dawn, my photography professor, offered to take the class out to lunch to discuss the art of photographing the urban, and she was going to miss the lecture, not to mention the delicious Thai cooking that she had requested.
Finally, out of breath I got to the entrance, scrambled down the stairs away from all of the chatter, swiped her Charlie card, and got onto the platform, only to realize that the subway had just left. It felt like the smiling face of the Crest Toothpaste add was taunting me for being late. The next ride would be in five minutes, guaranteeing my unreasonable tardiness.
I sat on a nearby bench, adjusting my skirt to avoid touching the achingly cold metal frame and let my mind wander over the past few months of my new life in the city. It was amazing, but I couldn’t help missing Derek every chance I got even though he wasn’t speaking to me these days. Suddenly, I felt a large hand on her shoulder.
“Excuse me?” he said. I turned around ready to tell whoever it was to leave me alone because I was having a bad day, but then I looked into his eyes. They were beautiful, it made my pulse quicken and it took a few seconds for me to realize that he was saying something.
“What?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“I think this is yours.” He said holding out my Vera Bradley Wallet.
“Oh, yes it is. Thank you. I must have dropped it. I’m all over the place today because I’m wicked late for a class.” After saying all of that I realized he probably didn’t care in the slightest, but for some reason I wanted to keep talking to him.
“Yeah?” he chuckled his eyes sparkling. “I get like that sometimes too.”
I stuck out her hand. “I’m Lydia Wallace. Thank you so much for returning this…” I gestured towards the wallet. “Not many people would.”
“I’m Blake Sawyer, and I guess I’m a nice guy.”
Just then, the speaker announced the arrival of my ride and I snapped out of my reverie. “That’s me, I gotta run, it was nice meeting you.”
“Well, hey what a coincidence.” he called out. “This is me too, want to share a seat?”
I smiled despite my hurry. “Sure.”
It was crowded inside, but for once this didn’t bother me. As we sat down I looked at him again. “I know you’ve probably heard this a million times, but you’re eyes…
“…are stunning.” He finished for me. “Yea I get that a lot” he raised his eyebrows making the colors within pop. They were green like freshly chopped celery with flecks of amber within the irises.
They spent the rest of the ride talking about their lives; Blake was from Martha’s Vineyard and grew up in a wealthy family just like me. He was going to Law School at Boston University. I told him about growing up on a lake, and the death of my mother, which ultimately inspired me to follow my dreams. Soon they were approaching my stop. “Blake, I really enjoyed talking to you.”
“I enjoyed talking to you Miss. Wallace.”
As I hesitantly got up to leave, Blake reached out and took my hand. He gently pulled it towards him and kissed it softly with his full lips, never taking his eyes off of my own. Then he gave my hand a squeeze and let me walk away from him in a stunned silence. I turned and looked back at him, he smiled and then a crowd entered the carriage and I couldn’t see him anymore.
As I turned to walk up the stairs I realized there was something in my palm. Opening my fingers I realized it was a crumpled piece of paper. I smoothed it out and read.
-Lydia, the choice is yours. Here’s my number 978 476 5943. I hope you’ll consider it. Blake.”
I wanted so badly to call him now and be romantic. Instead I trudged grudgingly to my class where I couldn’t pay attention because the possibility of Blake was taking root in my head. After the lecture Dawn reprimanded me for being so late claiming it made her best student look bad. This is when I realized I wouldn’t have even ran into Blake if it hadn’t been for my best friend Kira.
Kira had showed up this morning, tears streaming down her face and sobbing that Jake had cheated on her with her roommate. Kira had driven by herself from Providence to Boston and needed my support. If her best friend hadn’t requested mac and cheese as a comfort food I wouldn’t have been late. I made a mental note to thank Kira when she was feeling better.