I was sitting in the aisle seat. A strong looking man with a military crew cut and a matching army bag was sitting across the aisle. He was reading the book I had read last week. The new Clive Cussler. I wondered how far he had read. I started the conversation. Asked him how far he had gotten. Told him I didn’t want to spoil the end. Really I was just looking for an excuse to talk to him. He was tan and had blue eyes. He talked about being in Southern California for the National Guard. We talked about lightning. It was as if the electricity was there with us. We talked for three hours. It felt like three minutes. Time passed quickly. I wanted his phone number. Wanted to ask his last name. I didn’t. The opportunity left when the plane landed and we both walked off in separate directions.
I knew very little about him. His first name. His rank. A couple of the bands he liked to hear play. His smile started in his eyes. This was it. And I had missed it. How was that possible. I had always been courageous when it came to men. I had asked them out before. Why was this so different? Why hadn’t I asked him for his number? I answered my own question. I wasn’t the kind of girl who asked strangers for their phone numbers. I shouldn’t have even been talking to him in the first place.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I went to my temporary job. The one I was doing while I was flying all over the country trying to figure out my next move. I had finished graduate school and had an internship on my resume. Where would I like to live? Kansas City, Chicago, Oklahoma or Florida? These were the possibilities my graduation had brought me. For some reason, I kept searching, kept interviewing, not knowing what the future would bring.
Four weeks passed. The feeling was still strong. I had missed out on a chance that I shouldn’t have let go by. Why didn’t I get his number? Regret stung. There was nothing to do. I was never going to find him again.