This could actually be a true story if I actually did this. I am going to this event. If you're in Chicago, you could go too. And for all you fiction writers out there, there’s still time to submit your story for the Nelson Algren Literary Award for short stories. Somebody has to win, right?
It was like standing in the center of a souvenir snow globe of Michigan Avenue, as if someone turned the entire city of Chicago upside down and gently shook. The snow fell like tiny, soft, feathery flakes lightly blanketing everything it touched including her. It was a beautiful evening.
She pulled up her hood.
As one of the remaining patrons still outside, she had the “good” kind of nerves. Maybe it was called “nervous with anticipation”. She wasn’t sure, didn't really care, but anyone watching closely would recognize her fidgeting.
She had just two tickets.
It was her intention to invite both to the event she so passionately wished to attend thinking each would love it as much as her. Plus, she didn’t want to go alone or with someone who’d simply “put up” with it on her account.
So she emailed an off-handed invitation, providing them plenty of notice. She worded it so casually. So nonchalant. No pressure. They both said they planned to try.
Hedging bets came naturally to her.
Why these two?
Because she was forever drawn to people with whom she “strongly suspected” she’d have a deep connection. These two melded with her on many levels. Reading, writing, intelligent and passionate conversation were alluring to all three. She knew that about them.
She told herself she’d be equally excited whoever walked down the street. Mentally preparing for one, more likely, due to proximity because the other, she thought, required much more effort and finesse.
And they couldn’t be more different.
One was a woman. One was a man.
She didn’t know either well. Okay. Not at all really. In fact, she had never met either in person. She just desired to.
Grasping at diminishing confidence, she thought, “What if they both came?”
Then, "Or neither?"
Gazing in the opposite direction, she heard a tentative, “Hello?”
Breaking into her widest smile,
“I’m so happy it’s you!”
“What do you mean “you”?
“I’m so happy to finally see you.”
33-333 words for:
1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
2: import, significance