Us - Your Story 58 Finalist

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Us - Your Story 58 Finalist

Postby TiffanyLuckey » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:30 pm


I’m looking around your home and, you know what? It’s exactly as I’d pictured. The minimalist decor, no clutter of family photos on the mantle—it’s perfect.

Look at me. Here, let me brush that stray hair from your lovely eyes. Don’t squeeze them shut; you have such lovely eyes. I’m sorry about the tape, but you must understand there’s no need to speak. I can read your eyes.

Let me pull up this chair next to yours. Where was I? Ah, I remember, I was telling you about my career.

What I love most about my job is the travel. What I love most about travel are the airports, which are some of the best hunting grounds for people watchers, like me.

Before we chanced upon each other, my travels took me to LaGuardia, on to Heathrow, Kennedy, Reagan National, and, finally, back to O’Hare. Lucky for us I’m two days late coming home because I caught someone worth watching in New York. His name was Nick and, as it happened, he, too, was traveling alone, all the way from Oregon, and picked “The Big Apple” because he had never been further east than Denver and wanted to see Broadway. Because neither of us had plans for the evening, I suggested dinner and a show. Poor chap had his heart set on seeing Wicked.

Anyway, it’s a game I play, people hunting, and like any game worth playing, it takes patience. I will have been watching you for hours before you even know I exist. When I do approach, it will seem completely by chance—an accidental elbow bump in line or a casual conversation to pass the time in flight. I’ll ask things like, what are you reading? Are you coming or going? Business or pleasure? Family? Where are you from? Oh, I’ll say, “Can you believe it? Me too!” And then we’ll both be amazed to discover we hail from neighboring towns, or maybe the same city. I’ve always had a knack for geography.

You’re shaking! You can’t be cold; you’re perspiring. I’ll get you some water, but you must promise not to cry out.

Anyway, I had a mentor, but now I work alone. I earn my keep as an employee motivation expert—you know, a business coach. Companies fork over fat fees for me to speak at their corporate retreats. It’s really something, upper level management hanging on every word I have to say about winning and watching and knowing the competition. They’ll buy 5,000 copies of my latest book, insisting everyone in the organization reads it.

Though I’m fairly well known in business circles, you’ll never recognize me at the airport. I’m a so-called “master of disguise.” A chameleon, really. I have to be.

I think my parents were afraid of me. I don’t remember them well, which is funny because it was my profound gift for remembering details that led them to engage my first psychologist when I was 8. I’ve seen more doctors than most people have suffered hiccups. They’ve all shared their diagnoses—histrionic personality disorder, borderline, antisocial, narcissistic, and my personal favorite, pseudologia fantastica. A pathological liar! Me? I earned a Ph.D. in psychology just so I could understand myself.

Oh, you’re crying. Are you uncomfortable? I’m afraid I can’t untie you.

You, my lady, don’t know how special you are. I’m very selective about the people I choose. I’m not interested in your family groups or single granola-moms carrying wheezy babies in slings and dog-eared copies of Attachment Parenting, nor will I pursue pushy men in power suits.

No, I’m looking for lonely sojourners, like us. Like Nick from Oregon who would never have flown to New York if he hadn’t been forced to use his vacation accrual. I recognize a recluse who has nobody waiting at the arrival gate, nobody at home waiting up late for the phone call saying you landed safely.

This brings me to where we are, this moment.

Oh, don’t struggle. You’ll only make it worse.

I singled you out long before our flight was diverted to D.C. And then you backed into me while stowing your carry-on, the one exactly like mine, and you accidentally stepped on my foot, remember? You were so contrite. You even thanked me when I offered to retrieve your bag from the overhead.

Yes, that’s right. I handed you the suitcase. Now you understand. It was no accident that you brought home my baggage.

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Re: Us - Your Story 58 Finalist

Postby Halenline » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:03 pm

Love this one! Very creepy.

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Re: Us - Your Story 58 Finalist

Postby ChasTX » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:40 pm

Gave me Goosebumps, particularly as someone who used to fly for business every week.... Yikes! Very creepy!

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Re: Us - Your Story 58 Finalist

Postby Gooblink » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:11 am

Thank you! I'd posted a thank you earlier, but then realized the contest still had a long time to go so I deleted it.

Anyway, I'm glad you liked it. "Creepy" was my intent. :)
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