Thursday, 30 June 2016

…Take the moment and make it perfect

Shortly before I set off for a quick sightseeing trip I lived through 15-minutes-long episode I could not get off my mind for the past two weeks.

15 June 2016, Wednesday.
A workmate who had decided to attend the same conference I did turned up around 9:00 a.m. As his decision had been kind of belated (or to put it coarsely, he had not been far-sighted), he had not managed to find a room in a hotel where the conference was held. He was planning to leave before evening to return to Warsaw around dusk, yet when it turned out my single room was in fact a double room with two single beds, I decided to give in to his entreating and put him up overnight, illegally. Because we had one room entry card, we had no choice but to go to most places together. As I spoke on the phone to another colleague, he advised jocosely we hang around separately, since I would be scaring off his prospective clients and he would be scaring off all women interested in me…

16 June 2016, Thursday
Early morning. The workmate is kind of languorous and indecisive; two traits I cannot put up with when they are exhibited by fellow males. I delicately urge him to leave the room before 7:30 a.m.. He insists on eating a breakfast in the hotel restaurant, while I keep telling him just like in almost each and every hotel, the restaurant crew would ask him about room number and thus his free-riding would come to the light, not the course of event we both would wish for. I walk downstairs to consume my duly paid breakfast and leave him packing his stuff in my room. While I finish eating, I see him strutting about outside the hotel. Then I notice a missed phone call from him. We work together on day-to-day basis, so I overcome my irritation and walk off outside to shake his hand and wish him a good journey… He marches to his company car, while I take delight in breathing in fresh warm morning air. The past twenty two and half hours proved lack of company is better than any company…

I briskly stride towards the hotel making a plan to visit the swimming pool (went there once yesterday, but since it has been paid for, why not use it?) and in my state of sheer bliss I fail to notice a young woman crouching over an open suitcase. She begins a conversation:
Woman: Excuse me sir, does sir know how to call a taxi to the train station in Town?
Me: At the moment unfortunately not, but I am just finding it out (grabbing the smartphone from my pocket and looking for a number to order a taxi cab from Town).
Woman: The taxi driver was bound to pick me up at 7:30 while my train to Warsaw departs at 8:03…
Me: I am afraid you have some twenty minutes left and waiting for a taxi is kind of risky. If you are to make it to the station, I will give you a lift. I will just fetch the car keys and documents from my room and off we go…

While I was nearly running back with stuff necessary to fire up the car, my thought was that the taxi driver has pitched up in the meantime and I my fit of help was gratuitous…

Woman, still squatting over the open suitcase: I thought sir was joking and ran away. Sir is very nice.

From the next ten minutes I remember that:
- we kept talking (or heads off) during the entire journey and definitely were on the same wavelength from the very moment we got into the car, however I cannot recall well subject matters of our chat,
- I felt addressing each other Pani / Pan was absurdly unnatural since with newly met people on social occasions I am on name’s terms from the very beginning,
- I had to ask her to find a route to the train station on her mobile phone (with hindsight I have learnt my new company swanky smartphone has an up-to-the-mark navigation),
- she was somewhat frightened by my style of driving, while I was slightly fast and furious behind the wheel,
- when for a moment we talked about football (Poland was due to play with Germany later that day), I missed an opportunity to sound out whether she has a husband or boyfriend (by asking a casual question whether her husband or boyfriend is a football fan),
- when I parked next to the station she asked me for a business card and since I had left them in the hotel. I told her my name and private phone number and held back from asking her about hers, since my thought was that in such situation asking her for phone number would be a step too far. In my awkward reasoning I had showed immediate initiative and resourcefulness and if she wanted to pay back as she was promising when getting off the car, she would make the next step, if not, imposing myself was a bad idea.

Some four or five days later I realised I did not know her name, where she worked and given my poor memory for faces, I would not recognise her if we met again. But this was the second time (let’s pass over the first one in silence) over three months when I met a woman for the first time and for the second time some kind of chemistry (and spontaneity) was in the air that instantly shortened the distance between us from the word go. Come to think of it. So often two people deliberately date and both struggle to keep up a conversation while out of the blue you can run across somebody accidentally and talk with them (if time permits, for hours) effortlessly.

22 June 2016, Wednesday
I get a text message from my team-mate. She writes a courier has delivered a parcel for me, undersigned “with thanks from Company XYZ”. Kind of confused I google the name of the sender and learn Company XYZ was one the partners of last week’s conference. Whether the bundle’s arrival is an implication of the pleasant adventure, or just a follow-up to a cordial exchange of business cards will remain a mystery until 4 July when I return to work.

Looking back at the situation, there is no clear reason why I cannot get it off my head. The woman might be a happy wife and mother to two small lovely children. The woman might also in a long-lasting not formalised relationship. If I knew that, I would have simply come to terms with it, put giving her a lift on a list of good deeds I have made in life and give it a rest once and for all.

Twists and turns of life are frequently driven by coincidences. As the old saying goes, luck is an opportunity not missed. In this case, I hold it against myself I have not seized the opportunity. I can neither give up nor move on…

Or alternatively, if she knows how to get in touch with me and (rather) has not done it (cannot determine it, until I open the parcel) it is high time I gave over…

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