How come whirlwind romances are so accepted and celebrated in movies but when they happen in real life, many of us are far too scared to pursue them?
I was headed back to New York City from a week away on a work trip in sultry and steamy New Orleans. It had been a long week of longer days, and while I adored the syrupy slow pace of the south (since I was born and raised below the Mason Dixon line), I was so ready to get back home, back in the trenches, back in the rat race. I felt the anxiety build up as I watched my Uber make the various turns on my app. He pulled up and I went outside to the unwelcoming heat.
As I made my way to the SUV, a man yelled out from behind me, “Excuse me miss?”
I kept walking. It was too early and I was leaving. I didn’t have the time or energy for him.
He called out again,”Excuse me miss, would you mind splitting a cab?”
Slightly irritated, I turned around to the voice and my attitude shifted. He was tall, dark and handsome. Sometimes, I like to treat my life like a Zane novel and entertain the handsome men who randomly walk into my life.
“Sure,” I smiled, giving the driver my suitcase.
The stranger grabbed the handle of my bag, “I’ve got it.” His smile could have lit up the entire morning.
The driver went to get back into the car and the stranger put our bags in the trunk, opened the door for me, watched me climb in and shut the door behind me. I leaned over and opened his door for him. He smiled when he got in, “Nice.” He shut the door and turned to me, “I’m Shannon. You are…beautiful.” He seemed to smile at his own charm, but then his eyes drank me in.
I smiled back at him, “Good one. I’m Danielle.” We shook hands.
“Thank you for sharing a cab with me, Danielle,” Shannon kissed my hand.
“Oh, ok,” I wasn’t sure how I felt about him kissing my hand. But I let it rock. Maybe it had been too long since I met a gentleman? Ha!
We talked about where we were from, and where we were headed. He asked me why I was in New Orleans and I told him it was for work. He was also in NOLA for work. We exchanged numbers and we laughed at each other’s stories about gross sweat prints and with every giggle, Shannon leaned closer to me.
“Why did you ask me to split the ride?” I asked Shannon.
“I saw you and I liked what I saw. I figured I’d shoot my shot,” Shannon grabbed my hand and kissed it again.
I pulled my hand from his grasp and his lips. I wasn’t grossed out, just not sure I should let Shannon go as far as he wanted to go. “That simple, huh?”
“Yeah. If you would have said no, then I would have gotten my own cab. No biggie.” Shannon shrugged. “But I’m here because you’re sweet.” Shannon tapped around on his iPhone and slapped his forehead. “I’m going to miss my flight.”
“What time is your flight?”
“In 20 minutes.”
We were at least 15 minutes away from the airport. He was definitely going to miss his flight back to Chicago.
“So what are you going to do?”
Shannon didn’t miss a beat, “I could come to New York with you?” He smiled at me.
“Oh, you could?” I laughed.
“Yeah. I could come to New York for a day or two and check you out and go back home. This might be a blessing in disguise. Fate knew we needed more time.” Shannon smiled.
I couldn’t tell if he was joking or dead serious, but something told me that it was probably smack dab in the middle of both.