A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
Candice had purchased the winter coat at an upscale used clothing store in New York City. It was a fawn colored mid-length coat of fine leather with an exclusive label. Normally, she didn't shop in used clothing stores, but the coat was in the window and it caught her eye as she passed by.
It was only $400 and well worth every penny. The shops owner told her it was part of an estate purchase. The woman who owned it had married and moved to Europe. She took nothing more than her new husband and a suitcase.
Candice researched the coat's label. Turns out the company was originally located in Chicago, but had gone out of business over ten years ago. At that time, the coat cost $1800. She was pleased with her new purchase.
As she examined the lining, she realized there was a small inside pocket. It was hidden within the folds. There was something in it. She reached in with her fingertips and pulled out a photo. It was an image of a very handsome young man, maybe in his early thirties.. Dark hair, hazel eyes and well dressed. On the back side there was a note.
It read, “Dearest Hope, This coat reminded me of you. I hope you enjoy it. I'm sorry things didn't work out as planned. No matter what. Remember me and remember our date. I'll meet you in the lobby of the MET in New York City on November 11, 2020, noon. Looking forward to seeing you already. I'll be wearing a blue rose in my lapel. It was signed, Ben.
Candice believed in synchronicity. That things happen for a reason. Could this be meant for her? Everything seemed to line up. The coat, the picture, she was single and Ben was about her age. Then there was today's date. It was October 28, 2020. November 11, 2020 was only two weeks away. but the most interesting detail of all was that for the last six months, she had been working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The MET.
For the next two weeks Candice tried to find out all she could about Hope and Ben, mostly Ben. She fantasized about meeting Him. He would be disappointed that Hope didn't show, but would be enchanted with her. They would fall in love and live happily ever after.
On November 11th Candice was a bundle of nerves. Just before noon, she slipped on her coat and stood off to one side looking intently for a man with a blue rose in his lapel. She noticed him as soon as he walked through the door. His eyes were searching. At 12:20 Hope had not shown. Just as Candice stepped out of the shadows a woman stepped between her and Ben. They embraced, kissed and walked off together in deep conversation. Candice, somewhat disappointed, turned around and literally ran into an old friend she hadn't seen in years. They talked. He asked her to dinner.
© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.