There was only one thing she knew when she graduated from college: there was no way in hell she was going to go back to live in Northern Virginia. Having no money and no job prospects, only an invitation to stay with her younger brother in San Diego, she boarded a Greyhound bus. Nearly three full days spent staring out a window, changing buses a half-dozen times, and trying hard not to think too much of what was behind her and what might be ahead of her.
In Chicago, a tall, dark handsome man with a guitar boarded the bus she had already situated herself on. She regretted that she was in the back of the bus, the smoking area, and that all the seats were taken. She saw him stow his gear and take a seat next to a pretty, young woman who was clearly salivating at her good fortune. In the back of the bus came the exhale of disappointment and the acceptance of Fate.
Fate did board the bus that day. After an hour or two of rolling along, the tall, dark handsome man with the guitar wandered to the back of the bus, asking the seat mate of the girl if she would take his seat while he smoked a cigarette. How could the seat mate refuse? It was Fate, after all.
He was soft-spoken and as he introduced himself. They chatted for the duration of the smoke break, and for a bit longer. He spoke too softly for her to hear him say he was going home for the summer from school, from Harvard. She nodded politely, quite nonchalantly, really. And that was what grabbed him. That is what propelled him to seek her out at the next stop, to ask about sitting together as a couple of the smokers exited the bus for good.
For the next 36 hours of the trip, from Chicago to Salt Lake City, where he transferred to one bus and she to another, they talked and smoked and joked and ultimately kissed. She could not believe her good fortune. He lived not far from where she would be finding her way in a week. He gave her his number. And when she made her way down to San Diego, she called the tall, handsome man with the guitar.
Fate, it’s the stuff of soap operas the world over.
To be continued next week.
More SOS episodes can be found here.