Imagine a blonde girl who fits every adjective we use for the ones who pull us in. She fits them all – She was cute, she was beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, everything. She looked at me, and I looked at her, but I feigned a cough into my sleeve to break it, being the shy guy that I am. The Metrolink arrived, and as is custom with sporting events, we all were crammed in like sardines.
Much to my surprise, she happened to board the same car I did. Maybe not to my surprise – I did my best to line up to board the same car as her. She sat near the door, and I ended up standing deep in a crowd of people about 3 or 4 rows ahead of her. As we sped through St. Louis, I turned around to see the beauty behind me, and once again, she locked eyes with me. Not in a “Stop it, creep” kind of way, but in a “I noticed you, and you are welcome to advance” kind of way. The whole time on the platform and on the train, she radiated a smile that was one of the most genuine I've ever seen. I'd like to think that I contributed to this, but at the time, I was terrified that I had. It would have virtually required me to make my move – something I have tried in the past, with no success whatsoever (But that's a whole other story).. Again, I feigned a cough into my shoulder and acted like I had been looking around the train.
As I did everything I could to avoid making any contact with what I was beginning to believe would be the girl of my dreams, I started thinking back. I have always condemned myself for doing exactly this. Fighting to avoid eye contact for fear of rejection – or maybe even fear of success. I scolded myself. Here was potentially the girl of my dreams, a few rows back, who almost seemed to be begging for me to make contact with her, to enter my life, and me enter hers. I resolutely told myself that as soon as the crowd I was trapped inside of thinned out, I would sit next to her and force myself to surmount my shyness around strangers. I would hopefully at least spark a friendship, if not more, and be sure that we would be able to contact each other in the future, whether through facebook or phones. Luckily, the next stop was a casino, with a massive parking lot, where numerous people from Illinois park their cars to gain speed over the train while also avoiding the downtown traffic. After the next stop, it would be do or die time...
The people began shuffling off the train en masse, and I began mentally psyching myself up. (No, I was not hopping around like a man about to enter a boxing ring, though I sure felt like it in my head!) Just as the doors were closing, I turned around to survey the path towards her, and saw her walking off onto the platform. The moment she stepped out, the doors closed and the train was rolling away. That was it. The last I would ever see of her. I felt as though my love life was over. This was one of those girls you believe you'll never get over. I sank into a nearby seat and imagined what could have been, had I acted sooner and squeezed to the crowd to her.
Two months later, I am over feeling as though she is the only girl for me, but on this cold, December night in the Midwest, my mind still drifts back to that autumn day, and the loveliest girl I've seen in what seems like years, walking off the train, never to be seen or heard from again, all because I acted too late. I could have at least prevented the “What if's” of the next few days by simply saying a few sentences to her and maybe giving her my number. All I had to do was squeeze through maybe six to ten people... But my chance was lost.
Let this be a lesson – if the opportunity for anything in life is there, take it while it's available. If you wait until you think the moment will be just right, you can almost guarantee that it will slip through your fingers and possibly never present itself again. It's better to approach with a lackluster plan than to wait too long and never try any plan at all.