I was taking the late train home one evening, when I heard a plaintive voice behind me, talking on a cellphone.
“No. Don’t go to Dubai,” the man pleaded with whoever was on the other end. Girlfriend? Wife? Lover?
“Amelia, listen. I want you here. I want you to stay. I didn’t mean what I said at the party in Zurich. You know that. You know how upset I get when Dad bothers me about making a living. I mean, Amelia–we belong together.”
As subtly as I could, I glanced back to catch a glimpse of the speaker. He was young–age 24, perhaps. His clothes and his bearing marked him as belonging to the elite class. His dark hair was slicked back in a casually hip hairdo. He wore a crisp, blue-and-white checkered dress shirt, and tailored khaki pants. His black leather dress shoes were clearly of superior quality. A dark blue blazer had been flung casually across the empty seat next to him, partially concealing a messenger bag made of fine leather. The young man leaned to one side as he spoke, one well-toned arm reaching up and over the back of the chair.
“Okay, okay. Fine, I admit it. A Rolex watch wasn’t exactly the most romantic one-year anniversary gift, okay? What do you want next year? An Aston Martin? Another yacht? I’ll get it. Just don’t run off with Paul. Don’t. Go. To. Dubai.”
The young man sat up and lowered his voice slightly as the conductor passed. “Okay. Okay. I get it. So, Paul is more mature, right? And he’s got plans, right? Okay, fine. Well, did you know that my Dad was planning to make me V.P. of his company next year? You didn’t know that, did you. That changes things, right? See, we could make things work. Amelia.” He paused and said even more softly,”I want to grow old with you.”
The next few minutes were quiet as the young man nodded and listened to the woman on other end. “Uh huh. Uh huh. Okay. Look–let’s meet in New York, at Times Square, right? Meet me outside the station. We’ll take a limo over to the penthouse. On me.” Another pause. Gradually, the young man’s voice was losing its agitation. “Okay, my number is 555-1234. Talk to you soon. Bye.”
The young man was silent for the rest of the train ride. I wondered what thoughts must be racing through his mind. Was he excited to finally be catching up with his long lost love? Was he confident that he could win her back, despite the fact that she had moved on to another suitor? How would things turn out?
I was almost sorry when the young man departed, at the stop before mine. It would have been interesting to see how his evening turned out.