What if? – Dalmatia Flemming
What if? – Dalmatia Flemming
“Hi Carol, Chancy here.”
…”Oh … hi Chancy, I haven’t heard from you in a long time. How are you? ”
“Yeah, I know. I’m fine. How are you?”
“Oh good, I’m so glad to hear that…. So, I was wondering if you’d like to go out to dinner with me sometime soon and catch-up.” I remember that you always liked Italian food and there’s this great new Italian restaurant about a mile from your house. I’ve been there and I think the food is really good. What do you think?”
…”YOU’VE been THERE?”
“Yeah it’s good.”
“Oh… well I’m supper swamped right now. Just crazy busy for the next three weeks. Why don’t I call you after things calm down and I’m sure we can come up with a date and time that works?”
“How about if I call you back in three weeks then.”
“Yeah, that would be great. Nice to hear from you. I’m looking forward to it.”
Chancy looked hard at the photo of her and Jordan on their wedding day on the table by her side. She picked it up and turned it face down, then stared out into the nicely appointed living room of her gorgeous house in the city’s best neighborhood. She took her glasses off and set them down, rubbed her eyes and sighed. Here she was, freshly divorced from Jordan, ready to celebrate her new found freedom and to start a new life, and she had no girlfriends left to celebrate with.
Chancy thought back to that first time she and Jordan met. It was at work. She clearly remembered that day; it was etched into her brain…
… On the first day of her new job, Chancy’s manager led her around and introduced her to everyone in the work group. Her head was spinning with faces and names; how could she possibly remember all of them. It took a few weeks to get it right. But there was one person whose name and face she remembered immediately…Jordan.
He was so handsome! She was immediately attracted to him and it seemed as though he was attracted to her as well. The sparks flew as they shook hands, made eye contact and smiled at one another.
Chancy was excited to discover that the work group made a habit of patronizing the Taco Tuesday happy hour at the restaurant across the street. She went her first Tuesday on the job. Jordan was there.
They immediately hit it off. They became work friends but both wanted more. Chancy insisted they take it slowly.
As the weeks passed, Chancy observed that Jordan was destined for greatness, a real up and comer. Three months after Chancy was hired, Jordan took a job as a manager in another department. Now that they were no longer in the same work group, their relationship quickly advanced. A year after that, Jordan was promoted to senior manager. That’s when he proposed.
All of Chancy’s close friends – Shannon, Sue and Carol – thought she had found the true “Prince Charming”. Of course, they were so excited and happy for her, but a little jealous and afraid that they would lose their dear friend; that she would soon be out of their league.
The perfect wedding and honeymoon ensued. Jordan was made an executive. They moved to a very upscale neighborhood.
Chancy was now spending her days “doing lunch”, shopping and frequenting Pilates and yoga classes while the nanny took care of the kids. She had a whole new circle of friends, women who spent their days the same way. Chancy would send Shannon, Sue and Carol annual family updates at Christmas time, but she rarely saw them or even talked to them on the phone. Chancy’s life was so different from theirs now…
Chancy got up, and walked down the long hallway to the library. She found her high school yearbooks and began to thumb through them. A smile came over her face, but after a while she just closed the books and stared off into space. Then her eyes began to slowly trace the room, stopping to focus momentarily on one beautiful object and then moving to another.
How did this happen? How did her life turn out this way? Her priorities were the complete opposite of what they should be. And it had to be Jordan’s fault. He was always so eager to keep up with the Jones. Chancy told him exactly that many times for the first three years of their marriage. Then she sort of got used to all of these beautiful things and wanted more herself. She became completely removed from her former life and dear friends. Now she just had these sorry-excuse-for-a-friend “friends”. Chancy didn’t even like them. Come to think of it, she didn’t even like herself.
Poor Little Rich Girl, friendless, with self-centered kids off in prestigious colleges and no husband. Well, the no husband part was good. Jordan was an asshole…
…Chancy thought back again to that first day of work 26 years ago. She replayed the whole thing in her mind in slow motion, straining to make herself see the faces and remember the names.
A slow smile came over her face as she remembered one pleasantly peculiar young man, just a tad on the chubby side. He always had coffee stains on his shirt. He used to occasionally bring her a piece of fruit for no reason. He always brought the same thing to the group potlucks … brownies … and he made them himself from scratch … and they were very good. He was kind of funny; he would say awkward things at group meetings and everyone would laugh hysterically, then he’d blush. She thinks he used to go to happy hour with the group. What was his name… Albert … that was it! Chancy always had the feeling that Albert had a crush on her…
… What would her life have been like had she married Albert instead of Jordan? Certainly not the train wreck it was now Chancy mused.