A Magical Night

by Laura Taylor
New York, United States
genre: Romance

This is a mostly true story. Only the names have been changed.

When Lindsay was a young girl, she felt invisible in her family. Her older brother was the golden child. Lindsay pushed herself to reach for perfection, only to never feel she was seen. That lead to a lifetime of shaky self-esteem. Despite having great grades and graduating at the top of her class, she never received the praise she longed for, so turned to food as a comfort. The extra pounds she carried was just one more brick on the internal burdens she carried. This made her unattractive in ways she did not understand and therefore pretty clueless with how the whole dating thing works. Whenever Lindsay showed interest in someone, it turned into just one more thing for kids at school to bully her over. The person she took a liking to would often take advantage of the situation and use it to humiliate Lindsay in retaliation. Somehow as Lindsay grew older that never really went away.

Lindsay’s family didn’t make matters on the subject much better. They would often make snide remarks about her social solitude, asking questions like “What is wrong with you?” or would say “You are too picky. Lower your standards.” Coworkers made comments like “If you lost weight, you would be really pretty.” There’s nothing like a back-handed compliment to make a girl feel special.

Lindsay did her best to let the painful comments slide off her back. She was determined to find her true self and let her light shine. She joined in countless clubs believing this would make her a more interesting person. Her enthusiasm and interests were wide and varied. She had a talent for being pretty good at whatever she tried, so it was easy to busy herself in a fun and active social life while forgetting her always single status. One by one Lindsay’s friends would tie the knot and at every occasion it became assumed Lindsay would not need the plus one at the reception. Slow dances… Valentines… none of these apply to her life. Lindsay knew if she could do this one thing she has never been able to conquer, attain a healthy weight, maybe she wouldn’t always be the friend of the girl at the bar every guy wanted to date.

Eventually Lindsay found a fantastic job where she was treated like a rock star. For the first time in her life, Lindsay felt respected for her talent and abilities. Lindsay finally knew what it’s like to be the shining star. All until the day everything started to come crashing down around her. Her boss was leaving and a new manager would be coming in. No worries. Everyone loves her there. This could finally bring the advancement in her career she had been hoping for. A change in management could bring exciting new opportunities. As expected, along with a new boss came many changes. Unfortunately, these changes were not good. Suddenly Lindsay was subjected to daily scrutiny. Her dream job ended in disappointment when her position was eliminated.

Lindsay fell into a pit of deep despair. She found herself unemployed and alone, sitting on her couch and binge-watching show after show on Netflix. Lindsay came across a foreign TV series she had never heard of before. It seemed popular so she gave it a shot. It felt like watching a college level project Lindsay might have done in school. Lindsay had studied film and acting. What Lindsay found when watching the show is that one character in particular, Gary, really jumped off the screen in her eyes. She had to learn more about this guy.

The more Lindsay learned, the more she wanted to know. She was completely mesmerized by him and drank up anything she could find about him. Lindsay went so far as to reach out to him to comment about how she felt the show could have been improved if the storyline was tweaked and he was featured more. To her shock and surprise, he replied almost instantly!! “Can this be real? Is this really him?”

This could not possibly be real. All the same, Lindsay discovered Gary would be coming to the States for the international premiere of his feature film. It was going to take some planning, but Lindsay knew she needed to be there. She may only get to see him on the red carpet, maybe get a brief chance to say hello, but she felt it deep within her soul that she needed to go. She bought the ticket, booked a flight to New York City and went.

Lindsay was so nervous and excited. In no world does this make sense, but no matter what happened it will be a fun experience. Lindsay got there and did not see a red carpet anywhere. The lack of glitz and glamour for a world premiere event was shocking, but she was there for whatever it was.

The film started and Gary was nowhere to be seen. Lindsay’s heart sunk. “He’s still coming right?” The film ended. She turned and saw him sitting in the row behind her. Lindsay felt her heart about to burst out of her chest. He was even more handsome in person than she had ever imagined. Maybe she was hallucinating, but it certainly seemed as though he was glancing her way as he answered questions about his film. She began to fear her legs may no longer function. After the questions ended and the crowd began to disperse, he approached and asked “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming???” He gave her the best, longest hug of her life. The butterflies in her chest now felt more like bats. Gary asked “Would you like to go out for a drink?” Lindsay said “Yes! I’d love to.”

They went to a nearby bar and talked for hours. Gary asked her what he called “first date questions.” They had so much in common it felt like they had been living parallel lives destined to meet. Lindsay wanted to pinch herself. This isn’t real. This is not how life works. Hot guys from TV don’t ask you out on a “date” when you meet at the world premiere of their film. At the end of the night, when the bar was closing down, they walked together to the subway stop Lindsay needed to head to her friend’s apartment where she was supposed to stay the night. It was a colder night than expected. Lindsay was so cold she was shaking like a leaf. Gary noticed and wrapped his scarf around her to keep her warm. He had offered his coat, but Lindsay was afraid she would die if the coat didn’t fit. Everything about the whole night was so romantic it felt like magic. Christmas was near. Festive lights and decorations hung over the streets.

No one else was around when they got to the subway terminal. They stopped there and kissed on the sidewalk. Nothing could have made the night more perfect. If anyone had passed by neither would have noticed. It was as though the rest of the world melted away in a blur. He said to her “So much for catching your train.” Lindsay didn’t care. “Another train will come” she said. How often do you meet the man of your dreams?

When the time had finally come to part, Gary said his legs felt like jelly. Lindsay felt like she was floating. She was still so distracted on the train thinking about what just happened she missed her transfer and never made it to her friend’s house in time for sleep. Instead, she had to go straight to the airport to catch her flight back home.

Lindsay knew it could be a while before she might see Gary again. She started writing to him as often as she could. Whenever Lindsay gets a response, her heart feels like it will burst out of her chest and radiant light pours from her fingertips. Finally there is something worth fighting for. Lindsay started working on becoming the best possible version of herself in every way. Everywhere Lindsay goes people say how amazing and confident she appears. To this day Lindsay is still waiting to be reunited with her Prince Charming. When that day comes, she is ready to knock his socks off.

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