Anything Can Happen
As I walked towards my new office at Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia, I couldn’t help but flash back to that day. It was a day I would never forget, and one that I had replayed in my mind a million times since. It started out as fire and ended up as ice. The “ice” part had happened here, high up on the observation deck of One Liberty, where Flyers captain Claude Giroux threw the emotional equivalent of a bucket of ice water on my heart.
It took me several months to break out of the numbness I felt that day, and during that time I couldn’t bear to watch the one thing that used to bring me such joy: Flyers hockey. I was heartbroken, but I knew it wasn’t his fault. That night was one of those once-in-a-lifetime encounters that had no past or future, only a brief present. Claude was just a nice guy who saw a shy blogger in need and stepped in to be my knight in shining armor. I convinced myself that what had happened later that night was nothing more than a product of the snowstorm, vodka, and raw desire being given a convenient outlet with no strings attached.
I assumed that he had moved on. I had a feeling there was someone else on his mind that morning. Maybe it was a long-ago love and he had reunited with her. I wanted to be happy for him, and at some level I was, but I was also totally heartbroken and a little angry. Even at the moment he walked away from me at the observation deck, I thought I could handle it and take the experience for what it was. But as the days went on, I felt worse, not better. I realized that
I was not cut out for a one-night stand, especially one with Claude Giroux.
I felt as if I had fallen in love with him that night, even though I knew that was silly. But I knew that what I felt was real. I knew that I hadn’t imagined the chemistry we shared, both physically and emotionally. But I also kept telling myself that I wasn’t what he was looking for. Not pretty enough, not confident enough, and maybe a little too old. But had that been my problem? Had I psyched myself out of even being in the game?
I tried to put the experience out of my mind and move on. I had to because there was no chance that it could ever work out for us. We didn’t even live in the same city.
But one day a few months ago my boss called me into his office to tell me that our accounting firm was being sold to a larger firm in Philadelphia. My choices were to either be transferred to a position in the new Philly office, or try to find another job in my current location of Washington, DC.
I had always had a fascination with Philly dating back to the first time I saw Rocky, and I had become very fond of the city during my many visits there over the past few years. The idea of living in Philly was so exciting, and I was ready for a change. Of course I thought about the possibility of running into Claude, but I knew the chances of that were slim to none. And there was no way that I would try to contact him.
I accepted the position and was living in an apartment in downtown Philly within a month and starting a new job.