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MR. OPPORTUNITY Most of us have an opportunity story. Some folks get lucky, others just look on as their chance passes them by. This lady I know, I won't say her name, once pulled me aside and told me her story while we waited for her husband. She started by saying she had been a good looker in her younger days and that she was mentioning this not to be boastful but because it had a bearing on her story. I was inclined to believe her for it was easy to imagine what she might once have been. Anyway, years before she didn't say how many, she had worked out regularly in the gym at her local health club. One day in the fall a new member turned up at her health club. He created a good bit of interest for this was a small town club where the girls outnumbered the boys. She often saw him working out in the gym and they soon became quite friendly. He even asked her out a couple of times but she said no. She really liked him for his warmth and sense of humor but she had her reputation to think of. He was just about the same height as herself perhaps less with her high heels. He was a little overweight and wore thick spectacles. What's more if you looked closely, you could see he had some sort of skin problem on his face and neck. In this small town she had to be careful about who she would be seen with and she was just not prepared to compromise. By the end of the year he had dropped out of the scene. Strange thing is, she said she never asked his name and he never volunteered it. Very soon afterwards, she found an altogether more acceptable partner and they were married within a month. He had the required good looks and some money besides. They could manage a good night out every week and even a grand occasion from time to time. It was on one such special outing that she saw her old friend from the health club again. It had been styled as a black tie gala charity dinner, with entertainment and a few celebrities no doubt keen for a bit of publicity. Tickets were hard to get but they had been lucky for they knew someone who worked with the caterers. She didn't recognize her old friend at first. Realization came gradually with answers to some of the questions from the pushy lady with the microphone. No, he had stopped wearing the fake glasses as he was getting recognized now whether he wore them or not. Yes the director had asked him to gain weight for his last film role, but he had worked it off in the gym. Yes, he had been troubled with an allergy but now he was OK for he knew what to avoid. And yes of course it was all right to ask if he was romantically linked with his current co-star, but of course he wouldn't answer. She wanted to go over to say hello but was pushed out of the way by a crowd of otherwise respectable society girls clamoring for his autograph. Some were trying to pass him telephone numbers on barely concealed slips of paper. He didn't see her in the crowd and she never saw him again except on television. I pressed her for his name but all she would say was he had been her Mr Opportunity. Her husband arrived as she got to the end of her story. He was neatly dressed, overweight, with thick spectacles and a poor complexion. I know they're happy enough but there was something in her eyes that time she was telling me her story. end
Mr Opportunity ws published in 6 Tales Magazine, May 2011. First published as Runner Up Adult Creative Writing Club Competition No. 84, Aug 2008.
MR. OPPORTUNITY Most of us have an opportunity story. Some folks get lucky, others just look on as their chance passes them by. This lady I know, I won't say her name, once pulled me aside and told me her story while we waited for her husband. She started by saying she had been a good looker in her younger days and that she was mentioning this not to be boastful but because it had a bearing on her story. I was inclined to believe her for it was easy to imagine what she might once have been. Anyway, years before she didn't say how many, she had worked out regularly in the gym at her local health club. One day in the fall a new member turned up at her health club. He created a good bit of interest for this was a small town club where the girls outnumbered the boys. She often saw him working out in the gym and they soon became quite friendly. He even asked her out a couple of times but she said no. She really liked him for his warmth and sense of humor but she had her reputation to think of. He was just about the same height as herself perhaps less with her high heels. He was a little overweight and wore thick spectacles. What's more if you looked closely, you could see he had some sort of skin problem on his face and neck. In this small town she had to be careful about who she would be seen with and she was just not prepared to compromise. By the end of the year he had dropped out of the scene. Strange thing is, she said she never asked his name and he never volunteered it. Very soon afterwards, she found an altogether more acceptable partner and they were married within a month. He had the required good looks and some money besides. They could manage a good night out every week and even a grand occasion from time to time. It was on one such special outing that she saw her old friend from the health club again. It had been styled as a black tie gala charity dinner, with entertainment and a few celebrities no doubt keen for a bit of publicity. Tickets were hard to get but they had been lucky for they knew someone who worked with the caterers. She didn't recognize her old friend at first. Realization came gradually with answers to some of the questions from the pushy lady with the microphone. No, he had stopped wearing the fake glasses as he was getting recognized now whether he wore them or not. Yes the director had asked him to gain weight for his last film role, but he had worked it off in the gym. Yes, he had been troubled with an allergy but now he was OK for he knew what to avoid. And yes of course it was all right to ask if he was romantically linked with his current co-star, but of course he wouldn't answer. She wanted to go over to say hello but was pushed out of the way by a crowd of otherwise respectable society girls clamoring for his autograph. Some were trying to pass him telephone numbers on barely concealed slips of paper. He didn't see her in the crowd and she never saw him again except on television. I pressed her for his name but all she would say was he had been her Mr Opportunity. Her husband arrived as she got to the end of her story. He was neatly dressed, overweight, with thick spectacles and a poor complexion. I know they're happy enough but there was something in her eyes that time she was telling me her story. end Mr Opportunity ws published in 6 Tales Magazine, May 2011. First published as Runner Up Adult Creative Writing Club Competition No. 84, Aug 2008.
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