A Wrinkled Moment in Time

by becomingbethany

In the shaded curved driveway of a grand hotel, a young woman in orange silk steps out of her car, hands her keys to the valet, and makes her way to the large door. She has only ever been here once before but her stride is confident and her heart beat is soft. She is happy. Not with the giddy euphoria of youth but in a much quieter harder won way. Distracted by finding a place for her valet card when the doorman opens the door, she looks up just in time to smile and say thank you before turning to look into the room. Then like being ushered through a magical portal, suddenly time wrinkles and without permission she is transported back to that vivid moment from the past – six years ago almost to the day. Her heart picks up speed and the room swirls as she loses track of the date and time and why she is even standing on plush Persian rugs in a hotel lobby.

Her beating heart, her excited step, his strong arm, his adoring face all come back like an augmented reality experience. She watches again as the uniformed doorman opens the imposing door and they step into the historic hotel lobby. She sees her smile sweep up to the corners of her eyes, crinkling her nose. Her hand squeezes the young man’s forearm tightly just to make sure it is all real. His eyes are proud and his hand is firmly clasped over hers. She is carrying her sparkly heels in her free hand but still standing tall and lovely in her ivory gown. Her breath catches as she takes in the expansive room – the chandeliers, the 1930s furniture, the wall-sized mural behind the reception desk. He feels her startle a little and looks down at her beaming face. He is grinning, pleased with his grand surprise. They are king and queen, if only for today, and this evening the whole world is their kingdom. It feels like just the beginning of a long and fortuitous reign.

And then, in seconds, the wormhole closes up as suddenly as it opened, and she is back in Los Angeles today. The effervescent young bride and groom only a memory. A peek back into that alternate reality that was once her life but no longer is. Her mind casts speculations over how that other life might have played out differently but it is only a game. She does not know if that life would have been happier or healthier or brighter or in any way better than this one. She is living here and now, alone, but peaceful and grateful for everything that is her real life. So she just keeps walking through the luxurious lobby to the other side. Her shoulders squarer and strides longer. Always wondering but seldom worrying how this reality will play out. It will be whatever it will be.

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