A Plane Ticket, A Blindfold, and A Cup of Coffee

A Plane Ticket, A Blindfold, and A Cup of Coffee

A Story by Anne
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A short story piece written from a writing prompt.

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As Charlotte walked down 52nd Street in New York towards the Cornerstone Café, she couldn’t help but wonder why Scott had asked her to meet him there this morning.    Although they often came here for coffee"this is where they met 5 months ago"this time his request had a quizzical ring to it.    She wasn’t sure if she was excited or nervous, but one thing she did know.  She needed to walk faster.  The cold, damp air was chilling her to the bone.  It gripped right through her skin and muscles and into the bone as if her bone would freeze and shatter within her body.

At last, she could see the sign hanging out over the sidewalk.  Cornerstone Café.  Opening the door, she laughed to herself at the sign in the window “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”.  It was referenced in one of her favorite movies, Elf, and how she and Scott met.

Charlotte had been behind Scott in line and heard him telling the waitress of the reference to the Elf movie.  Charlotte caught his eye when she had started to laugh because that is exactly what she thought of every time she came into the café.  From that one little conversation, a longer one came over coffee.  For weeks, they would come to the cafe hoping to run into each other.  Then one day, he asked her to go to the theatre with him.  They had been dating ever since.

For some reason, though, today she felt nervous about meeting him.  It felt like she had a lump of clay sitting in her stomach.  It was an uncomfortable, nauseating feeling that she hoped would go away.  When her eyes met his deep brown comforting eyes, the feeling did subside.  He was sitting at ‘their’ table in the back corner of the café.  It was at this table they would sit for hours, sipping coffee, eating the best New York crumb cake, evah, with lots of crumbs, and looked out the window watching passersby.  As Charlotte got closer to the table, Scott rose from his chair, held her gently by her shoulders and kissed her endearingly on her forehead.  She melted.  How could she have gotten so lucky to meet ‘the one’ at a coffee shop? 

Sitting down, she noticed he had already ordered her favorite cup of hazelnut coffee with cream and a piece of crumb cake, with extra crumbs.  In the center of the table were two gift bags with turquoise tissue paper sticking out of the top.  “What’s this?” she asked.

“It’s a surprise.  Here, open this one first.”

Charlotte took the bag, and pulled out the tissue paper.  There was an envelope inside.   On the outside of the white envelope, it said ‘Do Not Open’.  She laughed at this.  “How am I supposed to know what it is?

“Read the back.”

‘Inside this envelope is a plane ticket for a special trip I want to take you on.  But it’s a surprise.  You can’t know until we get off the plane.’

“Ummm, ok.”, she said.  “What’s in the other bag?”

Scott handed her the second bag.  She reached inside and pulled out a blindfold.  “You’re kidding, right”, she said with furrowed eyebrows and a scrunched-up nose.

“No, I’m not.  I want it to be a complete surprise.  So, before we walk into the airport, I want you to put the blindfold on.  You can take it off when we walk out the doors of the destination airport.”

“You’re not serious.  Do you really think I would do that?”

“Well, yeah, I thought you would.  What’s the matter don’t you trust me?”, Scott said a little irritated.

“I do, but this is a little beyond trust, don’t you think?”

“I just wanted to surprise you.  If you don’t want to go, we don’t have to go.”

“No, no, I’ll go.  It’s just a little unusual, that’s all.”

The next two weeks Charlotte agonized over this trip.  Did she trust Scott?  She had only known him for five months.  She hadn’t really met too many of his friends or family.  He seemed like the real deal, but this seemed too bizarre and besides, on TV all the really nice ones ended up being psychopathic killers.  When she got to this point in her thinking, she always turned it back around.  She knew she had a wild imagination and needed to keep it under control.  She had made a fool of herself several times because of it.  She didn’t want to ruin a good thing if it was the real deal.

The day had finally arrived.  She packed a small suitcase just as Scott had instructed her.  He said she wouldn’t be needing much.  Arriving at the airport, he put the blindfold over her eyes.  She could not have believed she agreed to this.  Should she back out? Well, I’ve come this far.  I should just stick it out.  Walking through the airport she felt foolish.  Her stomach felt like it had a lump of clay in it, just as it felt that day he gave her the ticket and blindfold at the café.  She started to get a little lightheaded.  Breathe, she told herself.  Just breathe.

The noise and chaos at the airport was becoming overwhelming for her to handle.  She was afraid to say anything to Scott.  She didn’t want to get him upset.  She really just needed to trust him, but flashes of being bound and shoved in the trunk of a car kept creeping into her mind.  What if he’s taking me to some out of the way cabin in the mountains or by some swamp, where he’s going to torture and kill me. 

“Are you ok?” he asked.  Your hands seem clammy and I think you’re shaking.  “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, just a little excited about this secretive tip.”, she said trying to sound excited, not fearful.

“I am too, I can’t wait to see your face when we get there and I finally take off the blindfold!”

“Yeah, me too.” Charlotte said trying to sound convincing.

The flight was only five hours, but it seemed like an eternity.  Charlotte didn’t know how she managed to get through this whole ordeal without puking, but she did it.  Just another 20 minutes to be walking off the plane and to the outside of the airport.  Then I’ll know what this is all about. 

Walking through the airport, she reassured herself.  ‘Scott is a good guy.  This really is a special surprise.  And, if it’s not, at least I’m around a lot of people so I can easily walk away.’,

Outside, the warm air gently caressed her face.  The air smelled sweet.  “Can I talk off the blindfold?”

“Not yet.  We have a 20-minute ride.  Can you hold off for another 20 minutes?  It would really add to it.”

“I don’t think so.  I’m lucky I got this far.” She laughed nervously.

“I know.  This has really made you uneasy. I’m not sure why, but we’ll take the blind fold off for now, but just before we get there, would you pleeaasse put it back on?”

Charlotte thought that was a good compromise.  This would help her feel a little safer…unless of course they start driving up into the wooded mountains.  Then she might want to jump out of the car.  “Yeah!  That sounds like a good compromise.”, she finally said.

Driving in the car, they were on back roads, but not quite out of the safety of society.  “Ok!  We’re almost there!  Put it back on.”

The car slowed down, took a turn, and drove slowly down a windy, bumpy road.  ‘Oh God!  Here we go, we’re leaving civilization.’   She couldn’t help but feel reassured, though, by the light and airy smell of the air.   She swore she heard a horse whiney.  The car came to a stop.  Scott said wait here.  He got out of the car, walked over to the passenger side and opened her door.  He gently took hold of her hand to help her out.  Just a few more feet.  I promise, you’ll be glad you waited.

Now she smelled salty air. Waves crashed.  A sea gull called.  The ground beneath her feet became soft and difficult to walk in.  It was sand.  “Are you ready?”

“Well that’s an understatement of the year.”  ‘Let’s get on with it’, she thought.

Scott let go of her hand, and about 25 seconds later said ok, but his voice wasn’t right next to her face.  ‘What the hell?’ she thought taking off the blindfold.

She looked out, slowly turning her head.  It was exhilarating.   It took her breath away.  A band of wild horses were frolicking in the wet sand on the beach.  Looking toward her right, she saw a beautiful vintage country home with a wraparound porch.  Chairs, side tables and rockers were scattered throughout.  White eyelet curtains framed the windows.  ‘This is a dream.  I can’t believe it.’  Then something caught her eye, and she looked down.

Scott was patiently kneeling on one knee in front of her with a royal blue velvet box in his hand.  It was opened and a graceful diamond ring sat in the middle of the box.  “Will you marry me?”


© 2017 Anne



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Added on January 21, 2017
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Author

Anne
Anne

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Books and Writing have been within my soul for as long as I can remember. Thankful my life has lead me where I have been and where I am going. more..

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