“Runnin’ away at your age?” The cab driver chuckled. “They must have you on a pretty tight leash if you’re scared to go out on your own at your age. I’ve got a daughter about your age. You’re what? About 25?”
“About. I’m not running away though. And I’m not scared.” Julie looked out the side window and silently wished the driver would stop talking so she could put her thoughts in order.
“I left home at 18. I met me a girl, a classy girl, and convinced her to marry me. Her daddy didn’t like me none, so we did the only logical thing at the time and eloped. When we came back home a month later, she was pregnant with our first son. Her daddy didn’t like me any better after that.” He laughed at his own story and looked back at Julie to see if she found it as amusing as he did. She didn’t.
“Soooo, if you ain’t runnin’ away, and you ain’t scared. What is ya?”
“Engaged and confused.” She offered, but immediately wished she hadn’t as the whole story began flooding out of her mouth uncontrollably to a perfect stranger. The driver just sat there and listened as Julie explained her plan. Then she leaned forward, and asked her driver “Do you ever regret eloping?”
Al, pulled off on to the shoulder and turned around to look Julie in the eye. “Some days yes, some days no. My wife shoulda had her mama there, but we weren’t thinking about any of that. We just wanted what we wanted. It was simple, and sweet and in the end all turned out alright, but lookin’ back I wish I would have made it more special for Mary, my wife. Love is grand, ain’t it? Complicates and simplifies everything, don’t it? When the time comes, you’ll know what to do.” He patted her arm and turned back around quietly.
Suddenly, Julie felt the enormity of the choices she’d be making . Like dominos, she had to place them with exactness, and be prepared for them to either fall beautifully or come crashing down around her. Each choice from here on out determined the outcome of another chain of events. She looked at the pale blue dress crammed in to her over-stuffed bag.
“I’d like to take a slight detour first. Can you drop me off at the little boutique on 87th and Main please?”