#553) Take the Risk!

The scene that confronted Jeanie was so surprising, so disappointing, she stopped dead in her tracks to take it in. Jeanie looked up from locking her apartment’s front door to see a U-Haul rental truck at the curb, and her neighbor, Jesse, supervising the loading of all her belongings into it by a couple of burly men.
“Are you moving?” Jeanie asked, as she descended the stairway, then realized how dumb a question that was.
“Yeah… I guess this is good-bye…” Jesse said with a wistful smile.
The scene reminded both women of an almost identical one a year before. Jesse had just moved into the apartment directly below, Jeanie came down to introduce herself, and she found Jesse frustrated and overwhelmed and sitting on a cardboard box near tears. Jeanie had invited Jesse upstairs to have a mug of hot tea with the words, “It’ll all be here when you come back to face it later…”
“Weren’t you going somewhere?” Jesse had asked.
“Nowhere that won’t be there later, either.”
So Jeanie hosted Jesse as they talked about what they did for livelihood, how long they’d lived in this city, interests and hobbies, etc.
Jeanie had become infatuated with her new neighbor. She was the prototypical “girl next-door.” Jesse wasn’t stunningly beautiful or super shapely, she was just nice and wholesome and easy-to-talk-to. Jeanie wanted to ask more about Jesse, if she was involved with someone, if that someone was male or female, was Jesse interested in exploring…
Jeanie hadn’t asked any of that. And here they were at the same spot on the curb a year later. Jeanie wanted to hug the attractively plain yet pretty girl, see if that hug was reciprocated, see if she wanted to provide her new address… But the opportunity had passed them by. What would have been natural once now seemed forced. Jeanie wished Jesse well and they said good-bye. All the while, both a year previous and right now, Jesse was thinking and feeling the exact same things. Neither took a risk, neither went outside their comfort zone to explore further, to see what might have been.

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