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Topic: hope (03/29/04)
TITLE: A TROLLEY OF HOPE
By Anna Johnson
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Having had a few drinks too many, I rushd out of a local bar to soothe my wounded ego and to rest my weary soul. Hope sprang eternal in my fantasy, yet Saturday night proved once again another fruitless manhunt. My friend inside was having a blast wearing out the dance floor. She probably hadn't even noticed I left to wallow in my envy.
I located a nearby ledge and sat down staring at the crowded streets, hoping to recoup to go back inside. Rows of bumper-to-bumper cars and couples walking hand-in-hand reminded me of my loneliness. I knew I was waiting and longing for something, but I wasn't sure for what. Ah to escape somewhere, to find "it."
"What am I doing here?" I chide myself. "I've said a million times, I'm never coming back, yet here I am, again, wishing I was anywhere but miserable. Will I ever find love, the man of my dreams, or whatever it is I'm looking for?"
Along comes a chubby-faced cherub with fine hair frizzing out from the sides of his empty crown.
"What are you doing out here by yourself?" he asks, his kindness evident. "May I join you?"
"Oh, no," I murmur to myself. "What do I do now?" Flashbacks of high school boys I tried to avoid replayed familiar panic attacks of "How do I sweetly say 'no' to a nice guy?"
"I'm waiting," I reply.
He sits down beside me.
"Waiting, for what?" he probes, as he edges closer and smiles into my distressed eyes.
"You have pretty eyes," he compliments.
"Oh great," I say to myself. "Now, I've got to be witty and think of something to turn him off. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I'm not interested."
Without thinking, out pops, "I'm waiting for a trolley of hope." Was it wit or wisdom that surprised even me?
Howls of my intruder's laughter echo in the stillness of my sad truth.
"Wow, you're funny," he responds back. "Can I get your phone number so we can go out sometime?"
"Funny," I groan, under my shallow breath. "Of course, I'm funny. Hysteria and humor go hand-in-hand. Little does this guy know that I am waiting for a trolley of hope to catch a ride to happiness, wherever that is."
Since I knew nothing about setting boundaries at age 24, I was clueless on how to say no to him or anyone.
I blurt out my number faster than a speeding bullet, hoping he won't ask me to repeat it. If he had persisted, I would have dazzled him further with charming sidestepping.
And wouldn't you know it, the next day he calls, and a few days later, we go out.
I wish I could say my story ended in romantic bliss, but it didn't. Doug wasn't the love of my life, but back then, nice guys never were. He did, however, become a friend. I often think of him, and recall how desperate I felt, and how humor captured sadness stuffed deep inside where heartfelt words spewed out truth.
A few years later, that trolley of hope arrived. Its destination became the "it" of my soul, the "hope" I daily embrace through knowing my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.