An Easy Mistake To Make
As if sitting next to a vulgar old man for three hours wasn't enough, when Penelope arrived at the station, Marcus was not there. She stood for a long while on the platform, scanning faces–all strangers.
"The dress was perfect until you threw Granny's afghan over it," her brother had said before she boarded the train.
"It's not a blanket!" she'd protested, "it's a sweater!"
"Fine. It's a blanket with arm-holes," he said, laughing. "Good luck. You'll need it."
His words echoed in her mind now. She felt increasingly embarrassed, standing alone in her big sweater, clutching her train-case.
What did she and Marcus have, anyway? A few hours in a Colorado bookstore, a handful of passionate emails, one long distance call. The sweater wasn't the true mistake, she realized. Being silly and impulsive was.
"You don't go rushing headlong into love," her mother had tsk-tsk'd. "But it's an easy mistake to make."
And, Penelope added to herself as she purchased a return ticket home, you obviously don't throw an afghan over it.