The Power of A First Time…

I love a fun and quick challenge to jot down your thoughts about a topic assigned in a classroom:

  1. Mania,

    All the everyday details of a cold, rainy morning and a missed bus are familiar to many readers. We can identify with your frustration and resigned decision to walk five long blocks to your office after the bus pulls away. This is a nice introduction to the wonderful surprise at the end when a kindly and attractive stranger holds the door to your building open for you. The last sentence, hinting at what is to come, makes the reader want to continue reading and learn what happens next.

    Very nice!



  2. Mania,

    now THAT’s a great Monday morning :). Starts off with the mundane we all go through – commuting, trying to find some peace, but all too soon the harmony becomes discordant with the jumble the endless to-do lists. Then, the day gets a bit worse – you realize you’re about to miss your connection, and will have to walk in the cold to get to work in time for a conference call. The piece really picked up energy for me in the final paragraph as you arrive at the plaza of your office building – it started to rain, so you’re hustling inside, and when you reach for the door handle, you already notice him. Not only does he have a great smile, but he has courteously opened the door for you. Luckily, the attraction is mutual, and you both sneak a backward glance, eyes connect, and you leave us wanting to know what’s ahead for the couple in “what was yet to come.”

    Lovely passage showing how even the most regular/aggravating day can, if the fates allow, generate a moment of serendipity. Makes you think of all the “What ifs” in life – what if you hadn’t missed your connection? what if you didn’t have that conference call scheduled? What if someone had entered the office building door right before you, and you never saw his captivating smile, nor he you?

    Enjoyed reading it,

    Susan L.


  3. Hi Mania-

    The first encounter with an intriguing stranger is exciting, and you do a really nice job of narrating that internal tug-of-war of wanting to take a second look, but trying not to – we have all been there! The instantaneous “crazy” attraction rang true, too, and I found myself wanting more, which you provide a great set up for in “..for what was yet to come.” And, as a long time public transit commuter to the City, I could easily identify with the desire to gain some calm before the start of the hectic day by putting on headphones, etc. The missed bus connection and the long, cold walk to the office to make it in time to prep for the call also hit home – I can sense the frustration and pressure. It makes the last paragraph a welcome surprise. Her day is looking up! I really enjoyed reading your piece. Barbara


  4. Hi Mania,

    Great story! I loved the way you ended with the “eye contact between us, settin the tone for what was yet to come.” This would be great as a beginning of a short story or novel. Looking forward to reading more.

    Susan S.


  5. Dear Mania,

    I enjoyed reading this piece. One of the most compelling paragraph for me was the one at the end. I like how you set up the encounter, slowing down time and giving the reader some nice details like the door handle, and the person on the other side of the door.

    “As I reached the plaza in front of the building, it started to rain, so I picked up my pace to the entrance, and just as I reached for the door handle, I noticed him from inside the lobby aiming to open and hold the door for me.”

    I found myself wondering what this stranger looked like and very much enjoyed “the look,” “the eye contact between us, setting the tone for what was yet to come.”

    I liked the rhythm of the piece and how it gently builds up to the encounter, starting with the description of an “ordinary” day and culminating with this lucky encounter.



  6. I love the surprise ending! You do a great job of establishing us in the narrator’s “as usual” routine–it’s a very controlled, predictable commute.

    Then, we see that this day is different. The connecting bus leaves early. That’s when we begin to wonder what this change–this twist of fate–will bring her.

    I wasn’t at all expecting the encounter at the end. And, of course, neither was she. I admire how you describe her reluctance to turn around for a second look … but when she does, he’s doing the same.



  7. Mania, I love the shift of this story, initiated by a missed bus, from a mundane Monday morning to one that is quite intriguing. Your observation from a distance (i.e. from the rain outside into the dry lobby) builds tension nicely. At first I thought maybe the man was maybe a doorman, but I guess not — unless, of course, he is a very sexy, captivating admiring doorman! Thanks for sharing.


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