This story begins at the beginning.  I left my place of employment at 2:30 on Friday, the 21st of December and embarked upon a 12 day adventure that, as cheesy as it sounds, changed me.

Back in September I had decided it was a good idea to take the train to Buffalo for Christmas.  I’d save money and avoid the airport.  Flying takes 6 hours, 8 hours on the train couldn’t be that bad, could it?  Oh yes, it can.  At one point in the journey, I text The Boy (see previous entries) to say, taking the train had been a bad idea, and please wouldn’t he remind of me that next year when I thought about making travel plans?

Right from the gate, the train was delayed by 45 minutes.  There were so many people in Penn Station that I didn’t go 5 minutes without someone crashing into me.

I boarded and even though I thought I might be able to travel at least a little while with no one next to me, I was mistaken.  An old lady that smelled of moth balls and licorice sat besides me, and fortunately didn’t care to converse.  I watched Starter for 10 on my laptop and admired James McAvoy and all his Scottish boy next door charm.

Old Lady got up at one point and disappeared for hours; I thought perhaps she had gotten off the train.  Around Utica, a bunch of new passengers got on, and out of the corner of my eye, I looked at the people that had the possibility of sitting next to me.  First, old lady #2, and behind her, Cute Boy #1.  Please, I thought, let him be the one to sit next to me!  The gods were on my side. 

Clue #1 Cute Boy was also a Nice Boy — “Is it alright if I sit with you?”  Not, is this seat taken? or is anyone sitting here?  But was it alright if he sat with me?  “Sure!”, I replied.  By this point we were 2 hours behind schedule and the railway car was approximately 95 to 100 degrees.  It was tropical and I wanted to take my shirt off.  Not the perfect environment to start flirting.

He started chatting with me, and I discovered his name was Josh, he went to Yale and studied music – the performance kind, not the teaching kind.  It was after 10 pm at that point and he soon fell asleep watching Elf.  Gone was the smell of moth balls and licorice, replaced with the smell of fresh laundry.  I couldn’t believe my luck. 

Josh was tall, and his body type was Vince Vaughn-esque.  With blond hair, blue eyes and lips that would make LL Cool J jealous, I really wanted to strike up a conversation with him.  At one point I was leaning forward to stretch and noticed what looked like a Bible in the pocket in the chair in front of him.  You may think that something like that would either go unnoticed or be strange to many a person.  But I am not many a person, I am the type of girl who actually has their interest piqued when seeing something like that.  A Christian!  Trust me; a good Christian boy in his late 20s is NOT easy to come by.  Add in the fact that he smelled wonderful?  I was hooked.

It wasn’t until before Rochester, NY (about 1 hour away from Buffalo) that I took a brief moment of him waking to strike up a conversation.  He was in his masters program, he had a few auditions in symphonies across the country in the spring.  He grew up in a small town in Missouri and really missed his family; he had a ‘gal’.  I talked about getting my masters abroad, he had never been.  Couldn’t take a break from playing his horn, he said – it would take him weeks to get back to the point he was at.

I asked about his undergraduate studies, and here’s the clincher – he went to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester…..he felt the Lord had led him there.  I know it sounds strange to those who may not have grown up with the religion I have…but like I said before, meeting a good Christian boy in his late 20s is hard to do.  Most get married right out of the gate.  I’m guessing it’s the whole sex thing.  He had sealed the deal with that comment.  And the whole time we’re talking, Buffalo is getting closer and closer and I really wasn’t ready to leave him.  At Buffalo I get up, start gathering my things and plunge my hand into my purse, fumbling around.

I pull out my business card and say, “if you’re ever in New York, let me know.  Maybe we can grab a drink.”  I hand it to him; a look of surprise on his face.  I don’t ever expect to hear or see Josh from Missouri ever again, but the simple act of giving him my card was a milestone for me.  I’m not normally 1) that decisive and 2) that forward. 

I disembarked the train feeling good about the situation.  Even though I didnt know it, phase one of my transformation had just taken place.