She walked slowly towards the two cars that were parked next to each other. Her car keys were in her hand and she knew she had to make a decision before reaching the cars. Her hands began to shake and she felt more anxious than she ever had in her life. Last night it was almost midnight when the phone rang. At first she thought it was some teenagers playing a joke but the more she listened the more she realized that the person on the other end was serious not playing a game or joking. The woman seemed to know so much about her; actually it seemed the woman knew more about her than she knew about herself. For whatever reason, she was not afraid of the person on the other line. She knew that she was not going to do anything that would hurt her; she was just offering her an opportunity that she could have made for herself but had not. She was offering her an unusual but simple way to change her life. Riley talked about making a change often, she planned for making changes, but she never did. It was easier to do the same things over and over because it was comfortable. She had the same job for ten years, lived in a small but comfortable condo for eight, and drove the same nondescript reliable car forever. Every once in awhile an opportunity to change jobs, to move, or to buy a new car presented itself but she never took any of them. She convinced herself that she was smart to be stable, to enjoy what she had and to never want more. Look at all those people who ventured far away from what they knew and what happened to them. Sure there were lots of people who were successful but there were just as many who never made it. And since she was somewhere in the middle why take a chance? Then last night out of the blue came that crazy phone call. The caller told her when she walked out of her office building into the parking lot there would be a brand new car parked next to her old brown station wagon. The car that was parked in the spot next to hers was bright and shiny. The beautiful sparkly white Lexus was the exact car she had ridden in last week. It was the car of her dreams but as she always did she decided now was not the right time to buy a new car. Last night the caller told her that the car could be hers for a year if she agreed to do certain things. She would have to change jobs, move, and become more adventurous. She would have to take a chance and move to the city, town, or village of her dreams, buy the house she could afford, and begin to show the beautiful paintings she had created but stored in her dark and dusty basement. She would have to become the person she always wanted to be but was too afraid to take a chance on. The woman promised her that if after a year she wanted to return to her old job, house, and car they would be waiting for her exactly the way she left them. Her family and friends could know where she was and what she was doing but the decisions she made would have to be ones she made on her own.
Riley didn’t sleep at all that night but she did pack a small bag to take with her just in case she decided to take the crazy step of opening the car door to the Lexus and actually getting in. Where would she go? She knew exactly the quaint village where she wanted to live, had already looked so many times at the small cottage next to the lake with the studio for painting and had even talked to the gallery owners about her work. But time after time she was afraid to move forward and to take that step. Now, she couldn’t fail -or could she? She took the final step towards the two very different cars, still not sure which one to pick. Then with conviction she placed her hand on one of the car doors. She had made her decision when out of nowhere an alarm went off!
What would you do?