June 10 2014
I was running late for the train this morning because I couldn’t find my headphones. I decided to just grab a book instead and caught my train with time to spare.
Vierna was talking to the conductor nervously about getting back to NYC from New Jersey.
I overheard her say that she was headed to Penn Station. I thought well, why don’t I offer to walk with her through Secaucus since we are both headed in the same direction. I would want someone to do that for me if I was in her situation and it would be almost wrong not to. So I leaned over and asked if she wanted to walk with me. She smiled at me and accepted my offer.
I noticed her accent as she told me about how she was going to get a taxi but it would have costed $160 and even though she had never been on the train before- it would be better than that. I laughed and said I understood and it was no problem – I was nervous my first time too.
We walked off the train together.
I introduced myself and showed her the ropes; getting off our train and on to the next one.
She asked me a lot of questions about my family and what I was doing in the city. I told her about everyone and the adventures I have planned for the summer. And then I asked her about her accent and her work.
She was originally from france, and has been an architect in the city for 30 years and now lives on the upper east side. She normally doesn’t take jobs out of the city but ended up taking the one in New Jersey anyway. She didn’t know why.
She said I was a very sweet and kind girl.
When we boarded the next train we talked and she said that I reminded her of a little girl that she was very fond of. A seven year old girl named Rachel. The daughter of a friend that lives on her floor. She showed me a picture. Absolutely beautiful little girl – I was flattered.
We got off the train at Penn Station and I asked if we could have a picture together. “would you like a normal picture or a selfie?” she asked, and I died laughing.
After we took the picture, and then she told me: “A friend told me that the beautiful girls nicer than the ugly ones. It’s so true!”
We hugged goodbye but then she offered to stay with me for bit before William came to pick me up.
This is where our conversation got very deep, and very meaningful. She told me a about how I reminded her a lot of her self and she told me I needed to protect myself from people that will try to abuse me.
She said I’m small, beautiful, and vulnerable and I needed to take extra care of myself because people would want to take advantage of my kindness and vulnerability. And she encouraged me and told me I was special. “Do not take yourself for granted” she told me. And I will never forget that. She accompanied her advice with a story of her own. She gave her boyfriend 29 yeas of her life, and the whole time he tore her down, abused her, said she wouldn’t be worth anything. When she met him she was already successful, but after being with him, her business started to dwindle away. Finally she got the courage to leave him and everything started booming for her. “I have lovers, and friends, and I’m making so much money. I am Happy now!” She looked at me. “I don’t think you will understand everything I say- but I have this feeling that I just want to protect you”
Tears welled up in my eyes and I told her that I understood exactly what she said because I had already been taken advantage of for those very reasons.
She hugged my tightly and said if I ever needed anything, to call her. I told her if she ever needed a babysitter for Rachel or any help with anything to call me. Then she asked if I could maybe help her with some errands and said she could give my name to someone else she knew who would need help – her friend who was also her former boyfriend. I asked what his name was, and she said she couldn’t tell me because he was a world famous artist and would pay very well. I told her I liked the sound of that and that I really wanted to see her again. So she invited me over for Friday night Happy hour at her apartment. “You could meet all the women that need babysitters that way” I was/am so exctatic about it. As she left I told her not to forget to call me. “I don’t forget anything” she said “I’ll even change my background picture to the one of us so I remember you”.
Just think, if I had found my headphones before I left, I would have been listening to music and wouldn’t have heard her talking to the conductor. And if she decided not to take the job in New Jersey, she wouldn’t have been on that train.
This is an amazing connection.
I hope to hear from her again – If I do. I’ll post about it.