A woman went on holiday to an expensive resort and borrowed expensive clothes from a rich friend so she could pretend she’s wealthy, but things go wrong.
Two years ago, I came into a small inheritance and decided to take the trip of my dreams. I started looking up possibilities online and quickly found a 15-day-holiday in Egypt, including a 5-star cruise down the Nile.
I could just imagine myself in a big picture hat, laying back on a comfy armchair like the heroine in an Agatha Christie mystery while the green banks of the Nile swept past. The problem was that the trip would eat up my windfall, and I couldn’t afford to splurge on clothes..
So I phoned my bestie from college days, Nancy, who’s very well off and has amazing taste in clothes. I told her about my situation, and she immediately invited me over. We spent hours giggling and mixing and matching in her walk-in closet.
By the end of the afternoon, I had an expensive leather suitcase filled with gorgeous designer outfits, matching handbags, and shoes for my trip to Egypt. I was going to sail down the Nile in style!
Little did I know I’d one day bitterly regret not taking my simple, Nice Price sundresses on my dream vacation, but we can’t see the future, and I guess that’s just as well. I boarded my plane to Cairo at JFK.
I was going first class all the way, and I lay back and sipped my champagne, loving the pampered luxury all around me. I sighed. For the next two weeks, I was going to be a wealthy woman on an adventure, not little Jean Bellamy from Queens who worked for the City.
When I landed in Cairo, I found a smiling friendly man holding up a big placard with my name. He was the guide for my tour group and he told me I was the last one to arrive. We were a small group. he explained, no more than 10 which meant he could dedicate more time to our individual interests.
The rest of the group turned out to be three elderly couples, two sisters from Pennsylvania, me, and a lovely tall man around my age whose name was Sebastian. Sebastian and I hit it off right away, and as it turned out he was a New Yorker too.
The most important gift you can bring to someone you love is your sincerity and honesty.
But of course, those magical moments had to end sooner or later, and before I knew it, those two weeks had sped by and we were on the verge of returning to the States. On our last night in Cairo, I dared to hint to Sebastian about a future.
I told him I was going to miss him, and that I thought we could maybe try to make the Hudson as magical as the Nile. He looked at me with the saddest smile. Then he told me that he was afraid our lifestyles were not compatible.
Sebastian explained that he was a social worker and that he loved his job, but he was far from wealthy. He couldn’t afford to match the lifestyle I was obviously used to, he said. He was only on this luxury cruise because he’d won a raffle at his nephew’s school.
Sebastian had tears in his eyes. He told me he loved my humor, my wit, he thought I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, but that I was way out of his league. Like a fool, I just stood there with my mouth open. I couldn’t say a word, so he said goodbye.
The next day I was back under the grey New York Autumn skies. Gone was the glittering Nile, the blazing sun; gone was Sebastian. I had lost him forever. My friend picked me up at the airport and I poured out the story sobbing.
So what did you say, she asked me. Nothing, I replied. I couldn’t say I’d borrowed your clothes, your hats, that I was practically a lie. My friend was cross with me. She called me a fool and told me to reach out to Sebastian, tell him the truth.
It took me a week to work up my nerve to call Social Services and find out where Sebastian worked, and another week to find the courage to actually show up. I walked in, and there he was sitting at his desk, looking through some documents
My heart turned over and I walked up to him and said his name. He looked up and his face lit up. I told him I wanted to see him, that I wasn’t who he thought I was. I was a girl from Queens who’d wanted to feel like a movie star, just once in my life.
Sebastian jumped up and he kissed me, just like the hero does at the end of the movie. We started dating and I guess the Hudson can be just as romantic as the Nile because a year later he proposed.
We honeymooned in Egypt of course, but we took the economy cruise and it was just as lovely as the first time.
What can we learn from this story?