Sometimes the unexpected happens. As Carson McCullers said in her wonderful 1940 novel, “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” That is so very true. What began as a one-time encounter ends with two people becoming life partners. This is the outstanding story of Lily, a hotel receptionist who met Leo when he came to stay for a week in the hotel where Lily worked. Leo, travelling on business, arrived at the hotel and Lily greeted him. When Leo saw Lily’s dark brown eyes his heart skipped a beat. He watched as she carefully reviewed his registration and marveled at the way that the afternoon sun gleamed and made golden a few locks of her hair. Lily completed Leo’s registration and gave him the keys to his room. In his mind, Leo noticed that in addition to her beautiful eyes, her welcoming voice and charm also worked to kindle Leo’s attraction for her. Lily smiled, handed him his room key and said, “Enjoy your time in the hotel”. When she smiled as she said that Leo noticed her dimples and his eyes opened wide to Lily’s beauty. As Leo headed upstairs to his room, the memory of the captivating young receptionist who he just met, stayed in his mind. Later that evening, Leo left his room and returned to the hotel lobby for some refreshments and sat on the sofa facing, of course, the wonderful receptionist who caught his eye when he initially came to the hotel. As he sat on the sofa, reviewing messages on his cell phone, he stayed there and remained in the lobby for no apparent reason. Lily noticed him and said “Sir, are you waiting for someone, or do you need something?” Leo replied with a smile “No, I am enjoying the scenery of this lobby”. Lily was a bit confused by his answer but did not think much past the moment. Finally, when her shift ended it was time for her to head home. Leo approached her and asked, “Are you going home?” Lily replied “Yes.” “Do you work tomorrow?” Leo continued. Lily was a bit confused by this stranger’s inquisitiveness, but he seemed nice enough, so she answered “Yes”. Unknown to Lilly, using his cell phone, Leo had already found Lily on a social networking site and went through each and every one of her photos on her profile. She was even more beautiful when, in her photos, he saw her in the context of her family and friends. His attraction for Lily continued to grow as he read her profile. He sat on the sofa in the lobby and, tired from his long trip to the hotel earlier that day, he continued to look at her pics and fell asleep right there in the lobby with Lilly’s pictures on his phone, on his chest. When Lily arrived at work the next morning, she found Leo seated on the same sofa and was quite surprised to see him there. She gently nudged him and initiated a conversation. “Are you ok? She asked. Have you stayed on this sofa all night?” Leo felt awkward about having spent the night on the hotel lobby sofa and started to lighten the moment by making jokes hoping to make Lily smile.
He thus went up to his room to shower and take a nap. In the afternoon, it was the time for Leo’s meetings, and he went. As she thought about it, Lily started to think of and softly to miss seeing Leo seated on the sofa. This continued for three days. Whenever Leo had some free time he went downstairs to the hotel lobby, to the sofa which faced Lily as she worked, sat there and made small quips to Lily to get her to laugh. As this continued, Lily started to be accustomed to Leo’s visits to the lobby and his company. Lily began to look forward to his company. One day Leo did not come and she missed him. She wondered what may have happened to him. She knew that he had as yet not checked out of the hotel. Gently, it started to dawn on her that she was starting to feel a sense of attraction to this warm, gentle young guy who frequently came to sit with her in the lobby. Shen she again saw Leo, he did not mention what happened to him on the day when he did not come. He was just his usual happy personality. He must have been busy with work, she reasoned.
Lily remembered that she had met someone like Leo on the website FindAMateForFree.com (or FAMFF.com as her friends referred to it), but she could not be sure if Leo was that person. She also looked him up on other social media to try to have a better idea of who he was away from the hotel.
Finally, Lily could see from the computer register information that it was Leo’s last day in the hotel. She needed to assist him with the check-out process, but she could barely face him. As the saying goes from the old play “My Fair Lady”, she had “grown accustomed to his face.”
Lily realized that she had developed feelings for this young guy who she barely knew. She had learned a bit more about him from social media and she concluded that he was not the person who she had met on FindAMateForFree.com, but she liked him nonetheless. When Leo finally came to check out, she quietly asked him “Is it possible for you stay a bit longer?” Leo was pleasantly surprised by this request but quickly said “Yes sure”. As such, he extended his hotel stay for an additional week. They continued to have their daily meetings in the hotel lobby and sometime soon, they exchanged cell phone numbers. One day, instead of leaving for home at the end of her shift at the hotel, Lily instead went upstairs to see Leo in his room and they spent wonderful time together. This gently and wonderfully continued to blossom for bother of them and, after spending these wonderful, memorable days together, they both proposed to each other to start their love relationship. Leo told Lily how he was attracted to her eyes, smile, and voice from the moment he met her. Both of them shared their experiences with having felt a sense of attraction from the moment when they met each other. Their dating and relationship grew until Leo asked Lily to go with him on his business trip and their relationship continued to grow. Gradually, their love soared to new heights, and they looked forward to spending every day with each other. Lily, a natural encourager, supported Leo with his career, even though she continued to work at the hotel. Until one day, like the scene at the end of the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” Leo came to the hotel lobby looking for Lily. Once he found her he bent on one knee and asked her “Would you please leave this hotel job and come with me to all of my work trips and marry me?” She could not believe that this was happening and, of course, said “Yes!”
Leo and Lily’s love continued to grow and evolve into a wonderful life together.
One day, Leo and Lily were driving past that hotel where they met. Their children were in the back seat of the car. Leo looked at Lily and asked, “Should I go inside there and sit on the sofa in front of the reception desk?” and Lily just looked at him and smiled with the gentle, knowing smile that only a life together can give.