Missed Connections: If you go to Craigslist, there is a “Missed Connections” section where you can find some interesting story lines to inspire your writing.
You were attending NAU back in ’82
“Hey you, we met on a flight from San Diego to Phoenix back in the spring of ’82. We talked about music, your aspirations (journalism, right?) and writing, I believe. Thoughts of you often enter my mind… seems I’ll never forget you.”
The girl at her desk reading this felt her heart skip a beat. She definitely remembered this person. His name is Jacob, and he liked to travel. They certainly did meet on a flight, and decided to eat together after the plane landed. He had black hair and brown eyes, and a smile that made her blush and avert her eyes from his.
And he was right about her aspirations. She did want to become a journalist, and she made it happen. She now wrote for the local newspaper. She also finds time to write for fun, and occasionally submits some of her works to online magazines. She took a deep breath and sighed, realizing it’s been a long time since she saw or heard from Jacob. A thought suddenly occurred to her. Didn’t she have a phone number written down somewhere?
In fact, she did. She took a sip from her coffee and stood. She walked over to the couch where her bag was and rummaged around, looking for that piece of paper. It was written on a bubblegum wrapper. As she emptied the contents of her bag, she started panicking. A bubblegum wrapper hadn’t turned up yet, and she was almost done emptying her bag. Until, finally, at the very bottom of the bag she saw it. She pulled it out, and sure enough. The wrapper said “Jacob”, and his phone number.
She went back to her desk and pulled the telephone closer to her. She had honestly forgotten about Jacob, and now that she was about to call him, she was uncertain. Anxious. What if he didn’t pick up? The post she was reading had been up for about a year. Who knew how much had changed since then.
Nevertheless, she picked up the phone and dialed the number. As it rang, her heart rate quickened, and she took some deep breaths to calm herself. Eventually, someone picked up,
“Hello?” Said the person on the other end. It was a man’s voice.
With some hesitation, she replied, “U-um, hi, it’s Emily. From the diner.”
“I’m sorry, who?” Said the man on the phone.
Emily took a deep breath before speaking, “Emily. We met on a plane flight and had dinner at the Georgia Diner after we landed awhile back.”
“I-…I’m really sorry, I think you have the wrong number.”
“Wait, is your name Jacob by any chance?”
There was a pause on the other end. Then, “Yes…how did you know?”
Emily tried to contain her excitement. “Because that’s the name of the man I met. His name is Jacob, and we were seated together on the plane, and talked about what we liked and what we wanted to do. After we landed we decided to eat together and we talked about so much.”
Jacob was silent. Emily stayed quiet; perhaps he was trying very hard to remember. Or, this was simply the wrong Jacob. Finally, he said, “Emily, I’m very sorry. I just don’t think you have the right person here.”
Devastated, Emily sighed. “Alright. I’m sorry…I just, I had the phone number in my purse and I dialed it in the hopes of reaching him.”
There was a short pause. Then, “Maybe the person you’re trying to get in touch with moved.”
“Maybe. I also read something on Craigslist posted by him. He was trying to reach out to me…”
“I have an account. Let me check it, ok?”
There was silence, and Emily could hear the faint sound of keyboard keys being pressed on the other end. She stood and paced back and forth as she waited for Jacob to get back to her.
Eventually, she heard, “Emily?”
“This message you told me about, it’s here on my account…But I don’t understand how that’s possible. I’ve never met you.”
Emily thought her heart was going to pound right out of her chest. “Jacob, did something happen to you recently?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, did you get into an accident that may have caused memory loss? I know it’s a long shot but-”
“Wait. Yeah I did…My dad told me I went out with some friends, and that whoever was behind the wheel got reckless and ended up crashing into a large truck. I was dumb and didn’t have my seatbelt on, so I was told. They said I was lucky to be alive, but that I had major brain damage, and I lost some of my memories. I suppose you were one of those memories.”
Emily tried to contain her tears as Jacob told his story. “That’s awful.” She said.
Jacob sighed on the other end. “Yeah.”
Not willing to give up, Emily asked, “Do you want to meet up? Maybe seeing me will help. Even if it doesn’t…I’d like to get to know you again.”
Jacob chuckled. “Sure. No harm in that.”
Emily imagine that smile of his when he chuckled, and wondered if it’d be the same. “Alright.” Emily replied with a smile. She hoped Jacob could tell she was smiling. “How about Starbucks? Seems like a good place to meet up.”
“Sure.” Jacob replied. “Tomorrow? Twelve o’clock?”
“Yeah, that’s great. See you tomorrow.” Emily said, smiling.
“Yeah. See you then. Bye Emily.”
And they both hung up. Emily sighed and allowed herself to fall on her couch. She couldn’t believe what was happening. The Jacob she used to know is probably gone. Nevertheless, she knew she’d like him despite what changes he went through because of the accident. She smiled and hoped for a good day.
I went through the local missed connections on Craigslist and was glad to find something so interesting to write about. I wonder if the person who wrote that found who they were looking for. I haven’t written a lengthy story liked this in a long time. It was fun!
Let me know what you think, and feel free to tackle this prompt yourself. Get creative. You can write up your own response to the prompt and send it to me, and if I like it, I’ll feature you. Features will happen weekly on Fridays – Feature Fridays. If you have a writing prompt you want me to write about, send that to me too. You can send those things to me here.
Thanks for reading. See you soon.