It was her only luggage. She reached in and pulled out 2 hundred dollar bills, securing one of the last available hotel rooms that night.
Three days later, she left with a police escort.
Something about her gentle demeanor, the puffy eyes and the tear tracks on her face told a sensitive night clerk not to ask for ID. No doubt, she faked her name and address.
I saw her the following morning. She paid in advance for 2 more nights. She could not be tracked through a credit card.
She was dressed in a iconic white Chanel suit, was neatly coiffed and recently manicured. She carried herself with poise and spoke eloquently. A lady of means. We didn’t ask questions.
We never saw her car, she called for cab service once or twice a day. She didn’t seem to have a cell phone, using the courtesy phone in the lobby.
She came and went quietly, still dressed in that Chanel suit, always clutching the box purse, smiling as she passed us.
In spite of her efforts, he found her. We were told by local police that her husband was a prominent local business man.
She did not resist. She was taken for psychiatric treatment at a local facility.
We will never know her story. But what were the contents of that box purse ?
Legal documents, divorce papers, cherished family photographs, airline tickets, passports, old love letters, jewels of some value ?
What would any of us take along and clutch so dearly as we made our escape ?
It was something we talked about for a long time after her departure.
Love this mysterious tale of a box purse , Van ! …and how you compassionately describe its owner …hugs , meg
Thanks, Meg. It was a bit personal. My own mom made an escape attempt to Jamaica. She planned it for months, had a secret credit line, went on a church-sponsored getaway but planned to never return. I often wonder what she packed for that trip ? We never really found out. She left most of it there.
Awwww Vanessa …I would always be wondering too … the compassion you wrote with was not hidden from me …love to you from me …xxx
Thanks, Meg. Someday…the rest of the story. Hugs back to you. Van
Escape is very difficult, if not impossible, when it’s from prominent local businessmen or other respected members of the community.
That makes sense. She did the right things to stay hidden, but she never left town. Maybe there were children involved ? The police were friends to us, but remained discreet with the details.
Oh the stories that lay behind closed doors–and in box purses. I can see why that would stay on your mind for years. It sets my mind to wondering how many plan an escape, only to have their plan thwarted by someone more powerful. Thank you so much for sharing that story, Van.
So many secrets. So many reminders. Our life experiences are not unique, and are so interwoven, even with strangers. Thanks, Mandy
A thought provoking story. It brings to mind all those that we pass by and never know the hidden stories of their lives. They feel like missed opportunities.
Everyone has a story. And so many of them are sad. Thanks, D.
Those are often the ones that we remember, anyway. It’s the burden of having a heart.
But such a lovely burden.
Story well told, Van! Your hotel experience makes for the stuff of novels!
Thanks, Angie. Hotel Pennsylvania..you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave . Funny thing is, this was a business class hotel, very suit and tie, buttoned- down. Imagine the stories a vacation/luxury hotel could provide !