Updated: Jan 13
I had been visiting my parents and as they had gone away for the weekend, I decided to head over to the lakefront where many cultural events and attractions were on offer.
I drove my mother’s car downtown and parked in a public parking garage and spent the day enjoying the city and the opera I had seen at an open-air theater in Millennium Park.
I had ventured quite a distance from where I had parked the car, so I took the subway back to the parking garage. I got off at the wrong stop and not having lived in Chicago for many years I was unfamiliar with the public transportation and when I couldn’t figure out how to check out with my travel pass to go back down to the other platform, I simply jumped over the turnstile and was caught in the act by two female transport police officers.
I told them what had happened and showed them my valid pass and they actually thought my predicament was quite amusing.
They told me that I actually could not go back down to the platforms as the trains were not running in the opposite direction due to the festivals.
Then, the officer with the darker hair took me aside and began explaining my travel options to getting back to the parking garage but I couldn’t remember exactly where it was and that my memory of getting there was based on my recalling it’s location from the subway stop.
The woman—who I had been flirting with while she was waiting for her supervisor to call her back on her walkie-talkie—asked me where I was from and I told her I was originally from Chicago, but had been living in Europe for the past 25 years and she said she had never been to Europe.
Just then, her supervisor called and told the officer to let me back down to the platform so I could take the train to the end of the line where it would start the route over again eventually leaving me at the correct station.
The woman opened the turnstile and then used a special key to let me into the elevator which would take me back down to the platform.
I thanked her and gave her a flirty wink as the elevator door closed, regretting not having mustered up the nerve to ask her for her telephone number.
When the elevator reached the platform, the door wouldn’t open and I quickly realized it needed a key to open as the station had been closed.
Luckily, I was able to get the elevator to go back up to street level, but when I got off, there was no one around.
As I was walking out of the station, I noticed the two female officers—now in street clothes and walking with a group of fellow officers who I assumed had all just finished their shifts—and approached them to tell them what had happened with the elevator.
While the officer’s blond-haired partner was informing a colleague who I assumed to have been the supervisor about my predicament, the other officer took me aside and we stood by the shore watching the waves come in.
She apologized for not reciprocating my flirtatious advances and said she found me very attractive, but because she was in uniform it would have been inappropriate to express her feelings, but now that she was off duty and fate had somehow given us another chance, she handed me an official-looking business card that had her home telephone number written on the back and told me to call her once I got my car sorted out so we could meet up for drinks.
Just then, the waves started to swell and splashed over the ledge near where we were standing, so we walked back over to the group of now-off-duty transport police officers and the supervisor came over to me saying it would be impossible to determine where my car was parked until after the weekend and all the festival blockades were removed.
I jokingly said that I didn’t mind as I’d be going home with the female officer anyway, which roused innocent laughs from those present.
Then I woke up.