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I spent the first two weeks of July in New York City. It was hot, like I’m talking the kind of hot we get in the worst week of a tropical Brisbane summer, without the breeze and the addition of piles of rubbish on the sidewalk that really make New York the city it is.

One evening, a few days before we flew back home we had dinner on 14th Street, then ducked into the Union Square subway station where a service advisory poster had been pasted to a pylon in the subway. Scrawled across the white space at the bottom of the poster was “On the 7th of July 2018 Andrea & Sarah had a magical night that ended here”

Subway Sign With a Magical MessageHow wonderfully New York in so many ways! Adventure, romance, the notion that anything could and often will happen in the city of dreams. Movies, books, tv shows have all been written on this idea. But life isn’t a work of fiction, as much as I love it to my bones, New York is just another bustling city with a myriad of problems.

As I sat on the train riding home, then a few days later on the plane, and then about three weeks later when I was scrolling through photos of the trip, I felt such a desire to know what made Andrea and Sarah’s night so magical. I know that we all post to Instagram the day after a night out sharing how “amazing” it was – but I also know we mostly do this for show, either to convince other people that our lives are full of magic and wonder and amazing nights out, or simply to cover up our own insecurity about the unhappiness that often creeps in over our own lives. Gee, that was too heavy.

This declaration of a magical night, though, took place on a forum that they would never get any likes or comments and where there was little chance that they could ever imagine that those they’re trying to impress would ever see it.

So what happened?

The temptation is there to create a Jersey Shore story that they got drunk and flirted with attractive foreigners and took flawless selfies. But every part of me felt like it had to be something else.

  • Were Andrea and Sarah locals?
  • Did they just share an amazing meal, laugh a lot, celebrate their friendship?
  • Did they only meet?
  • Perhaps a Tinder date?
  • Simply two people who became friends thanks to a chance encounter.
  • Was this to be the last time they’d hang out?
  • Maybe Andrea is moving – taken a job in another state, or country!
  • Perhaps they’re long-lost childhood friends who finally got to catch up and share a night together in NYC that brought them back to how much fun life was as a kid – this has literally happened to me before.

What amazing story took place that lead to the writing on this poster?