Katie looked at me intently with big blue eyes and her face became very serious. She seemed to be trying to make up her mind about something.
“Run away with me?” she finally asked. “I know it’s crazy, but I need someone and so do you.”
I had met Katie only an hour before, so it really was a crazy offer. In some absurd way, it seemed to make sense, just for a moment. But it wasn’t a real possibility. It was more like a fantasy. Doesn’t everybody dream of running away — at some point — and leaving everything behind?
Katie had actually done it. She wasn’t a child, but rather a 32-year-old woman. And she was asking if I wanted to go with her.
Until a month ago, Katie was a school teacher in a small town near Springfield, Ill. She had gone away to college and then moved to Chicago with a boyfriend — who she planned to marry — after she graduated. When that relationship ended with angry words, she moved back home, where she started teaching middle school.
Her life had been stuck in neutral until six weeks ago — when her father died in an accident.