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Strangers on a blind date | Source: Midjourney
Strangers on a blind date | Source: Midjourney

Woman Goes on a Speed Date and Meets a Man Seeking a Companion for His Final Journey — Story of the Day

Mariia Kobzieva
Jun 05, 2024
06:20 A.M.

Corinne was at a speed dating event. Frustrated by her failed relationships, she watched how men boasted about their material worlds one by one. But the next candidate caught her attention. He was interested in Corinne's world. The intrigue grew when the stranger offered her to travel together.

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Corinne sat in the dimly lit restaurant, her heart heavy with frustration and doubt. The speed date event was supposed to be a fresh start, but it felt like a cruel joke.

The men she had met so far seemed like caricatures of what a man should be. They boasted about their achievements and material possessions, speaking more to impress themselves than to connect with her. Corinne's patience wore thin as she listened to another man drone on about his new sports car.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Just as she was about to give up and leave, the man at table number 8 sat down across from her. He was different. Instead of launching into a monologue about himself, he looked at her with genuine curiosity.

“What do you really want in life, Corinne?” his wide smile was warm and sincere.

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Taken aback by his directness, Corinne hesitated. No one had asked her that question in such a long time. She decided to be honest.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

“I want to travel,” she said, her voice soft but steady. “I want to search for the meaning of life, to find something more than just the routine.”

The man’s eyes lit up.

“That’s incredible! You know, I’ve always dreamed of traveling to the ocean. I’m actually looking for someone to share that adventure with me. What do you say?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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Something sincere and earnest about him made her want to trust him. Despite her trepidation and disbelief, she nodded.

“That sounds... really interesting,” she replied, her voice filled with cautious optimism.

Soon, the event ended, and it was time to announce the matches. The rich man with the new sports car was matched with a slender brunette who seemed more interested in her manicure than the people around her. It wasn’t surprising they matched.

Corinne's heart raced when the announcer named candidate number 8.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Aaaand matches with table ... number 1,” the host finally declared.

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Corinne blinked, taking a moment to realize that number 1 was her. Probably tonight, she was number one, and perhaps this was her moment.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Thomas walked over to her, a warm smile on his face.

“Looks like we’re a match,” he said, extending his hand again. “I’m Thomas.”

“Corinne,” she replied, shaking his hand. “Nice to meet you, Thomas.”

They stepped out of the dim, stuffy room into the fresh evening air. The city lights flickered around them as they walked down the street. After a while, Thomas broke the silence.

“So, how about we leave tomorrow?” he asked, his voice hopeful but gentle.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Corinne felt her breath catch. “Tomorrow? That’s... soon,” she said, her mind racing.

Thomas grinned. “Why wait? Life’s too short, right? Let’s go for it.”

She took a deep breath, feeling the excitement build. “You’re right. Let’s do it.”

***

Corinne and Thomas's journey began with a flight to their first destination. As they boarded the plane, Corinne noticed Thomas discreetly taking some pills and holding his stomach.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Are you okay, Thomas?"

Thomas flashed a reassuring smile.

"Just airplane food not sitting well with me," he joked, though Corinne sensed there was more to it.

During the flight, Thomas kept the mood light with his humor. He made Corinne laugh so much that she momentarily forgot her worries. His cheerful demeanor was infectious, and by the time they landed, she felt lighter and more excited about their adventure.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Once they picked up their sleek convertible rental car, Thomas handed Corinne the keys.

"Your turn to drive," he said, his eyes twinkling. "I'll be your navigator."

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Corinne hesitated. "Are you sure? I haven't driven a convertible before."

"Absolutely! You'll love it," Thomas encouraged. He pressed a button to open the top. "Feel like the queen of the road!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Corinne slid into the driver’s seat. As they sped down the highway with the wind in their hair, she couldn't help but smile. Thomas's enthusiasm was contagious, and she began to feel a sense of freedom she hadn't felt in years.

Thomas’s energy was boundless, but Corinne noticed him occasionally grimacing and holding his stomach. Each time, he brushed off her concern with a joke.

When they finally arrived at a small, cozy motel for the night, Thomas suggested they relax by the pool. They found a quiet spot and dipped into the water.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

“Tell me something about yourself that I don’t know,” Thomas said, breaking the comfortable silence.

Corinne hesitated, then decided to open up.

“I’ve always dreamed of being a singer,” she admitted. “Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to perform on stage, to share my music with the world.”

Thomas's eyes widened in genuine surprise and delight.

“Really? That’s amazing! Why didn’t you pursue it?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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Corinne sighed.

“Life happened. Responsibilities, fear of failure... many things got in the way. It just seemed like a childish dream.”

“It’s not childish at all,” Thomas insisted. “You have to follow your dreams." He paused, looking thoughtful.

“Would you sing something for me?”

Corinne felt a flush of nervousness. “Right now? I don’t know…”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Please,” Thomas said, his tone gentle but earnest. “I’d really love to listen to your song.”

Corinne nodded. She closed her eyes briefly, then began to sing a song she had written herself. Her voice was soft and uncertain at first, but as she continued, it grew stronger. The song was about love and loss, hope and dreams—everything she had been through.

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When she finished, she opened her eyes to see Thomas staring at her, clearly moved.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

“Corinne, that was beautiful,” he said softly. “You have incredible talent. You should share that with others.”

His words touched her deeply.

“Thank you, Thomas,” she said, “That means a lot to me.”

They sat silently for a while; the only sounds were the gentle lapping of the pool water and the distant hum of the highway.

Thomas broke the silence. “You know, tomorrow we’ll see the ocean,” his eyes sparkling. “I can’t wait to share that moment with you. I was there with my mom when I was three.”

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Corinne smiled. “I can’t wait either.”

Thomas then stretched and yawned.

“I think we should get some rest,” he suggested. “I’m not feeling too great right now, but don’t worry. This has happened before, and it usually passes by morning.”

Feeling somewhat reassured, Corinne agreed. “Alright, let’s get some sleep then.”

Lying in bed, Corinne listened to Thomas's steady breathing and thought about their incredible journey.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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***

After a long drive, Corinne and Thomas finally arrived at the ocean. The sight of the vast, blue expanse took Corinne's breath away. She ran toward the waves, laughing and twirling in the sand.

"It's beautiful, Thomas! Just like I imagined!" she exclaimed, her eyes sparkling joyfully.

Thomas watched her, a broad smile on his face.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"I'm glad you like it," his voice filled with genuine happiness. He walked to the water's edge, letting the waves lap at his feet. "This is perfect," he murmured to himself.

But suddenly, Thomas's face twisted in pain. He clutched his stomach and staggered back. Corinne, noticing his distress, rushed to his side.

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"Thomas, what's wrong?" she exclaimed.

Thomas took a deep breath, trying to steady himself.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Corinne, I need to tell you something," he said, his voice strained. "I'm... I'm terminally ill. I have stomach cancer, and it's in the last stage."

Corinne felt like the ground had been pulled out from under her.

"What? Why didn't you tell me?" she demanded. "You should have told me from the start!"

Thomas looked down, guilt shadowing his features.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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"I didn't want to ruin our trip. I didn't want you to see me as just a sick man," he explained. "I've refused treatment a long time ago. All I take now are painkillers to manage the pain."

"We need to get you to a hospital," she insisted, her voice trembling.

"No, Corinne. I've made my peace with it. I don't want to spend my remaining time in a hospital bed. I wanted to experience this with you, to live, not just exist."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Irritated and frustrated, Corinne turned away. Tears stung her eyes as she fled the beach, the sound of the waves crashing in her ears.

She stopped at the water's edge, her mind flooded with memories of her father. He had also died of cancer, leaving her feeling abandoned and lost.

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Thomas watched her from a distance. He wished he could take away her pain, but he knew there was nothing he could do to change his situation. He walked over to her, kneeling beside her in the sand.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Corinne, I'm so sorry," he said softly. "I never wanted to hurt you. I wanted to give you something beautiful, a memory to cherish."

She looked up at him, her eyes red and puffy from crying.

"You should have told me, Thomas."

"I know," he replied, his voice heavy with regret. "But please, don't let this ruin everything. We've had some amazing moments, haven't we?"

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"We had," she sobbed.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

“I’m sorry, Thomas,” her voice trembled. “I just... I can’t do this. It’s too hard. Losing my dad to cancer was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I thought I had buried that pain, but it’s all coming back now.”

She took a deep breath, trying to steady herself. “I think I need to go home. I need to hide from this pain, at least for now. I’m not strong enough to go through it again.”

Thomas squeezed her hand gently. “I’ll miss you, Corinne. But I respect your decision. Thank you for the time we had together. It meant the world to me.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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Tears streamed down Corinne’s face as she looked at Thomas. “I’ll miss you too, Thomas. More than you know.”

With a heavy heart, Corinne turned and walked back to the car. She knew leaving was the right decision for her, but it didn’t make it any easier.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

***

On the way to the airport, Corinne sat quietly in the backseat of the taxi, staring out the window. Her thoughts were a whirlwind of confusion and sorrow. As she reached into her bag to grab her phone, her fingers brushed against a folded piece of paper. She pulled it out and realized it was a letter. The handwriting was unmistakably Thomas's.

Curious and apprehensive, Corinne unfolded the letter and began to read.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Dear Corinne,

I wrote this the night we met. I didn’t dare give it to you then, but I must tell you now. From the moment I saw you, I knew you were someone special. You were stranger number one to me, but you quickly became much more.

I fell in love with you at first sight. I know it sounds wild, but it's true. Your honesty, your laughter, your dreams—they all touched my heart deeply. I'm sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. I was afraid you’d walk away if you knew the truth about my illness.

Please forgive me. I understand if you can’t. But know that our days together have been the happiest of my life.

Yours, Thomas."

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

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Corinne's eyes welled up with tears as she read the heartfelt words. She felt a pang of guilt for leaving Thomas. His sincerity and love were palpable in every line, and she knew she couldn’t turn her back on him now.

"Driver, can you take me to the restaurant by the city hotel?" Corinne asked, her voice trembling.

The driver looked puzzled but complied, changing directions to the restaurant Thomas and Corinne had planned to visit.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

When she arrived at the restaurant, she saw Thomas sitting at a table, looking out the window. He looked up, surprised to see her.

"Corinne? What are you doing here?" he asked, standing up.

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She walked up to him, holding the letter.

"I found your letter," her voice broke. "Thomas, I’m so sorry I left. I was scared and overwhelmed, but I know I can't walk away from you now. I want to stay. I want to be with you."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Thomas smiled and reached under the table, pulling out a guitar case.

"I got this for you," he said, revealing a beautiful guitar. "There's a local bar nearby that has open mic nights. I thought you might like to perform."

Corinne's heart swelled with emotion. "Thomas, this is amazing! Thank you!"

That evening, they went to the local bar. Corinne felt nervous but excited as she stepped onto the small stage, the guitar in her hands. She glanced at Thomas, who gave her an encouraging nod. Taking a deep breath, she began to play and sing a song she had written.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

When she finished, the audience clapped and cheered, and Corinne felt a rush of happiness. She looked at Thomas, who was beaming with pride.

"You were amazing," Thomas said, his eyes shining with admiration.

Corinne blushed. "Thank you, Thomas. I couldn't have done it without you."

Thomas squeezed her hand. "So, what do you say? Are you ready to continue our journey together?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Corinne nodded, tears of joy in her eyes. "Yes, let's keep going. I want to travel the world with you, no matter how much time we have."

Thomas smiled, pulling her into a gentle embrace. "We'll make every moment count, Corinne. I promise."

Corinne knew she had made the right decision. Their journey was beginning, and she was ready to face it with Thomas by her side.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, read this one: Jack had just finished his shift and parked his bus at the depot when he noticed a small boy in the back seat. Walking closer, he saw his scared eyes. The kid whispered, "You're Jack, right? Mom said you're my dad." Hearing this, Jack felt like the ground was moving under his feet. Read the full story here.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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