Meeting by Accident- Paul C. Breen

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

Visiting from Vancouver, Rory Harrison sauntered up Malcolm McKechnie’s driveway.

“Hey Mac, what happened to your car? It’s a wreck. Front fender’s hanging by duct tape, side door is bashed in, trunk buckled. What happened?”

Mac grinned. “Women drivers.”

“Whoa. You can’t say things like that nowadays. It’s, um, misanthropic, or whatever.”

“Relax. Nothing misogynistic about it. I let women crash into it intentionally. It’s my new way of meeting the future Mrs. McKechnie.”

“I’m confused.”

Mac shrugged. “You know me. Unlucky in love. I hated the bar scene, so now I meet women by accident—literally.”

“Still confused.”

“Okay,” said Mac. “So, I’m in the grocery store parking lot.”

“Well that clears everything up.”

“Let me finish. I spot a nice-looking woman with no wedding ring loading her groceries. When she drives down my parking aisle, I pull out in front of her, and wham! She runs into my car.”

“That’s your plan? You get them all upset and then waltz up and propose marriage?”

Mac chuckled. “Not right away.”

It started raining and Mac pointed to the passenger door. “Step into my office. I’ll explain.” 

“This better be good,” 

“Hey, I’ve met some really nice women this way.” 

Once inside, Rory said, “Okay, how’s it work?”

Mac said, “I rush over, tell her it’s all my fault and I’ll cover any damages. I recommend my mechanic, the woman gets an estimate, I review it and agree to pay for the damages in cash”

“Why cash?”

“My daily withdrawal max is two hundred bucks. I deliver it to her in increments every day until it’s paid off. Meanwhile, we get to know each other and, if the chemistry is right, we have a budding relationship.”

Rory said, “Isn’t this expensive?”

“Costs less than dating the old way. Have you ever added up how much you spend on dating over the course of a year?”

Rory nodded slowly. “Oh, sure. You figure since I’m an accountant, I’d know it down to the penny.”

Mac grinned.

Rory sighed, “Last year it totaled $12,642.”

Smirking, Mac said, “Last year cost me about four grand.”

“But no takers on the marriage front?”

Mac rubbed his chin. “It starts out okay, but something seems to go wrong with the chemistry. And when I bring up the subject of marriage, they end it.”

Rory looked outside. “The rain’s stopped. I have to pack my bags. I start my new job out west on Monday.”

They shook hands. 

Rory said, “Next time you call, I’ll expect an invite to your wedding.”

*   *   *

Months later, Mac and Rory met up at the local pub.

 “So,” said Rory, “how’s the parking lot dating ploy working out?”

“Hey, it wasn’t a ploy.” Mac pointed around the room. “Better than meeting someone in places like this.”

“You said wasn’t a ploy. Past tense. Did you finally run into—literally—the woman of your dreams?”

“I guess you could say that.” Mac smiled sheepishly. “After all those repairs, I fell in love with my mechanic.”


“Yeah. Turns out I’m gay.”

Paul Breen is a retired father of six, and a member of Craig Murray’s Oakville Writers and Poets group. Each week, Paul submits a theme-based short story to the group for review and discussion. 

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