Led Astray – Part 1

“Maxie!” yelled this handsome man coming in my direction. Chicago sure produced many of his kind, but his broad smile was inviting, and he did look so familiar. I returned the smile. Slowly, I realized who he was.

“Eliott Stedwell! Oh my gosh, it’s been way too long! How have you been?” I said, wrapping him in my arms with a heartfelt hug.

“Pretty good, actually,” he said with confidence. “Life is treating me well now, I must say.”

“So, are you living in Chicago now?” I asked, hoping it was true. I couldn’t help but let my eyes wander over his face with delight. He was still hot as ever, with the charm to match. God, those eyes!

“Well, for the time being, yes,” he said quickly. “But only temporarily. I’m running a self-help seminar at Conference Chicago on State St. It’s a short-term engagement, not just one talk but a series of them taking place over two weeks. The location is perfect because they also offer housing for my attendees, and me, of course. With the meal plans included, it made it rather reasonable for everyone.”

“Wow! That’s interesting, Eliott. I didn’t know you were on the lecture circuit as a motivational speaker. Do you work for yourself or a company?”

“It is my company, but I didn’t start out that way. I got into it because of a seminar led by Jack Canfield. I had a rough patch a few years back, which led to some dark times for me,” he said earnestly. “A friend of mine recommended his course, hoping it could turn things around for me. And did it ever; it was the best thing I could have done for myself!” Yeah, I could see that. He seemed very confident, happy, and of course, hella good-looking to me! I noticed Eliott was wearing a pretty expensive suit, so it really must have worked out to his benefit financially too.

“Well, good for you,” I said with a big smile for him. “That makes me happy to know you are in a good place now. Hey, if you aren’t in a rush, do you want to grab some coffee and catch up some more?” Even though I had a few pressing errands to do, I was glad for the distraction, not wanting to do them anyway.

“Yeah, sure, then I can tell you more about how I went from being a total clod to a minor success,” Eliott said with a boyish grin as we started heading in the direction of the nearest Starbucks.

“Right, minor success,” I said, poking him in the shoulder. “From what I can tell, you seem to be enjoying major success!”

We spent the next few hours reminiscing about old times, mostly but also where our lives had taken us in the last few years.

“Say, I do have to give a seminar later today, but I wondered if you would like to have dinner afterward?” He looked at me, hoping I would say yes.


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