Story of the day – I met my..

Sitting in my living room, I couldn’t shake off the haunting images of my husband’s accident: Dan’s car engulfed in flames, him trapped inside, crying for help that never came. It had been months since his demise, but to me, it felt like just yesterday. I missed everything about Dan — his love, laughter, and the way life made sense with him around. “You can’t stay locked in this darkness forever, Maria.” I wiped away my tears and turned to Jane, sitting beside me, offering comfort. “Life’s got to move forward,” she insisted. “Think about the debts. We need to figure out how to manage them. You don’t have to deal with it alone.”

“I know…” I acknowledged, tears streaming down my face once more. “But how can I just forget Dan and move on as if nothing happened?” Jane, ever practical, suggested, “Look, you’ve grieved enough. Maybe it’s time to meet new people. Have you thought about trying Tinder?” The idea seemed absurd, but that evening, I found myself setting up a profile on the app using a stranger’s pictures. As I swiped through profiles, my heart stopped — I saw Dan’s account. It couldn’t be him, I reasoned. Someone must be using his pictures. Curiously, I swiped right, and we matched. Soon, I received a message from his profile. “Hi, what’s up?” it said. “Hi. Making lasagna. You?” I replied, trying to act normal despite my racing heart. “I knew someone who made excellent lasagna,” he responded, which made me think of Dan. “I was looking for plane tickets.” “Really, You’re planning a trip?” I replied. “Yes, decided to take a break. Can’t choose which country to fly to,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to visit Italy,” I replied. I wanted to go there with Dan, but he never agreed because he thought Italians were too emotional for his liking. He wasn’t fond of the weather there, either. I was shocked when the stranger replied, “Don’t like Italy. The climate’s too hot, and people are too emotional. But… they know how to cook!” My heart said it wasn’t a coincidence that this man had the exact reasons for disliking Italy as my late husband. Intrigued, I continued the conversation, discussing travel preferences and hiking, a love Dan had instilled in me. Turns out, this man liked hiking, too! But things took a turn when I mentioned my “husband” and our separation, a lie to keep the conversation going. The Tinder guy suggested meeting up, and I agreed, driven by a need to uncover the mystery behind this familiar stranger. At the cafe, waiting for him, my heart raced with every chime of the door. But he never showed up. Instead,