Corey and Michelle Piper were two people who didn't like change in their lives. Which is why it was surprising that Corey was happy moving to New York, while Michelle was adamant of staying in California. Corey liked the big city, whereas Michelle liked living in the quiet suburbs.
But, the day that they both moved into their Manhattan apartment, Michelle had an interesting experience that made her change her mind about disliking New York.
As the workers loaded the couple's belongings from the U-Haul truck into their apartment, Michelle saw a box that didn't look familiar to her. It was a small, plain brown cardboard lightweight box that lay near the front door. Michelle grabbed the box, and immediately went into the kitchen and grabbed a pair of scissors to cut the cardboard open. When she opened it, she was surprised to find a note in it. Corey walked over to her, and asked her what she was doing.
"I found a box, that I don't remember packing. There's a note in here," she said, pointing to it.
"Oh? What does it say?" he asked, peering over her shoulders to read the note. It read:
If you know what's best for you, I advice you not to move from here. Manhattan will give you all you want.
The note was unsigned. Michelle stared at Corey, very confused.
"Who wrote this?" she asked. Corey shrugged. "Who knows?" he replied.
"What does this mean, 'if you know what's best for you'?"
"Honey, let's not get preoccupied with this note. We have to unpack the rest of our things," he said, taking the note and putting it down on the kitchen counter.
"I mean... I like this apartment, but I don't like New York," she said, looking around at the apartment. Their apartment was fancy alright. Marble counter tops, white walls, and maroon curtains, were some of its exterior highlights. Corey thought that this apartment was a good investment on their part, but Michelle thought otherwise.
Corey stared at her in shock. "Why not? We can have a future here. Over there, we didn't have anything. And with my new job in Wall Street..."
"So now it's all about your job? What about me, what I wanted?"
"What would you be doing in California? Opening your gardening nursery?"
Michelle couldn't believe her ears! "That' something I actually like doing. Just because it's not Wall Street or something mainstream that everyone can relate to, doesn't make my interest any less!" Michelle was yelling at this point. Their argument was interrupted by one of the movers who asked where to put their giant gold framed mirror.
"In the living area," Corey said, leading them inside. Michelle stared at him incredulously. She was not okay with Corey not supporting her dreams. She supported Corey's dream to work in Wall Street. Why couldn't he support hers?
Her thoughts then went back to the note. Why would it say otherwise? That Manhattan would give her all she wanted, when that was not true!
Corey returned back, and looked at his wife's disdained expression. He was not happy with the way she was reacting to moving to Manhattan. He wanted a fresh start. A new life, and a new job. But his wife didn't understand that.
Michelle glanced up at Corey, waiting for him to say something. "We'll talk about this more, tonight," he said, brushing it off. She shook her head. Then she said, "I'm going out, for a bit. I need to clear my head. Tell the movers that they should put my dressing mirror directly next to our bed," she said, angrily, as she walked out the front door. Corey looked on, not knowing what to make of his wife's behavior.
Michelle walked around the city for a bit. She only meant to go for a ten minute walk, when she came across a man, near a CVS store, looking around frantically, as if he was searching for something.
"Are you lost?" she asked him. He wore nice clothes, a coat and suit. He was a little older, in his fifties. He looked at her, spaced out.
"Lost? No. I-uh- am not lost. I am simply looking for someone."
"Who?" Michelle was curious.
"Oh. Where did you see her last?"
"Just a few minutes ago. We were in CVS just a few minutes ago."
"Did you see her exit the store or---"
"Nope, she said she was looking for lipsticks. I was in the medicine aside. When I went to find her, she wasn't there in the lipstick section. I looked all over the entire CVS. She's not picking up her phone either."
"Okay, calm down," Michelle said, trying her best to calm the man. "Did you call the police?"
"Not yet. It's only been a few minutes."
"Maybe she went to another store and didn't tell you."
"I searched the whole strip of stores, on this street she's not in any of them. Least when I checked."
"What does your wife look like?"
"Tall, blonde, blue eyes. She was wearing jeans and a red sleeveless shirt."
"She must be somewhere around, don't worry. What's her name? Oh, and what's your name?" Michelle was worried now. She knew New York was not always safe, but this made her more convinced that this was not the place she wanted to live in.
"I'm Donnie. My wife's name is Katherine," he replied.
" I'm Michelle. Let's look again. Did you guys get to CVS by car or you walked, or--?"
"We took public transportation together," he replied quickly.
"Okay." Michelle motioned for the man to follow her as they walked through the strips of stores. All of a sudden, a woman's voice yelled loudly: "DONNIE!"
Michelle and Donnie whipped around. A tall woman, in her forties, ran towards the two of them. Donnie's eyes widened as he hugged the woman. "Katherine!" he exclaimed.
Michelle watched happily as the husband and wife exclaimed sighs of relief of finding each other.
Donnie then turned to Michelle and said to his wife, "This is Michelle. She was helping me find you. Where did you go?"
"I just went off to one of the shops at the edge of the street. A souvenir shop. It had some amazing candles inside. Before I knew it, I just lost track of time. Afterwards I realized I had to head back," she said.
"Well, I was worried sick for you. You weren't picking up your phone." Donnie said, in a reprimanding voice.
"He really was worried for you," Michelle interjected.
"I'm sorry... I had my phone in my pocket, I didn't hear it ring. I'm just so glad I found you," Katherine said hugging her husband.
"Me too," he said.
"To think, twenty years of living here and we still get lost here. Imagine if we just moved here, if we were new. Imagine how we'd feel," Katherine continued. To this, Michelle looked down awkwardly.
"Well this is our home after all. I wouldn't want it any other way," Donnie said.
"You're right. Thank you, Michelle, for helping my husband try to find me."
"No worries. Least I could do. He was very anxious to find you."
Katherine nodded her head, then said, "Well... I say we can now go back to what we were doing--"
"Actually--" Michelle interrupted, "I want to go back to what you were saying about imagining if you just moved here and got lost. I'm actually new to this city. My husband and I are moving into our apartment today. We're in the process of unpacking.:
Donnie and Katherine's eyes raised. "Oh? Really?" the wife asked.
Katherine waved her hands in front of her. "In that case, we can show you two around. Tell you all you need to know things the New York way. You and your husband can come over tonight for dinner if you want, as a start."
Michelle was taken aback by her overly friendly nature, but she wasn't opposed to it.
"Sure. I'll ask him after I get back," she replied.
"You do that. We love making new friends," Donnie agreed with Katherine, by giving a thumbs up.
After exchanging phone numbers, Donnie & Katherine and Michelle went their own separate ways.
Michelle couldn't help but think about Katherine's words. That in spite of being here for so long, they still get lost. And still, New York is home to them. This made her think that maybe she could get used to living here. After all, she learned something valuable-there may be too many things happening, but with the right company, things would be alright.
She went back home and told Corey everything that had happened. By then they had forgotten about their argument, they had earlier about not being happy with New York. Now, Corey was happy that she made new connection, in Donnie and Katherine, for the both of them.
That night, Donnie & Katherine and Corey & Michelle dined at an expensive Italian restaurant in Manhattan. As they did so, they got to know a lot about each other: Donnie worked at a bank, Katherine was an interior designer.
Additionally, Donnie and Katherine mentioned that they had a coastal house in New Jersey that Corey and Michelle could use if they ever wanted to get away from the city. This sounded like a great idea, especially to Michelle, who preferred the peace and quiet, as opposed to the noise of a busy city.
Most importantly, Katherine revealed that she loved gardening too and that she grows a garden of plants at her house. Once she found out Michelle was interested in starting a nursery, Katherine offered to help her jump start the process. Michelle was ecstatic with the fact that someone was actually supporting her dream. She turned to Corey, happily, to see his reaction to this. He didn't look completely happy, but if starting a nursery, was something his wife liked, then he was all for it, specially seeing that Katherine was willing to help out with it.
By the end of the night, Corey and most importantly, Michelle realized were where they needed to be in New York. It was only a matter of time, when Michelle would realize that moving somewhere else wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Because now, they were not alone. They had company.
Perhaps, that note was right after all, As for who wrote it, it didn't matter. Not anymore.