Imagine a happily married man standing at an elevator, watching the doors slowly open to reveal a lone passenger, a young woman who looks exactly like a young Natalie Wood, with the possible exception of her hair, which is red and partially hiding her face under a swirl of curl. Their eyes meet briefly as he steps on the elevator, and she gives him a polite smile before lifting her eyes to stare at the floor numbers, following the strict rules of elevator etiquette.
He says nothing, but thinks, “It’s her!” She’s a new employee in another department, and the shock he felt when he first caught a glimpse of her is just as powerful today as it was then.
The elevator descends one floor. He glances over at her, the smell of her intoxicating. Finally, the elevator descends to street level, the doors open, she steps out, and is almost immediately greeted with a peck on her cheek by her husband, who has just returned from Vietnam.
Fast forward a year. The married man is now working alongside her in the editorial offices of the same association. They are friendly, but not friends. And then both marriages fall apart. First, the married man’s wife runs away with a saxophone player, and then, just six months later, the redhead finds her husband in bed with her best friend.
The now-separated man sees the redhead crying at the office one day, and invites her out to a coffee shop, where they commiserate. Commiseration leads to friendship, which leads to love, which leads to marriage.
Now, thirty-three years later, neither can honestly say they’ve retained their good looks, but even so, the married man still sees a little bit of Natalie Wood when he looks at her, and still thinks, “It’s her!”