My entire life, I've longed to go to Europe. I've dreamt of living there.

But I only talked about it, I never worked toward making it happen.

Back in October I was working for a bank and met a client named Susie, who lived in Budapest. We had an interesting conversation and agreed to keep in touch. A few days later, I had a chance encounter with another bank employee who had been close friends with a woman I had loved. She told me almost everything I knew about my ex was a lie.

What to believe?

You see this site became something of a shrine for that woman. Most of my writing this past year has been for, or about, her.

Because she's visited the site and forums almost every day since she left me. I believed love kept her coming back and so I waited.

Her friend called it vanity.

And so, after a year of wondering, I called her to ask why. She answered

only with silence, leaving not only one question unanswered but raising another: would I have carried that torch for a year if I hadn't known she was here, watching me?

Something else to wonder about: The day after meeting my ex's former friend, I was told that, as a temp, my services were no longer required. A bombshell the night before followed by loss of employment the next day. Is it paranoia to wonder about a connection?

During this time, I had begun talking to Susie. After I become unemployed, we were spending up to 12 hours a day online. Susie said everything that had happened in that past week was a sign. A door was opening and I'd be a fool not to step through it. And then she sent me a plane ticket.

Budapest isn't found on many Top 10 lists of places to visit in Europe (unless of course, you're Hungarian). It certainly wasn't on mine but how often does a women send a man return trip airfare and an invitation to stay in Europe with her for a month?

Probably once in a lifetime.