Congratulations to Susan Edwards of Vancouver for her winning entry in our contest! Here’s her “Sylvia story”:
“When I stepped out of the bright early evening light into the dark of the Sylvia Hotel two years ago, I could see to my right a slightly familiar silhouette against the window at the far end of the lounge that faces English Bay. As I approached the table he got up from his chair to greet me. “I didn’t know if I’d recognize you but the way you walk is just the same.” “I don’t remember you being so tall,” I replied. “6’3.”
“I was immediately in love again – with the moment, with the memory, with a deep connection that happens so rarely in a fairly long life. It had been some thirty years since we had run into each other by chance on Bloor Street in Toronto.
“I ordered a Shirley Temple and then thought they probably don’t call them Shirley Temples anymore. We spoke quietly about the years since we had seen each other. He got up at one point and left the bar to call his wife. This was hardly an illicit meeting but it had taken some time to arrange and the Sylvia Hotel was the only place he wanted to meet. I found out that night that as a teenage athlete he had come to Vancouver, his first time out of rural Ontario, and the Sylvia is where the team had stayed before winning a big race.
“He drove me home after our visit and came in to see my new basement suite in East Van for a moment. He had to duck down to get through the door. “Why did you marry your husband? he asked. “He looked good on paper,” I replied. We laughed and then he was gone. I have thought about that evening at the Sylvia Hotel many times.“