Author's Note... I got the idea for this story while writing "Harbored Feelings". Since it was never explained how Jerry and Elaine met, I thought this version might come pretty close. Not all the characters are included since at this point very little is known about Jerry Seinfeld. However one of the most prominent characters on the show that we all know and love will appear soon. Jerry doesn't appear until a little later, but please be patient! =)
For those of you who have already read this story, I have rewritten the entire thing. The storyline is exactly the same but with a few changes. The chapters are longer but I have added several parts that were missing from the original. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the updated version as well.

(Early 1980's)

Elaine Benes shivered as she walked down 42nd Avenue, doing her best to avoid the occasional happy couples that she passed along the way.

She used to be one of those happy couples...

Half of one, anyway.

Elaine and Paul.

She usually didn't go for intellectual types, but then one day in Central Park, she spotted him.

He was browsing through a book at a sidewalk book sale. She watched him with interest as he paid the vendor and settled himself onto a nearby bench.

He was nicely built; about 5'7" and he was the only man she'd ever seen who looked handsome in glasses.

He was so absorbed in his reading that he barely noticed when she approached him. Elaine stood there for several minutes before finally clearing her throat to get his attention.
When he removed his glasses, she was stunned to realize how much he resembled James Dean. And when he spoke, the similarities were even more apparent.

"Hello." He said, giving her a smile that would put Dean to shame.

"H-Hi." She answered, barely able to get the words out.

When he returned his attention to his book, she forced herself to continue the conversation.

"That's my favorite book in the whole world." She lied, pointing to his book.

Amazingly, he put down the book and smiled at her.

Elaine couldn't help but feel proud.

She had definitely gotten his attention.

"You're a fan of Dawson?" He asked.

"Robert Dawson, the author." h said.

"Oh... right." Elaine laughed nervously. "T-the author. Yep. I love him."

In truth she had no idea who this Dawson guy was.

"Well, this is simply amazing! He said. "I thought that I was the only one who even knew his name!"

"Are you kidding? I read his stuff all the time!" Elaine said, hoping he didn't notice her blushing.

He extended his hand in greeting. "I'm Paul."
"Elaine." She said; her voice trembling.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Elaine." Paul said, placing a kiss on her hand.

He looked at her thoughtfully for a moment.

"Are you busy right now?"
"Me? No." Elaine said.

If only he knew how un-busy she was.

"Would you like to join me for a cappuccino?"

Elaine felt as though she were dreaming...

This gorgeous man was actually asking her out?

From that moment on, they were inseparable. Paul was the smartest person she'd ever met, and was also surprisingly romantic.

They went everywhere together; the symphony, the ballet, poetry readings...

Places that she would never have gone with any other man.

For the first time in her life, Elaine was in love.

But the fairy tale wouldn't last forever...

"What are you saying?" she asked several months later as they dined at their favorite Italian restaurant.

Paul smiled and put his hand over hers.

"Now don't worry, Darling. It's just a part-time thing. I need the extra money if I want to have a secure financial future.

It's crucial. You should really be thinking about your future, too.

"I am..." Elaine said, knowing he had no idea what she meant.

"Trust me, Elaine..." Paul continued. "Working on Wall Street is a huge opportunity for me. I promise I'll always put our relationship first."

When she looked away, he turned her face toward his and kissed her gently on the lips. She really wanted to believe him, but she had a track record of being hurt by men.

Stupidly, she thought that Paul was different than the others.

Not surprisingly in the months that passed, she saw less and less of her boyfriend. They scheduled weekly dates but he always seemed to have an excuse about why he couldn't be there.

The phone messages from him were so repetitive; she didn't even have to read them to know what they said;

I promise I'll make it up to you, Darling.

Miraculously, he did make it up to her.

The next Thursday, he presented her with a bouquet of red roses and an invitation to a romantic weekend. Just the two of them.

The agenda called for a two-night stay in a suite at the Plaza Hotel.

Elaine was in Heaven...

She was completely wrong about Paul. He was wonderful! He was doing all of this for her; all the long nights at the office, preparing for their future.

"You're crazy, Elaine." Her coworker Brenda said that afternoon. "You really think that he's being sincere when he says he's sorry?"
"Yes I do. We're committed to each other." Elaine said, desperately wanting to believe her own words.

"Well, I hope you're right." Brenda said. "I'd hate to see you get hurt again."
"Don't worry about it." Elaine said confidentially. "This is just the thing that we need. We've both been working really hard, and it'll be nice to get away for the weekend.
No telling what he's got in store for us."

(Friday Night)

Elaine arrived at the Plaza Hotel at exactly 6pm. She and Paul were going to have drinks and dinner before checking in.

She took one last glance in the ladies' room mirror before making her grand entrance in the Plaza Bar and Grill. She was glad that she had splurged on a new dress for the occasion. The black taffeta dress accentuated her curves and made her feel like a million dollars. With more confidence than she'd felt in a long time, she walked into the bar, smiling when heads began to turn in her direction.
Paul would be stunned when he saw her. Rarely if ever had she worn a dress on one of their dates.

But this was a night of new beginnings...

(Later that evening)

Elaine looked at her watch; 8:45pm and still no sign of Paul.

"Bartender, can I have another drink please?" she asked, handing him a $5 bill.

"Are you okay, ma'am?" He asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks."
She took the drink from him, stirring it with her straw, and then emptied the glass in one gulp.

"Whoa, you'd better slow down a little. We may have to get you a taxi for the ride home." The bartender said with a smile.

"It's okay. I'm staying here tonight. W-with my boyfriend." Elaine said.

The bartender scoffed. "Some boyfriend, leaving a beautiful woman like you alone."
Elaine smiled, grateful for the comment. "Thanks, but he'll be here. He's just running late."

Minutes later, she was startled by a tap on her shoulder.

"Paul, where have you-."
But it wasn't Paul.

"Miss Benes?"
She looked up to find the maître d' smiling at her.


"A message for you, ma'am."

Elaine's heart sank.

No... Not again...

Her eyes filled with tears when the maître d' produced a small white envelope.

"Thank you." She said, taking the envelope from him. Carefully she tore it open and read the note inside;

Darling, I'm afraid I won't be able to make it this weekend after all. Work has been piling up and I just can't get away. I'm so very sorry.-I promise, I'll make it up to you. Paul

The bartender looked at her with concern. "Bad news" he asked, noticing the hurt expression on her face.

She gave him a watery smile.

"No. Just the usual."
She finished her drink and crumpled up the note; tossing it onto the floor.

Damn him...

Then, ignoring the stares of the surprised patrons, she dashed out of the hotel (and out of Paul's life).