“Do you believe in fate?” I asked him.
“Yes.” He replied.
“The thing about fate is that you have to try to make it work. You have to actively try to place me back in your life. You’re not going to run into me at the coffee shop in New York City.” I told him.
He nods his head; his eyes remain low. He looks at me with those sad eyes. Those clear eyes that pierce right through me.
“You and I are not done. We’re not done yet.” He whispered back.
“But for right now, we need to try to move on. It’s what is best for me and for you right now.” I said.
My heart is pounding so quickly I can barely hear myself speak. My face gets hot and tears spring to my eyes. I don’t want to move on from him, I want to be with him. The timing is wrong, the distance is too much to bear, our futures are on the horizon, and his family needs him right now. It’s what is best for us.
And then I see him at the ice cream parlor.
It feels like fate is just stopping by to say “hello, I’m still here don’t forget about me just yet.”
His face lights up in the car as I wave at him across the parking lot. He comes over and hugs me.
We make light conversation before he grabs ice cream with his friend.
Suddenly, my legs feel shaky and I can’t breathe. It’s too hot outside and my throat is burning. A million thoughts are running through my head. Tears threatening on the horizon. Memories flood my mind and I lose a grip on reality. All I see is him, standing so tall and broad under the night sky. His bright eyes twinkly, his smile is wide and warm.
Yet, I feel out of place. We talk about surface level topics. We aren’t in each other’s inner circle anymore.
This isn’t how I pictured us.
I miss the long nights down by the beach, walking hand in hand on the boardwalk. We talked openly and laughed loudly. I felt safe sitting next to him in the car. He sang the whole car ride home, while I dozed and laughed at his vocals.
I miss relaxing in the late afternoons. His feet on my lap as we watch the television. I miss joining his family for dinner. The conversations always flowed with laughter; I was in good company.
I miss talking to him. I miss telling him about the mundane aspects of my life. I miss calling him during the school year. I wish I didn’t cry as much. The distance was hard on me too. I wish I could have closed the 389 miles between us every single day.
I wish I hadn’t focused so much on the future. I wish I had lived more in the moment with him. I wish I hadn’t gotten angry over the small things. We were young, we were growing, we were learning each day.
But then I have to remind myself of the reality of the situation. We’re just old friends who ran into each other at the ice cream parlor.
“I can still picture us getting back together and getting married one day.” He told me.
I nod and smile at him. A tear slips down my face. I wish it were definite. I wish we could skip over the messy bits and just be together. Life is the messy bits, though. We have to go through it to become who we are supposed to be.
I don’t know how to act when I run into him. I don’t have a place in his life anymore.
I guess I’ll have to leave this one to fate for now.