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It was destiny – in a way they had never imagined. But their love story was meant to be. #ThisThingCalledLove.
“Can I have your number?” he asked. She blinked. He could see she needed a push and he tried again. ‘You know, we can keep in touch.’
“Okay, well,” she gave in. They parted and she walked away wondering how on earth did she get herself talked into giving her number to a guy whose name she hadn’t been able to recall. Soon she forgot all about it.
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The next morning as she was just about to leave home for the hospital where she was interning, her phone beeped. Two words greeted her ‘Good Morning’. Okay, she sighed, was this the start of a conversation?
It was the time of text messages, not whatsapp, yet this one had no message, just a good morning which kind of seemed like it was prompting a response. She pondered for a while and then thought, “Okay, let’s get this over with. I can deal with this.” She sent a crisp “Hello! Good Morning. Have a great day.” She thought that had brighter chances of ending the conversation better than a “Hey! What’s up?”
You must be wondering why she didn’t ignore the message or snub him. Well, she hated being rude and thought people ought to be treated nicely. One of her personality traits also included an obsession with minute details.
There was also the history.
That wasn’t the first time they had met. They had met precisely on two occasions before that.
The first time she saw him was about a year before that meeting at the movies.
It was a regular working day at the hospital where she was doing her PG as a dentist. She had a few appointments with patients who wanted their lost smiles back. Her white apron had got grease on it. Prosthodontic labs aren’t pretty.
Her mobile phone vibrated in the apron pocket, and she cursed, before seeing who it was. It was a call from one of her seniors – let’s call him N. She picked it up, she knew N was graduating soon, the graduation ceremony was later that evening, and she assumed it must be something to do with that. He asked her if she could meet him outside the department so she walked into the waiting room and it was that precise moment where she met him, HIM. And that was their first encounter with each other. But she didn’t know that yet.
N introduced her to him saying he was his childhood friend, who had come for the graduation ceremony all the way from Bangalore. She mistook it for a simple introduction, but soon she found herself agreeing to a very odd request. This tall and maybe a little good looking stranger dude wanted a model of his teeth. Since she happened to be posted in the department where they take impressions and recreate models of a person’s dentition using gypsum, they were destined to meet. With a little help from N of course.
Most patients who come to the department of prosthodontics are more or less old, with loss of all teeth or some teeth, and she was wondering why this strappy young man would want to put himself through the experience of having impressions trays stuffed with sticky gooey material inserted into his mouth, for no apparent reason. There are all kinds of crazies, she thought to herself as she asked him to wait while she got all the things ready for this very strange request.
She called him to the clinical area and the next five minutes went in taking two quick impressions. While doing that, she had a better look at him and thought to herself he is quite the looker! When she caught herself doing that, she felt a little ashamed by her own little voice. She shook herself out of whatever it was that was running through her head, told him she would pour the cast and give it to him later in the day. He thanked her awkwardly and walked away.
She met N later and passed on the casts and asked him the million dollar question because she couldn’t really kill her curiosity – why would a person with a healthy set of teeth want an impression of them? Pat came the reply, his girlfriend loves his smile and he wanted to give her a quirky surprise.
Well, well, the guy had a girlfriend. Genius. She was surprised at the mild disappointment that crept into her head, because you see, even she was in a relationship, albeit not as alive and thriving enough to gift quirky gifts of love, but there was someone. It was complicated though and it had begun to show the signs of wear and tear, the kind that shows itself over the course of time between two young people who aren’t really meant for each other.
That night she met him again, wielding the camera, taking pictures of his childhood friend N. He was wearing a formal jacket and then asked for a picture with her. She had her trademark hesitation cap on and he said, ‘You’re my first dentist, I’d definitely want a picture with you’. So there was a picture of the three of them. She was sitting between both the guys, the guy who she had mistaken for a soul mate and her real soul mate.
But it wasn’t time yet. Destiny has its own clock and its own ways.
A few months later, she went to Bangalore, her hometown. Someone made plans of catching up, so she landed up with N, her mistaken soul mate, a few other friends and him. Only this time, she did not notice him. She barely said hello because she was far too consumed with the tumult that a relationship that is essentially going nowhere brings on its way out.
He, however, has a different story to tell. He noticed her, her face consumed with a lot of emotion that was doing its thing on the inside, which made her look vulnerable and beautiful. Even to this day he swears she was wearing a black gown that night and she wonders where that imaginary black gown descended from. They parted yet again, without knowing the significance of their roles in each other’s journey.
More time had passed and had claimed her relationship as its victim. She had made a fresh start, moving back home and was picking up the pieces of her life, moving on to her best ability with a little help from her old friends. She no longer wore rose tinted glasses when it came to love and relationships, and was really weary of all the attention she was getting in her single status.
She was also emerging from her own cocoon at that point. A long term relationship especially when one is too young is curbing in a way. It doesn’t allow you the time and freedom to figure your own self out. Your identity is based on the other person’s perception and it was no different for her.
Finally, she was making her way into the world of new friends and revisiting the old ones too. She, who was at one point, hiding under her blanket, refusing to make eye contact with the world, was beginning to learn to say hello to the initiator and organizer in herself.
And so, on a fine February morning, just after Valentine’s Day safely behind her, she made plans with her friends. The group went for a movie. Now, fate had plans and she was only playing her part in the grand scheme of things. When the movie ended, the group walked out, and almost made their way out, until one of them rushed off to the washroom. One thing led to another and they all hung around, discussing what to do next, when she felt a pair of eyes looking at her.
It all seemed surreal after that. She looked at him and it was him. They made their way to each other and it took her a while. She had almost forgotten he existed. She was embarrassed that she didn’t recall his name, and admitted it to him. He brushed it off by saying, if it makes her feel any better, even he didn’t recall her name. It could have been just another brief, random encounter between the two of them, but Destiny was getting her act together, and so he mustered up the courage to ask her, “Can I have your number?”
Now after all that history behind them, cutting back to the present, she remembered that crazy request which originally brought him to her in the first place, which also reminded her of his relationship, but of course it wasn’t any of her business. He only asked for her number not “Will you marry me?” so she chided herself. Nothing to be over cautious or excited about.
Good morning messages eventually turned out into ‘Hey, what’s up?’ just as she had not wanted them to be at first but surprisingly soon changed into something she started looking forward to. He asked her about N and she said that was history. She asked him about the cast and if the receiver liked the gift and he told her that the quirky gift was history as well.
It seemed like they were standing on a vast expanse of time and fate looking at each other with everybody else faded out in the background. They had met many people in their journey until that point in the time lapse of things, but there’s something about the collision of two different worlds and destinies. You could try ignoring it as just a writer’s over imaginative thoughts but it can only be felt, like a perfect fit. Only the wearer knows how comfortable he is.
In the parallel mundane world however, one’s fate is also controlled by other practical matters, so she set out again to pursue her education, which took her back to the place where she had first met him. But when the other person feels like home, you can stay in the remotest parts of the world, but it always remains a perfect fit.
When they were together, they brought out the best in each other. They were like two idea hamsters, on a roll from one possibility to another, never quite tiring out. She was the thinker. He was the doer. She fuelled his creativity. He fuelled her imagination. But they weren’t just a fairy tale. They were real.
On occasions, they also knew how to trigger the worst in the other. They had their share of arguments, storming out and declarations of it’s over, alright. But they knew they couldn’t be over. But they had the courage to face these times and tide over them.
Neither of them regretted their past, they realized that the people who existed in their life at that point were only playing their role in the bigger scheme of things, pushing them closer to the inevitable crossing of paths.
So if you’re reading this and you are alone this Valentine’s Day or any other day wistfully longing for love, I hope you never doubt the power of destiny and serendipity. Just don’t wish or long for it. Focus on your own layers and while you’re busy doing that if it’s time, you will meet your perfect fit. It just might not definitely happen in the second or third decade of your life. It can catch you unaware anywhere. Just don’t settle until you know it. And you’ll know, you are bound to know it when it’s the real deal.
As to what happened to them, well, they are living out their story doing things they were meant to do, creating new possibilities and enjoying their journey with their daughter together.
As for me, well, I’d just like to sign off with the quote ‘Every love story is special, but ours is my favourite!’
Image source: couple in love by Shutterstock.
Book worm, herbivore, animal welfare volunteer,compulsive archivist of memories & an idea hamster.
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