I do believe there are people who can be special in the short moments you come to know them. Very precious memories along our paths, no matter how brief.
Your story reminds me a lot of my own. In fact it has stirred up those memories again because I identify with it so much, I had to take a good long pause. It was but a mere blip on my life, but I do treasure the night all the same.
I was 18 and visiting my mother’s house in the tourist town she lives in for two weeks of the Summer. On my first day there, I stopped at this little market square to browse the shops - to set the scene, a charming little setup with vendor stalls under the shade of trees and flower trellises - and to take in the quaintness of the location. I was kind of listlessly walking when I, for no particular reason, looked up and made eye contact with a boy who seemed to be doing the same.
Now, I don’t particularly believe in love at first sight (maybe lust at most), or making more of things than they are, but I will tell you that in that moment it felt like I was struck with lightning and that I was seeing someone I had known for the longest time. If I had to choose a real-life fairytale moment from my life, if I had to describe it, that would be it.
We both kind of just…stopped walking and stared at one another for what seemed like forever. It was probably a few seconds at most, but time seemed to stand still until the moment was broken by more passerbys and we both, admittedly a bit awkwardly, carried on our way.
It it had been left at that, I might just recall a boy with maybe some of the most beautiful blue eyes I have seen. I have seen some gorgeous strangers in my life, not ever meaning a thing, and maybe that would have been it. But it was not so.
I ran into him the following two weeks around four or five completely chance encounters at various locations like a gas station and grocery store. I don’t know the odds of us being at the same places at the same times, and so many times on top of that in such a short period, but by the last meeting we were exchanging disbelieving smiles and teasing grins.
Then, near the end of the second week, I actually got the chance to talk to him. (I mean I could have before, but he made me way too nervous to approach) There is a lake that does movie nights on the water one a month - they have a huge projection screen and you rent floaties, and float out on the water and watch whatever film they choose (this one was Jaws) - and of course, he was there too.
He made his way over to me - I was much too nervous to do it first - and broke the ice by stating how I must be stalking him, but that he didn’t mind/kind of liked it. From there it was pretty much…over for me. I was hooked, I had wanted to talk for the longest time, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to pass on being the given the odd chances.
We talked forever on the beach before the movie began, decided to ‘float’ next to one another during the movie, in the far back away from the crowd, and didn’t catch one word of it all because we spent the whole duration discussing everything and nothing. I seriously have not had such an invigorating, witty, comfortable, engaging, fun, just wonderful conversation that ranges from the stars in the sky, our purpose and what we think of life, our life and what we wanted and what we feared, to the most mundane things about ourselves, the best way to eat cereal, and many other subjects I can’t quite recall. It was so…familiar? Like catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in ages, but also as if you had just been waiting to meet them.
We sat on the shore talking for a few more hours after the movie was over, before we both had to finally get back. (He was staying at a friend’s and was traveling from out of state, I was at my mom’s) Before we parted he wrote down his number on a piece of a flier we grabbed at the outdoor desk, as both of our phones were in our cars on account of the whole lake thing, and we almost-kissed. The kind where you stare at one another for just a bit too long, you both lean in just a fraction, and then as the moment stretches in you break into nervous grins? It was a perfect moment of those exist.
As soon as I got home I put the flier piece on the fridge - I wanted to wait at least until morning to text him, took a quick shower - and tried to fall asleep. I was so excited and replaying the conversation over and over again in my head that I probably got two hours worth in total haha.
But when I woke up, of course the first thing I did being to run to the kitchen, …the flier was gone. I full on tore apart the kitchen, the house, my car, the laundry, underneath the fridge, inside the fridge, moved the fridge, the trash, the lawn, every nook and cranny, and to no avail. My mother swears she did nothing with it, and no one else was in the house. To this day, two years later, it still has not been found and I am still at a loss at how it just up and vanished.
I never got his last name, for god knows what reason, or I probably would have scavenged the ends of the internet until I found him. I tried searching his first name and the places he had mentioned being from/going to, but to no avail. I went back to the beach a few times before I had to leave, but I did not have much longer and never ran into him again.
I still kick myself sometimes for not getting his last name, or adding him to my contacts the moment I got in my car, or ever finding out what happened to that damnable flier.
It sucks, but I appreciate the small memory and have since chalked it up to an amazing small encounter that adds to the ‘enjoy the small things in life.’ It will always be a little special to me, and I now know that someone so cool is out there enjoying his own adventures.
Like I said, I don’t like to make things into more than they are, as this was just a few short, though very odd, encounters and a wonderful conversation, but I also truly think there was something at least a little special about it all that I don’t think I will ever quite experience again. My own little magic, if you will~ (I’m still bitter tho)