It begins when you haphazardly pick out a bright pink floral top on an early evening in April to meet a long lost friend.
It begins when you ask yourself, as you lean in to apply lip gloss, why you would be nervous. And proceed to dismiss the feeling entirely.
It begins when, as you assess yourself in the mirror, you think that maybe, possibly it would be better not to have plans. And not to think too much.
It begins when you meet him at the corner, and after an awkward hug, fall into step quite comfortably like it hasn’t been a lifetime since last you’ve seen each other – before a few career changes, and two kids, and a divorce.
It begins when you wonder why you are even here, sitting across from this beautiful man who will get up when you excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, considering you don’t even believe in love. And clearly he does.
So you say, “Everyone has an agenda so I may as well start by telling you mine.”
“I used to be the poster child for ‘everything will work out.’ I don’t have that move anymore. So I want to spend an evening with another human being to see if, without that, I have anything to offer the world.”
He says, “Let me think about that for a minute.”
And he really does. For a whole minute, it seems, without even an attempt to fill the silence. Which is an eternity, you know. And then he says carefully, “I think I understand what you’re saying.”
What are you saying?
“We haven’t seen each other in a long time. I don’t even know what you do. I don’t have any context for you. So. You can be whoever you need to be.”
What is that feeling that means that what you want might be possible after all? Or, that things will turn out for the best, even if they aren’t what you had planned?
Oh yes, hope.
See? You had to keep him.