Tuesday, July 28, 2009

True life romances

The first time they saw each other, they were eleven years old. He wore horn rimmed glasses and a boy scout uniform and she wore a dress and pressed her sweaty palms together as she struggled for a smile. Out of the whole class, he was the only one she saw. She didn't know what he saw, but he looked at her; the whole class looked at her.

Over the next few months he gave shy signs that he liked her. He even talked to her while she was on safety patrol duty. He never said anything out loud or gave her a clear sign. He thought she was out of his league and she thought he didn't like here that much.

At the end of the year, they went to different junior high schools and spun into different orbits, until one day they met by accident and he talked about John Denver's songs. She was interested and he offered to bring over his albums. She agreed and he came over.

Focused on the music, he didn't notice she kept looking at his lips and wondering why she ever thought he couldn't kiss. That disastrous party a few years ago when he chose her while playing This and That and she described his kisses as a wet washrag were forgotten. Something about the way he smiled, one side of his lips quirked higher than the other, giving him a sweet, lopsided grin, convinced her that he knew how to kiss, but he didn't offer. She didn't offer either. She listened to the haunting strains of Rocky Mountain High and the evocative call of Take Me Home, Country Roads and wished that he would sing Annie's Song to her. He didn't offer. She didn't ask. And he went home.

High school was a blur of activities and whenever they met, they smiled and nodded, muttered a few pleasantries and spun into different orbits. She usually knew where he was, but was caught up in the trials and tribulations of raging hormones and high school social and academic politics. They spun into farther orbits when high school ended, she to marriage, children, divorce and work and he into another galaxy.

Little did they knew that their orbits spun closer together than they knew, like comets traveling similar vectors or binary stars without a clear line of sight. Time and tides brought them withing miles of each other time and again until the Universe, tired of waiting for the inevitable collision, pushed them closer.

Traversing distance, time and circumstance, he reached out and she responded, finally traveling an orbit that would lead to a closer orbit, and they orbited with joy, surprise, and unspoken passion that crackled in the air between them until a death brought them closer. It took over forty years, but they finally collided and the sparks flew.

People, unlike celestial bodies, have a mind of their own, and tend to change course when you least expect them. People don't realize the necessity, the inevitable and inescapable magnetic attraction of two souls in harmony. It frightens them and leads them to race to escape orbit. Some comets and stars are meant to collide, to share the same orbit, and so are some people.

This couple were meant to share the same orbit and eventually they did -- and do. Other forces pull them in opposite directions, but they keep coming back together, the attraction too strong to resist. That's the way it has always been and will always be. Some things -- and relationships -- are inevitable.

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