I was pacing the floor the way I tended to when we spoke, as though I had to walk the energy from of hearing his voice out of my body.
“Have you ever seen Serendipity?” he asks me out of the blue.
“Mm, no. You know I don’t really love romantic comedies.”
“You should see it.”
“Okay. Why do I wanna see it?”
“Because it’s us.”
Randomly a few days later I stumbled across it on T.V. and rearranged my whole evening to watch. I smiled through it all, watching the parallels to us. The random first meeting. The horribly wrong timing. Randomly finding our way back to each other after losing touch. By the time the credits rolled, I was almost giddy. In my mind this was the confirmation I’d been waiting for that he saw us as I did; temporarily unlucky but supposed to be, kismet, serendipity. If he felt like this was us, then he had to share my conviction that our floundering was simply a question of timing; that maybe this time would be the time the universe randomly threw us together and we would finally get this right.
Like all the other times, it wasn’t.
I cringe at it now, all these years removed from him and who I was for him. My cheeks flush at the idea of hanging all my hopes on a vague reference to a bad movie, the carbon copy of a million others before it. I shake my head at me, all wrapped up in loving someone I called friend only for him to choose someone else. I’ve come to resent people content to allow their lives to just happen to them and call it fate. What a disrespect to the universe and its machinations. It’s not living. It’s lazy.
I am cleaning my kitchen one rainy Friday night, when a line that is mildly familiar breaks through my concentration. The movie is on again and I haven’t see it in years. I sit down and watch all ninety minutes of breathless proclamations and running through frigid New York streets, searching for how it once made me feel when I was a girl who believed in providence bringing me the love I thought was mine.
“Mm,” I say, as the credits roll. I don’t recognize her at all anymore.