I once heard that you meet your soulmate before the age of 21. I don’t know who wrote that, but something in me smiles in adolescent memory.
We met when we were 17, in the midst of exams and parties and turbulent friendships. He was one of the first guys I fell for in a way that made me really nervous. We hadn’t even met before we first conversed by text (so 21st century I know) knowing that that coming summer, we would be forced into 3 weeks of European travel that would ultimately end in the great friendship we have now. That time was strange and we bonded in series of texts and small gatherings at friends houses, drinking too much and staying up too late talking.
If I’m honest, he annoyed the hell out of me. He was arrogant and self righteous in a geeky sort of way, which was the most uncool arrogance of all. His hair hung like curtains around his face, he was tall and wide eyes and just plain boyish. Though, despite this, he was always sweet to me and never treated me with one bad look or word.
Our travels only heightened our irritating brother/sister- like friendship, but I didn’t know that all that time we were really just connecting on levels unknown to us, on a level deeper than we might have thought. We were adults but we were still children with very few life experiences between us. I took comfort in that.
Time passed and we grew apart, then back together and then apart again. This was the way we were, the way we all are now in our little friendship group from that pivotal time in life up until now nearing 24 years of age.
Over the course of years we would meet as friends, exchange messages even about how we were once destined to be together but maybe missed the chance. We would talk about keeping each other warm in cold months and why, on each cold night we found reasons to not be together. Time just went on like that, but our friendship still over ruled everything.
So then, when I found out he had a girlfriend at university, the pang of hurt shocked me into leaving him be, leaving him to find happiness with someone who wouldn’t keep making excuses. I didn’t mind, as long as he was happy. I didn’t think about us as mates for a long while really, even when mentioning him to family in passing memories or remarks and deflecting their prodding of our adolescent connection. Shrugging it off most of the time I continued with the conversations and then continued on with the dating life that always ultimately ended in my failed attempts at relationships.
I was never good in relationships. Unlike him, I was a serial dater never feeling content with pursuing someone that I didn’t feel all of my expectations with. Maybe because I’m insecure that I put up these unrealistic expectations, I don’t know.
Then one day I meet this guy, this wonderful caring and completely crazy for me, guy. My feelings grew and grew and before long he was the longest relationship I’d been in and it was strong. I was happy in my quiet life.
Then he came back, like a wind blowing up from the south. That warm wind that brought back my friend into my life, into my reach again. It is so easy with him, with affection in our presence around each other and for some reason, it’s like all my worries melt away. I couldn’t think of my life without him, I wouldn’t want to.
I sit, lay, stand pensive, wondering if this warm wind, this nostalgic cupboard of memories, is my soulmate.