Isn’t it funny how we expect love to be waiting for us just around the corner, but as soon as it does we become all confused and surprised? But that’s today’s idea of romance. Expect the unexpected. It’s interesting how that changed, isn’t it? Meeting somebody by pure chance used to be rather boring, if you couldn’t tell a sheer endless story leading to the meeting itself. There had to be something special about place and occasion. Today we like to believe that love is probably just down the street waiting for the right time to reveal itself. That we could literally run into our partner-to-be at any time. Fate would just lead our ways. Fate has been and will always be a constant part of any romantic idea. Believing that there is somebody meant for us and that a higher power will bring us together is what keeps us going in the end.
Quinn left the house with a smile on her face. It was a good day. The sun was shining as warm and bright as it hadn’t done for a long time. This was the beginning of spring. It was her most favourite day of the year. Everybody seemed just a little happier. Even Mo on her side seemed happier. But that was probably just something she told herself. Mo was a dog, he was always happy when they went for a walk. Her steps led her to the beach. She just couldn’t go anywhere else. Not today. The sea was simply too tempting. Her smile got even brighter when she finally got sight of it. She let go of Mo and he ran straight into the water. The cold not bothering him at all. Advantages of being a dog.
They walked along the beach together. Mo never far from the water and always pleased to meet people and other dogs. After about an hour of walking Quinn found the perfect place. Protected from the wind, sunny and a good view on the sea. She sat down in the sand. Legs crossed and with music in her ears she watched Mo running around. From time to time she gave people a nod and a smile when their curious looks remained long enough on her. Other times she called Mo close, when she thought that people might be afraid of him. Those were usually easy to spot. They often slowed down, but unlike the dog-lovers, who slowed down to greet the dog, somebody who was afraid would look around nervously for help.
The time passed by, but Quinn had totally lost track of it. What mattered it anyway? Her thoughts had drifted far, far away. To a place where nothing and nobody could reach her. She saw, felt and heard, but nothing reached her. It took her a while to realise that she was watching a young man playing with Mo. She took the earphones out of her ears. It helped her to fully comprehend the situation. The young man must have been around her age. And he had a dog with him himself. A little one. But the man’s attention was occupied by Mo. A smile crept on Quinn’s face. She was weirdly fascinated by this stranger. Should she go and talk to him? While she tried to find an answer on this he looked up. She couldn’t tell whether he was looking at her, or not, but a big smile was on his face. Quinn stopped thinking and got up. Her feet moved towards him and a little voice in her head was calling “What are you doing? What are you doing?”. The voice was shut down by his sudden question. “Is this your dog?” “Yes, that’s Mo.” she answered him. “He’s absolutely gorgeous.” Quinn laughed. “True. But so is your dog.” “Yeah, but Jack is more interested in the ball than me. Your Mo is just so friendly.” “He likes you.” “We are buddies already, aren’t we Mo?” They both laughed. “I got bad news for you.” He said. “Mo is coming home with me.” “Haha, no chance.” “Ahhhh come on. I know he’d love to.” “Don’t make me fight you.” She said with a wink. “Alright, ok.” And after a little break he said. “Are you going home?” She thought about that for a moment. “No, I’ll walk a bit more along the beach.” “This way?” he asked and pointed into a direction. Quinn nodded. “Then let’s go.” he said. “I’m Michael, by the way.” “Nice to meet you. I’m Quinn.” They shook hands and went on together.
My friend Ted has got an interesting personality. Like probably every person in this world. But his is interesting in the way that makes nearly everybody want to know him better. He’s got charisma, that is for sure. You meet him and then he wraps you around his little finger. And things always turn out good for Ted. At least that’s what it seems.
The circumstances in that we met were rather unconventional. We support the same team and that’s what brought us together. It was more of a shallow friendship at first, if you can even call it like that. We talked about the latest match and upcoming ones, the player and the league. Nothing special. But as it happens a lot of my friendships started like this.
At some point Ted and I started talking about our lives. Not long after that we stopped talking at all. Not even a word. Silence for month. More than half a year later we started talking again. All of a sudden. None of us even mentioned the silence. Possibly because both of us saw ourselves as the reason why. I never attempted starting a conversation and so did he. I invited him to come to my place and Ted came. Now you need to know that we lived quite far from each other’s. And now even farer. So it was sort of a big deal. He stayed for a week. This week was all crazy and fascinating and weird and it was the start of our friendship the way it is now. We both haven’t had a very good time during the silence. Not because we were so sad about it, but because we individually faced life’s struggles. And as it happens we gave each other the feeling that we could talk about it. We went for long walks and we talked and talked and talked. We exchanged ideas, inspired each other and most important listened. Ted often tells me he wishes we were on one of our walks, cause life seemed so peaceful back then.
Ted didn’t go back home, but instead went on an adventurous travel. This time was a life-changing experience for him. And all this time I was his person. The person he could turn to when he felt down and out of energy. I’m happy he gave me that chance. It gave me the possibility to truly get to know him. I got to see his soul. Something that he rarely grants anybody.
Sometimes I felt helpless. How should I comfort somebody miles and miles away? How can you convince someone everything will be alright, when you are so very worried about that person? I found a way and it seemed to work.
Now he is back from his travels. Which doesn’t mean that we are any closer in matters of distance. And it also doesn’t mean that there’s no more reason to ask for advice. But we certainly laugh a lot more these days.
And here’s the funny part: Ted is not his actual name. It’s not even any close to his name. And I never call him Ted. But he reminds me very much of Ted Mosby from “How I met your mother”. In case you haven’t watched the show, it’s about Ted telling his kids in a nearly endless story how he met their mother and what crazy things happened to him and his friends along the way.
Can I imagine my friend doing the exact same thing? Oh yes I can! The only difference would probably be that his kids would be less bored. (Through I have to confess that I never understood the kids in the show.)
But the main reason why I see him as Ted is his desire to find the perfect girl. I can imagine that we all are looking for our perfect fits and are somehow amazed by the idea of true love. That is human nature. We don’t want to be alone. But in Ted’s case this has an obsessive character. He just tires very, very hard to find love. He loves the idea so much, that he sees love at every corner and therefore goes through an awful lot of women. Ted is on a rollercoaster of emotions. One moment he is high on love and the next downcast. And I am on that rollercoaster with him. Excited when he is and ready to catch him in case he falls.
At this very moment there is a girl that he referred to as the one. I hope she really is the one. Not because I’m tired of hearing his stories about the girls that all were “the one”, but because I want him to be happy. And if she is not the one, then I am ready to catch his fall once more.
But I am certain at some point this rollercoaster ride will have an ending.
I mean … even “How I met your mother” finally came to an end.
Liam looked at Jessica. She was laying next to him on her bed. The only light around was the flickering light of the TV. But it was enough to make him see her face. It seemed emotionless. Liam opened his mouth and closed it again right away. She must have realized, but there was not the slightest expression that showed it. She didn’t even look at him. Her eyes were fixed on the TV screen. Liam knew that she wasn’t even half as interested in the commercial as she pretended to be.
He opened his mouth again. And once again closed it without saying a word. He simply didn’t know what to say. There were things on his mind, but where should he start?
Jessica was still pretending not to realize. Pretending! She had become world class in pretending.
He thought about getting a bit closer. It was worth a try. He moved. And so did she.
In this moment the space between them was not only metaphorical. And it grew bigger and bigger. Unstoppable. Irrevocable.
“Jess?” “Hm?” She still didn’t look at him. He waited with the hope she would finally do. Nothing happened. “Jess?” he asked again. Same reply as before, but she didn’t move. “Jessica!” he said more intense. “What?” she asked and finally looked at him. And now that she did Liam didn’t know what to say. “What is it?” she asked annoyed. “What’s wrong with us?” “What do you mean? I’m pretty fine.” She definitely was annoyed. “No, I mean what is wrong with US? As a couple.” She gave him a weird look, but didn’t answer. As only he could see her face better, her eyes would show her what she was thinking.
“Listen, it’s not how it’s supposed to be like between us. It’s not what it was like before. We’re becoming more and more distant.” “Ahhhh come on…. You’re crazy.” “No, no I’m not. Or can you honestly tell me that everything between us is totally normal?” That short moment of silence was answer enough. “See, you can’t. But if we don’t do anything now, it will soon be too late.” She was looking at him. Emotionless. For a long time the sound of the TV was the only thing to hear. Maybe it was already too late. Something between them was broken and Liam felt as if she was running away from him. He felt lost in this relationship. Liam always thought that they belonged together. Their love has been like home – a safe place. Now he didn’t know where he belonged. Jessica seemed miles away and he didn’t know if they’d ever find back together. He didn’t know if they could find their way back home.
“Could you please say something?” Liam asked only to hear something else than his thoughts. She remained silent. “Jessica, please! Say something! Just anything!” “I don’t know what! What shall I say, Liam? I don’t know!”
“I think there’s no direction left for us to take.” Liam said silently. “So you think it’s over?” She almost sounded relieved. That was it. The sign. She wanted it to be over. There was no direction. They had walked a long way together. They had come far, but now they were standing in the dark. It was over and Liam knew it. He got up and nodded.
It was time to go.
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I’m sitting here, staring on my phone. I’m not sure what to do. Or better said I’m not sure if I really want to do what I have in mind. Should I, or shouldn’t I? And what am I expecting? What if I’ll get no reaction? Do I even want one? Yes, I do. What if I get one? And what if I don’t like the reaction I get? Too many ifs. But the question that tortures me most is: What if we were meant to be?
I had a long talk with two of my friends and as often before we ended up talking about men. And then we were talking about him and they asked all the questions that I had no answers on. I had no clue what went wrong. But the result of that talk is that I can’t get him off my mind again.
The screen of my phone goes all black and with a swipe of my finger it lightens up again. I’m staring at his last message. A simple good night. I remember the first time we have ever talked. He was charming and funny. It was so easy to talk with him. I never felt like I could say something wrong. I never really had to think about what to answer. I could simply enjoy the talk. John always made me feel good. And not just because he knew how to make compliments. He simply made me smile, even in moments I wasn’t feeling like I could.
Have you ever been so in love that you are already smiling when you see the name on the screen and you haven’t even read the message? Have you ever talked a whole night through and still felt like it wasn’t enough? Have you ever just listened to his or her breathing and it was pure entertainment? Have you ever loved somebody so much that you forgot time, room and everything else around you? And have you valued that love enough?
I think I didn’t. And I think he also didn’t. At some point I thought he changed. Looking back I know that I changed too and I had made it hard for him to love me. I was so focused on not being someone he could love that I might have become someone he couldn’t love. I was a challenge even though I didn’t want to be one. In fact I had always thought I was easy to get along with for boys. Well in terms of friendship that was true.
I never really knew how to deal with his love. I never thought I was worth it. John … he was funny, charming and clever. And so caring. All I ever asked for. And I? I was just me!
When I finally accepted that that was enough, it was probably too late already. Step by step he was leaving me. Step by step I lost him.
The great little things that I had loved so much became less. He was with me, but still not. He always seemed miles away. I started missing him and more and more often I felt hurt and ignored. The good times became less, but when it was good it was great.
In a way it stopped all of a sudden, but on the other hand it was a result of me not being able to take it any longer. The new John wasn’t the one I wanted to be with.
Silence. Sadness. Ignorance. And now it’s all coming back. I’m missing him with all my heart. I never got over him. Deep down inside I was still waiting for him. I was hoping for him to miss me. I was hoping for him to fight for me. I was hoping on getting John back. The good John. The John I fell in love with. And I’m still hoping for all that.
I tried to show him that I don’t need him. That I could leave whenever I want. But I need him and couldn’t just leave. It was too damn hard. I was hiding so he could miss me and ended up constantly asking myself where he was. Even when I tried to trick myself by thinking I wouldn’t care.
I just want him to know that I still love him. That there is no other one who completes and touches me the way he does. He needs to know. And I need to know. Otherwise I’ll forever ask myself: “What if?”
I was on my way to Rhiannon. She had called me earlier to ask if I’d have time for her. Of course I had! I would always have time for her. We were friends for quite a long time already. I had met her on my first day in kindergarten. I had been shy and not very eager to stay, but then Rhiannon came to me. Actually she sort of danced into my direction. Her red curls had been jumping up and down. She had stopped right in front of me and scrutinized me with her green eyes. I remembered that I had been wondering if she was an elf. Then she had taken my hand and showed me around. Ever since she had never left my side and I never left hers.
I was expecting to find her in tears. And I did. I only had a second to see that she was crying then my face was buried in her bushy hair. I tried to convince her to let go for a moment so we could go inside, but she didn’t even take notice. I maneuvered the sobbing something, that had little to do with the Rhiannon I knew, inside.
It took me approximately half an hour to calm her enough to understand what was wrong. She was crying because of Adam. Of course it was Adam’s fault. It always was. That idiot! He was the happiest man on earth to be with a girl like Rhiannon, but instead of appreciating her he was always fighting with her. He should kiss the ground she was walking on, but he cared to little to even notice how much he was hurting her. There was a time when they had been totally happy, when she had constantly been smiling. And I had been happy for her. Of course I had, nothing was more beautiful than a smiling Rhiannon. But somewhere along the way their love had started falling apart and her heaven turned into dark.
“I don’t know what to do. Should I leave him?” The honest answer would have been yes. But I couldn’t just tell her to leave him. It had to be her own decision. I wanted her to be sure about her feelings. I wanted her so see what I saw. That she deserved better. And a little piece of me wasn’t sure if I wouldn’t say it out of selfish reasons.
“You need to listen to your heart. There’s nothing else you can do. Deep inside your heart you already made a decision.” “No, I really don’t know if I should stay with him or not.” “Rhiannon, I know you. You are so strong. Even if it doesn’t seem so right now.” She smiled for short moment. “Listen to the voice within you. What does it say?” She gave me a serious look.
“Sometimes I wonder if the fighting is worthwhile, cause we’re losing the precious moments we could have. I can’t even remember anymore when the last time was that we were just happy together. Nothing is like it was before.” She said. But I felt like she had more to say, so I waited for her to continue. I could read from her face that she was deep in thoughts.
“I always had a dream what love should be like. I thought that love is a scent of magic. And besides all adversities it would simply be beautiful and feel good. And I thought love would be wilder than the wind. A love so strong that it blows away all troubles. I feel like I belong to my dreams. But I’m still not sure if Adam is a part of them.”
“Does the relationship with Adam feel the way you thought love would feel like? Listen to your heart and you will know.”
She leaned on my shoulder and I was hoping that listening to her heart would one day lead her to me.
Matheo looked into Giulia’s direction. For a moment he got lost in her perfection. She looked amazing in that white dress. Her skin seemed even more tanned. Her straight black hair was falling over her back.
As if she felt that he was staring at her she turned around. She gave him her brightest smile. He gasped. Her smile took his breath away the first time he met her and from then on it always had. And it always will. Within that smile laid all her beauty. Her intelligence, her kindness, her passion and her enormous love for life. Giulia was the woman he wanted to be with the rest of his life. He loved her like crazy. Matheo wasn’t sure if she knew how deep in love he was with her. The passion he felt for her the moment he met her was still as strong as in that moment. Maybe even stronger. He knew that this feeling would never get lost.
Giulia pointed at him and formed words with her mouth. She was too far away so Matheo couldn’t understand. He tried to show her that he couldn’t hear her. She pointed at her ears and then at the speakers nearby. He concentrated on the song playing. It was their song. Now he knew exactly where that bright smile came from. Sometimes he thought she loved that song more than she loved him. But then he remembered that more than the song itself she loved when he sang it for her.
Matheo began to sing and even though she couldn’t hear him Giulia’s smile got even brighter. How was that even possible? How was it possible that this woman seemed to become more beautiful every time he looked at her? How was it possible that with the years his desire for her became only stronger? It was infinite. It was a mystery to him. She was a mystery. And then again he knew exactly who she was. The wonderful woman that gave him the most beautiful moments of his life. Still singing he walked towards her. Her eyes started sparkling of joy.
To tell her that he loved her would never be enough. He wanted to show her the rest of his life. And he would tell her each and every day that there was nothing more beautiful than her. And there would never be anything more beautiful. She was unique. And if she would let him he’d love her forever.
Thankful for her existence Matheo took Giulia’s hands and looked into those sparkling eyes. Touched she listened to his gentle voice singing the last words of the song to her.