You have heard of fate, I am sure, because people say you were fated to meet them, they say you were fated to be together, that every moment of every life is leading up to this, that you are here and it was fate that brought you here today, and though I like the idea I cannot help but wonder if people are fated to not be together, if people are fated to be strangers, if people are fated to miss each other.
During the average school day you miss one hundred eighty-seven people. Fourteen could have been your friend, but four would have found you annoying; twenty-nine would have said something funny; eleven could make cookies and would have made cookies for you; nine share your passion for Hunter S. Thompson and miniature yorkshire terriers; and one - exactly one - would have put her hands on your chest and told you to close your eyes and would have pressed her lips up against your ear and whispered, softly, sweetly: "I love you."
Once, as an experiment, a kid decided to stop missing people for a day. He went to school with a sandwich board on - one with a list of his hobbies and the sports he played and his favorite bands - and introduced himself to everyone he didn't know. That day he made fourteen new friends, laughed twenty-nine times, and received eleven different batches of cookies (seven chocolate chip, three oatmeal raisin, and an odd variation on a peanut butter cookie that included bits of celery and chopped up sausage links). Unfortunately for the boy, however, the girl who would have loved him had a sore throat that day and stayed home sick.
You and I could have missed each other - it would have been easy - but for one instant something happened: fate blinked, maybe, or fate sneezed; fate's wife walked in and asked him if he wanted grilled cheese or tuna for lunch and he stopped paying attention while he looked out the window (his kid was flying a kite), and when he looked back down there we were, meeting, our strings crossed permanently, tied in one of those knots that are not complicated but that are so damn small it is just impossible to get them undone. I’m not sure if there are words out there that can express how glad I am that I did not miss you and that you did not miss me, but if there are I have yet to find them.