Have you ever had a friend tell you a story which sounds so totally unbelievable and made-up that it just has to be fake? Actually, it doesn’t even need to have been a friend for you to relate to this. Chances are, it’s happened to you at least once. For all I know, it could have been someone you didn’t even know in the first place.
Maybe a stranger walked up to you on the street while you were sat outside a coffee shop minding your own business, and suddenly pulled up the chair next to you and struck up a one-sided conversation with you — in response to which you might have nodded and said things like, ‘mm-hmm’ and ‘wow, really?’ and ‘oh, that’s nice’ to be polite. And throughout their story, you might have felt skeptical, and were only interested in what they said because you wanted to see what they could come up with.
Then, afterwards (and maybe during), you wondered how stupid and gullible they actually thought you could be, and you might’ve even felt a bit insulted by their attempt to spin a story on you. Still, every time it happens, you nod and smile, and give halfhearted encouragements as they speak, even if only to hurry them up so that you can finish your lavender latte and chocolate chip scone (with clotted cream on the side) in peace.
Well, get ready to do a lot of nodding and a lot of smiling. Because the following is one of those stories. It’s absurd, unlikely, magical, and one hundred percent the truth. But whether you believe me or not is for you to decide.
Let’s rewind, all the way back to 2000, because that’s where this funny little story starts. I was born three months early, in June instead of September, and I weighed a whopping grand total of 1 pound, 5 ounces (that’s not really relevant to the story, I just like telling people that). Anyway, I was born early, and due to various complications, the probability of me surviving was quite small. I was my mother’s first child, so I can’t even begin to imagine how scary that must have been for her — and for my dad, too, of course.
But there was another mum, who was in the same position as her around the exact same time. She had a baby boy, the day after my mum had me. They shared an emotional connection and similar experience, and became friends under the unfortunate circumstances.
Our families stayed in contact for a few years, until mine moved from the UK to the United States. When we left the country, we lost touch. Then, out of the blue, fourteen years later, I was on Facebook scrolling through my newsfeed, when I noticed that I had an unread message request from someone called Joe. At first I was kind of reluctant to open it, because I thought it would be some creep I didn’t know, who might try to come on to me, and I did not want that. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead of asking for inappropriate photos or some other dreaded thing, he simply asked if I was born in the city I was born in, on or around the day I was born, and if he had the right person. A second message revealed that he was, in fact, the baby boy from all those years ago, the son of the woman my mother knew!
But that’s not even the most mystical, unbelievable part. I messaged him back right away, and within a few hours had received a response. We continued to talk, and I found out that he was still in England, and had been all his life. As we got closer via text, and eventually by phone calls and video chats that lasted longer than an hour some days, I realized that I quite liked him. Bravely, more bold than I’ve ever been, I confessed my feelings — and, unlike any time I had before to anyone else, he returned them.
So now, after nearly three months, and a visit to California to see me, I’m lucky enough to be able to call him my boyfriend (my first ever, which is an exciting thing in itself!) Never did I imagine that I’d find myself with a boyfriend so soon, nor that I’d find one without having to leave my house! He’s lovely, and he makes me feel dancing-on-air happy, and I can’t wait to see what happens for us.
Now, I don’t believe in ‘meant to be’, but in a funny way, this feels a lot like fate.
THEN AND NOW…