Seeing her is fate. I knew it all those years ago and I know it now. There is some force in the universe, invisible to the eye, that is tethering Natasha and I. We were destined to prove distance and time that they were no match for the strong connection we share.
“Daniel,” she mutters. Then again, “Daniel.”
“It’s me,” I tell her.
We stumble towards one another. I can’t help but embrace her once we’re close enough. Her afro is noticeably larger, pink tips at the ends. I’m immediately reminded of when she told me on our one day spent together how she wanted to dye it that color. I smile, knowing she ended up following through. Time may have passed, but Tasha remained the same.
The stewardess who was just a minute ago talking to Natasha gives me a hard look. “You know this man?” she asks while glaring up at me.
“Yes,” Natasha replies, looking back at the older lady, then to me. “I do.”
“Maybe you two would prefer to be seated next to each other? There are a couple of empty seats a few rows back.”
“Yes,” I quickly reply.
Natasha laughs that beautiful laugh of hers.
The stewardess’s name I learn is Irene. By fate, she ended up encountering Natasha the same day I had. From an act of kindness towards the woman, Tasha ended up saving her life. I don’t say it out loud, but in so many ways she saved mine as well.
“This is unbelievable,” Natasha says, shaking her head.
“I told you,” I say with a smirk, “We’re destined to be together.”
“I knew you’d say that.”
I take a second to myself. Breathe deeply. “Why do you look so worried then?”
Tasha lolls her head back. “Daniel…”
“Oh damn.” My eyes widen. “You have a boyfriend! Don’t you?” I clutch my chest. “Natasha, how could you?”
She doesn’t laugh at my attempt to lighten the mood.
“Oh. Well then do you mind me asking what happened.”
Natasha had met Leon five years after moving back to Jamaica. The same year her mother became terribly ill. He helped her take her mind off the never-ending pain of seeing her mother suffer. He was everything Natasha needed. Kind. Gentle. Sweet. But when she needed it, he gave her the distance to mourn her mother’s inevitable death. Only less than a year later, Leon fell ill himself. Cancer.
“And so did my mother.”
Daniel’s eyes shut tight and he pinches his nose. “I’m so sorry, Tash.”
“It’s alright. I’ve…I’ve had time to heal. I almost called you right after she passed but it just…”
I Laugh. “Yeah.”
“Time can do that to a couple. Make things weird. I mean…uh…friends?” he replies sheepishly.
I look back up at him, those familiar deep brown eyes that I’ve missed so much now right in front of me. Maybe I still believed fate was nonsense, but I believe in Daniel. I believe in us. I always knew, even when dating Leon, that I still loved him. And now, with him right in front of me, his familiar scent seeping into my skin, I knew I couldn’t let him go. Not this time.
I reach for his hand and intertwine mine with it. “Couple,” I whisper softly.
But he hears me. And then, he kisses me.
Statistically speaking, most people will fall in love three times throughout their lifetime. Natasha and Daniel only fell in love once. Almost immediately after their second encounter, Daniel proposes, much to the dismay of his family, helping Natasha finally become a legal U.S citizen. Soon after, they purchase a small apartment in New York together. Six months later, they decide to adopt a puppy, naming him Pluto.
Daniel never does become a famous poet, but Natasha will continue to read each word he writes down in his black Moleskin, approving each poem with a smile.
Natasha follows her dream to work with science and decides to become a high school teacher, spending her days spreading the importance of the Big Bang.
Two years after adopting their dog, an unexpected surprise is leashed upon them; a baby girl. They name her Lyra, after the constellation high in the sky. They teach her to love openly and passionately. To embrace each day given to you, for you never know just who you may meet.