A synchronicity joined the two major relationships that occurred during this time in my life. My heart knew that it was only fair to end the relationship with the older fella that I had had in my life since before my mother left my father. He wanted to get married right away and I did not. I still had my sights set on going to university and I did not plan to finish up high school and get married to him, or anyone else for that matter. It was difficult to end this relationship because he had seen me through so much. We had spent almost all of our spare time together and he was easily my best friend at the time, but I had to let him go.
There had been some on again, off again, as I tried to break out of this relationship, but I had finally ended it and it had been a while since I had seen him. One afternoon there was a knock on the door and I opened it to find a delivery guy that was bringing me a dozen roses. These were my old boyfriend’s signature flower. The attached card said, “Meet me at Cosmo’s at One O’clock, your Secret Admirer.” Since Cosmo’s was also our favourite restaurant, there was no doubt as to the identity of the admirer.
I did not want to resume the relationship, but I was not willing to hurt this guy by not showing, so I went to the restaurant on the date and at the specified time. It was a small restaurant that had been around for a long time. The building was roughly the shape of a rectangle with the kitchen area occupying the entire one end of the space and the seating area was straight out front. There were large glass windows on all three sides that gave a panoramic view of the outside of the restaurant. The centre of the dining area had a block of booths that afforded some privacy, and there were tables along the outside walls. In the middle of the far end, there was a space where tables could be combined for larger groups or kept separate for smaller ones.
I drove up to the parking lot and I was surprised to see that his car was not there. Was it possible that it was someone else? I entered the restaurant and came up the stairs to the level of the seating area and I did not recognize a single person. There was a possibility that there was someone in one of the booths that I could not see, so I walked into the restaurant, to the end of the seating area and came back through the only other space between the tables. There was no one there that I recognized.
I wondered if he could have possibly meant One in the morning. It occurred to me that he could have been playing a joke on me. He could have had me dress up to go out for a meal, drive over in the middle of my Saturday looking for him and he would not be there. This was not consistent with the man that I knew and I doubted it as an explanation. There was also the possibility that he had decided not to go. His family knew how hard our break up was on him and they might have talked him out of showing up and trying to resume the relationship. Who knew?
The invite had said one o’clock, so it could have meant one in the morning. This did not seem likely, but I was going to show up anyway, just in case.
That afternoon one of my friends invited me to go with her to a Church teen group. Churches often had these casual meetings that were more or less mixers for the young teen age group, with a little teaching thrown in. I thought that it might be fun, so I decided to join her to see what it was like. I met my next significant boyfriend, the one that looked and acted the most like my future husband, at that mixer.
I went by the restaurant at one in the morning and it was dark and the parking lot was empty so I did not bother to stop. I planned to call him and ask what had happened.
Call it a coincidence or a synchronicity or the work of a mischievous guardian angel, but the card had been written wrong. The person that had taken the original order over the phone had written a sloppy “7” and it had later been transcribed as “One”. If I had gone at the correct time, I would have had dinner with my old boyfriend. We may have seen each other a couple of more times, he may have been going to propose that night for all I know. The fact is that I did not show up at the right time.
The significance of going to the Church mixer instead was that I met my next boyfriend that night. I dated this particular guy for a couple of years. He looked a lot like my husband. He had the same mannerisms and even smoked the same brand of cigarettes. I still think that one of the reasons that I immediately found my husband familiar is because I dated this other guy first. A sense of already knowing someone, that would, unfortunately, lead me in the wrong direction.
Keep Reading: Perpetual Motion