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The human experience is composed of individuals set upon their own distinct life paths. However, people are social creatures. We crave interaction. We need companionship. Like a never-ending bumper car ride, life is a series of collisions with other humans in which the direction of each involved party can be altered by an infinite number of possibilities branching out from the point of contact. It’s what we choose to make of these interactions that ultimately define us and dictate the course of our lives. Most of these connections are fleeting. A simple handshake or a friendly hello precede a few minutes of polite small talk and then the participants diverge, content with continuing along their own separate directions. But occasionally we meet people who are destined to have a much larger impact. These are the extraordinary relationships that give us purpose and our lives meaning. This is the story of such a connection.
It was a frigid winter evening, at least by the standards of a man who had lived his entire life in Phoenix, Arizona. He was out drinking with his friends in a crowded bar in a hip and popular part of town. The sounds of chatter and loud dance music filled the room. He was there to meet someone and was getting slightly nervous and anxious. He had already downed a few rum and cokes to take the edge off, knowing that the alcohol would free him from his painful shyness. The rum had begun to kick in and slightly numb his awareness and reaction time. He reached in his pocket for his cell phone to check the time, not noticing that he had received a text message a few minutes earlier. Seeing the notification icon, he excitedly opened the message. It was her. She was on her way to the bar to meet up with him and his friends. He took a deep breath and finished the last few sips of his drink. He didn’t want to appear shy and awkward so he figured a few more drops of liquor couldn’t hurt.
He didn’t realize it yet, but meeting her meant that everything would change forever. Her name was Marylu and she was the most beautiful person Brian had ever laid eyes upon…but he wasn’t there to meet her.
It’s funny how relationships are reliant upon the concept of timing. After all, time is an abstract concept invented by mankind in order to count the revolution of the earth on its axis. Nonetheless, there is no more significant element in making a connection than timing. For as many humans as we come into contact with and the unlimited number of branches a life path can take based on these interactions, there are an equally infinite amount of missed connections that could potentially drastically shift the course of a life. Timing truly is everything. Being in a place a moment earlier presents an entirely other set of outcomes. Such a reality is frightening. Every conceivable interaction of every day holds within it a dormant possibility. It is impossible to know which of these actions will result in a negative or a positive ending. Yet one can’t live life wrapped up in hypothetical situations, crippled by a fear of the dreaded question, what if? If something is meant to be then it will happen at the exact instant the universe has predetermined. Not a second sooner or a second later.
This is exactly what happened with Brian and Marylu. They weren’t intended to meet that night in December other than exchanging a cordial hello. He was interested in another girl and was in the bar to meet her. This is not to say that he ignored Marylu. He definitely noticed her. How could he not? She was stunningly gorgeous and had kind eyes that shimmered in the blue strobe lights. Her smile was big and warm, the type of welcoming grin that seemed so genuine when it was flashed. Brian liked the way she looked at him, but he was painfully shy and his focus at the moment was on someone else. It simply wasn’t time for their paths to sync up, but the universe has a strange magnetism that draws two people together when its mind is made up that they should impact each other’s lives. Little did either of them know what would come to be.