Lipstick again, check.
You matched with him on Tinder. You’ve talked on and on with him for nights on call. You’ve sent a million pictures of your dresses to your best friend. You need the perfect dress, of course. You find that dress. Go over your checklist. Again.
Lipstick again, check.
You take the cab to the café. You chose it, it’s your favorite. You hop off the cab, skipping over the water puddles the rain left behind. Taking a deep breath in, you enter the café. Go over to your spot by the window and wait. Wait. Wait some more.
You order a coffee.
And another one.
Pay the bill, walk out of the café.
‘Loser stood me up.’, you text your best friend.
You call a cab home, looking out of the window, your favorite café getting smaller and smaller. I hate that place, you think. You take your phone out, uninstall Tinder.
‘This is it, not ever doing it again.’
But what if it is not?
What if, just what if, there’s more than one match. There’s more than one preparation for a date waiting for you. There’s more than one coffee cup brewing for you. There’s more than one person waiting for you. What if, just what if, you get more than one chance?
Because you do, you truly do.
Maybe she didn’t like the way you dressed. Maybe he didn’t like your favorite movie. Maybe she didn’t like your best friend. Maybe he didn’t take you to the stars. Maybe she didn’t jump for you. Maybe he didn’t get all your Titanic references. Maybe she never watched it at all.
Maybe they never loved you in the first place.
But what if it is still not it?
You come home from that awful date. Paid the cab driver off, whose gaze lingered for a moment longer than usual trying to understand the woe hiding in your eyes. You come home. Cry a bit, a bit more after that. Start wondering if there was something wrong with you.
‘Did I seem too excited?’
‘Did I push him too hard?’
‘Did I read the date wrong?’
‘Did he even like me?’
The train of these dismal thoughts goes on and on for the entire night.
You wake up in the morning feeling this immense need for an explanation. For an answer. For a reason. You debate on calling him. You almost do. Almost. Then again, you almost don’t. What would you even ask him?
In the evening, your phone beeps.
‘Sorry, forgot about the date. Reschedule?’
You stare at the screen. Unbelievable. You’ve talked about it for days, decided what you’d order, told him all about the place, raved about your favorite drink.
But what if it is it?
We think love only happens once. Maybe that is why we hold on to the tiniest shred of love we get. The one we think we deserve. Or maybe the process of finding love is just too complicated. That would explain why we settle down for the easiest route to love.
It is sad because, for most of the time, we think we love but in reality, we settle. We settle for the person who doesn’t remember you don’t like roses, the person who doesn’t embrace your love for the sky, the person who doesn’t know you don’t like cheese, the person who doesn’t understand why you just have to watch the stars sometimes. You settle for the person who convinces you that they love you. Alters the meaning of love altogether.
Makes you think dancing in the rain to your favorite song is just something people in movies do.
But what if it is just it?
You see him.
Just sitting there, going through his phone. He sits by the window, sipping coffee. Waiting for you.
You finally reach the table, look at him. He looks up.
‘Hey.’ That toothy smile.
‘Boy, you so don’t look like your picture.’
But what if it is never it?
We dismiss the idea of love plays, movies, and books so quickly. We often forget that people write the greatest plays, the best movies, and the most beautiful books. People who’ve had that love, who’ve lost that love, who’ve dreamt of that love, who’ve needed of that love, and people who’ve been hurt by that love.
Because it does exist. It does.
You’ll just need to see it.
But what if it is still isn’t?
Six months later.
You lie down on your bed.
Your phone chimes.
It’s that one person.
‘Ah, you’re going to love that place.’
‘It has the BEST coffee.’
‘We’ll sit by the window; it is so beautiful there.’
‘Just you wait. You’ll love it.’
‘I am sorry, am I being too excited?’
‘Just the right amount’, you think.
It is never it.
Maybe you’ll live the best story with that one person. Or two. Or three even.
There’s no limit to how much love you can possibly give out.
And in the process, each time, you find someone closer to you.
A better person and finally, a better you.