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There’s been a common story about the red thread of fate that binds people together. An ancient Chinese belief is that an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet or be together regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch and tangle but it will never break. It is a similar concept of soul mates or that there is only one person out there specifically designed for us.
I’ve always been a believer in fate. In fact, there have been moments in my life I’ve believed almost too much in fate to the point where I have made decisions that I later came to regret. Regardless, I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason and fate is not something you can escape.
When I was 13, I met a boy in Germany. Our parents were stationed there and we had a few classes together in school. We were not friends until I moved away. After I moved, we kept in touch. For years, we would talk off and on. Three months on and three months off. We’d disappear out of each other’s lives. We would change phone numbers, emails, locations, social media accounts and yet somehow, we’d always end up finding our way back to each other to explain all the sordid details of our lives.
For some reason, we were each other’s last resort. Those moments when I needed someone but didn’t know who to call. The darkest times when I wouldn’t answer the phone for anyone, I would talk to him. We would share the moments when everything was too much. When things were okay, we tended to disappear, at least for a while.
To think of all the unanswered messages between us. Moments when we tried to push the other away or just had so much going on that we couldn’t, or wouldn’t reach out. All those moments of wondering, or thinking of the other but not reaching out knowing that their life wasn’t a piece of cake at that time either. But the conversations that did happen lasted for hours covered any topic and always made me feel better.
About the time we were 19, we began talking on a more frequent basis. Texts, emails, at least weekly and we stopped disappearing on each other. We told each other the bad AND the good things. We were constant in each other’s lives. Only at a distance. We hadn’t lived in the same place since we were 13 yet somehow when I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone else, he was the one I would still turn to. As time went on, we talked more. Phone calls, emails, text messages, snapchat, Facebook, we talked over anything you could think of. We became best friends.
There were times that he would cross my mind as more than a friend. Thinking about how he’s always been such a huge support in my life but believing that there was no way that it could work out. The distance between us made our relationship so real, but as a person, made him seem less real. It was easy to be with other people, it was easy to discount feelings towards him because he was just my best friend. So, he heard it all, the moments my boyfriends would bring me to tears, make me so mad I wanted to scream or when I just felt lonely. I told him everything, millions of details that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with others. Some of it was that we had known each other for so long, and some of it was that I was starting to believe that he was actually going to be there for me.
This isn’t one of those stories that he confesses that he loved me all along. I know I had brief crushes on him throughout the years, but they had never lasted. To me, at least on a subconscious level, it couldn’t be real. There’s no way we could actually work out.
He did confess he was in love with me eventually. It was a movie moment where he explained all of the reasons why he had fallen in love with me. I was in a dark place and had been convinced that no one could put up with me, no one would be able to handle me and we spent about 3 hours talking as he told me that he was in love with me and why. I knew that the only way I would truly know if I felt the same way was if we saw each other in person.
So finally, after 10 years, I planned a trip to see him. I drove 675 miles, across state lines, on the phone with him most of the way. When I pulled into his driveway, suddenly our relationship was so much more real. And it scared me, a lot.
I’ve never felt so comfortable with anyone in my life. Usually, the only time I feel comfortable to just be is by myself, but with him, I could just be. Then, he kissed me and electricity went through my entire body I felt my soul come alive again. That’s when I knew that he wasn’t just my best friend, I didn’t just love him, I was so in love with him I’d never be able to look at another person the same way again.
Unfortunately, I had to return home. So back to distance with an added complexity to our relationship, and yet everything had changed. That red thread has kept us coming back to each other all these years for a reason. We have a connection and we know each other differently than any other person in our lives.
There have been moments where I’m desperate for his voice because I know it will calm me down, but I haven’t asked for a call, I haven’t dialed his number, then without even knowing, he’ll call. It’s moments like that where fate seems pretty real. I know who’s on the other end of my red thread and I know that no matter how much it may tangle, how much it may stretch, we will always have each other. We will always find each other. We always have.