The man sat on his usual bench in his usual spot, watching the ducks swimming in his favorite pond. As he watched the peaceful scene, two young men sat beside him. He listened passively as the boy in the orange sweater complained about how meaningless life was and how tired he was of dating.
At last the Man had had enough. Turning to them he said, “I couldn’t help but overhear your story and there was a time when couldn’t have agreed with you more.”
“Really?” Both young men nodded in stunned silence.
“When I was 27 I gave up on life. It was right after Vietnam and while my family was very wealthy, my position secure, I loathed my life. You see, I was a widower. My wife died a month’s after I returned from the war. I was devastated. For two years I moped around. After surviving a brutal war, I’d become a casualty anyway.
My family in a last stitch effort to try and save me from the drudgery my life had become, planned a huge party for my 28th burthyday, my attendance was required. So of course I went. They didn’t know that I’d planned on taking my life the next day. I figured I’d let them enjoy this last day and give myself the gift I wanted. Anyway, I went to the party. The lights, the food, everything was perfect. My mother, she was a stunner, floated around in this Marilyn Monroe white dress. She looked amazing. She was so happy, I pretended to be happy too.
I stood by her side greeting the guests as they arrived when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of green. A woman, dress in an emerald green dress with a glittery broach in the center of it descended down the steps. I felt the wind swoosh out of me. She knocked me sideways. Ha! I knew I had to talk to her. Took me two glasses of champagne, tart stuff, before I could muster up the guts to do it. Vivian and I have been married for 39 years.”
“Wow, what a coincidence that you met her that night.”
The Man chuckled. “My granddaughter goes to college near here. Her favorite movie is Serendipity. One of her favorite quotes says, ‘Theres no such thing as coincidence. There’s only a string of incidences that people refuse to believe are related.’ Now, I must be off. My wife and I have a flight to catch soon. Good luck son.”With that the Man left.
The two young men walked back to campus to tell their friends what happened. While the young man spoke a young woman walked past. The young man had just mentioned Serendipity when the young woman enthusiastically blurted, “I love that movie!” The young man’s annoyance at the interruption faded when he saw her. Gazing into amber eyes he nodded. In his heart he knew, he’d just gazed into the eyes of his future wife.
Six months later, they went to her parent’s house for dinner. Her grandparents were in town and she wanted her grandfather’s opinion on her soon to be fiance. He heard an oddly family voice and as he entered the room he couldn’t hide his shock.
“You?! I-I-I don’t believe it!”
The Old Man smiled. “It’s a pleasure to see you too. Still believe in coincidences?”
Swallowing hard, as his girlfriend’s family the scene intrigued, he said, “No sir.”
“Wise decision”, the Old Man said with a solemn nod that melted into a warm smile. “Come, I’ll introduce you to my Vivian.”
Welcome to Day 16 of November Notes Challenge! Today’s challenge is based on Lee DeWyze’s “Sweet Serendipity”. Looking for a new challenge? Check out the links to join in. November Notes bought to us by Rosema andSarah Doughty!