I sat at a back table in a restaurant one Valentine's Day alone. I watched all the in love couples holding hands; ogling each other like their beloved was one of the seven wonders of the world.
“Love,” I remarked, saying the word as if it produced some sort of sour taste in my mouth. To me, love was pointless. To me, it was pointless to pursue something I would never get.
It was then that a man seemed to suddenly appear out of thin air. Sporting a tan trench coat and dark shades over his eyes, he stood in front of my table.
“May I have a seat?” He asked. Water glistened on the top of his raven colored hair. It was as if he just stepped out of some sort of downpour.
Grabbing up my glass of cola on the table, I nodded my head at him to indicate I was giving him permission to sit. He took my invitation and silently sat down.
“What brings you here tonight?” asked the man, looking right towards me as he posed his question.
“Just wanted some air,” I said. I could tell without looking the stranger's way that he didn't believe a word I said.
“You don't believe that anyone could love you, do you?” asked the man then.
Anger coursed through me. How dare this stranger pretend he even knew the slightest thing about who I was.
“No need to get mad,” said the man, “I just thought you might like to talk about it.”
“Not with you,” I said. I placed my glass down, moving to stand. I didn't need to sit here and waste the rest of the evening with someone acting like a know-it-all.
“Just let me ask you one question before you go,” said the stranger. “Just one question.”
I found myself slowing as I tugged my blue overcoat back onto my frame. I looked back at him to notice that the sunglasses had slid down his nose some, revealing startling blue eyes.
“And what question might that be?” I asked, moving my hands to begin working the black buttons back through the buttonholes.
“If you had a choice between living forever the way you currently are, or living one day with the love of your life, which would you choose?”
The choice was absurd. So absurd, in fact, that I let out a short laugh. He couldn't honestly be serious in his question.
“I would want to continue existing the way I am, I suppose. There is no love of my life. There is no one for me as all those romantic tales always promise.”
“As you wish,” said the man, moving to push the sunglasses back up onto the frame of his nose.
I rolled my eyes and turned away from him only to turn back mere seconds later and notice he was gone.
I found the entire exchange odd, and moved to leave the restaurant. I weaved around the couples towards the door, pushing outside into the cold to go back home.
When I woke up the next day, I felt as if my loneliness had increased ten fold. I didn't understand why that was so, and moved to raise from my bed to go about my day.
The loneliness only seemed to snowball even bigger throughout the day. At lunch I sat in my cubicle, listening to the man next door to me talking to his wife.
The odd thing was, instead of being annoyed by it like I always had been, I found myself yearning to have someone in my life that cared enough to talk to me about my day.
The next week of my life seemed to progress in the same depressing manner. I found myself wishing that I had someone that would listen to me.
I even found myself daring to hope that there would be someone out there for me.
I passed two weeks in that kind of befuddled manner before I saw the man again. It was in the same restaurant, and he was sitting at the same table where we had met before.
I moved to go take a seat next to him without asking for an invitation. “How'd you do it?” I asked. I needed to know. “How'd you make me feel so lonely?”
“You did it to yourself,” remarked the man, “When you refused to see that love could happen for you.” “Well, I don't like it. I wouldn't want to spend forever the way I was.”
“Ah, it has opened your eyes.” The man shifted then, moving to look at me now. His eyes were unshaded; seeming to now stare deep into my soul.
“Yes,” I said. “I truly have. I need to give love a chance.” After all...
What good is having forever, if you don't have the one with you to spend forever with?