The air felt bitter and cold, matching my mood on a snowy December evening. I had boots on my feet, gloves on my hands and everything in between the two, including this heart of mine, felt lonely. In a city where so much happens so often, I always thought that someday, I’d meet someone for me.
And the odds are that one faithful afternoon somewhere in this boisterous place that is still so much of a mystery to me as it was when I was a child — I will. I used to think I had an idea of what he would be like: tall and handsome with piercing eyes of some shade, working in a job that he loved (and hopefully paid decently), a man of character and of charm, someone who can hold his own while holding my hand. I still hope to meet that person but after meeting so many people and figuring out they weren’t worth the $2.50 subway ride it took to meet them for a drink, I feel my spirits sinking a little more every day.
I try not to let them get to me because I’ve always felt my everlasting, forever enduring, endlessly sparking hope for love is something that attracts people to me. My mom has always told me that I’m just so full of love I have to give it to someone and she’s right. I can see that in myself but it’s something that’s always felt like a double-edged sword: too much to keep to myself and never enough, it seems, to give away. Or when I do, I just end up being the one with the scar.
I’ve spent a year wishing for something to happen, I thought as I watched the lights blur outside my cab window, mustering up the courage to keep my tears inside. I didn’t want to be that girl yet again, coming home from a could-be romantic encounter that turned into something more like an encounter with the third kind. I pressed my fingers up against the glass that was fogging from the heat I turned up when I hailed the car — and I remembered when I’d draw hearts in the condensation, thinking of the life I’d one day have. The man I’d one day meet. One day. Doesn’t it always seem so far away?
Or does it?
When I was seven, I played make believe with my friends using my mother’s 80s-wardrobe leftovers that I wish I wouldn’t have ruined because I’d wear them today. We would believe that a prince from far away would come down and rescue us from the hollow of the tree swing we swung on. He would ride up on a chariot and demand our hand in marriage — even if marriage to us was merely a fancy white dress and a big kinda-icky kiss. It would be so because the game of MASH determined it to be — and who could argue with a piece of notebook paper that spelled out your destiny? Or a Magic 8 ball who gave you the answers you wanted if you shook it enough? It said it’d happen one day. And to us, one day would be when were were sweet 16 — just like the Little Mermaid and Cinderella.
When I was sixteen and a junior in high school, dating Mr. Faithful, I had thoughts of the college guys I’d one day meet. I thought that everyone met who they would marry in college. In the library while studying for some exam that neither would end up prepared for because they spent too much time canoodling in the archives. Or as she walked by he in the middle of the commons — and he saw the most beautiful face he’d ever seen. Maybe it would be in a class during second semester when they were put in the same study group. So many boys and girls collected at the same age at the same place with the same raging hormones — it only made simple sense to me that I’d surely meet that guy one day at the college I went to. And one day after we graduated he’d propose and we’d get married that summer.
When I was finally mailed that Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Appalachian State University, my bags all packed to go to New York, I couldn’t have been more excited. That one day I’d been thinking of — it was definitely on it’s way. Of course, one day in Manhattan — the island of all islands not tropical — I’d meet that possibility. It’d be soon after I landed everything I wanted, it’d be when I was looking my absolute best in my best pair of heels, turning heads and curving lips as I pranced the streets. It wouldn’t take long because there are so many attractive, eligible bachelors in such a busy, populated place. I didn’t have to worry about that one day — I was heading to it. I was going to live in it. It was going to find me.
When the cab pulled up to my door just a few nights ago, I paid my tab and turned the key into the home I’ve built. That one day has turned into three years of many days that produced many opportunities and one great, impossible love that I’ll always cherish. It has brought days of complete joy and ones of utter despair. Days that I didn’t think I’d get through and ones that I wish I could freeze in time to relive whenever another sour day comes along. Days where I met people who I’d only know for a month or two, days where I made big decisions that affected my life from there on out. Days that gave me the dream job, ones that left me thinking I was the worst writer that ever typed.
So many days I’ve lived, so many days I’ve done nothing but hope. They’ve come and gone, like the men I’ve known, and there will be more. There will probably be many more. But one very fine day — I don’t know how far away from now — will finally be my one day.
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