"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you I had no control over."
"Mommy, I don't wanna go!" the little girl whined.
"Why not, sweetie?" asked her mom, who was trying to pull her daughter to the front door of the mansion.
"Because! You said I don't know anyone there!"
"You can make new friends, sweetie, isn't that great?"
"No!" the girl practically sobbed. "I can't make new friends!"
Her mother sighed. "Yes, you can, sweetie. Now come, you can even ring the doorbell, okay?"
Sniffling loudly, the girl pouted but allowed her mother to drag her to the huge red door. She used both of her little hands to smack the doorbell, a huge pearly white button. A loud DING-DONG rang from inside and footsteps hurried to the door, which swung open to reveal an elegantly dressed woman who smiled warmly and beckoned the girl and her parents inside.
"Run along now, sweetie. Look, there are some kids over there! Go make friends." She gently pushed her daughter towards the little kids and then turned back to the other adults.
The little girl glanced at her mother who was immersed in conversation already and sighed. Timidly, she stepped towards the other kids, who were all playing with toy cars. She said quietly, "Um, hi. Can I play with you?"
None of the children heard her. She bit her lip and tried to gather up the courage to speak again, but then a little boy looked up at her. He had happy brown eyes and floppy chestnut hair. At the sight of her in her little pink dress, he stood up immediately, dusted off his bottom, and asked, "Are you my wife?"
Startled out of her misery, the little girl's eyes widened at the random question. "What?"
She glanced around as if she thought he was talking to someone else and noticed that all the adults were grinning at them. She blushed furiously.
"Are you my wife?" the boy repeated impatiently. "Are you?"
"N-no," the girl stuttered, "who are you?"
The adults chuckled.
Ignoring those batty old people, the boy announced proudly, "I'm David. What's your name?"
"I'm Sarah," the girl replied quietly.
"Oh. Are you my wife, Sarah?"
"No! I'm only seven!"
"Oh. I'm seven too! Wanna be friends?" David grinned infectiously at her.
Sarah felt herself smiling in response. "Okay!"
They played together the rest of the night, laughing and chasing and talking.
When it was time to go, the two kids almost cried at being separated.
Sarah's mother said, "You'll see other again."
"Promise?" Sarah blubbered at her mom.
Her mom didn't have time to reply. "I promise I'll see you again, Sarah!" David yelled to her as his parents dragged him to their car. "Because we're best friends!"
Sarah nodded slowly and waved frantically at her new best friend. "Okay, see you soon!"
. . .
Sarah picked up the phone. "For the hundred and third time, I am not doing your homework for you!"
"Aw c'mon, Sarah, you never used to complain about it!" David teased.
"Yeah, well, that was when I was little and stupid and I didn't know that I was cheating. Do your own homework David, we're in middle school now!"
She could practically hear him rolling his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, whatever. Some best friend you are, won't even help me with my homework."
"I said I wouldn't do it for you, not that I wouldn't help you, stupid!" Sarah raged, but he had already hung up. Glaring at the phone, Sarah slammed it back in its cradle and huffed angrily at it.
"Sarah!" her mom called. "Come downstairs, please, your father and I have something to tell you."
Sarah shouted back, "Okay, Mom, I'll be right there!" She stomped downstairs wondering what the news could be.
An hour later, David's phone rang.
"David!" his mother yelled, "it's Sarah!"
"Okay!" Grinning, David rushed to the phone, thinking that Sarah had called back to apologize and give in to his pleas.
"Hey, Sarah, what's - what's wrong?" David's tone quickly became concerned at the sound of Sarah's sobs. "Sarah? What happened?"
"David, I..." She sniffled and wailed, "I'm moving!"
David froze. "You're - what?"
"I'm moving, David! And not just like a state away, but all the way across the country!"
"Why?" David could barely comprehend what he was hearing. Sarah was moving? Across the country? What did that mean?
"My dad's job," Sarah muttered bitterly. "They've transferred him."
"Across the country?"
"I know right! Don't they care that our whole lives are here? Ugh! I can't believe this! David, what am I gonna do?" Sarah asked fearfully. "You're my best friend...I won't be able to see you anymore! And what if everyone hates me? Oh my gosh, I'm not gonna have any friends...David, I'm scared!"
"Shh, Sarah, it's gonna be fine," David soothed mechanically. "You're great, you'll make lots of friends. We'll still be best friends. We'll just email and stuff a lot. And call each other a lot."
"Okay, but - oh!" Sarah gasped. "Time difference! There's a three-hour time difference!"
"It's okay, I'm sure our parents will let us talk for a while at night," David said, but inside his hopes were falling. Even if they did manage to catch each other on the phone, they wouldn't be able to talk for very long.
"Oh, David," fretted Sarah, "what if we..." She hesitated.
"What?" David prompted sharply.
"What if...we stop being best friends?" Sarah whispered unhappily.
David almost snarled, "Don't even think it! I won't let that happen! Will you?"
Scared at David's fierce voice, but understanding his anger, Sarah nodded though she knew he couldn't see it and vowed, "Me neither."
. . .
Amazing how time can wear down even the deepest of bonds and the most sacred of promises.
Sarah moved, but she and David kept in touch, as promised, through loads of emails, letters, and secret phone calls. They even video-chatted several times, but it's just wasn't the same. Still, they did their best to keep the friendship alive, but it wasn't easy. They occasionally sent pictures to each other, but that only served to make the other jealous of how happy they looked with other friends.
Over the years, contact between the two grew less and less common as homework and other friends took up more and more of their time. Eventually, it stopped. Sarah went off to Harvard to study law, and David focused on his medical studies at Stanford.
They still thought of each other fondly, but they admitted to themselves that they could barely recall an image of each other's face.
Sarah remembered a vague image of a little boy with brown eyes and brown hair, but what did he really look like? David thought back and saw a little girl in pigtails and a pink dress, but what color were her eyes again?
The little details eluded and nagged at them, but life held their focus until one day, when Sarah and David were reminiscing about their childhoods, they wondered: What was the name of my first best friend?
They grew up and never saw each other again.
Or did they?
. . .
The phone rang. "Yes?" Sarah chirped. "Oh hello, Dr. Jones! How are you? Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that, your mother? Oh no, of course, you have to go to her...Don't worry about our appointment today, I'm sure they'll reschedule me with another doctor - oh yes, here's the email! No need to thank me, Doctor, go be with your mother...I hope she feels better soon. And thank you for alerting me, Doctor. Bye!"
Sarah hung up and sighed. The email told her that her annual checkup had been moved to two in the afternoon with a Dr. Avery. Sarah thought it must be a new doctor, since she was friends with all the doctors at her local medical center. She really hoped they were quick as well as competent, since she had a meeting with an important client at three in the afternoon.
She glanced at her wristwatch and choked on the water she had just sipped. One-thirty already? She rushed into her closet and hastily threw on a blazer over her pale pink work shirt a pair of black slacks. She grabbed her bag and car keys, slipped on her black flats, and ran to her car, gunning it to her doctor's appointment.
Twenty minutes later, she rushed into the waiting room and hurried to the front desk.
"Hello, I'm here for my two o'clock appointment with Dr. Avery," the words tumbling breathlessly from Sarah's lips.
The receptionist glanced up in amusement and gave her a clipboard of forms to fill out. "Dr. Avery should be with you in about ten minutes."
"Thank you." Sarah smiled and sat down, scribbling through the papers quickly before setting down her pen and fixing her bun, which was falling apart.
Sarah looked up and saw a young man holding a clipboard. He was tall and confident. He looked up and their eyes met. Sarah's breath caught at the familiar eyes, but she couldn't seem to remember where she'd seen them before. His messy brown hair flopped into his eyes endearingly.
Sarah mentally slapped herself. What was she thinking? She didn't even know the man. She smiled and said, "Yes, that's me. Are you Dr. Avery?" She stood up and strode towards him.
"Yup. I'm new here." He smiled back at her.
"I know. I know all the doctors here," Sarah explained.
He raised an eyebrow. "Connections."
"Alright, well, follow me, and we'll begin the checkup."
After going through the normal checkup procedure - vital signs, height, weight (to Sarah's great embarassment), eyes, heart, lungs, et cetera, et cetera - Sarah realized that she and Dr. Avery had been talking comfortably through it all, as if they were old friends, though they'd just met.
She said as much and Dr. Avery laughed, saying, "We must be kindred spirits or something."
Sarah laughed as well, but there was something nagging at the back of her mind. She couldn't put her finger on it but...
"Oh my goodness, is it two forty-five already?" Sarah exclaimed. She jumped up from the chair she was sitting in, ignoring Dr. Avery's startled expression, and began gathering all her stuff. "I'm so sorry, Doctor, but if we're done, I really must go. I have an important meeting to get to and I can't be late!"
Amused, Dr. Avery watched as Sarah hurried around and said, "Well actually, you do need to have your, uh, parts checked."
Sarah stopped. "My parts?"
Dr. Avery flushed red. "If you're sexually active."
"Oh." Sarah's eyes widened and she blushed too. "Oh! Oh, um, well, I'm not, er, active, so do I - "
"That's fine then," Dr. Avery confirmed quickly. "Good luck at your meeting."
"Thanks!" With a quick smile, Sarah ran out of the room, stopping only to check out at the front desk, and off to her meeting.
. . .
David chuckled. What an interesting woman. When he had first laid eyes on Sarah Meadows in her pink shirt, something flashed in his mind, but it was gone before he knew what it was. He could've sworn that he'd seen her before but he knew that was impossible. He didn't know any Sarahs.
He had several more patients that day, but David found his mind constantly wandering back to the Ms. Meadows. Every time he thought of her, he smiled fondly, though he didn't realize it.
He fell asleep quickly that night, but he immediately fell into a familiar scene.
He was at someone's house playing with a toy car. A small shadow fell over him and he looked up to see pink - a girl in a pink dress. Her light brown hair was in two curly pigtails and she looked scared.
He stood up and blurted, "Are you my wife?"
"What?" the girl asked.
"Are you my wife? Are you?" David stared earnestly at her.
She was blushing now. "N-no. Who are you?"
"I'm David. What's your name?" He grinned broadly at the girl.
"Oh. Are you my wife, Sarah?"
"No! I'm only seven."
"Oh." David realized something. "I'm seven too! Wanna be friends?"
She smiled and it was beautiful. "Okay!"
David woke up and gasped in recognition, "Sarah."
. . .
The phone rang. Sarah was a popular woman.
She picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Yeah, that's me. Who is this?"
"It's me, David."
"David?" Sarah was confused. She didn't know a David, did she? "I-I'm sorry, you must have the wrong number - "
"No! Sarah, remember!" he said insistently.
Wait a second. His voice clicked. "Dr. Avery? How did you get my number?" Sarah gasped. "Are you stalking me?"
"Oh my gosh," he groaned. "Will you listen to yourself? No, shut up, that was rhetorical. Listen, don't you remember me at all? David? Your first best friend?"
Sarah's eyebrows furrowed together. "My first..." Her childhood was buried deep within her memory and it was too difficult to dig out at four in the morning. "Look, um, David, I'm really tired and I can't think so how about we meet somewhere this afternoon and we'll talk about it? Starbucks, the one near the mall."
He was silent for a few seconds. Sarah thought he'd hung up on her and an odd sense of deja vu washed over her. But then he said, "Okay. Starbucks at four. See you then."
And then he hung up.
. . .
She looked up and saw Dr. Avery waving at her. She smiled and waved back as he wound his way towards her table.
"Hey," he panted, bracing himself on his knees.
Sarah gave him a weird look. "What, did you run here or something?"
"Yeah, how'd you know?"
"Wait, really? Why?" She rolled her eyes. "Sit down and tell me what to order for you."
"I can - " he began but she glowered at him menacingly. "Mocha, please."
Her face morphed into a sweet smile. "Good boy. Stay here, I'll be right back."
She got up and went to order their drinks.
David shook his head. How could she not remember him? They were best friends, for goodness' sake! Was he that forgettable?
He'd spent the entire morning looking through their old email conversations, her handwritten letters, and the pictures she'd sent him so many years ago. His heart hurt at the thought of how much of her life had passed without him. Granted, he'd forgotten her as well, but-but-but - David sighed. There was no but. The neglect was mutual.
But the regret was clearly one-sided.
Sarah sat back down with the drinks and prodded David, who was slumped over. "Hey, you alive? Hello? David?"
He flinched and shot up in his seat. "Yes, what happened?"
"Nothing. You sure you're okay?" she asked in concern.
"Yeah, fine. Just...thinking," he replied grimly.
She nodded. "I see." She sipped her hot coffee before clearing her throat and began, "So about that phone call this morning - "
David waved a hand dismissively. "Never mind. Forget it."
"Too bad, but I want to remember," she quipped. "So we knew each other when we were kids?"
"I thought so, but if you can't remember then maybe it was someone else."
"Oh." She blinked. "Well then. I guess I don't need to be here then." She stood up to go, but his hand caught her wrist.
"Sarah." She looked at him. His eyes were gazing intensely at her. "I'd like to get to know you. Is that okay?"
She bit her lip. Was it okay? She didn't know the answer to that. All she knew was that she wanted to get to know him too, but she was scared to take a risk. So she gathered up her courage and sat down. "Okay."
. . .
Days passed. Weeks passed. Then months. Finally, a year. Sarah and David had "gotten to know each other" very well and found that they had much in common - though there was still plenty difference to argue about.
It was Sarah's birthday. Sarah herself had forgotten it, being so busy with her lawyer duties, but David was beside himself with worry, afraid that she wouldn't like his gift.
In the past year, David had never again pushed Sarah to unlock her memory but David felt sure that this was the Sarah he'd known as a child and he wanted her to recognize him again.
They had scheduled a meeting - it's not a date, it's not a date, David chanted to himself - at Starbucks later that day. Sarah thought it was a regular friendly meeting; David had marked it on his calendar as "The Day."
When Sarah arrived at Starbucks that afternoon, she immediately went to the table they had sat at that first time, a year ago. Every time they went to Starbucks, that was where she and David sat. It was their table.
She set her stuff down and went to order. They'd been here so many times now that the baristas all knew Sarah and David's regular drinks. But today, the barista winked at Sarah and handed her a small paper bag along with the drinks. Bewildered, Sarah said, "I didn't order anything else."
The barista smiled. "I know. It's already been paid for. Happy birthday, girl."
Sarah could only stare in shock. It was her birthday! She couldn't believe she'd forgotten. She smiled weakly, still in shock. "Wow. Thank you so much..."
"Oh, don't thank me. Thank that guy over there." The barista nodded her head at Sarah's table. Turning, Sarah saw that David was waiting for her. He looked up and smiled nervously at her.
Sarah smiled back, butterflies in her stomach. She thanked the barista again and headed back to the table.
"Hey," she greeted him.
"Hey, yourself," he responded. "Happy birthday, Sarah. Hope you like the cake." David pointed at the paper bag.
Sarah couldn't stop grinning like an idiot. He had done this for her? "Thank you so much, David. I forgot it was my birthday!"
He shook his head at her. "I don't know how you can forget your own birthday."
"Well, I was busy, you know."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever." He sat restlessly for a few seconds before producing a wrapped package out of nowhere and shoving it at her. "Here, just take it!"
"Okay, David, goodness! Are you okay?" She peered at him anxiously.
"Just nervous. Go ahead, open it." He fidgeted.
Sarah began unwrapping.
David said, "I don't know if you'll like it...You might not even remember most of it, but I thought maybe..."
Sarah gasped. It was a scrapbook. She loved these artsy things. "Oh David, thank you! I love it already."
"You haven't even looked inside," he commented wryly.
"Details," Sarah said airily. "But I'm curious as to what pictures could be in here. I never let you take pictures of me."
"Don't I know it," David muttered.
She ignored him and flipped the cover open. The pictures were pasted on all askew, the decorations glued almost haphazardly on each page. She giggled at David's handiwork.
"I know it's not the most aesthetic," he mumbled gruffly, "but I tried."
Sarah giggled some more. "I love it." She noticed a vaguely familiar picture. Looking closer, she saw that it was from high school.
"How - ?" Bringing the book closer to her face, she focused on each picture and saw that David had included several pictures from her elementary school and middle school years as well. "How did you get these?"
"I've had them, buried away, all this time. It is you, right?" he inquired.
"Yeah, but..." Sarah shook her head. "I don't - " Her breath hitched.
It was a picture of her in a pink dress holding hands with a boy, from when she was seven years old. She indistinctly remembered it. Her mother had dragged her to some party, she'd been scared that she wouldn't make any friends, and then she'd met - "David," she breathed. "Oh my gosh, David! It's you!"
David's eyes began to glow. "You - you remember?"
"Yes! And I can't believe I ever forgot!" She covered her mouth in horror. "You were my best friend...and I forgot you. I'm so sorry!" She could feel the tears coming.
"It's alright," he said. "I forgot you too."
"Yeah, but then you remembered soon after you met me again! I completely forgot about you!" she wailed.
David winced. Her words poked at his pride. "But you remember now. So it's all good."
Sarah was shaking her head slowly. "But how..." She straightened up. David could practically see the light bulb turn on over her head.
"I blocked it out!" she blurted.
"What?" What was she talking about now?
"I blocked you out of my memory!"
David narrowed his eyes at her. "Why would you do that?"
"Because...after I moved, everything changed, obviously. I missed you so badly, it was almost a physical ache. We kept in touch and all but it wasn't the same. And then when I saw the pictures you sent me, so happy with all your friends, I guess I was just...jealous."
David's eyebrows shot up. Jealous? Did she say jealous? He was the one who had been jealous!
"I mean, I had the hugest crush on you, which was bad since you were my best friend, and it was painful to see you laughing and hugging these other girls when I knew I should've been the one in those pictures with you. I tried to bury my jealousy, but it didn't work." Sarah shrugged. "So I buried my crush on you instead."
David gaped at her. "You just...buried it? Like that?" He snapped his fingers for emphasis.
"Well, of course not." Sarah rolled her eyes. "It wasn't that easy. I thought I was in love with you. But don't worry, it's gone now," she added quickly. She felt an odd jab in her chest but ignored it and exclaimed, "Wow, I never thought I'd see you again! It's fate, isn't it?" She laughed.
David's face was strangely blank. "I thought I was in love with you. But don't worry, it's gone now."
She had rejected him before he'd even confessed.
. . .
Life went on.
Sarah's rejection numbed David, but he managed to hold in his feelings and act normal. At first, Sarah noticed something was wrong, but eventually she gave up on asking, because he never admitted it. Another year passed, and another. The two only grew closer, and yet Sarah could tell that David was hiding something from her. She couldn't really say anything, since she was hiding as well, but it still bothered her.
Finally, on a day two years after that fateful birthday, Sarah decided to have it out with him. No more secrets. She'd spill and she'd make him spill.
But first, she had to prepare her speech.
She wanted to tell him in a way that wouldn't make him feel bad, but she didn't know how to say it - because she knew that no matter what, David would feel bad. He would pity her, and she definitely didn't want his pity. She just wanted his friendship.
Or, that's what she told herself.
She dialed his number almost automatically, her fingers so used to pressing the numbers that she didn't even need to think about it anymore.
He answered. "Hello?"
"Hey, David, it's me."
"Oh hey, me, what's up?" he teased.
Rolling her eyes and biting back a smile, Sarah said, "I need to tell you something."
His mood shifted. "Finally gonna tell me that secret?"
She was slightly surprised but not quite. "Only if you tell me yours."
David replied after a long moment, "Fine. Same time, same place as usual."
"You got it."
Sarah hung up and immediately began pep-talking herself. It was only two; she had two hours to build up her courage before taking off for Starbucks to confess what she'd been holding in for so many years.
At three-fifty, Sarah left her apartment and drove to Starbucks. When she arrived, she found David already waiting. She stood outside the entrance, muttering encouragement to herself. She opened the door, still muttering. When she reached the table, she was still chanting, "You can do it, you can do it, you can do it."
David laughed. "C'mon, it can't be that bad of a secret."
She glared at him. "It's not bad, just embarrassing to tell you."
"Not as embarrassing as mine, probably," he grumbled to himself. "Why did I agree to this again?"
"'Cause you wanna know my deep dark secret, of course," Sarah answered for him and slid into the chair across from him.
She breathed deeply and calmed herself. "Okay. I got this." Looking into David's eyes, she noted how safe they looked to her. She knew she could trust him with anything. But this secret was different.
"So." She cleared her throat. "Um, what I want to tell you is basically, well, okay, so I'm not expecting anything from you or anything, I just can't keep it to myself anymore, but I don't want you to feel obligated to - to do anything, you know, so yeah, I just - "
"Sarah?" David interrupted.
"Yes, you are."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are."
"I love you."
"Yes - wait, what?" David froze. He really needed to clean out his ears because there was no way she just said...
"I love you, David."
Sarah wasn't looking at him anymore. Here came the pity, she knew. "I thought I was over you, but I wasn't, apparently. I couldn't force myself not to love you anymore, love isn't something I can control, after all. And like I said, I'm not expecting anything, but I just had to tell you, I couldn't keep it in anymore, but I don't want your pity, so don't even think about - "
"What?" She looked up and found that his face was suddenly centimeters away from hers. And it was getting closer.
David kissed Sarah.
When he pulled back, they had the same dazed look on their faces.
"W-what was that?" Sarah asked.
"That was my secret," David said, his hand on her cheek with her hand covering his.
Sarah was confused. "A kiss? You kissed someone?" She dropped her hand from his and moved her face away from his hand. She felt the jealousy spreading but she forced it down. "Um, why is that such a big secret?"
David groaned in exasperation. "Oh my gosh. Why do I love you?"
Sarah yelped in disbelief. It wasn't possible. There was no such thing as happily ever after. This was too perfect. What was the catch?
David saw the doubt in her face and grabbed her hands, telling her firmly, "I love you, Sarah. I'm not just saying it because you did. You have no idea how much it hurt two years ago when you told me you weren't in love with me anymore. You rejected me before I even confessed. I felt so pathetic."
"David..." They looked at each other and saw the emotion mirrored in each other's eyes and grinned simultaneously.
It was real.
It was fated.
They were fated.
And so they have come full circle. A girl and a boy who met at the tender age of seven became best friends, forgot each other, and found each other again.
Fate works in mysterious ways, it's been said. That's why, when Fate decides to meddle with love, nothing is impossible.
Hope you liked!
Write on. Read on. That's my motto.
© Copyright 2012 by the Siege