I am sitting on the park bench in the afternoon. I cannot believe that he is looking my way. My friend, Sadie, is looking at me giving me a thumbs up as she chases her dog, Rudy, around. How can I work up the courage enough to talk to him? I am planning my move when he walks over to me, from across the park, and sits down beside me. I pretend not to notice, just in case he really isn't interested.
"Hello." He says, and I try to act as casual as he appears, checking my phone for imaginary text messages.
"Hi," he begins, but I do not pursue a conversation. Rule #1: guys do not like forward women. I've been shot down many times for being too forward. I try to act like I am running late for something and check the clock on my phone. This ploy does not appear to be working, however, for he smiles as though he is reading my mind. Nonetheless, he seems interested. I try not to assume anything; assumptions often lead to disappointment, but I know that there is a good chance I will be walking away with him clinging to my every word.
"I'm Candan Carter." He extends his hand for me to shake. I consider it, trying to seem nonchalant. After some thought, I take it and give it a tiny shake.
"Laureline." I don't give him my last name, in case he's a stalker and wants to look me up on Facebook. Just in case. Though secretly I wouldn't mind at all if he stalked me. I mean, isn't that every girl's dream to meet a perfect stranger and find out that they are madly in love with you?
He smiles and looks into my eyes. I force myself to keep looking. I don't want to look week. "Have we met? You seem so familiar." I look away, finally, and give a noncommital shrug. He continues. "I just moved here from Alaska, and I'm starting school at O'Reilly."
Oh my God, I think. I'll have class with this hottie. "I go there. I'm a senior," I admit, giving what I hope is a suggestive smile. He responds well,
"Really. So am I," he says. "I don't really know anyone around here, and I guess it would be nice if I could have a friend already in the school," he takes out a card and hands it to me. "Here's my number."
A business card. The guy has a business card. I slip it into my pocket, making a note to examine it later.
"You should call. We'll hang out, I guess. There's a malt shop nearby-"
At last, I can't control myself. I blurt out, "We can go there now, if you want." I blush.
He smiles in response. "Actually, that sounds pretty good." Candan stands and I follow. He leads me out of the park and to a pickup truck that is parked out on the side of the street. "My ride," he says, opening the passenger door for me.
We get to the malt shop and he opens the door again for me. I step down. When we get into the shop, Candan orders a large, strawberry milkshake. I begin to order a small one, but he says, "Oh. I was thinking maybe we could share one, if you don't mind." I accept his offer, not really knowing what I'm thinking. I hardly know this guy.
"So. What are your hobbies?" He asks, and I stifle a giggle.
"I'm in Drama Club. I'm the president of the Art Club. Anything artsy, really. My favorite play is Phantom of the Opera." I cannot believe how much I am talking right now. Normally, I don't talk to strangers.
I take a moment to study him. He is tall with black hair that falls past his collar. His eyes are a deep, cerulean blue. His features are sharp and pointed. He leans in toward me, watching me. "I can't shake the feeling that we've met somewhere before."
I nod, and suddenly I am being pulled across the table into a kiss. When we kiss, I can feel fire raging through my entire body, through my soul. I know him from somewhere, he's right. I know because we're soulmates.
He pulls away and whispers, "Soulmates," echoing my thoughts.