We had talked about it before; meeting up. But, it had never been put into writing, as it were. Our acquaintance to this day had been endless chatting on MSN through late hours of night. It wasn’t until a coincidental meeting at the subway late summer/early fall, that meeting up in real life had been more than an abstract idea seeming more like a dream that would never come true than anything else. I mean, who met up with people they’d met on the Internet IRL back then, anyway?
A meeting on the subway in August 2005…
I still remember it vividly. Always with a smile. I had just started my first semester at the University, and was on my daily commute to campus. It was August, after all, and the air was a little crisper than usual. I was wearing a black, velvet blazer to match my dyed, black, long hair.
I changed subways at my usual stop, and hopped on the line to Uni. I quickly found a seat, and sat down. Not long after, I looked at the man sitting across from me. It was something about him… I wasn’t sure. My eyes wandered to his t-shirt, and well, even the t-shirt looked familiar? I was puzzled for a short second, and then I realized: It was Chris.
There he was, in the flesh.
Only centimeters away from me. The person I’d been wasting away endless hours of online chatting with this summer. That kindred spirit that had fascinated me so much for such a long time. That I’d only ever met through screens and keyboards. Ok, I thought to myself, I need to say something. So, I looked at him, smiled and said hi. Chris, a little puzzled, as the ever polite person he is, smiled back and returned the greeting. I don’t remember exactly what I said after that, but I guess something in the manner of: “Hi, it’s me, Anita. The girl you’ve been chatting with forever.”
He caught on, as well, and we talked a bit about how weird it was to suddenly meet like this, after talking about meeting for a good while. Here, destiny was obviously giving us a nudge. Or so we’d like to believe, anyway.
It was a brief meeting, because Uni was at the next stop. But in the days and weeks that followed, I played the part of a semi-obsessed stalker teenager (I was 18, going on 19, at the time), changing my subway change to the station I knew Chris traveled from. In the hope that I’d run into him. And I did. Most days.
Fast forward to Halloween that same fall.
We’d finally agreed to meet up over a proper cup of coffee, instead of just our brief rendezvous at the subway each morning for work and Uni. So we did. Or rather, I didn’t drink coffee yet, so I had a cocoa. With whipped cream, I reckon. Chris had a café latte.
I don’t remember how long we sat there, at the café. But, I guess it was a while. Talked about everything and anything. Taking in this moment of finally sitting down together. In calm. No time pressure or distractions. Just us. It was probably a bit awkward, though. Isn’t it always, when you meet with someone properly one on one for the first time? Yet, time passed.
We couldn’t sit there forever.
So, Chris asked if perhaps I would like continue this lovely afternoon back at his place. We could order something to eat, and perhaps watch a movie together, he suggested. Equally reluctant to end our time together, I agreed. We picked up a DVD on our way to Chris’ place. Our choice fell on Halloween. Quite fitting, don’t you think?
I think we ended up ordering in. Fried noodles with chicken. We sat next to each other on the sofa. Eating and watching a horror movie. Little did we know then, that this would be something we’d repeat for years and years to come.
Today, it’s been 13 years.
Thirteen year since our first day of meeting up. Since our first day of ordering in. Since our first day of watching a movie in our favorite genre. Together.
And still, this is our favorite place in the world: right next to one another.