I often joke that I have Amazing Destiny Powers, an inherent ability to bend the laws of probability and always come out on top. Back in college, those powers helped me score an internship that allowed me to fill in the 100 hours required by my practicum program in just 10 days – just before the cut-off for the submission of our timecards. They saved me from significant boom mike-related injury on a working trip to Boracay. I even went out on a date with Lauren having exactly zero pesos in my bank account and a substantial amount floating in the air off of a PayPal withdrawal. The money arrived in my account at the exact moment we arrived at the mall. There are a thousand more stories like these in my personal history.
Despite the ridiculously impressive track record of my Amazing Destiny Powers, I still consider the thought a joke because I generally don’t believe in destiny. We all forge our own paths; although there’s nothing we can do about the circumstances we were born with, the future is ours to create. If I truly believed in fate, I’d just lay back and let things run their course, and that shit is just sad and boring.
Sometimes, though, I think I might be wrong about this.
It all has to do with how I met Lauren. If you’ve spent time on my blog, you know about the night we met, which then led to a whirlwind of a romance that in turn led to the fastest courtship in history . That wasn’t the first time we ever met, however; it was just the first time we remembered.
See, roughly four years before that amazing night, I went on a beach trip with some of my college buddies. We were staying at a friend’s house, which we shared with her other friends and her brother’s crew. I remember it vividly – the Deluge of Usher-related Last Song Syndrome (thunderclap, hey!), the Overcooked Noodles of Personal Angst, the Grumpy Middle-Eastern Boyfriend Who Couldn’t Sleep, and the Falling Mango of Sudden Fear. I remember how the stars looked in the clear Tali night sky, and how a stoner couldn’t get enough of the Overcooked Noodles of Personal Angst when they were mixed in with the Delightful Sauce of Modest Redemption. I even remember my friend’s other barkada, who were pretty much split into two factions – the Okay Guys and the Bubble.
The Okay Guys were a bunch of friends who hung out with us despite meeting us for the first time then. They were responsible for the most apt use of “White Men Can’t Jump” I’d ever seen during our cliff-diving session. They were pretty funny, and I kinda remember most of them.
The Bubble, on the other hand, were the other friends of the Okay Guys who didn’t really socialize with people they didn’t know, which means they mostly kept to themselves and had their fun without us. I probably met them fleetingly, when our common friend introduced us to each other as we first arrived at her place. There was ZERO interaction with them after that.
Lauren, it turned out, was part of the Bubble. I actually met her four years before I *met* her, and two years before I forgot her name. That bit continues to blow my mind whenever I think about it.
The next time I encountered Lauren was at a picnic two years after that beach trip. My then-girlfriend at the time told me that a few of our friends were having a picnic at UP, and that we should totally join them. We were late, of course, and the food and legal-age alcohol were gone. All that was left was a few cookies and chip crumbs. We decided to make the most of our time just chilling. Our friends Kimi and Paula introduced us to the other people hanging with us that day – Ane, Pat, and *drum roll* Lauren.
For something not particularly unusual, it was a pretty memorable affair. Pat turned out to be a natural at poi during his first time trying them out, while Jomel learned firsthand what it felt like to have them crashing into your crotch. It was a lovely day, and we all headed home before the sun set so we wouldn’t have to trip all over ourselves getting back to the streets.
Again, neither Lauren nor I remembered each other that day because 1) her nose was buried in a book, and 2) I was buried in a relationship that I had no idea wouldn’t last past the next year.
So the universe gave us two chances to meet each other, and we both failed to even register on each other’s radars. I don’t know if we were stubborn or just slow, but that’s two cases in which fate threw us a bone and all we did was extend our fists out. Brilliant.
I guess the universe had had enough of our nonsense by 2009 and took matters into its own hands. It made me run away from one situation to the now sadly-closed Cantina, to where Lauren was successfully coerced into going despite feeling lazy and unsociable back then. “Fucking get it right this time, you fucking assholes,” the Sum of All Creation seemed to tell us. “Fucking meet for real this time. You’re fucking perfect for each other.”
The universe, foul-mouthed as it was, was absolutely right. I can’t imagine anyone I’d be able to get along with on the levels we do, much less someone as cute as her.
Since that night, my life with her has been an adventure. We’ve waged furious foam dart war in the Palma Hall parking lot, witnessed a tempestuous political revolution in a foreign land, watched Vincent Van Gogh battle an invisible space dinosaur (spoilers!), and tasted happiness in a jar. We’ve countered the awakening of ancient evils, gunned down armies of zombies, mastered the art of dancing while seated, taken pictures with my evil twin, and waxed philosophical with each other just because we’re nerds like that. She’s learned the intricacies of the Fluid Raptor from me, and I’ve discovered the beauty of Louise Brooks through her. I got smacked in the mouth by a flying drumstick, and she took home a band’s setlist. We’ve fulfilled common childhood dreams together (the ones that involve Billy Corgan, at least). We’ve talked and sang and laughed and drank and cuddled, and every single moment has had my heart beat just a little bit more excitedly each time. It’s been an absolute thrill being with her, and we’re still only four years young as a couple.
If I’m going to be honest with myself, these past four years with Lauren have been my greatest affirmation of destiny to date. I think I like the thought of that.
I like the thought of being with her for much longer even more.