By Camille Yost
Sitting alone at the booth, he stared at the bottom of his soon to be empty glass, pondering his life and where he should be now. His friends were out living their lives, two of them with their second baby on the way, his best friend was planning his wedding with the woman he loved, and even his parents were moving away and had purchased a new home.
When your best friends are getting married and having children, it makes you reexamine your life. Alexander Clarke, thirty-two years old and a successful businessman. He had his career figured out, but the one thing he really wanted was to meet the one. Alexander frequently dreamt of meeting a woman in his favorite cafe, reading his favorite book as she taps her foot his favorite song. However, as years went by, with no sign of the woman, he began to lose hope.
He was at his fifth glass of whiskey and he could no longer tell the difference between what was real and what was not real.
“You, my friend, are going to regret those five glasses of whiskey in about twelve hours,” a familiar voice sang.
Alexander looked up from his almost empty glass to the sight of a slightly aged version of himself, which caused him to abruptly jump out of his seat. He then struggled to get back in his seat to find that the mysterious man had pulled up a chair to his booth.
“Careful not to hit your head, you might start to have hallucinations,” the man laughed.
“I think I am having one,” Alexander mumbled. “Who are you?” he inquired.
“I’m you, exactly one year from now,” One Year From Now Alexander chirped. “And this is you, exactly 42 days from now.” He pointed to the seat next to him and a man who looked exactly like Alexander appeared. The only difference between Alexander and the 42 days from now Alexander was that he was sober and had a genuine smile on his face. Alexander then reexamined his older self and noticed a ring on his finger.
“How is it possible that my life is miserable right now, yet 42 days from now, everything looks the opposite?” Alexander asked, still unsure whether or not any of this was really happening.
“Well, you see, in exactly 42 days from now, you will meet a girl and fall in love with her. And in exactly one year from now, you will ask her to marry you, and she’ll say yes,” One Year From Now Alexander explained.
Alexander sat in his seat, shocked and unable to speak. He had lost hope; he wanted so desperately to believe that this wasn’t a dream and that he would indeed meet the woman of his dreams within the next 42 days. The only thing that upset him was that he longed for those extra 42 days to be with her.
Alexander reawakened from his thoughts and began to ask a series of questions, such as, how he’d meet her, where he’d meet her, or what her name would be.
“Now, I could tell you the answers to all of your questions, however, knowing every detail of your future could potentially alter that future. By knowing this information, you might not even meet her. Now, I will tell you if that is your choice, but just know the dangers of knowing your entire future,” One Year From Now Alexander lectured.
Alexander thought about whether or not he wanted to know the answers to all of his questions about the woman he would soon meet. He was still unsure about whether or not this was real, so he thought there would be no harm done. But then again, on the off chance that he would finally meet the love of his life, he decided that maybe some things were just better left unsaid.
As he looked back up to give his answer, he saw that once again, he was all alone. He had sobered up a bit and decided to walk back to his empty house that could hardly be called home.
Days went by and eventually those days turned into weeks. There was still no sign of the woman and eventually, he once again lost his hope.
Alexander’s friends had been able to set aside a night to spend with their best friend. The second baby had been born and the couple had gotten married and to celebrate the birth of a child and the beginning of a long-lasting relationship, they decided to watch a football game they had planned months in advance.
Alexander had been looking forward to that particular night because, with his friends being preoccupied with their lives, he had felt rather lonely and empty inside.
The team they were rooting for had lost, however he had a great night filled with laughter and drinks with his friends. Since he had been out drinking, he decided to have a cab home. As he sat on a bench outside of the stadium, he began to doze off. Right before he closed his eyes, he caught the sight of what he described in his mind as the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid his eyes on.
Everyday, Alexander thanks every higher power that he had the courage to walk up to that beautiful girl standing outside of the stadium and to open his mouth and say, “Hi, I’m Alexander.”
He was even more pleased when she looked up at him with those shimmering coffee brown eyes and replied with a smile, “Hi, I’m Isabelle.”