Questioning Coincidence

I had been looking forward to Saturday all week. The plan was: out to the country, night out at the local, sleepover! (It was my friend’s birthday.) Not spectacular, but I hadn’t seen my school peeps in a while (being such the townie) and I hadn’t gone out since grads night (and that barely counts. I was in my uniform. Because I’m cool.) So imagine my disgust, after being pumped all week, at finding out I couldn’t go.

So I stayed at home, sulked and bitched a bit to the family, and went to bed at a reasonable hour, sore and sickened. ‘Don’t worry, you weren’t meant to be there,’ says Mam. I spared her the ‘no rhyme nor reason’ conversation and went to sleep. 

I awoke Sunday morning to find my sister chock full of news and scandal from the night before. Fighting. Blood. Broken glass. People leaving in terror. Everything a good story needs but not so much when you’re actually there. So Mam was right.

A woman of science, I rarely subscribe to anything illogical or unproven. Sometimes I think it would be amazing to have that kind of blind faith in things. But, no. Beliefs require substance.

And yet, I’m often puzzled by the question of fate or coincidence. Sure, most of the time, there seems to be no underlying point to anything. There is death, natural disaster, destruction, birth, good deeds, love. One look at chaos theory should be enough to show us that any miniscule factor could have changed the outcomes of any event. But then we look again, and we see things which just seem meant to be.

Back in the ancient times (the 70’s,) two sixteen year olds bumped into each other at a charity dance, spent a few hours together and then completely forgot about each other. About a decade later (give or take a few years,) my mom met my dad while they were both working in a factory. One night, while leafing through my dad’s old photos, my mom spotted a picture of a young guy. “Who’s that guy?” she asked. “I danced with him for a night years ago.” My dad said it was himself. “No,” says my mom, “The guy with the long hair and the spots.” And again, my dad confirmed it was him. And so followed nineteen years of marriage. It may just be a testament to how small this city actually is, but considering my mom spent a year in Australia before my parent’s got married and my dad was previously engaged, I like to think, that maybe, just maybe, it was more than just an accident that they ended up together.

Eventually, I’ll probably sabotage my own dream of meant to be. My mind is constantly chopping and changing all of its notions and ideals, sometimes beyond recognition. It’s only inevitable that this evolve and change too. Until then, I’m happy to live with silly ideals. 🙂

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