I Met A Cute Guy On The Plane

So I met a cute guy on the plane. That almost never happens. In fact, that never ever happens. But this story, because it’s my story, isn’t going to end up how you think it might. 

After getting a suitcase dropped on, plenty of air hostesses fussing over me and 1 ice pack placed on my shoulder, I turned around and finally noticed the person on the other side of the empty seat next to me. 

“He didn’t even say sorry, did he?” My seat mate nodded over to the guy behind who was responsible-yet-took-no-responsibility for my injury. I shrugged and replied, “I always have bad luck with airport things.” “Really?” He seemed intrigued. What he also seemed, was quite good looking. Tall, if I were to judge by the way his legs had to turn sideways to squeeze into the lovely economy seats we were both in. Later, I was to be proved correct and then some. He was 6”4. A great conversationalist. White. Not just any white. British. I did an internal laugh to myself because I had recently been joking with friends that I would end up with just that: a White British guy. How oddly specific. Could this be the start of a really cute romantic comedy movie? Where two strangers meet in row 36? 

Turns out, it was a cute romantic comedy movie - down to the tee. Just not mine. Clark, as he introduced himself, was originally from Kent but had spent the last 5 days in New York because of this girl. But by the way he said “this girl” you could sort of extrapolate and guess that what he really meant to say was “the girl”. And honestly, I don’t blame him. 

“Tell me the short version”, I said to him, not expecting that much but a few tidbits here and there. Instead, he goes, “I’ll tell you the long version - we’ve got time.” 

I found out that their moms were pen-pals back in the day. It sounds like something straight out of a movie script. They had been in and out of each other’s lives since they could remember. He’d get Christmas cards from her family every year. She would visit them in England every so often with hers. And yet, despite knowing each other their whole lives they never really knew each other at all. That’s where the whole “timing is everything” saying holds true. 

Last year - or at least that’s what he said, I don’t recall the exact time, that’s what talking for hours on a plane does to you - something just clicked. Sometimes it just takes that one time. They finally got to spend some time together one on one away from prying eyes and ears of their families only to figure just how much they had common. How easy being with each other was. From then, they started talking more, and not out of obligation. “Come to New York,” she’d tell him. “Soon,” he’d say. Back and forth they went on like that until he realized they could keep on talking about it or he could actually just do it. 

“Tickets were only 380 pounds,” he told me. “What’s that in dollars?” I asked back, mentally telling myself I needed to stop converting currencies. “Like 400 dollars max.” “Shit.” “Yeah”. It was a no brainer, tickets were cheap and he booked his flight 3 weeks beforehand although I suspect that even if tickets were 4000 dollars he’d probably find a way to come. 

Because at god knows what time and whatever ocean we were crossing then, he looked at me with this bursting energy and a smile he couldn’t keep off of his face despite tired eyes. “So how was it? Better than you thought?” I asked him, already knowing the answer. “It was... it was...” It was the kind of response that didn’t have words and for someone who appreciated words like no other, I could also appreciate how sometimes a feeling didn’t have words because it was simply that indescribable and trying to match that feeling with some combination of letters would not do justice to it. 

He showed me a picture she posted of them together on Instagram (we are now Instagram friends and I told him if they ever got married he better invite me). They are an unfairly beautiful couple. One of those couples you’d see walking down the street and wonder how they got together. Well this, this is how they got together. This is the story. I told him, “this is the part of the movie where the guy flies back home and realizes he needs to fly right back.” He laughed but I noticed he didn’t disagree. Then he turns to me and goes, “this right here,” he motions between us, “this is also a scene.” I laugh back at him this time. Because it was. People are right when they say sometimes strangers make the best listeners because on that flight, he really poured out his heart and I felt every sincere, unfiltered emotion.

I told him a little bit about my own love life, or lack of one. About how I’m in love with my best friend and the fact that I actually told him - and the fact that he has a girlfriend. “He works at Google but he’s moving to San Francisco soon. We lead weirdly parallel lives. Consistently moving in different directions.” Clark looked at me for a minute before saying that Charlotte - that’s her name - works at Google too. Weirdly parallel lives indeed. Me and him? Me and Ivan? Charlotte and Clark?  Whatever it was, there was something in the air  - I’m convinced. 

We ended talking for a while and then once they dimmed the cabin lights we each dozed off respectively. Next thing I know we’re walking to immigration together. We stop in front of the sign that directs EU citizens one way and Non EU citizens the other. I guess this was it. He promised to keep me up to date with Charlotte. How their next meeting’s going to go (next month). And if he’ll eventually move to New York (he will). And as for me? He told me that time’s so short, there’s no time at all really, to think too much, about what I want. “If it feels right, do it.” I nodded, partly convinced, partly not. He could probably tell, which was why he added, “what are you waiting for?”