This is not your typical love story. It does not feature a fair maiden waiting on her dashing, debonair suitor. It does not include a pair of star-crossed lovers taking on the world. It does not have the good girl falling for a boy on the wrong side of the tracks. It does not star two best friends who realize that what they have is more than friendship.
There are no valiant steeds or ivory towers. There are no villagers, and no enchantresses. There is no wizard pulling the strings behind the curtains, no dragons that need to be battled. There are no saccharine smiles and jovial festivals. There are no endearing cartoon sidekicks, and no fairies to give you a little push.
Most importantly, though, there are no happy endings.
This is not your typical love story.
In fact, this isn’t really a love story at all.
This is the story of a series of half-chances left ignored and almost-meetings. This is the story of promises forgotten. This is the story of a party. This is the story of coke floats and French fries. This is a story of yuanfen, of fate without destiny. This is the story of memories made, and lost, and wasted.
This is the story of two lives destined to be lived perfectly parallel – two people perfect for each other, and two paths destined never to cross.
This is a story. But this is not a love story.
Sophie was beautiful in the same incomprehensible, otherworldly, and ethereal way the moon is beautiful. Beautiful, divine, and utterly untouchable. The very air she breathed seemed to scintillate, to dance with the embers of her grace. The very ground she walked on seemed pleased with the mere touch of her heels.
She looked like a creature one would find on page one of a fairy tale, the unearthly being coveted by all and won by none.
Sophie was beautiful, and she knew it.
As you would expect, our heroine is not, actually, perfection personified. For you see, Sophie had one flaw, and one flaw alone. She had a heart of ice.
She suffered from a constant feeling of saudade, a constant and sharp pain in her chest where her heart ought to have been, a longing for some unattainable perfection, a desire for someone who could never be.
Because, you see, Sophie longed for someone as perfect as herself, someone worthy of her impossible love. Sophie dreamed of being more than simply an idol, a muse, a goddess among commoners.
Sophie dreamed of perfection, and she would never settle for anything less.
And this caused more than a few problems.
Now, you see, Sophie would never even consider talking or looking at such inferior souls as those of her suitors, much less deigning to date, marry, and procreate with one of them.
Unfortunately for her, as I’ve said, Sophie was gorgeous. Her suitors and lovers were possible aghast that a woman like her could have any other goal in life than to please the world with her beauty and grace. They were downright offended with the insinuation that perhaps she might want to do something with her life, that perhaps she deserved more than a life of praise and men falling at her feet.
That in itself is perhaps, a great remark on our world’s sense of entitlement to any form of beauty that comes along. For it is in the very nature of humanity to try to snatch up anything that glistens in the light and keep it where no one else can gaze upon it.
But that is neither here nor there, and is definitely not for us to discuss.
All you need to know, readers, is that Sophie was very beautiful, and she dreamed of something more.
Max was, for all accounts and purposes, very much average. He was an average weight and height for his age group, and made a moderate income at his 9-to-5 job. He was average in school as well – neither the star athlete nor the nerd picked on by everyone. He had brown hair, brown eyes, and a rather plain face – none of which were very remarkable.
He didn’t have very big dreams. All he wanted was a comfortable life out of the limelight, like his father and his father’s father before him. He dreamed of simple things – meeting a nice girl, settling down with her, having two lovely kids, and living out their mediocre, but peaceful days.
Max absolutely did not believe in the saying, “go big or go home”. He believed in mediocrity, in taking the middle ground, in moderation. And all throughout his life, he had done just that.
He hadn’t been involved in an drama. He didn’t have a passion in life, and he was quite simple. He lived easily, comfortably, and had the sort of happy contentedness that comes to those who have never really wanted more in their life.
Max was well suited to being a pedestrian, a bystander, an observer. He could blend in with the crowd easily, and didn’t do anything to stand out.
Perhaps his life would be rather alarmingly boring, but Max hadn’t ever known anything else.
If he wanted adventure, romance, mystery, drama in his life – well – he simply wouldn’t know how to get around to getting them. It just seemed like a huge hassle to him, a lot of unnecessary effort for something impermanent and immaterial.
And so, he stayed content with his run of the mill life. He continued going along with his daily routine, never sticking out, never deviating from the norm, never doing anything remarkable at all.
Because Max was average, and that was that.
They would’ve been perfect for each other, they would’ve balanced each other out.
There would have been walks in the park, days spent at museums poring over the wonders they uncovered. There would have been food fights and warm nights. There would have been coke floats and French fries. There would have been happiness there.
Their hearts they knew they were destined to be. The beats matched perfectly, they would’ve fit together like puzzle pieces.
In a world of seven billion people, these were the two that were fated, these were the two that would have had the love story to last forever.
But the two never met. Their paths never crossed, they never found out. They never even had the chance.
I’m sorry, were you expecting something else? A happier ending, the hero winning over our fair maiden with a heart of ice? Were you expecting them to ride off into the sunset together, and live out the rest of their days in bliss?
I told you. This isn’t a love story. And there are no happy endings.