“Behave. Don’t be annoying or rude. I can’t have you ruining tonight, Alex.” My mother said nervously before walking into the dining room. We both know what tonight is, we watched the clock that I wore around my neck slowly count down the seconds to meet her. Tonight was inevitably the anxious night I met my soulmate, tonight is the night I reluctantly find the love interest of this minor story of mine.
I take a breath before I enter the room. I know I’m not prepared to meet her. I know I’m not ready to be someone’s soulmate. But life has an interesting way of forcing you to be ready for things you don’t want to be ready for. It pushes you and pulls and won’t let go.
I stay in my head a few minutes longer, until I hear the music coming from the grand piano we have in that room. The song, it was familiar. A song that I grew up with at some point. It helped me, strangely enough, it made me curious enough to let my anxieties settle before walking into the room, forgetting I already took the first step and stumbling in.
I walk over and fall into my seat after trying to regain my balance, refusing to make eye contact with the prying eyes of my mother and father. The guests are trying to disguise their chuckles as coughs. I look to the piano and see a gorgeous girl, her hair went down to her shoulders, her brown eyes bursting with green and yellow. Her blue dress went down to her knees. She looked amazing, the song she played was still somewhat unfamiliar to me, but it felt like an old memory. I looked at the clock around my neck and realized it had reached zero. She was the one. Suddenly, all the anxiety I experienced before walking into the room came back in vast waves. I felt the cold sweat run down my neck.
“Hello?” She said, awkwardly smiling. Her voice was, well, it was as exquisite as she is, her smile was amazing. I only have one question, was she really my soulmate? Her brown eyes kept piercing my ocean blue ones, they were relaxed, with slight hints of excitement threatening to burst through, something told me she had already checked her clock and knew that I was her soulmate.
“Oh, um, hi,” I say, feeling my cheeks flush. I look down, awkwardly shifting my hands around. “So you were the one playing piano, right?” Why did I say that? It was clearly her! She laughs a little at that, thinking I was joking.
“Yeah, I was.” She said silently, not making eye contact. She looked nervous, almost afraid of what I might say next.
“It sounded wondrous, what was the song?” I ask, trying to examine her eyes. I loved her eyes, her voice, the tense conversation we’re having, I loved all of it. I think I love her but I’m still terrified, I’m afraid that she’ll think I’m not enough because I know that I’m not enough.
“Were you ready to meet me?” She blurts out.
“Um, what?” I ask, confused and worried that she somehow heard my inner thoughts.
“I knew it.” She whispers. The rest of the dinner was, weird, she didn’t talk unless her parents asked her a question. She seemed out of it, maybe a bit embarrassed, and never made eye contact or spoke to me again until our parents told us to walk around the house. She made sure to maintain a good distance and while we were walking, she finally spoke once more. “I was so ready for tonight. I was so happy to finally meet you, and you aren’t even ready to know who I am. We are both eighteen. You’re supposed to be as prepared as I am. So, what’s wrong with you? Is there something wrong with me?”
She froze and looked at me with tears brimming her irises. I didn’t know what to say. I know that I’m supposed to love this girl, I know that she’s my soulmate, but she hasn’t let me in on her personality at all. I want to know who she is, I have to love her after all, that’s why she came to this house. My parents wanted me to find my soulmate at eighteen, so we could get married right away and produce heirs to the family company. When my mother and father met, they were both from suburban families and wanted to be something greater, they produced their soulmate counseling company from the love they had and produced me ten years later, by then, they had made billions off of it. I’m happy for them, but I know I need to know the person that is my soulmate. I was excited for the clock to go from eighteen years, nine days, and seventeen seconds to zero, but I found myself feeling empty as well.
“Do I need to repeat?” She asks loudly, taking me away from my thoughts and bringing my focus back to the girl in front of me, the tears finally sliding down her face. “Is there something wrong with me?”
“No,” I say calmly, my eyes show the panic that my voice doesn’t. Her beautiful brown orbs show the pain and fear that lurks inside her mind. “There is nothing wrong with you, in fact, I felt the same way you did up until a couple of days ago. The stress and anxiety got to me before you did and I was terrified. I still am. If I’m being honest, there might be something wrong with me. I’ve felt excited but at the same time, I felt nothing. But I still can’t believe you’re my soulmate, you’re beautiful and so amazing at the piano. The only thing that I need is your personality, I need to know you. I love the current idea of you and I know I’ll love you more when I see the person you may be hiding.”
Her tears fall faster as she hits the ground. “Okay,” she mouths as she wipes away her tears, “You can get to know me.” She walks back to me. “Starting with my name.”
“Alex,” She repeats as if it’s a completely new name to her, “I like that name.”