Meg & Carl

One thing that I love in love stories is near misses. Those moments where two people who will one day love each other so much that they vow to dedicate their lives to one another are so close together that they could see each other if they bothered to look or maybe even touch each other if they bothered to reach out, but don’t realize it and go their separate ways. How might their lives have been different if they had noticed each other in that moment? What might they have felt if their eyes had met? Would they have sensed that that person was someone special? Someone they could love and cherish? Perhaps the best thing about near misses is that we’ll never know the answers to those questions so we can imagine any crazy scenario that we want.

Meg and Carl’s near miss happened early on in their college careers. Both were at the same place, in the same building, around the same time and they were both there to attend a wedding. But different weddings. A near miss that involves marriage is almost too good to be true, but for Meg and Carl it is true. What is left to our imaginations is what might have happened if they had seen each other, noticed each other, locked eyes with each other. Could it have been love at first sight? We’ll never know.

What we do know is that once they met, in a study group for Organic Chemistry, Meg thought that Carl was a little annoying. He had just started dating someone and kept derailing their study sessions to talk about it. Carl had changed his major so that he no longer needed to do well in Organic Chemistry, but Meg, who was planning to go to medical school, did, so she wished Carl would take the class more seriously, or at least shut up about his girlfriend so that she could.

Once the girlfriend was out of the picture, they started spending more time together and realizing that they liked spending time together—even though Carl briefly considered setting Meg up with one of his friends. 

When the time came to take their relationship seriously, Carl wanted their first kiss to be magical—at a special time, in a special place, for such a special person. Then, after a night out, Carl was dropping Meg off at her apartment when he suddenly realized that the time was right. But was Meg’s doorstep a special enough place. Should he do it now? Wait for another time? If he waited, would he get another chance? Without coming to a definitive decision, he went for it and landed an awkward peck on her lips. It wasn’t as magical as he was imagining.

He retreated back to his truck, laid his head in his hands and exhaled deeply. If she still wanted to go out with him after that, he’d be a lucky man.

She still didn’t know what to think about what just happened fifteen minutes after she’d shut the door. What was wrong with the kiss? Did they just not have chemistry? Was he just a bad kisser? Or was she the problem?

Her phone buzzed. She had a text message. It was from Carl. It said, “Holy crap we just kissed!”

Obviously, she thought, shaking her head. If he kisses me that bad the second time, it’s over.

Fortunately, the next kiss was better. And so were all the kisses after it.