Have you ever wanted something so badly? You saw it, and thought, I need this and won’t stop until I get it. Well that's what happened with me and a girl.
I met her once, and I knew I needed to date her. I needed to get to know her. Her name was Ariella. She was fun, spunky, a little quirky, like me, and at the same time-- deep, real, and a role model to so many around her. Of course, also beautiful!
We happened to be working for the same youth organization called NCSY, different coasts but for the same organization. I walked up to her and we connected right away because we both had the same boss and mentor.
One little issue, I have ADHD and in the middle of the conversation I walked away, thinking she was done talking. Some might call this rude but it was a total accident. Ariella didn't like that very much (I don't blame her). We then ended up working that summer on the same program called TJJ. It happened to be that there was a war going on in Israel at the time so our trips got cancelled. But, my trip was the NY bus and our program ended up in West Coast. On the other hand, Ariella’s bus was the West Coast bus and her trip was cancelled entirely.
One wonderful day Ariella happened to be near where we were in her hometown Los Angeles. We were going to The Grove and I asked her to join us. She turned me down . It happened to be that a mutual friend of ours was on my trip and reached out to her to ask if she would go out with me, but she said no, again.
I got home from the summer and was really sad because when you see something you really want, and it’s out of reach, it’s hard to let go. But, finally, another friend who happened to be in a class with her convinced Ariella to go on a date with me (it happens to be this friend dropped the class the moment Ariella said yes). And, the rest, as they say, is a work in progress (surprised you there).
We started dating and our first date was amazing! We connected on so many levels. We laughed, had fun, and she even showed her quirky side by eating a banana peel. Yes a banana peel, but that story is for another time.
Our second date was ok but not as wonderful and I was worried things would be over between us. Then something magical happened… I had a partial blockage in my intestines and and had to go to the hospital for a couple of days.Because of this, I missed our third date. Why was this so amazing? You might be thinking, Eli, you're delusional, this is horrible! You were in the hospital! Yes, you’re right, I was in the hospital, but something extraordinary happened. Ariella came to visit me! Ariella, after only knowing me for two dates, came to visit me in the hospital where my mother and father were and my friends were coming to visit. People said don’t make it a big deal, but it’s a big deal. For someone to show that much care and concern for another human being without really knowing the person is someone you need to hold on to, and never let go. She showed her true self to me.
We continued speaking over the phone and very soon after, something horrible happened in my family. My grandmother passed away. Ariella was an angel. She was there to be supportive for me in my time of need. I barely knew her, but she was the only person I wanted to talk to. She barely knew me, but it was like she was my best friend who knew me for years, she always knew just what to say. It was magnificent and eye opening.
We didn't have the “usual” course of events when it came to dating but I think it was extremely important for us to have this experience. We learned and grew more as a couple because of the real life things that we went through. It forced us to share and have feelings about each other faster than most couples in our circles. It opened us up to each other to be more vulnerable and real with each other.
We might think a lot of times in our lives that things are going terribly or not as planned, but we don’t know what the end-game is, or what’s in store for our future. That’s what makes life so hard but also so exciting. We need to be ready for whatever life throws us, but, at the same time, enjoy it.. It is this dual side of life that makes life… life.
As my favorite quote by Bill Keane says (even though most people know it from Kung Fu Panda when Master Oogway says it) “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
Some might call this a love story, or romantic. I call it a work of art, a date with destiny.