By the Numbers

This is a true story.  A friend shared it with me. I changed the name. As he related the experience it seemed almost a modern fairy tale. Such a strong connection that was almost permanently severed.

Two people with a single thread, can weave a relationship. Who defines what a relationship has to be? Zach would tell you that two people do not need conventional definitions. A flower turns to the sun with a little water and warm sunlight. It never forgets the feeling of the sun, even after a long, cold winter.

Mostly, broken strands stay that way.

What I think Zach’s situation shows us, Every so often the stars align and the heart rewires a circuit to complete a connection.


Zach was a numbers guy. Numbers made sense; factual, objective and unemotional.  The other part of his life – dry docked, by choice.  That part, was heartache and it was easier to walk solo.  Past events do cast a long shadow.

And then it happened. It, came into his life.  When did it happen?  Last week. Last year. Or more than five years past. The date did not matter as much as the fact it happened. The odds were against it.

He met her, well sort of. Long distance acquaintances. The year had a six in it. Their friendship blossomed, but not beyond limits. Times he met her: zero.

Zach was sad when they stopped their friendship. Three into two does not equal one.

Then, almost four years of nearly total silence; but he never forgot her. Actually, 40 months. More than 1,000 days.

What changed? He saw her in action, and it hit him.  Hard.  His heart almost pounded through his chest. Beats: thousands.


He took a chance and wrote to her. Number of words: 81. He wrote and rewrote. Should he or should he not? Minutes it took him to gain the courage to hit SEND: 53. Amount of time it took for him to receive a reply: 19 minutes. She seemed glad to hear from him.  He literally forgot how to breathe.

Zach eventually told one person of this friendship. He held her tight, likely afraid she would vanish again. At night, he turned to the heavens and howled. Overhead were billions of stars. People he wanted to be with in the universe: one.

Many days progressed, 90 and counting. Each day, he learned one or two things about her. Although cautious, he pushed himself to take chances. Lots of them. Some failed, others proved important.  Minutes in the day he thought of her: not calculable.

In all the time he knew her, there were lessons, many of them.  She had crossed his path a second time.  Such a thing does not often happen. The probability of two bulls-eyes: statistically improbable.

The world is divided into the people who we never know, and those who enter our lives.  Most people come and go, although they may linger, a few stay and form friendships that last a considerable amount of time.


Zach was not a betting man. Rarely, did he ever go for the long odds. It was not that he refrained from chances; unusual things did happen, just not to him.

And then it did. Once in a lifetime, twice.

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