As the clock struck midnight, the night sky was lit up with fireworks that exploded in different colors. The streets were alive with people cheering, dancing, singing, and laughing while ushering in the New Year. In the midst of all this joy and excitement stood two people who were mere strangers to each other.
The gentleman was tall, handsome and dressed in a tailored tuxedo. He stood at the edge of the pavement watching the fireworks, brown eyes twinkling with excitement and something else that she couldn't place. The lady was petite, with long dark hair cascading over her shoulders. She stood a few feet away, scribbling something intently in a notebook, her eyes were glowing with passion and admiration for a city she had to describe in words.
It wasn't until he reached out to help her climb over a barrier so she could take a better shot of the fireworks did they both finally notice each other. Their eyes locked, and in that moment, time seemed to slow down. He felt an electric jolt surge through him, something that had never happened before. She felt shivers run down her spine and an unexplainable connection.
They were strangers in this big city, but it felt like they were meant to meet each other on that specific day, at that exact time. They cordially introduced themselves, and he offered her a glass of champagne he had on hand. She accepted, feeling a connection she could not explain. They both ended the night standing and talking, laughing, and enjoying the New Year festivities.
As the night waned, they exchanged numbers and parted ways, each not knowing what was in store for the other person.
Over the next weeks, they talked and met more, often feeling like they had known each other forever. She told him about her dreams of being a hard-hitting journalist, getting that Pulitzer, while he told her about the priority he gave his company. He would often cut calls short or arrive late at their dates, leaving her feeling inadequate and frustrated. She understood the weight on his shoulders, but it also made her question where their relationship stood.
As the days turned to months, their love blossomed, with them enjoying different simple things, him learning about coffee and book culture, her understanding the financial world. But the strains of work and relationships finally hit them as she was offered an apprenticeship at a top journalism firm outside the state, an opportunity of a lifetime that would help launch her career. And he was about to close a deal that would take his company to the next level, making him more prestigious.
They both knew that in different parts of the country, it might be impossible to keep their love alive, that they would be sacrificing something they have grown to cherish together. It wasn't until a night before her departure that they both sat silently, each dealing with their sacrifices.
She spoke first. "I can't ask you to come with me, it's not fair, your empire is here, and I can't cut short your ambitions."
"And I don't want you giving up your dream for me, I've done enough of that for myself," he responded. "But let's make a promise to each other – no matter where the road takes us, no matter how far apart we are or how long it takes, we will find a way back to each other."
She smiled and wiped a tear, knowing that he was right. In that moment, they both felt that they could conquer anything with their love and determination.
Years passed, and they met other people; he got engaged, and she was promoted to a head journalist in her newspaper. But no matter how much time passed by, they always found their way back to each other. They would meet at different conferences and professional events, exchanging stories of their successes and struggles.
It wasn't until ten years after their chance encounter, where she was in a different state for an investigative report, and he was there for an acquisition, that they met again. They had both grown, and now their priorities had taken a turn. He had sold his company, and she had published a book that became a bestseller. They were sitting across from each other, feeling the same connection they had felt ten years before, each knowing that they had finally found their way back to each other.
The moment they left the room, the sun was setting with different colors just like that fateful day. The same dewy eyes, now confident, emotional and trusting; they knew that they had found their way back to each other. The trees rustled, and the wind carried familiar scents into the air, even if there was a decade between them. The world had come full circle, and fate has led them to each other, underlining the words, "I don't believe in fate except when it comes to you." they held hands and walked towards the setting sun amongst the trees, just like they had ten years before, except now they knew that they were meant to be. It was poetic, a symbol of their unbinding – of their fate and serendipity finding each other once more.