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Confessions From the Past

The Chapter About The Five People Theory


I wonder if you believe in soul mates, dear Future Self. I can’t say I’m really sure about what I believe at the moment. Or what I’ve ever really believed. I do know that one single person for each person on this earth just sounds like a hopeless cause to me though.

I did, however, come to a conclusion that has satisfied (and haunted) me over the last couple of years.

I’m sure you remember the day. You were 20 years old and in your first semester of university. You were sitting at a table at lunch with a boy who was your very best friend. By then, everyone but the two of you had already cleared out of the cafeteria as it had been several hours past lunch time; a near everyday occurrence for the two of you.

“All I’m saying is, I think there are some people on this earth that are meant to be alone. Not in a sad, depressing type of way, just, like…God didn’t make anyone for them because He made them to be fine on their own. Ya know?” I prompted.

He’d raised an eyebrow at my idiotic representation of bitter, recently-dumped thoughts.

“Don’t look at me like that. I think it could really be true. And I think I’m one of them…and I’m okay with that!” I encouraged, only then realizing how pathetic I’d been sounding.

“There is too someone for you.” He said. “I know there is.”

I rolled my eyes dramatically.

“But haven’t you ever felt that way before? Don’t you understand where I’m coming from at all? Like, there’s no way to ACTUALLY know, ya know?”

“Well, I know,” he said calmly.

I rolled my eyes.

“Okay, how?”

“Because I used to feel like that too. For a really long time.” I knew who he was talking about. His ex had broken up with him a year or so prior to be with his best friend. I’d always had troubles believing anyone would leave him to be with someone else. But, alas. “And then I met someone who changed my mind about all that.”

“What? Who?” I asked, shocked (oblivious) (you IDIOT) that this was the first time I was hearing about this. I thought we told each other everything and this was news to me!

I know. I know. I KNOW, OKAY, I KNOW. You’re probably shaking your head and rolling your eyes at me right now. Well, guess what? I’m you! So we’re in this together!

God, I really was an idiot though, wasn’t I?

His face got red and his lips were sealed. It became clear he wasn’t ready to tell me who this mystery woman was so I let it go.

“The point is, I think there is someone for everyone,” he said.

“But just ONE? You cannot honestly tell me you think there’s only person on this earth that is made for you and I and everyone else. I think there’s gotta be at least a few that you could potentially be happy with if we’re gonna go the ‘hopeless romantic’ route on this. Like, say God gives you five people. No more, no less. That’s five people you could be happy with. Five people you could fall in love with.”

He shrugged as if I was finally onto something.

“Well, I’ve been in love. I was in love in high school twice,” (Nope.) “And I’ve been in love in college twice now.” (Once. So young. So naïve.) I threw my hands up in the air. “That’s already FOUR TIMES. That means I’ve only got one more person left on this planet to make it work with or I am SCREWED. And, I’m not really sure, but I just get this feeling he could be in Africa or something. Like, somewhere really far away where we’ll never meet. Hence, the forever alone thing.”

By now, his arms were folded and if sarcasm had a face, I was looking right at it.

“But you’re okay with it.”

I folded my own arms.

“Yep. I’m okay with it.”

He leaned in now, resting his elbows on the table around our dirty dishes.

“Okay. Say God gives you five people instead of just one. Say you could be happy with all those people. You could marry any one of them and live a long happy life together. Which means, if you’ve really met four of the five The Ones then you should be able to make it work with all of them.”

“But I didn’t.”

“Then I don’t think you’ve met four of the five. I mean, come on, how many of those guys did you actually love? How many could you ACTUALLY see yourself marrying someday?”

I thought about this for a moment.

“Maybe one.” I admitted.

“See! God wouldn’t leave you hanging like that. We’re not talking about five CHANCES here, we’re talking about five PEOPLE that you could make it work with. Which means that you still have at least four other people to meet that you could potentially be happy with.”

I sighed.

“Okay, okay, I guess there could be some truth to that.”

“And you know what I think? I think that even if God does give us five soul mates, there’s still gotta be one of those five people that makes a person happier than all the rest. Like the The One of the The Ones.”

I paused and thought about this for a long time.

“But how will you ever know if you’ve met The One of The Ones?”

He shrugged.

“I guess when you know, you just know.”

And with that, we picked our plates and walked back to our dorms. I thought about our conversation for days after that. And then weeks. And then months.

And then years.