Isn’t it quite remarkable how seemingly insignificant choices could alter a person’s life so dramatically? Every day we make seemingly minor decisions, the kind that we never thought could have such a big impact on our lives. Where to sit on the first day of class, whether to take a cab or ride the bus, or perhaps accepting someone’s invitation for a cup of coffee . . . . . . . . .
May 9, 2013 / In a coffee shop somewhere in Hong Kong
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So, what trade expo are you attending?
It’s actually a trade expo slash conference of graphic artists.
You are a graphic artist?
It’s my day job. Hahahaha. No, really, ever since I could remember, I just love doing sketches. I’d do a sketch of almost everything I see.
Wow, a singing graphic artist! Now, that’s a one-in-a-million combination I should say.
Yeah, we don’t get too much of those nowadays huh?
Seriously now, has anybody told you how good your voice is? I mean I’m no musical genius but what I heard on that plane was something.
You’re not just saying that so I’ll pay for this coffee right?
I could sit here all day and just look at her smile. No, not all day but forever.
Well I was kind of hoping for that, but now that you’ve caught up with me. . . . . . . . Really Sarah, you’ve got something special there. When I heard you sing, it was as if something inside me stirred. I’ve been to several concerts before and I’ve heard some really good singers but you have something different there. I can’t explain what I felt when I heard your voice. But I’m sure it was something that I’ve never experienced before. . . . . . . Sorry I’m kind of blabbing here.
Wow, I never thought that somebody else aside from my Dad could be so passionate about my singing. His intensity is intriguing
Thank you for appreciating my voice John Lloyd.
That’s it? I was grasping for words just to describe what I felt when I heard you sing and that’s all you can say, “Thank you”?
What else do you what me to say?
Something like, “What you said really made me think over the decisions that I’ve made over time … and when I go back home I’ll seriously consider giving my singing dreams a second chance”.
You are one determined man, John Lloyd. I thought you already got over my singing back there in the plane. Ok, here’s what I can promise you. When I get back home, I’ll take it up with my family. I bet my dad would be very happy. Ever since, he has always been the one encouraging me to go for it, especially during the times when I felt that I can’t anymore.
I’m very happy to hear that Sarah.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Now if things go well, here’s my calling card. If you ever do need a manager, just give me a call, alright?
Hahahaha. I knew it! You’re giving me all these fancy speeches just so you could make money out of me!
There’s that laughter again. How I wish I could hear that laugh everyday for the rest of my life . Can a man fall in love by just hearing a person’s laughter? Is there such a thing as “Love at first laugh”?
Was I that obvious? And I was trying so hard to be sincere with my words. Tsk, tsk, tsk. I really need to improve on my acting skills.
Yeah, you do. So, aside from trying to improve on your acting skills, which if I may say, needs a lot of improving, what keeps you busy nowadays? How is it working for your father’s business?
Well, it’s not bad but it’s not the same thing I dreamed of doing when I was a kid
What’s that dream?
Flying. I’m actually taking flying lessons now
If that plane had problems, I would not have to worry –
I said lessons, I’m still taking them, so if that plane had problems, we wouldn’t be here drinking this coffee
You are so morbid! But why flying? Why not car racing or some other testosterone-inducing activities that you men love to engage with?
Hahahaha. Flying sort of gives me a sense of freedom. Free as a bird, as they say. When you fly and you look down below, you see a different perspective. Even for a short time, you could forget your problems and just bask in the beauty of the sky, the clouds, the sunset, the plains below. When I started taking flying lessons, I began to appreciate more the beauty of nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sorry, was blabbing again there.
No, no, please go on. I like hearing how you feel when you fly.
I wish you could fly with me one day.
I would really love that.
It’s a date then. When I get my license, you’ll be my first passenger.
On one condition though. You’ll have to tell me more about yourself. I mean, I don’t just hop into planes with guys I barely know except for the fact that he disguises his visits to Disneyland with a business trip.
Hahaha. Ok, so you want to know more about me. Hhmm, where do I begin? Ok, I’m gonna be forthright with you. Just so we’re clear right from the start. Actually, I’m a twice-divorced man going on his third and my five kids hate my guts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hahahaha. You should have seen the look on your face! Man, even your company’s best graphic artists couldn’t have drawn that. You don’t really think that of me? Got you there didn’t I?
It scares me to think that he could read me so easily. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought he could read my mind. So much for my trying to have a poker face! Now who’s the one who needs to improve on her acting skills?!
I hate you!
Nah, you can’t hate me. I’m just the most lovable guy around. And besides, I really can’t imagine you hating anybody at all. Your eyes have the most tender expression I have ever seen. Not in my wildest dreams can I see you hating anybody.
There’s always an exception to everything right? So may be, you are that exception.
If having coffee is what you do with guys that you hate, I wonder what you’ll do to the one that you’ll love. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Did I say something wrong?
Oh no. I must have turned her off with that thing about love. Now why in the world did I ever bring that up? What guy would talk about love on a first meeting? Just desperate guys, that’s who. . … … .But if that smile on her face is any indication, she doesn’t seem to see me as someone desperate at all
No, no, you didn’t say anything wrong. As to your question, I can’t answer that yet, because even I too am wondering . . .
I like the expression on his face after he said something about whatever I’ll do to the person that I’ll love. He looked so endearing. I could tell he wanted to take it back maybe because he thinks I may not like it.
It’s ok. We have plenty of time to figure that out . . . . I mean, you have plenty of time. What I meant was, really, I’m in no hurry for you to answer that.
Why am I losing my sense of thought here? Brain, please don’t give up on me right now. I need you to function properly so that I can avoid doing stupid things like what I just said. She must think I’m the most presumptuous guy ever
Yeah, plenty of time for that. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Do you believe in soul mates John Lloyd? In destiny? That one person in this world is meant for you and only you?
Yeah I think so. I believe that all things happen for a reason.
Do you believe that soul mates always find each other?
I don’t know, may be some don’t. May be some spend the rest of their lives looking for the One, always feeling that there is something missing, an emptiness they know not how to fill. But then there are those fortunate ones who do find them.
How would you know? That you’ve found her? Your soul mate?
I don’t really know. But I don’t think it is just one thing though, and then, bam, you can say that you have found your soul mate. I think it’s a combination of many things and a series of little events that add up and led you to each other.
Little events like which flight one is on?
Yeah, little events like that
I wasn’t supposed to be on this trip you know? Our department head was supposed to be here but he had to beg off for some reason.
Really now? And if I had checked in a few seconds earlier or later, I would have been assigned a different seat. And I wouldn’t have heard you sing!
That would have been a shame!
No, it would have been more than a shame. It scares me to think about it. Wow, isn’t that incredible, how the timing of my checking-in would have determined whether I would have paid for the coffee I’m drinking right now? You are paying for the coffee right? I mean, after all the nice words I said about you . . . . . . .
Hahaha. With five kids to support, I could understand why you’ll have to ask someone else to pay for your coffee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hhmm, a penny for you thoughts sir
I was just thinking about what you asked me a while ago about destiny. It just unnerves me to think that give or take a few seconds and you wouldn’t be here drinking coffee with me. Or what if your department head decided to attend the trade expo? What if the airline agent decided to seat me somewhere else? What if I got stuck in traffic and missed that flight?
But those didn’t happen right? You checked in at just the right time. My department head had to beg off. The airline agent assigned you that particular seat. You did not get stuck in traffic. Why? Because as you said, everything happens for a reason.
Yeah it does. It really does.
I hate to cut this short John Lloyd . . . .
Oh I’m so sorry, I totally forgot about the time. So you’re going to the trade expo now?
Trade expo? No, I’m not going there yet
So where are you going? May be it’s on my way, we could leave together.
Yeah we could leave together. I’m pretty sure it’s on your way.
You’re pretty sure it’s on my way?
I’m going to Disneyland. And the last time I checked, you were going there too. So what are you still sitting there for?
I am going to Disneyland. With the person I just met a couple of hours ago. A girl whose eyes seem to reflect everything she’s feeling inside, whose smile could light up a whole room, whose voice is that of an angel’s and whose laugh could outdo the greatest musical scoring in the world. Now I just got the answer to my question. There really is such a thing as love at first laugh. Every guy who has coffee and goes to Disneyland with a girl he just met on a plane can attest to that.
I am going to Disneyland. With the person I just met a couple of hours ago. A man who seems to know what is inside of me, who makes me laugh like nobody did before, a man who believes in soul mates and destiny. He said some may spend their lifetime looking for the One, and then there are those fortunate ones who, in spite of the improbability, do find them in the end. So how would I know? I guess I already knew the answer to that. They say the eyes are the mirror to one’s soul, and when I looked into his eyes, I knew that I was one of the fortunate ones.