What Oprah says goes, which is why middle-class women all over America buy out her book club selections and make her favorite things their favorite things, even if its only a ballpoint pen. I’m no exception. After watching Oprah praise a secret that brings forth love and happiness, I made my way to Borders and walked toward a towering, golden shrine. Two dozen women already surrounded the massive display. It seemed Oprah had done it again.
An hour later, I lay in bed with my very own copy of The Secret. “Thoughts become things,” I read a few pages in. I repeated the line before jumping out of bed – the words a surge of energy – and grabbing three index cards. I wrote frantically, and once finished, taped the index cards on my wall. I read them all out loud.
“I will have my own talk show,” I declared confidently.
“I will publish Love Trips as a book,” I continued.
“I will find my soul mate this year,” I stated clearly.
Later on that night, my friend Joanna and I stood by the Hawaiian Tropic bar, bopping to the Jay-Z and Kanye that blasted through the speakers. Soon upon arrival, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Through my peripheral vision I saw that it was him.
I turned and faced Mr. G. We both smiled.
“Hey, what a surprise!” I exclaimed, giving him kiss on the cheek.
Mr. G’s smile broadened. The corner of his eyes wrinkled as his eyes slightly slanted. “I was just thinking about you,” Mr. G expressed. “I actually wrote an article about you.”
“An article about me?” I asked curiously.
“It was more like a story inspired by you.”
I nodded and replied, “I actually thought I saw you earlier today, but it wasn’t you.”
Mr. G’s brows rose. He smiled coquettishly and said, “So it seems you called me to you.”
“Whatever! You’re the one who wrote a story inspired by me!” I responded with a laugh. Mr. G also laughed and we locked eyes. It was so effortless with him. No games. No pretending. Just connecting. Our connection was innocent and sweet and genuine and only strengthened throughout the night. We danced, caught up on our summers, and showed our affection toward each other with quick embraces.
Later on that night, Mr. G drove me home. I sat in the front seat and he reached over and held my hand. It was a tender gesture that filled me with hope.
“It’s the last building on the left,” I directed as he turned onto my street.
Mr. G nodded but passed my building.
“You just missed it,” I said, while pointing at the fading building.
“Really? I’m sorry.” He turned his car around. We were on my street again and I repeated my directions. And he passed my building, again.
“You just…” My voice trailed. We locked eyes quickly and both smiled. “If you want to sit and talk then just say so. You don’t have to keep pretending you don’t know where I live,” I chuckled.
“I just don’t want to drop you off yet. I love talking to you,” he expressed sincerely.
“Then we’ll talk.”
Mr. G and I sat in his parked car and talked for four hours. We discussed our love for writing, shared stories about our families, and revealed the first time we felt this connection for each other. But one fact still remained: Mr. G had a girlfriend. I reminded him of that throughout our entire conversation. He reminded me of what he had kept hidden till that day: Mr. G and Ana were not the picture perfect couple they pretended to be. They were unhappy and he didn’t want to be with her anymore.
I listened as he shared the woes of his four-year relationship, and his desire to end it once and for all. But I was no fool. As sincere as I felt Mr. G was he was still a taken man. And I was no mistress.
“I’m not going to be anyone’s chilla!” I blurted out, hand on his car’s handle.
Mr. G’s small eyes widened in shock. “I’m not expecting you to be,” he replied softly.
I sighed. “Well, it’s almost 6AM. I have to get up in two hours to go to Boston tomorrow.”
“Can I call you?” he asked eagerly. I thought about what that meant, where this could lead, but immediately pushed my justified fears to the side. I nodded my head and then made my escape. Or tried to. I pulled the car handle to open the door but it was stuck. I tried again, exasperated, but it remained closed. Mr. G saw my struggle and leaned in with a “Here, let me do it.” He reached for the handle and placed his hand over mine. He gazed into my eyes, leaned in and kissed me.
And then I let go. I opened up to the softness of his lips. I freed myself from my imposed self-control and allowed him to put his fingers in my hair and caress the softness of my cheeks. I lost myself in this kiss, this kiss that connected heartfelt emotions with passion, this kiss that was not about sex but about feeling. I wanted it to last forever but it couldn’t. We detached our lips. Mr. G opened the car door and I walked out, feeling blissful and touched. I opened the front door and ran up stairs. I walked into my bedroom and made my way toward my wall. There it was staring at me. The confident and certain call for a soul mate. I raised my hand and press my fingers against my lips. I smiled, still feeling the tingle of his lips, and whispered, “Thank you, Oprah”.