Electoral Fate

Four years ago today, I placed the most important vote of my life. I emerged from my writer’s cave, showered, dressed, and then shoved my car into drive. Strolling into my polling station, a local church, I flashed some ID and wandered behind the tiny partition. I cast my vote in Toronto’s municipal election, shoved my ballot into the box and headed to the door.

And then I met my husband.

I remember blinking and squinting when I saw the familiar figure in the hallway, trying to place him before I approached, cursing myself for not visiting the eye doctor for those glasses I’d become desperate for.

When he turned around my heart fluttered in my chest in recognition. He took off his sunglasses and squinted in my direction and I smiled, the sunshine and the warmth of the atrium foyer engulfing us while we embraced.

You see, we’d known each other years before. And fate has a funny way.

He’d been friends with an ex-boyfriend of mine from nearly a decade and a half ago, and during those years we had a wonderful rapport. We’d managed to keep in touch for a few years after the relationship disintegrated, but eventually everyone drifted apart.

But I must confess, I partly ran away. I’d begun to feel a pull for this boy. We had sparkle. And it was all too much for me at the time, still too close to the past. One of the last times we all hung out the two of us traveling to a cottage party with another friend, a friend who says now, years later, how connected we’d been during those last days. But I’d ignored it, forcing myself down another path, one that came to an abrupt dead end six months before voting day.

But voting day wasn’t the first time we’d run into each other. Fate tried a few other times before we finally got it right, tossing us together randomly. I hadn’t bumped into a single other soul from the old crew over the years. Just him.

And as we stood in that foyer I felt the fingers of fate fold around us. And I knew he felt it too. The sparkle igniting the room wasn’t just from the sunshine. I’m not sure either of us were surprised to discover we lived within ten blocks of each other as we stood chatting for a few minutes while other voters ambled in and out of the church. Eventually we wandered out to our cars, both stating that we should get together to catch up. One over-edited Facebook message (me) and a phone call later (him) and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, if you don’t believe in fate and fairy tales, I’m here to tell you that they do come true.

And am I ever grateful I took the time to shower and wash off the coating of writer’s grime that day.

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