“IT WILL BE, IF IT’S MEANT TO BE”
Annie Chen contained her sadness from knowing her closest friend and schoolmate, Leonard Song was moving to another place with his family today. They grew up together and were practically childhood sweethearts but, she wouldn’t be going with him to college anymore. So, they agreed to simply wish each other the best until their paths cross again in the future. She just waved at him from her bedroom window when his family’s car passed along with a mover’s truck infront of her house. She strongly believes in destiny and has no attachments to people or things that came her way. Only grateful for the experiences and times she shared with them. As free spirited, she’s quite optimistic at heart.
Anyway, she looked forward to next week to enroll at the university as a Literature Major. She wanted to be a novelist and write about her romantic beliefs in life through her stories. Her friend Leonard would pursue Engineering as he excelled in both math and science. Technically, they wouldn’t be enrolling in the same course in college so, his moving away to live in another place was kinda meant to be.
The flight was full so, it was a struggle to find the seat while dragging a trolley bag along the aisle with all other passengers boarding the aircraft. Finally, Annie found her aisle seat and as she tried to stow her trolley suitcase onto the overhead baggage bin, a tall kind looking guy seated on the aisle seat across hers stood up and gave her a hand.
“Allow me to stow that for you, Miss.” the man said and did the stowing of her bag for her.
She was glad since her petite size and just over 5 feet height would hardly reach the overhead bin. She decided to acknowledge him properly for his gallantry towards her. She offered him a handshake.
“Oh...thank you. I really can’t reach it well by myself. And there’s no flight attendant nearby. I’m Annie Chen.”
The man grinned and shook her hand before taking his seat to buckle up.
“Matt Xiu. I was actually afraid your bag might slip from your grasp and hit me in the process. So, I actually did myself a favor preventing a likely accident.”
His remarks made Annie laugh and found him nice to chat with during the flight. She learned that he was visiting the branch office of his software company as he is based in the city from where they took the flight together. Matt Xiu is a Design Engineer with a good sense of humor. He’s living in with his long time girlfriend and business partner who manages the main branch of his company.
Matt Xiu loves Annie’s vivacious personality contrary to his previous idea that writers are either snooty or withdrawn types. He marvels at Annie’s zest for life, which is polar opposite of his best friend, Geoffrey Lin who is still single. Therefore, he thought of introducing them to each other when the opportunity arises as Geoffrey works in another city. Yet, he did not waste time to give his best friend a hint already.
“Hey...Buddy! Guess what? I made a new friend on the flight. She’s a pretty novelist with a great personality. Still Single and lives just 6 hours drive from you. You may wanna check her out.”
At Creative Cottage...
Geoffrey Lin could not help but smile as he listened to Matt Xiu on the phone. His best friend is always eager to match him with any ladies he would come across, as if feeling guilty for having found a life partner already while he still hasn’t met his. However, he trusts Matt’s gut feel on such matters so, he welcomed his initiative.
“Whatever you say, Matt. Go fix it and I’ll make time for it. You’ll be the Best Man in my wedding, if anything solid comes out of your relentless matchmaking.”
Matt Xiu beamed with excitement and took Geoffrey’s challenge optimistically.
“Alright. Will check Annie Chen’s schedules and let you know soonest.”
Geoffrey hung up and continued his drawings of the luxury house design he was working on before Matt rang him unexpectedly. His architecture firm is onto this new project that he’s personally in-charge of for a repeat client. He just hoped he could really find the time to date amidst his tight schedules so as not to waste his best friend’s incessant efforts and disappoint the other party, if he failed to do so.
Ooops...Annie Chen isn’t keen on “blind dates” at all aside from she already has a string of travel schedules to follow in order to complete her novels as demanded already by her publisher. She had to decline Matt Xiu’s request for her to meet up his best friend, Geoffrey Lin, for now. It would just be up to right timing or fate, if they would meet eventually.
Matt Xiu went driving 6 hours by land to see Geoffrey instead. He felt he should keep him interested to meet Annie on his own even if he could not arrange it for them. He texted his live-in partner that he would spend a day with his best friend. He met him at his Creative Cottage Studio for a drink. Although unexpected, Matt noticed Geoffrey’s disappointment in not meeting Annie Chen as proposed by him when his previous matchmaking didn’t seem to bother him at all. Perhaps, his friend is already feeling what he’s missing in life.
“Geoff, Annie’s schedules are quite tight these coming days and months because she has publication deadlines to meet and she would be traveling a lot in those times. So, she couldn’t squeeze in dating for now.”
“As they say, if there’s a will, there’s a way, right? She might not be interested in me, Matt. You’re just forcing it.”
Matt tried to appease Geoffrey as he felt guilty for having broached the idea to him prematurely.
“Don’t sour grape now, Buddy. I haven’t told her much about you yet. I just asked if I could introduce her to you since your my best friend and she has a very nice personality. So, how could she possibly not want you? Really, it’s just her tight schedules getting in the way.”
Geoffrey patted Matt on his shoulders reassuringly.
“Then, don’t try too hard to set us up as it may turn her off eventually. Maybe you can do it another time. Let’s just play it by ear.”
So, they just gulped more whisky together to enjoy the night like they used to when they were still in college.
Geoffrey Lin just made a homerun for his High School Baseball Team after hard hitting the ball pitched at him, which went way over the Center Fielder’s position so he missed to catch it. It won their team the Baseball Match since it was the last inning, which earned them a higher score than their opponents. His Teammate and Best Friend, Matt Xiu, jubilantly ran to embrace and congratulate him for his winning play. Their girl classmates seated at the spectators’ bench at the stadium who were cheering them on rejoiced for the team success, particularly Geoffrey for his remarkable performance. They were led by their class top student leader, Rachel Wu, who was Geoffrey Lin’s long time Crush. She organized the rest of the class to watch the game in support of their classmates, Matt Xiu and Geoffrey Lin, who were the star players of their High School Baseball Team.
When Matt noticed the overwhelming reaction of their classmates, he teased Geoffrey that he was obviously inspired to play exceptionally well at the game because Rachel Wu led their class to cheer him on. Geoffrey simply brushed off Matt’s teasing because he still didn’t have the guts to approach Rachel to thank her
even after winning the match for his team. He was just too shy to express his admiration for her since their Freshmen Year until now in their Senior Year. So, he proceeded to the Shower & Locker Room with Matt to freshen up and change clothes, where the latter persisted to tease him to make a move on Rachel since their School Soiree was already up coming.
Then later outside of the Shower & Locker, Geoffrey’s older brothers, Carl and Ted Lin (as young college students) waited to greet Matt and him for their success at the game. They were naturally proud of Geoffrey’s spectacular baseball performance so, they went to dine out with Matt to celebrate where the topic of Geoffrey asking Rachel Wu for the school dance was raised and resolved. Together with Carl and Ted, Matt planned out how Geoffrey could finally approach Rachel about it.
Hence, the following week Matt arranged for Geoffrey and Rachel to meet at the school cafeteria during their class break time so, Geoffrey could ask her to be his dance partner at the School Soiree’ in the guise of inquiring who among their classmates were already paired by the class adviser herself. Matt’s strategy turned out favorable for Geoffrey because Rachel still had not been paired with anyone yet so, she readily accepted him to be her dance partner and even scheduled with him their dance practice days before the event day itself. Such made Geoffrey hopeful towards winning Rachel’s heart soon.
However, as fate would have it, even though Geoffrey had finally mustered the courage to confess his feelings to Rachel at the school dance, she discouraged him because she had been planning to study abroad for college since her excellent academic standing qualified her for admission into a university in Canada that was being supported by her parents. Although, Rachel did express her own admiration for Geoffrey, she didn’t think a long distance relationship with him would work since it would both be their first time. Seeing the wisdom in her point of view, Geoffrey respected it even if it was his first heartache. Timing was just off for both of them so, pursuing their respective dreams first seemed to be more important for the time being.
Anyway, even in college Geoffrey and Matt enrolled in the same university despite taking up differing but allied courses, i.e. Architecture and Design Engineering, respectively so, they could continue to be school buddies. They had been inseparable since their primary years like soul brothers. As Geoffrey became
preoccupied with his studies, he eventually gotten over Rachel Wu since he lost touched with her over the years. Matt, on the other hand, was relentless in his efforts to match Geoffrey through double dating with his string of flings in school. Yet, Geoffrey didn’t seem keen on having any relationships while studying and simply enjoyed the company Matt would arrange for him only as far as the day or evening had gone. He was more bent on finishing architecture and excelling in it once he begins real practice after graduation, which was his utmost goal at that time since he decided LOVE will come when the timing is right