She sat on her balcony gazing at the stars. A feeling of sadness and nostalgia engulfed her. She remembered Patrick. The fact that tears didn’t roll down her cheeks was a good sign. She was finally getting over him. It had been six months since Angela’s break up with Patrick after four years of dating.
Everything reminded her of him. She would make coffee and, while adding sugar, remember he liked his with just a splash of sugar because to add more is to dilute the essence of coffee, or so he said. Having spent four years with someone, they penetrate almost every part of your life, so she carried his memory on the streets, her favourite restaurants, her daily rituals – he was everywhere. After five months of walking around with a broken heart, Angela decided she was back in the race for the pursuit of happiness. Well, that and the constant advice from her friends to move on from the man who broke her heart into a million little pieces.
Patrick had moved on quite quickly. Why wouldn’t he? After all, he had been cheating on her for over a year. The breakup gave him the space to propose to the girl, and they paraded their love all over social media. The public display of their affairs broke Angela even further because she couldn’t mourn her relationship in peace. She carried the humiliation like a badge. Unfortunately, leaving social media platforms wasn’t an option because her income was linked to them. However, she went dormant until this particular night.
As a way to deal with her heartbreak, she read more and came across the phrase, “Go to the place you cried and change the narrative.” It spoke to her. During her relationship, they would often sit on the balcony with Patrick gazing at the stars and whispering things that lovers do. She couldn’t stand her balcony for many weeks after the split, but she was ready to move forward.
After enjoying the moment, she decided to get on Twitter. A funny tweet from Fred showed up on her timeline. Fred was popular on Twitter. He was witty, funny, and cool. Angela had been following him for a while but had never engaged with him. After reading the funny tweet, she decided to check out his profile and found his interesting takes on art. Angela needed to give her opinion, and that’s how it started.
The conversation moved from the timeline to the DM. Given Angela’s emotional state, she wasn’t interested in any form of flirtation and definitely from him, given his casanova reputation. Interestingly, Fred didn’t try to hit on her. They initially engaged in conversations about art and music but soon found themselves talking about their lives and everything in between. They had daily conversations until Angela went silent on Fred.
Fred thought it was unusual for Angela not to respond on the first day but decided to give her time. However, after four days of no response, he decided to dig a little deeper. He went to her socials and decided to inquire about her whereabouts from a close friend of hers. He explained the nature of his relationship with Angela, and Brenda felt he sounded genuinely concerned, so she informed him that Angela was in the hospital after an accident. They organized to meet at the hospital the following day.
He was at the hospital’s parking lot five minutes before the visiting hours. Brenda found him there with his basket of fruits and flowers.
“Hey, I’m Fred.”
“Yeah, I follow you on Twitter,” said Brenda.
“Thank you for letting me what’s going on,” Fred told Brenda.
“We’ve mentioned you with Angela but I didn’t know you were such good friends,” Brenda said as they got into the hospital room.
“How’s a favourite patient today? I brought you someone,” Brenda told Angela.
Angela couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Fred.
“Oh my goodness! This is quite the surprise!” Angela exclaimed.
“A good one, I hope,” smiled Fred.
“Definitely except that I didn’t get a chance to dress up and make a better first impression,” Angela responded.
“Well, with that cast on your leg sure does make a lasting impression,” Fred teased.
“Oh, I guess now we know she’s doing better,” Brenda chimed in, and they all laughed.
Fred visited her in the hospital until she was discharged. She had broken her leg in the accident and needed to be off her feet for the next couple of weeks. Fred became a regular visitor at Angela’s home. He brought her food, and they listened to music and had conversations. Within no time, Angela realized that she hadn’t thought about Patrick in a while.
None of them had expressed romantic feelings for each other, but it was obvious that they had a strong connection. It felt like they had been friends forever.
“So, Fred,” Brenda told Angela.
“What about Fred?”
“You’ve been dating a celeb and you didn’t tell us?” Brenda teased Angela.
“Who talked about dating?” Angela said with a smile.
“The blushing cheeks beg to differ. Look at you blushing. You do know about his reputation though?”
“We are just friends, you don’t have to worry,” Angela responded.
“Yeah, a good friend who moved mountains to nurse you back to health despite having not met you before,” Brenda said as she walked away.
That conversation left Angela in deep thought. Although she knew she had feelings for Fred, she wondered whether he felt the same and whether she was ready for another relationship. A call from Fred interrupted her.
“Hey, how’s the patient today?” Fred asked.
“Better than yesterday. I’m going to have the cast removed tomorrow.”
“Can I take you?” Fred asked.
“You sure it’s not an inconvenience?”
“I wouldn’t offer it was,” Fred responded.
Angela was caught off guard. Little did she know there was more on the way. After the visit to the hospital, Fred took her to his place. He showed her art pieces that he had been working on and asked for her opinion.
“They are absolutely stunning! I didn’t know you make art too,” said Angela.
“I don’t tell many people about that side of me,” Fred responded.
“Why? They are great pieces.”
“Art is sacred to me. People have a certain perception of me as you already know, and I can be vulnerable in my art. Allowing the world to see this side of me is scary,” said Fred.
She looked at him as though she saw through his soul and, with a quick smile, said, “I get that. Speaking of perception, is this where you bring the girls?”
“What girls?” Fred asked as he laughed.
“Do you really want me to tell you what I’ve heard?” Angela asked.
“I know what they say but that was a different person; a different phase of life.”
“So who’s this person now?” Angela asked him.
“A man who had his fun but ended up feeling like he needed deeper connections. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret the fun but a time comes when you want more and I feel like there could be something here,” Fred said as he stroked Angela’s hand.
“I have to warn you, I’m a wounded deer. I don’t know if I have the heart to get into the ring again.”
“I like to think we’re all wounded in one way or another and I have no desire to rush anything but so far so good.”
Founded on a beautiful friendship, Angela and Fred took things to the next level after a couple of weeks. Brenda and many of Angela’s friends had difficulty reconciling the image they had of Fred from social media with the perfect prince charming he was with their friend, but he remained consistent. He turned out to be more than Angela had hoped for in a partner.
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