The sound of knocking came from behind my best friend’s front door about an hour after we had come home from her birthday party. Her two dogs both ran to the door while eagerly wagging their tails and letting their mouths hang open in a way that mimicked an excited-looking smile, which let my friend and I know that there was a friend on the other side of the tall old decorative wooden ent
rance. I swiftly got up to place myself in front of my friend’s larger dog so I could open the door, but the short-haired copper-colored hound mix beat me to the front as I reached for the door’s elegant handle.
“Copper! Get down!” I tried pulling back the large dog as much as I could without harming him. “No!”
I opened the black screen door that revealed a young tall blonde man with a nice dark-colored plaid shirt tucked into a pair of thick denim jeans. He wore clean black work boots that many of the countrymen wore around the small town and gently raised his hand out from the warm summer country night air and into the slightly cooler home to pet the enthusiastic dog.
I tried nudging the large dog away from the entrance so our visitor could enter the house. “Hey, come in.”
The young man carefully walked in as Copper was gently brought back further inside the house. “So this one’s Copper, and this one’s…”
“Penny!” My friend emerged from a back room and saw the smaller dog running on the sofa.
The young man laughed. “And this one’s Penny.”
My friend ended up showing the young man around the recently redecorated house. She proudly pointed to the cute decorative pieces hanging on the walls and sitting as furniture pieces in corners of each of the rooms that she had painted and stained herself. She even took the time to explain one of her crazy mishaps that involved gallons of overturned bright satin pink paint. And after several minutes of house touring, the three of us sat down in the well-designed country-styled front sitting room, by the large antique front door, and began speaking about our childhood memories.
The young man had grown up with my best friend for most of their lives. He even lived less than a mile down the road from her house and her childhood home. And while listening to the timeline of our lives sitting nearly parallel to each other, and occasionally coming close to touching the other’s lifeline like a geometric asymptote causing its tangent to curve at infinity, I couldn’t help but notice that we could have met so many times over the last twenty years or so, but never did.
This young man and I had each lived for years without knowledge of the other person’s existence, even though we were both two very important pieces to my friend’s inner circle. I found it funny that it took me twenty-odd years to finally meet this man that had pretty much always been in my best friend’s life, just as I have almost always been in her life. But there we sat on two soft red and decorative sofas getting to know each other for the first time after meeting one another at my friend’s twenty-fifth birthday party.
We three talked for hours about our passion for reading, writing, sci-fi, such as the x-files, art, and philosophy, and I just couldn’t believe how in sync we all were. My best friend made a comment about all of our similarities and smiled at her two good friends bonding over the nerdiest of subjects. “We’re definitely going to have to hang out when you’re in town next, Jasmine.”
The young man and I agreed and tried to make plans for the upcoming future. “And you guys need to come visit me when I move to Montana next year.”
A pang of disappointment had rose up from the pit of my stomach as the word, “Montana,” spilled from his lips. I had just gotten to know this pretty cool kid I had no clue existed until that day, even though he had laid his head each night not too far away from the house I used to visit my friend almost all our lives. And all I could think about as the front door closed, and was locked with just my friend, her dogs, and myself in for the night, was about all of the other potentially good friends I could have had and all of the lives that each ran parallel to our own, never touching, but close enough to maybe one day spill over into our own when we least expect it.