They say that you can sometimes see into forever on a clear day.
So when Bradley rushed up to me, I knew something was up.
After catching his breath, he said: “I’ve met someone special. She is very special to me.”
Bradley is one of the shyest people I have met. When he had to meet his guidance counsellor at the first day of high school, he insisted that I accompany him.
He was brilliant and smart, and he had a smile that could light up a whole room. I knew girls would like him, but he was never so sure.
And as an only child, he had very little sibling support, only his parents’ gentle nudging that he should “make more friends”.
“Great for you! Who is she? Anyone I’ve met?” I asked
He hummed and hawed and then said: “Actually, I haven’t really met her, I’ve seen her from afar though and she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Like a goddess, you know.”
Bradley could sometimes be like this — rational one moment, then loony the next, followed by episodes of zombie-like inanity. I guessed this was one of those.
I asked: “If you haven’t really met her, how do you know she is The One? Isn’t that an impossible pipe dream?”
He said: “No, not at all. I know she is filled with a pure love and when she knows me, she’ll realise that we are meant to be together and that we will have a great life together and live happily ever after.”
After the shy Bradley I knew, these sentences were a revelation, to say the least.
I asked: “And how will this happen? Will you go and meet her in the street or town square and tell her of your love for her? What do you plan to do?”
He said he didn’t know yet but was working on a plan.
Now where had I heard all that before?
He told me her name and I was surprised to hear the name of a well-known sports celebrity.
He said: “I met her on the subway one Sunday. She was standing near me and I was listening to music on my smartphone earlier. When I turned around, there she was. She stood majestically, like an Amazon goddess.
“I thought of the times when I had asked God to give me one chance to meet and talk to her. And He answered my prayer.”
“So what did you do?” I asked. This was suddenly turning into a suspense thriller.
He said: “At first, I didn’t want to do anything. I said to myself, what am I to her? What if I talk to her and she rejects me, or rebuffs me? All those things that go through a man’s mind.
In my head, I was thinking, “This is the girl half(or all) of our school has been waiting and wanting to go out with, and he thinks he is not the one for her? I really hope he doesn’t screw this up!”
Bradley continued, “Then I realised that if I didn’t do something, I would regret not talking to her for the rest of my life. And I was not prepared to do that anymore, after what I had been through these past months.”
“So what did you do?” I asked.
He said: “We boarded the subway. Two stops later, she got off at the Village station and I got off there too. As she walked past the passenger service counter, I introduced myself and said I was a colleague of one of the journalists in our town newspaper. I knew that she knows him too.”.
“And I also told her about my niece.”
Now I was surprised. What did his 8-year-old niece have to do with all this subterfuge?
He continued: “I told her that my niece was a fan and she was very nice. She wanted to pen a message on a card but we didn’t have pens. So we went to a bookstore near the station, and she asked the saleslady for a pen.
“The awestruck staff member just nodded as The One calmly took a pen from the stand, wrote a message for my niece, and then put the pen back in the stand.”
I was amazed at Bradley’s chutzpah. Didn’t think he could pull it off, but he did.
He said: “We then talked as we walked along towards the Village. She said her training schedule was intense and when I asked her what her post-Olympic plans were, she said she had only known competitive sports. She only held a regular job for less than 10 months previously.
“She said that she has thought of hanging up her gear before, but each time she did that, she thought that she could go faster, go stronger one more time.
“She asked what I was doing at the Village. I said that I was visiting friends, and she said she was going to visit her sister.”
I asked, with a hint of admiration: “Not bad, not bad at all! What happened next?”
He said: “At the road crossing near a Chinese restaurant, we parted ways. We shook hands and I wished her all the best for her endeavours and hopefully we could meet for coffee one of these days.
“I went on to catch up with my friends. It was nearly 10 when I returned home.”
Bradley felt on top of the moon for the rest of the day.
“I met my niece a couple of weeks later and gave her the card with the celeb’s note. She was so thrilled,” he said.
I asked: “What happened next?”
He said: “I texted the celeb and told her what happened, and she replied with a Thank You message and that she hoped to see me around. I went to the Village several times after that to see if she would pass that way again, but no such luck.”
I was truly happy for Bradley and hoped that more would come from his meeting. After all he had gone through, he deserved more and better.
I sad a prayer of thanks and left the night to the Creator.
After all, miracles still happen and should happen, don’t you think?