This post is written in response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in the 21st century. I imagined two people who 100 years ago would have had a very small chance of getting to know each other…
This is the story of two people who, in another time, would never have met.
She lived in a small town in the Midwest, where she shared a house with her mother. The money she made from her job at the post office she spent on books. When she was not reading she wrote pages and pages of stories that nobody ever saw.
He lived in a small attic room in Paris and studied philosophy. He spent his evenings at cafés debating the meaning of existence.
She never had a talent for the spoken word. When her thoughts made it to her lips they would stumble over each other and end up a jumbled tangle, incomprehensible to even the most patient listener. At the age of 20 she went on a date, but as she watched the pained expression on her date’s face she realized this was an experience she would never repeat.
He dated girls regularly, but none of them lasted. He found them all lacking. From their bouncy dyed hair to the bright red lips; they were all artificial. They liked his tousled hair and glasses as he sat and read Derrida in the park. But what they never understood was that his hair was not a fashion statement. He simply did not care enough to buy a brush.
One day he saw a book review she had written on the internet. She wrote about an obscure book by an unknown writer. It happened to be his favourite book. He commented on her review, saying she had stolen the words from his mouth. What he did not say was that she had also stolen his heart.
For two years their words travelled across the ocean, unhindered by stuttering, mumbling or blushing, and when he finally flew over to see her, it was as if they had lived together for years.
He never returned to the Paris cafés and beautifully made-up girls.
I will not promise ever after, but perhaps one day in the future a book would be published, consisting of the early correspondence between a deceased world-famous author and her husband, the renowned philosophy professor.