I lean more into this feeling. The idea that something bigger than me is mapping out my life as I go. I start noticing that I always seem to check the clock at 11:11 a.m. everyday, and begin to make a wish for Tall Guy when I do. I try practicing manifestation with my flatmate Lottie. We cuddle up together on the pink sofa in our living room, both of us wearing highly flammable gray hoodies her mum sent us to help us not put the heating on yet. We close our eyes, and she repeats, “You will always be on his mind, he will not be able to stop thinking of you, he will be haunted with memories of you.”
Eventually some doubts kick in.
Love is so fickle now, the stakes are so high, the margin for error so wide, it makes sense that we like to think that there’s an inevitability to things working out or not. We’re scared by what we might lose, what might slip through our fingers.
It’s easy, when you look at your life, to think that someone is guiding you on the right path. Like if my ex hadn’t broken up with me, then I wouldn’t have written an article about him that went viral, wouldn’t have gotten an agent, or a Vogue column, or written a book, moved out, and through my new flatmate Hayley, met the girls who are, quite literally, my soulmates.
But I begin to think that it’s less fate, and more the type of person who you are that ensures good things happen to you. Why does it have to be the universe that helps us find our way; why is it not ourselves? Why can’t we see that we made the right choice, said the right things, worked hard? When Tall Guy does get back in contact, why must it be by chance? And why can’t it be because I looked so perfect at a bus stop under a yellow street lamp on Instagram?
In reality, perhaps men come in and out of our lives not because they’re destined to find their way back to us, but because they’re inconsistent with their attention and don’t know what they want. In fact, I wonder if Tall Guy is only more likely to boomerang back to me now, because—while attempting to leave things up to the universe—I unwittingly made myself seem far more nonchalant and relaxed. Something he will be able to sense from my social media presence. Maybe I’m still game-playing—but at least it’s a better game than the one I tried before.