2. Well played, God.

And there he was. The man that would set free the butterflies in my stomach, and bring a spring in my step.

He was the little bee flying in circles around my phone until I finally clicked ‘View Profile’.

Yup. Thanks to Bumble, I found the man whose last name I’d be stealing.

I scrolled through the pictures quickly to get to his Bio Section and there it was. The sentence that makes me smile even today; “Father to a black Labrador.

You see, when you’ve wanted something your whole life, and you’ve been quite vocal about it, God has a funny way of bringing it to you. It’ll never come through easily and there's a reason for that. How else would you learn to genuinely appreciate your reality?

Let’s circle back to the first part, where I mentioned God’s sense of humor. I’ve had an ‘ideal man’ checklist, just like anyone would, right? No? MOVING ON. I may have seemed delusional to my friends and family at some point but I’ll tell you this, I never compromised on this little list.

  1. Dog person

  2. A tall, tall man

  3. A tall, tall man who doesn’t have a requirement for a tall, tall girl

  4. A man that knows to move a hanging tree branch when I walk on the road because I’m unaware of my surroundings and absolutely clumsy (Very important criteria because ‘Death By Tree Branch On A Date’ is just embarrassing)

  5. Someone with a sense of humor when I walk into a tree branch

  6. Someone that knows that I may not be able to do a cartwheel but I’m always cheering him on

  7. A man that has the purest heart and the most childlike smile

After just three days of talking to him, (and I’m absolutely bragging when I say this), I realized he’s met my checklist.

But God brings it to you with challenges, remember?

He messaged me one evening asking to meet, ever so spontaneously. I questioned the urgency as I pulled yet another all-nighter at work. And then he introduced me to our challenge.

You see, he’s not in the same city, country or continent as I. Maintaining a relationship between North America and the Middle East, that's our challenge.

I read that message from him repeatedly, hoping it would somehow rearrange to something more positive (“My last day here. Heading out tomorrow morning.”) but it didn't.

So now what? Obviously, nothing was going to come out of this relationship because long distance never works, right?

Based on my sullen logic and an ill-timed plan, we never met and he got on that long flight back home. Not before leaving me a “Well I’m at the airport, back to the grind tomorrow” message. I woke up to that and thought to myself, “He's perfect but he's so far away.

I got dressed for work and wondered if I should respond with a picture and use my trademarked sad eyes for some “Don’t go” symbolism but thankfully, I decided against it. The last day of the work week is usually the busiest so I stayed away from my phone all day, which was aided by him being on a 13-hour flight. No temptation to respond and keep staring at that 'Undelivered' tick mark on WhatsApp. But that didn’t stop me from reading all our texts during my lunch break.

“There’s something about him.” My heart was up to something.

I spent the rest of the evening in the company of my friends and a very competitive game of Monopoly that resulted in us playing the Quiet Game to lend the competitors a cooling off period. I thought about him all day, which I found to be quite odd because I’ve never been an advocate for long distance but it felt like there was some unfinished business between us. (I wasn't sure unfinished to what degree but unfinished nevertheless!)

I scrolled through our texts (once again) at night and went through his pictures. Sighing every few seconds. I finally put my phone away and launched my fourth rerun of Gilmore Girls (we've all rewatched it. Don't lie to me) and went to bed. The next day, the same nagging thought persisted in my mind; should I have responded? That’s when it happened.

Buzz buzz goes WhatsApp.

“I’m finally back in Toronto.”

Well played, God.