The Second First Meeting

Graphic by Bhavesh Govindani

Coincidental situations that happen to people can be an exhilarating experience that brings joy and intrigue. Although, what happens when the coincidences just get too much? Any normal person will begin to question their reality. This was the case in an almost fictitious life a friend and I lived, everyday after meeting each other.

We met in high school, and instantly became good friends, but under the impression that our lives were quite different. This statement could never have been more wrong. We, as two anxious young students, found solace in each other’s company, then to discover that we had almost everything in common. 

We went on to notice constantly that the similarities in interests were unrealistic. Our music taste, fashion sense, family background, opinions, way of speech, and even connections to various people were similar. Our birthdays were even a singular day apart.

These similarities grew to be pleasantly haunting, with people even going as far as to question whether we were twins. As bewildered as we both were in that situation, we understood where they were coming from, as our demeanour and body language were impeccably similar.

Everyday was another opportunity to discover another minuscule thing we both had in common, and we quite enjoyed every aspect of it, despite initially being surprised. Eventually, the both of us, much like everyone around us, grew used to the similarities and proceeded to be unfazed by any further coincidences.

This however, was not the case on a seemingly normal day, when conversation tilted us in the direction of discussing our place of birth. Being lifelong residents of the same city and neighbourhood, we expected another round of slightly familiar places being mentioned heading our way. The result was unexpected and something we were definitely not prepared to hear, as we found out we were born in the same hospital, within twenty-four hours of each other’s birth. 

This discovery reeled us back and made us pause for a good minute. We had met nearly fifteen years prior to our “first” meeting in high school, which turned out to be the second one. Initially, we refused to accept it, much like the many coincidences we shared in the past. The situation was nearly unbelievable, almost too good to be true. This led us to discover many more similar details about our childhood experiences, tragic or joyful, which took us aback. We were raised by different people in separate families, but our constant coincidental experiences made us feel like we were raised together.

However, it was not our eerily familiar backgrounds that kept our friendship going, despite contributing to a lot, but it was the fact that we continued to be synonymous with each other. We were almost the same person, but that did not bother us. We embraced the aspects that brought us closer and continued to grow. We enjoyed each other’s company immensely, without a hint of boredom.

Ultimately, it wasn’t our similar looks or way of speech that made people question the longevity of our friendship, but instead our compatibility. This unexpected surprise opened doors for us in our friendship, and we go forward knowing and anticipating many more similar surprises to come. We shall no longer recoil from the facts we unearth, but will instead embrace them. This mindset has kept our friendship strong for years, even through the challenging pandemic, going without a year of seeing each other. There is no void to be filled by not meeting, as we continue to interact online, regularly. We share the same jokes we used to face-to-face. It’s as if the pandemic never happened. Our lives remain unchanged. Furthermore, I learned to only expect the unexpected in our almost inconceivable friendship.

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