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I loves me a coincidence. It makes me feel like magic exists. It leads me to believe that there is a higher power, playing us like Fisher-Price game pieces. I’m the one with black hair and lines instead of dots for eyes. But let’s get to the story, shall we?

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In my last year of university, I was invited to help out on a film. In my program, this happened a lot. You did it for the experience, but also the free food and the hangouts. This one was not a student film, though — you know, those blurry, edited-with-tape things where the director often appears naked on screen? This was being produced by an actual production company. Luxe!

First day, I show up to set and there’s lots going on. They’re painting an office at the mall to look like a police station. Everyone is drinking coffee. There are people with clipboards and headsets — HEADSETS! These people mean business. I’m impressed.

Very soon after I arrive, I spot a tall, extremely handsome guy. When I say extremely handsome, I mean like, the type of guy whom I immediately dismiss out of low self-esteem and self-preservation. I took one look at his flowy chin length hair, strong stubbled jaw, and intense dark eyes and thought, gawd, he must be so dumb. And mean. And he probably smokes. And has a girlfriend. Or maybe he’s gay.

The day got busy and I was occupied doing various odd jobs. I would notice the hot guy every once in a while, but ignored him because, as everyone knows, that’s the way to show you’re interested. Which I wasn’t.

At 1 o’clock in the morning, I was sent outside to guard the equipment truck in the parking lot. It was freezing, middle of winter Montreal. The assistant director told me that she would send out another PA to keep me company. Who should show up but Mr. Handsome, whose name I soon learned was Philip.

Philip was in his first year of the Film Studies program. He was articulate, polite, and friendly. He did not smoke. I found myself being won over and we started to chat with ease. Where are you from? Oh, I’m from there too. Where do your parents live? Oh, I know that area. Is that where you grew up? No, I lived in Such-and-Such. Oh really? Me too. What street?

Question by question, we were led to the realization that we had both lived on the same street when we were both very young. Shortly after that night, Philip talked to his parents and discovered that not only did we live on the same street, but his parents recalled buying their home from a Chinese couple who had had many houseplants. Cross-checking the story with my parents, they remembered that the man who’d bought the house from them had been in military clothing. His wife had been about to give birth to their first son.

200km away in Montreal, to have met after all that time was serendipitous enough to lead us to believe that we were meant to be together. 4 months later, we split up. And then, just a short 14 or so years later, through the miracle of Facebook, Philip and I reconnected.

Today, he is one of my closest and best friends on whom I depend greatly. I do believe there was something magical in the way that we were brought together that night. And something equally enchanting in how we came back in touch. Or maybe it’s just Facebook.

Originally posted April 19, 2012

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