She locked herself in her room and refused to let me in. I knew she was going through some boy troubles and I decided not to make it more difficult by prodding her. Although, as any concerned mother, I wanted to help my daughter, wanted to hold her in my arms and tell her that everything would be alright. But she wouldn’t let me in. So I let her be.
Then one night, a few days after the incident, and when the puffiness of her eyes were reduced, we sat on the balcony enjoying the cool evening breeze. She turned to me and asked, “How did you know Papa was the one for you?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I just knew. If you ask me how, I can’t say. It was something that we both just knew.”
I let the silence play its part in our conversation.
“When did you and Papa meet?” she asked me.
“I was 12 and he was 14. And we just knew it. Am not saying it was a smooth ride, we used to fight, many times really seriously, but we just stuck on.”
“Do you believe in soul mates?” she asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said taking her hands in mine. “It’s not like you lock eyes or your lips meet for the first time and your soul mate will be magically yours. We don’t live in a fairytale world, sweetie. It certainly didn’t happen like that for us. But then again, somewhere we both knew there was something special. Of that we were sure.
Your soul mate, if there is such a thing, will love you for who you are. Not for the way you looked at the party or the way you did you hair or your laugh. But he will love you even when he meets you with your hair undone or learns that you actually snort when you laugh. Love you for who you truly are. And this doesn’t happen at first sight. How could it, since he barely knows you. This happens over time.
Also, maybe more than love or lovers, at some level, we were great friends, and we were at the same stage of life. I think that’s important. Sometimes when a person is more mature than the other or wants a more lover relationship than a friend, it might not work. A kind of balance is required. A balance that suits you both.”
“What about true love? Is there such a thing?”
I shook my head. “More than true love, there are many stages in a relationship. And each one is a form of love.”
“But what is it that keeps you going?” she asked.
I paused. I wasn’t sure, but I tried to explain to a girl who had all these romantic notions of love. These notions that could so easily be shattered.
“Maybe, at the bottom of it, there is respect for all these forms of love, from both of us. We know that there is something special, we respect it and will do all it takes to keep it.” I tried.
She sighed and smiled.
Love and relationships. These are complicated things. Things that everybody wants and wants magically and instantly. Things that are so elusive. But of this I am sure - soul mates just know it. They can’t explain it, but they know it deep down, and they know it together. But that is still not enough. You have to respect it. You have to work at it.