by Danna Colman and Thom Garrett
He was in Montana fishing while she was in Beverly Hills shopping. He was a mountain boy, and she was a city girl. They were an unlikely match. If they had met at a party, they might not have spoken more than a word or two, but they began to talk through their personal essays. After that, what had seemed highly improbable, didn’t seem so unlikely at all.
What is it that attracts us to another? A pretty face? A warm smile? Maybe it’s chemical, an unconscious response to an unnoticed scent. They had none of that. Still, somehow they both noticed a connection with each other and felt they had known one another somewhere else, maybe only in a dream. In fact, she did dream of him one night. He was on a long road trip from North Carolina to Northern California. She dreamed he was lost and stopped at her house to wash his dogs and take a shower. In her dream, she handed him a towel through the bathroom door and caught a glimpse of his bare legs on the wet floor. She told him about the dream but didn’t mention that she thought she might have seen something else, too, something that embarrassed her.
She liked him. She liked the way he wrote about his wife — the love of his life — who had been gone for almost two years. His words touched her heart and made her sad — for him, for his wife, and for herself. As a couple, they had had what she had always wanted — that special true love that she had only read about in fairytales.
But at that point in her life, she had given up on all that. In fact, it had been five years since she had decided that she was over it. Over men. Over marriage. Over ever thinking that there might be some perfect partner in this world for her. She was happily done with it all.
So what happened next was unexpected. This man who loved the sight of a rising trout, who cooked on a campfire and slept under the stars, and this woman who loved Broadway musicals, dinners out and slept in expensive hotels made contact.
It began with personal essays on Medium — honest and sad. They were drawn to each other’s stories and the broken heart behind the words. Each would respond to the other’s latest tale, never dreaming that their words were traveling beyond the anonymous computer screen to spark a tiny…