TOW It Is Just Fate

This plot is a tribute to two of my favourite films, 'Sleepless In Seattle' and 'You've Got Mail', but don't think along the same lines of the films all the time!


"I won't be able to make tonight," Joey told his roommate, Chandler, one evening, "I've got a date."

Chandler looked at his friend and rolled his eyes, "Well, if you have a date, you have a date." He said, sighing.

Joey looked at him, worried. "It's ok, isn't it? I can back out if you want…"

"No, no." Chandler interrupted, "It's alright…really."

Joey sighed with relief. "Thanks. Angela wouldn't be pleased if I stood her up."

"Angela? As in Angela DelVecio?" Chandler asked, surprised, "I thought you broke up with her."

Joey shrugged, "Yeah well, we've always been on and off." He opened the apartment door. "See you." He left.

Chandler sat down in front of the TV and sighed again. While his roommate was out having the time of his life, he was stuck inside with nothing to do again. Dates always come before a basketball game, he thought. I'd do the same to him…if I had a girlfriend that is.

Chandler tried to comfort himself with the fact that he wasn't the only man in America without a girlfriend. There was his other friend, Ross, who was going through a divorce. Then there was Rachel, who lived just across the hall and seemed quite happy being single…especially after running out on her fiancé at the altar.

While these thoughts ran through Chandler's head, Ross walked in.

"Hi, Chandler."


Chandler studied the expression on his friend's face. It wasn't happy.

"What's up?"

Ross spun one of the steel bars of the football table and looked at his friend.

"Nothing really. It's just this divorce."

Chandler nodded, sympathising with him. "I know."

"How can a couple be together for seven years, seven, and the wife suddenly DECIDES she'd rather be with a woman?" Ross lifted his arm and it fell back down. "Don't ever get married Chandler. It's a waste of time."

"You can't help but fall in love Ross."

Ross widened his eyes in surprise. "Did I just hear you say the words 'fall in love'? Your relationships don't even get to the 'are you an only child' conversations."

Chandler rolled his eyes, "I'm not that bad," he protested, "I do have feelings."

"I'm sorry." Ross apologised, "I realise that…I'm going to see Rachel." He sighed and left the apartment.

Chandler shook his head, feeling a combination of sadness and impatience towards his friend. Ross' scepticism of his feelings towards the word 'love' depressed him a little. He realised that Joey and he had a bad record when it came to women, but he always thought if he found the right person, he'd take the plunge and get married. Ross wasn't exactly helping his self-confidence.

He stared back at the TV, came to the conclusion that there wasn't anything decent on and turned it off. He was reluctant to go to the basketball game himself – it would be too boring without the presence of Joey, the big fan who could eat a combo of popcorn and hotdogs before half-time. A world record, he thought wryly.

He turned on the radio and the late-night presenter, Diane, spoke. "This is the part of the show where you listeners phone in with any problems you may have and I'll try to help you. Don't be afraid…call now." She paused then added, "If you're feeling a little shy, call this number and I'll read out the message you leave…"

As Diane read out the number, Chandler grabbed a pen and wrote it on his hand. As a song played, he grabbed the phone then paused. Do I want my problems aired to everybody? He thought. He dialled the number and got through to an answering machine. "Er…hello. This is…Tom."

Using the fake name, Chandler spoke clearly into the machine, trying to keep the message short. He hung up and waited nervously for the songs to finish. A few minutes later, Diane spoke up again.

"We have had a lot of calls in tonight! Thank you for all your messages. We've got one from a Lisa who lives in Queens. She said she's feeling guilty about running over her friend's dog. Well, Lisa, try not to feel guilty…I'm sure it was an accident honey!!" the presenter paused a second then said, "Now this message is interesting…"

Chandler widened his eyes a little, wondering whether the message was his.

"…This message is from a man called Tom. He lives in New York and he's feeling a little lonely. Here's what it says…get the tissues ready… I'm 24 years old and I feel like right now, I should have a girlfriend. Unfortunately, I don't. My roommate goes out on dates every night and doesn't understand anything about commitment and love. I have had problems with that myself, but I finally feel I'm ready to fall in love with somebody. To fall in love would be just…amazing. My friends don't understand. They've been through divorces and one didn't even make it as far as the other end of the altar. Please help me understand why I haven't met somebody yet…I'm not shy, I have a great home and job and I'm not boring! Help!" the presenter stopped to take a breath and then continued, "Well, Tom, the important thing is to be yourself. You sound like a great guy and it's a pleasure to hear somebody who feels ready to make a commitment…there's not a lot of you out there! Just hang in there…is there anybody else who is feeling the same way as Tom? If so, give us a call!"

Music started to play and Chandler sat back and sighed. He'd done it and gotten the advice…but now what?

The music stopped playing and the presenter spoke again. "Tom, if you're listening, we do have one message for you… 'Tom, we have never met, but I feel like I know you somehow! Your message touched me so much. As you said the word 'amazing', I said it as well…' Tom, this woman wants to get in contact with you. If you're interested, here's our special number…"

Chandler sat in stunned silence. For all he knew, this woman was insane…crazy. Yet, somewhere in his heart, he knew this woman was genuine. He wrote the number down…