5 years, 7 days, 14 hours
Alfred jumped up from his seat, knocking over the soda on his desk when his knee hit the underside of the table, but he ignored all of that. Instead, he stared at the underside of his left wrist in amazement. It had finally turned on; his biological clock.
"Mom!" he shouted as he skittered out of the room, heading towards the staircase. His eyes were still trained on the watch embedded in his arm even as he ran down to the first floor. The green numbers were finally alight, reflecting off of his glasses. "Mom! It turned on! My watch is on!"
Mrs. Jones stopped washing the dishes to look over as her teenaged son barreled into the room. Her husband, Mr. Jones, stood next to her with the dish towel. They both smiled widely with open arms.
"Oh Freddie, I'm so happy for you!" his mother exclaimed as she enveloped him in her arms.
"It's only five years away!" Alfred exclaimed.
"You'll just be out of college, then," his father said as he ruffled Alfred's hair. "That means there's no excuse for you to not study during school, young man."
"Well, how can I finish my homework today?" Alfred pulled away from his mother to look at the clock. It hadn't changed any. His heart hammered in his chest at the green light. "I just want to watch it."
"Trust me, you'll get tired of looking at it," Mrs. Jones said with a chuckle. "But, let's go out for ice cream to celebrate!"
5 years, 7 days, 12 hours
Alfred kept staring at the watch with a wide grin on his face. He lay on his back on the sofa with one hand behind his head, feet propped up on the armrest, and finished ice cream cup on the nearby table. He watched as the numbers finally changed from 13 hours to twelve. His heart was still pounding in his chest.
"Soon," he whispered to himself. "Soon, we'll no longer have to be alone. I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait to love you."
3 years, 4 days, 9 hours
"Freddie, have you seen my calculator?" Alfred's roommate, Ivan, asked. "I need it for class."
"Oh yeah, sorry. I was using it." Alfred swiveled around in his desk chair and handed it over. "I was calculating the exact day I'm meeting my soul mate."
"Oh yeah?" Ivan looked like he wanted to bolt out of the room as he was nearly late for class, but he spared a moment to hear what Alfred had to say. Living with the man, he knew that Alfred loved to chatter on and on about his soul mate and the future he had planned for them. "And when is it?"
"May 14th, three years from now." Alfred pulled up his laptop's computer and moved it three years ahead. "See? Right there. I wonder what I'll be doing then. I wonder what she's doing then."
"Meeting each other," Ivan replied hastily. "Why don't you put that kind of time and energy into doing your homework?"
Alfred waved him off. "You're gonna be late."
Ivan was halfway down the hallway when he shouted, "You buy dinner tonight! It's my birthday!"
Alfred hardly paid him any attention. He just continued to smile at the small grey box that indicated May 14th, three years from present. To him, it was the most important day in the entire world.
1 year, 5 days, 3 hours
Alfred lifted his hand up to glance at the underside of his clock. He grinned; excited to see it was still shining brightly.
"Jones?" Alfred stood up with a straight back and tense shoulders. A young woman appeared at the doorway to the office where other interviewees had come and gone from. She didn't smile as she looked at Alfred. "Right this way."
Alfred followed the woman. He tugged on the tie and sleeves of his suit. It was only his third time in such a formal outfit, and he certainly wasn't used to it. However, he was aiming for a good job. He had to if he was set to meet his soul mate in a year. He wanted to have a good standing job and able to provide for the future.
Yes, he thought. Let's do this for the future. Let's be the best we can be.
1 day, 7 hours, 45 minutes
Alfred smiled confidently. He fixed his hair in the mirror, adjusted his glasses, and wiped at the stray toothpaste on the corner of his mouth. The energy building up within him was unbearable. He was only one day away from finding his soul mate. The past few weeks had been agonizing, more so than the past five years. Sometimes he would scan crowds on the off chance he'd see them earlier, and his clock would beep earlier than its time indicated.
Wouldn't that be cool? he often thought. Even today he couldn't help but walk a little taller, speak a little more professionally, and look at all of the office ladies as if attracting someone new to approach him on the off chance they were destined to be his. But it won't happen. Not for one more day.
He had already met all of the office ladies, and while many were sweet and attractive enough, he knew they weren't his soul mate. He didn't need a watch to tell him that; he could feel it. There was no magnetic attraction, nothing that slowed down time, nothing that made his entire being react to just knowing that this other being was another part of him; his other half.
That was what the watch was for. Humans were too silly and stupid to know when they had found true love, so their internal clock had become external. There would be no second guessing, no miscommunication of affections, and no ruining chances. It certainly made dating easier.
Alfred looked up from his paper work, and then smiled at the young woman that was peeking her head around his cubicle entry. "Hey Angelique. What's up?"
"Are you free tomorrow?" she asked with a smile of her own. She came around and into his cubicle. "I created a group on Facebook for a party tomorrow night after work. I moved into my new apartment and I'm throwing a house warming party. You wanna come?"
Alfred bit his lip. He looked at his wrist watch. Angelique glanced at his arm. "Something wrong? Oh, your time! It's almost up!"
"Yup!" Alfred beamed. "Tomorrow. I think!"
"Oh! Maybe it'll be at my party!" Angelique's eyes seemed to sparkle as she imagined the supposed meeting. "There will be people there that I don't know and friends of those of us in the office. And my neighbors! It could be any one! Oh, this is so exciting! You have to come!"
Alfred was laughing by now. He leaned back until he was sitting on the edge of his desk. He looked fondly at the watch with the familiar green numbers still shinning at him. "Okay, okay. If it's before the party, though, I'm not coming."
"No fair! I wanna meet your soul mate!"
Alfred's cheeks pinked as he ducked his head. "W-well, I'm sure I'll bring her around the office a few times."
"So, do you have a type? Angelique asked. She looked down at her own wrist watch. It was still a few years off. "I have mine. I hope he's rich and handsome and treats my mom right. You know, she's sick. So if he wants me to move in with him, he has to bring her too."
"I'm sure he would." Alfred sighed as he leaned his head back, looking up at the florescent office lights. "No, I haven't thought about what I'd like my soul mate to be. I've just… I just can't wait to meet her. She'll be everything I've ever wanted. I know this because, well, she's my soul mate. We're made for each other. So, no matter what kind of person she is, I'll love her regardless."
It was silent for a moment before Angelique let out a loud, dreamy sigh. "Oh, Fred. I had no idea you were such a romantic!"
Alfred's ears burned. His blush had spread all the way down his neck by now. "W-well… You know…"
"Ah, boss is coming. See you tomorrow?" Angelique began to skip down the way, looking over her shoulder for Alfred's reply. He gave her a nod and a smile.
2 hours, 8 minutes, 13 seconds
It had changed to hours and seconds without Alfred even realizing it. He gawked at himself in the mirror of his apartment. He looked a downright mess with wide eyes, sweat appearing on his brow, and little color to his face. While he had spent all of these years in a constant state of pure excitement, it all boiled down to pure nerves in the last few hours before his predestined encounter. And then, the what-ifs started.
What if she thinks I'm ugly? What if I spill something on her? What if she takes one look at me and runs away?
Alfred stood stock still, horrified, in front of his mirror at that last thought. Could someone reject their soul mate? Was it even possible?
Suddenly, Alfred's cell phone rang. It sat precariously on the edge of the sink. He snatched it up and saw that it was Ivan. They were carpooling together to Angelique's apartment.
"Are you ready to go?" Ivan asked. He sounded a little drunk already.
Alfred's nose crinkled as if he could smell the alcohol from his end. "Dude… Who's driving? It better not be you."
"Relax," Ivan chuckled. "It's Gil. We're outside your complex."
"Oh!" Whew. "Ok, I'm coming." Alfred hung up and, with one last look at himself in the mirror he said, "It's do or die."
1 hour, 52 minutes, 40 seconds
"So why is this such a big deal?" Gilbert asked after having listened to Alfred ramble about meeting his soul mate tonight. "I met my soul mate already. It's not like we married on the spot."
"I know that." Alfred puffed up his cheeks childishly in the back seat. "It's just… Well. I've been waiting for five years."
"Mine started about eleven years ago," Ivan chirped from the front seat. "Try dealing with that. And I still have 4 more months."
"That's rough, buddy," Gilbert said sympathetically. "But seriously, Al, it's not as if your entire life will change upon meeting this chick. You won't want to jump into anything right away. It's best to take things slow. Don't scare her off by jumping the gun."
"But she's my soul mate."
"She's a human being." Matthew, Gilbert's quiet room mate, said suddenly next to Alfred. "She may be destined to be with you, but that doesn't mean she wants to right now. You're both young. You can know each other first. You'll have the rest of your lives to be together."
Alfred slouched in his seat, feeling his nerves growing larger and his excitement fading away. Looking out at the passing scenery did nothing to alleviate the change of his mood.
0 hour, 45 minutes, 6 seconds
Alfred kept hovering near the door, watching everyone who walked in. He had planted himself there with his cup of water nearly all night, barely really partaking in the party. His friends from the office tried to get him to join in on the fun, but he couldn't explain why this was such a big deal. He had to see his soul mate.
"Are you okay, Al?" a girl asked, obviously annoyed he wasn't paying her any attention. He glanced at her wrist watch; 3 years. He looked away. "You seem…distracted."
"Oh, nothing." He flashed a grin at the girl. She smiled back, but it didn't reach her eyes. "Just waiting for a friend."
"Is he cute?" she asked. She sipped her drink and folded her arms across her chest.
"Um, I'm not sure. I hope she's cute."
The girl rolled her eyes and walked away. Angelique, who had been hovering nearby, fluttered across the space and joined Alfred by his side. She smiled up at him when he noticed her. "Chill, you have forty-five minutes left."
"I know. I can't help it." Angelique giggled. Alfred looked down at his full cup of water. He doubted he could drink it right now. "So… you have anything to get my mind off of this for the next forty-five minutes?"
"Well, you could talk to people." Angelique waved a hand out at the people who were already mingling with one another. "Or, you could dance. There's food on the table over there, and I think some guys are setting up beer pong on my balcony if you want to join."
Alfred grimaced at the idea of food and beer entering his system. His heart was already choking him and his lungs were heavy with the weight of oxygen. Food or alcohol would only make him vomit. Chatting with strangers wouldn't help alleviate anything, as he had just witnessed with the girl. Perhaps dancing would work. At least, it would provide his arms and legs with something to do other than nervously twitching or rocking his body back and forth as if he were unstable.
He put his cup down and offered a hand to Angelique, "Wanna dance? It's my last time to do so before I find my girl."
Angelique giggled and accepted. More and more people joined them, crowding around Alfred and immersing him in the music. The volume got louder. Alfred forgot time and soul mates and promises to the future and jitters and his fears.
Then, his watch beeped.
Alfred nearly flung his body around as he looked over towards the door. No one came in. People milled about, dancing around near him, hanging out by the kitchen, hugging the walls, waiting in line for the bathroom, and most certainly not looking for their soul mate. Alfred grew desperate as he began to look at everyone in the near vicinity. He'd already been around them for some time, and not one of them had made his watch beep. Most of theirs were still ticking down.
He tore away from the crowd and scanned the party. There was no one. He didn't see a girl that caught his eye and strode across the room to introduce himself as his future wife. And, since he hadn't kept an eye on the door, he didn't know who he had greeted before and who he hadn't. Given that no one looked like the one, he was truly at a loss of what to do. His heart was sinking faster and faster the longer his wrist watch was blank and the longer he stood there, alone, looking foolish.
Angelique came over and tapped Alfred on the arm. "Are you okay? You look sick."
"She's not here…," Alfred whispered in disbelief. He felt tears coming as his dreams slowly deteriorated. He had planned for this moment all of his life, adding more and more to his First Meeting for the past five years. And now, it amounted to nothing. "Something must have gone wrong. I think… I think maybe my watch broke. I have to go. I'm sorry."
Alfred dashed out of the apartment before he could hear Angelique's calm words or even tell his carpool he was leaving.
Early the next morning, Alfred visited his local doctor's office for a check-up on his watch. He was nervous as he fidgeted in the too white waiting room. It felt like all the eyes of the nurses and receptionists were on him, wondering what was wrong with him if his clock was broken. Was he some sort of anomaly? Was it really his watch? Or had something worse happened?
Soon after Alfred raced home from the party, he checked on numerous websites, both scholarly and not, on such an event happening. The results ranged from broken watch, to inaccurate timing due to changes in the soul mate's choices that affected the meeting, to the soul mate dying before the actual meeting. Alfred was chilled to the bone to think his soul mate had died while on the way to the party, however, there were no accidents on his way home and no reports of anything horrendous on the news. However, he couldn't rule it out.
Finally, it was time to see the doctor. First, she checked Alfred's watch with the usual machinery that checked the internal workings of the clock. Then, she asked Alfred what he had been doing upon the time of the meeting.
After he explained the party, his doctor smiled. "Alfred, did you know it's a common misconception that your clock will end on the first time you two meet, but it's actually the first time you see each other."
Alfred didn't reply right away, his eyebrows furrowing as he tried to digest that information. "So… you mean it's possible that she was there, but I missed her because it was a party?" The doctor nodded. "Well shit!"
The doctor chuckled as she placed Alfred's file on the counter. "Your clock doesn't show any signs of a malfunction, and the odds of your soul mate dying before the meeting are rather slim. In my ten years of practice, I have never had such a thing happen, and my friends in the field haven't seen such a thing either. Of course, I'm not saying it doesn't happen."
"So, you're saying there's a chance?" Alfred asked, to which the doctor nodded. He brightened considerably. "All right!"
Alfred couldn't even wait to get to his car before he was calling Angelique. His heart raced with new-found spirit. Ideas were already formulating in his head of just how to find his soul mate. Hopefully, this time it would work.
"Fred?!" Angelique answered sounding slightly panicked. "Are you all right?! You left the party so suddenly! I thought you were sick!"
"So did I." Alfred quickly explained what had happened to him and what his doctor had said. Angelique gasped at the end of it. "Anyway, I need you help!"
"You do? How?"
Alfred got into his car, pulling his seat belt on with gusto. He smirked at himself in the rear view mirror. This renewed energy was truly a fire in his stomach. "You know everyone who was there. Can you make a Facebook group and invite them and ask them to invite those they invited to the party? I'll post the question at the top so people know what it's about. We gotta get the word out! My soul mate could be wandering around right now, lonely and sad because she thinks her watch is broken too!"
Angelique sighed loudly, but it didn't sound agitated or even put upon. Alfred started his car, aiming the air conditioning vents at his face. "All right. I'll start it and make you an admin. I really hope this works."
"Thanks so much! I'm sorry for bailing last night, but, you know, it was really scary!"
Angelique could only giggle this time. "I'll bet."
It took Alfred exactly two hours and thirteen minutes before he got a message from an Arthur Kirkland on Facebook.
I know whose watch expired at the party. If you'd like to meet, I will tell you.
Alfred leapt up in joy and did a short dance in his apartment, uncaring for the rather enigmatic message. The thought of why can't he just tell me now had crossed through Alfred's mind, but he pushed it aside as he rushed to reply.
Thanks so much! I'd love to meet! There's a small café right on the corner of Angelique's street. We could meet there, if you'd like!
Alfred sat on the edge of his seat while he waited for this Arthur to reply. He did exactly two minutes later.
Yes, that sounds quite fine. I shall be there in fifteen minutes.
Alfred was at that same café exactly fifteen minutes later. He didn't sit or even step onto the outside patio, but rather, bounced on the balls of his feet, hands in his pocket, as he looked at his now dead watch out of sheer habit. When bored or nervous, Alfred had done that for the past five years. Soon he wouldn't have to wait anymore.
"Hello?" Alfred lifted his head at the curious voice that had spoken softly near him. "Are you Alfred Jones?"
The man that was before him, Arthur, Alfred remembered, was slightly shorter than Alfred with messy blond hair and bright green eyes. He was wearing a nice pair of slacks and a soft green sweater vest over a plain white shirt. Alfred thought it was a little too hot for such a get-up, but he shrugged it off. The man was cute in his own way, but that was about all Alfred thought of him.
"Yeah! Hey! Nice to meet you! Thanks so much for coming!" Alfred shook Arthur's hand vigorously with a bright smile. "So, um, where is she?"
Arthur's polite smile faltered. "She?"
"Yeah! You said you know who my soul mate is. So, is she not with you or do you just know her number or something?" Alfred looked around the vicinity with a bright smile. Maybe she was just shy. That was so cute.
Arthur hesitated before replying. He looked down at his shoes. "Oh, um… Yes. She's…my sister."
"Y-yes." Arthur looked back at Alfred. His cheeks were a little pink, and he couldn't look at Alfred in the eyes. "Her name's Alice."
"Alice…," Alfred repeated. He smiled up at the sky. "That's such a cute name… Is she here?"
" 'Fraid not. She's out of the country." Alfred's mouth opened to ask a question, but Arthur was quicker. "She's gone back to England to visit family. We are English. She'll be gone for…a month."
"Ah geeze, well it's family and all. I understand." Alfred's own smile didn't seem too damaged by this information, but he puts his hands in his pockets. "Why didn't you go?"
"Ah, well, I have work." Arthur looked down at a watch on his right arm. "Ah, speaking of which, I must go. I have a meeting."
"It's Sunday," Alfred stated flatly. "Who has work on a Sunday?"
"Mine," Arthur retorted a little too quickly. Alfred shrugged him off until Arthur began to walk away.
"Hey, wait!" Alfred called. Arthur stopped. "M-maybe we can hang out again sometime soon? You know, get to know one another? We'll be family soon enough."
Arthur's shoulders flinched, as if he was laughing to himself, and then he turned. There was a soft smile on his face, but one that could easily be missed. Alfred felt strangely thrilled to know he had actually caught it. "Yes, I suppose that is true… Well, I have your number. I shall give you a ring when I am available."
"Sweet!" Alfred gave the Englishman a thumbs up, and then Arthur left.
Alfred didn't hear from Arthur for nearly a week. When Arthur did call, Alfred answered on the second ring. Briefly, he wondered if he had any information on his sister, Alice.
"Hey Arthur!" Alfred exclaimed. "How've you been?"
"Ah… All right. And you?" Arthur sounded different from last week, almost quieter and maybe even a little bit sad.
"Long week, you know. Wanna get a bite to eat? Or, do you have a meeting?" Alfred actually did want to see Arthur and just talk. Maybe, along the way, he could get to know Alice from her brother.
"Sure. That sounds lovely. Perhaps at the same café, then?" Arthur suggested. They agreed to meet up around one o' clock.
Alfred tried to shrug off a feeling that something wasn't right.
Arthur wasn't in a sweater vest this time. He was in a ripped black shirt with dark pants and spiked bracelets. Alfred had to do a double take at seeing the man, so different from the last time. Others in the outside patio of the café had to as well. Some looked concerned and uncomfortable. It was obvious that Arthur didn't care for their opinion as he took a seat at the table Alfred was sitting at. He almost looked angry.
"H-hey…," Alfred said slowly. "I, um, I like your outfit."
"Thanks," Arthur replied curtly. He was looking over the menu.
"Are you okay?" Arthur's eyes snapped to look over at Alfred. "I mean, you look tense or angry. Did I do something wrong?"
"Not at all." Arthur returned to reading the menu. Alfred wasn't convinced.
"I mean it. If there's something bothering you, you can tell me." When Arthur remained quiet, Alfred leaned across the table. For a fleeting moment, he almost took his hand, but having no idea why he had such a notion pop into his head, he didn't act upon it. Then, he noticed Arthur's clock was blank. "HEY!"
Arthur flinched, startled by Alfred outburst. "What?"
"Your clock! It's run down!" Arthur glanced at his clock, and then his cheeks flushed. "So, you found your soul mate! That's great!"
Arthur shrugged, his attention returning to the menu. "It's all right."
Alfred's smile fell. "What…? Just 'all right'? Is something wrong?"
"No." Arthur was hiding his face behind his menu by now. "Just…leave it, ok?"
In a few moments, Alfred's smile returned. He thought Arthur's reaction was rather adorable. But then he decided to change topics. "Hey, so why're you dressed like that?"
"Like what?" By now, the two had been given two glasses of ice cold water. Arthur took a sip of his.
"Like some kind of punk. What're you, fifteen?"
Arthur snorted into his drink, but then hid the smile with another frown. Alfred was surprised to find he wanted to see that smile again. "It's none of your business how I dress. I can dress however I very well please."
"Ok. But are you dressing like that when you see your soul mate?" Alfred smirked to show he was joking, and he hoped Arthur understood that. "Maybe that's why it's not so great. Maybe she thinks you're a little kid."
"Says the man with a Superman T-shirt on," Arthur retorted. His own playful smile began to appear.
Alfred proudly pushed out his chest. "Hey, superheroes are in right now, if you can't tell. In fact, have you seen that new movie?"
"I have not."
"Wanna go see it after lunch?"
Arthur didn't hesitate before agreeing and smiling warmly. Alfred sat back in his seat with an even wider grin.
They met for dinner one night. Alfred suggested it be at his place as Arthur mentioned quite often how messy his apartment was. He claimed it was all because of his sister, and Alfred said he understood. He didn't think Arthur was the type to be a messy person.
After that night, Arthur would come over for dinner quite often. Alfred enjoyed having him stay, and they'd play games or watch movies, or just talk. Alfred was surprised how easy it was to talk to Arthur. He'd tell him everything, staying up unnaturally late rambling about "this one time in third grade" and Arthur would give his own story of "this stupid cat I once owned". And they'd continue until Arthur had to go home and Alfred would plead for him to stay for one more hour.
Every time after Arthur left, Alfred would feel listless. Even if it was four in the morning, he'd wander around his apartment, trying to find something to do to distract him from this hole in his heart. He was bored. Everything seemed too ordinary. Arthur made everything exciting and new and wonderful.
Thoughts like that were becoming common place. It scared Alfred.
"No, his sister is my soul mate and he already HAS a soul mate!" Alfred told himself in the shower one morning. He looked down at the drain, watching the water swirl around before vanishing down the pipes. Then, it struck Alfred as something quite interesting.
"Hello Alfred," Arthur said pleasantly. Alfred opened the door and let him inside with a wide smile. The two embraced in a friendly way before Arthur headed over to the dinner table. "Did you have a good week?"
"Yup. Hey, so how're things with your soul mate?" Alfred asked all too casually as he slid up beside Arthur.
The man replied just as casually, "Oh, we're much better now. It seems we just had a bad spell there, but we're quite fine now."
"Really?" Alfred put a hand on Arthur's shoulder, turning him slightly. "So tell me, what's her name?"
"Who?" Arthur's cheeks were pink and he took a small step back.
"Your soul mate. You've never told me her name." Alfred stepped closer.
"It's not…you know…"
"What? Important? Your soul mate isn't important?" Alfred narrowed his eyes as he continued to walk closer. Arthur kept backing away. "Why is it we've never met? I think as a good friend of yours, and soon to be family member, I deserve to meet the woman who is to be with you forever."
By now, Arthur had backed up against a wall and Alfred was blocking him in. They weren't terribly close, but to Alfred they might as well be. He stared at the blush on Arthur's pale face. He seemed so much smaller now when he was scared and nervous. When he laughed or acted tough he was bigger and stronger. When he was open like this, he showed how vulnerable he really was.
Alfred stepped back. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…ya know, push and all. But… Well…"
No one spoke. Arthur put a hand to his heart to calm himself and Alfred stared at the floor, willing himself not to touch the red cheeks that were so close.
Then, "You asked me who 'she' is." Alfred looked at Arthur. The man was looking at Alfred with determination on his face and fear in his eyes. "When we met…That was the first thing that you interested you, the first thing you cared about. You didn't…want to know who I was or ask about me. You automatically assumed it was a girl…"
Alfred hesitated before speaking. It was true. When he first saw Arthur, all he thought about was how this person could know the woman of his dreams. Arthur was no one to him then, a nothing, even after he had learned he was the brother to his soul mate. He didn't care. And yet, slowly, over the course of the month, Arthur had become someone very special to him. When he laughed, Alfred felt as if the entire world was happy and full of laughter too. When he was gone, Alfred didn't know what to do with himself because he forgot, for a time, that he was one person and not part of someone else.
"You're right… I didn't… I'm sorry…"
Arthur stepped forward now, placing a soft hand on Alfred's shoulder. "Do you…now?"
"Yes." Alfred looked Arthur in those green eyes he saw even when the man wasn't here. Those eyes that haunted him in his dreams, and had all of his life, but he just never knew it. "Yes because…because I love you… You're my soul mate, aren't you? I knew…but I…"
"Hush now." Arthur leaned up to kiss Alfred. With just a brush of his lips against Alfred's, it was sealed. "Yes…you are my soul mate…"
"So, do you really have a sister?" Alfred was lounging on the couch with an arm around Arthur who sat beside him. After a few more kisses, the couple settled in for a quiet evening.
"Hm? Oh, yes I do, but her name is not Alice and she lives in Ireland. She's dreadful." Arthur shook his head and sighed. "I fear now that we are to wed one day you are to meet my horrible family. I must warn you now that they are not exactly the most normal of families."
Alfred laughed. It spread to Arthur who chuckled as well. "Don't worry about that. As long as I can be with you..."
"Yes..." Arthur shifted to rest his head against Alfred's chest. "You know...the day of the party and I didn't see anyone, I was heartbroken. I thought something had happened. I was terrified. Knowing my luck it had. So when I got the invite to that Facebook group and saw your note at the top, well, I was so happy I started crying."
"Is that why it took you fifteen minutes to get here even though you live, like, around the corner from Angelique?" Alfred kissed Arthur's hair. "I was the same. I went to the doctor and she told me it's when you see your soul mate."
"What a bunch of bollocks. These watches should come with instruction manuals or something."
The two were quiet for time as their show had returned from commercial, but once it fell back into more ads, Alfred spoke up again. "So, why is the first day you came all nice and made up, and the second time I saw you, you wore all of this punk stuff?"
Arthur stretched forward to grab his cup of tea that had long since gone cold. He didn't mind, taking another sip before replying. "Because that's who I am. I wanted you to know that right away. I may be proper and a gentleman, but I am also quite fond of the punk lifestyle."
"Say no more. I may look like one of those pop star boys who played sports in high school, but I'm actually a huge nerd who loves country." Arthur laughed at this and Alfred joined him, happy that Arthur wasn't repulsed by this knowledge. "I may not like everything you do, or even understand it, just like you with me, but I will still love you. We're made for each other. It's been written in the stars that Alfred F. Jones and Arthur Kirkland are soul mates, in this life and many more."
"Yes, yes." Arthur put his tea back and moved comfortably into Alfred's arms. He closed his eyes with a serene smile. "You are impossible..."
"Yeah, but you manage."
Hoshiko2's cents: I had started this a LONG time ago, mainly because of an old tumblr post floating around with this idea, but then other authors I admire wrote stories and I wanted to do the same. Then I kind of lost that spark. BUT! It was Iggycat's birthday recently and I know she did a version that I adore (It's called Thirty-seven, and was, amazingly, written for a friend for their birthday too!), so I finished this and dedicated it to Iggycat!