Someday, My Prince Will Come — The Hope For A Fairytale Love Story

by Stephanie Hayman

Once upon a time, I was waiting in line at Starbucks, eagerly anticipating my triple grande, two-pump, nonfat, 180-degree, light foam, white mocha latte.

It was 7:30 am on a Monday and the throngs of customers stood dazed as they contemplated their drink orders while mentally preparing for the workweek that lay ahead.

Finally, it was my turn to approach the register. I exchanged small talk with the barista, handed him my gold card and proceeded to wait alongside the others for my morning cocktail.

A few minutes later, my name was called. I grabbed my latte and walked over to the condiment stand to grab a sleeve and stopper. All of a sudden, I felt hot coffee splatter all over me -- more importantly, all over my cream-colored dress.

Shocked, horrified and severely pissed off, I began blotting my dress as I heard someone softly whisper, "I am so, so sorry about that."

I looked up to see a beautiful man, clad in a button-down shirt, tie and black slacks. His inviting smile was the only thing that trumped his crystal blue eyes.

He ran a hand through his hair and scratched his 5 o'clock shadow before apologizing once again and helping me clean up his mess. "How can I ever repay you? Would you let me buy you a cup of coffee, say, tomorrow morning? Same time, same place?"

Naturally, his good looks and smooth charisma allowed me to quickly forget about the spots of Gold Coast blend that littered the latter portion of my dress. I complied with his request and we were set to meet at Starbucks on Tuesday morning so I could get my free cup of coffee.

As promised, he showed up the next day. He paid for my fresh brew, we exchanged numbers and from there, a new and exciting adventure began.

Once upon a time, I respectfully declined an invitation from my friends to go to a bar/club that we used to frequent during our college days. I was over that scene and had no interest in being surrounded by swarms of intoxicated individuals, most of whom were underage with fake IDs.

After hearing a combination of "Please!" and "We'll relive our glory days!" about a hundred times, I relented and we were off to take on the town.

There was a flurry of excitement as we waited on line to enter. My friends and I came to the conclusion that we would never meet any kind of decent guy inside and had decided to just live it up with no expectations attached to the evening's events.

As I waited at the bar, a fair number of creepers awaited me. They were all shady, at best. After 10 minutes, I finally grabbed my drink, but before I could turn around to walk away, I felt someone tap my shoulder ever so slightly.

"Do you want to dance?" he said. "No thank you," I replied and proceeded to walk away. Instead of being successful with my ice princess front, I looked up again when he said he wouldn't take "no" for an answer. He seemed genuine and I could see that there was kindness in his eyes.

When I said okay, and that he could join in on the dance fest with my group of friends, he threw me for a loop. He placed my drink down on the bar, grabbed my hand and led me out to the middle of the floor. Despite the DJ blasting a remix of Hardwell and Tiesto, we slow danced.

I knew he could sense the surprise in my eyes, but we both said nothing as we moved slowly to our own rhythm. It was beautiful and unexpected. Hordes of sweaty college kids getting their grind on surrounded us, yet it was as if we were the only two people in the room. That's how it all started.

Once upon a time, I sat in a lecture hall with 400 other students in my Chemistry 101 class. Not only did I hate science, but I also mourned the fact that the class and lab were at 8:30 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There was nothing that could motivate me to sit and learn about electrons, moles and the Periodic Table while listening to a know-it-all TA, who was only two years my senior.

I sat all the way in the back, cracked my gum, clenched my Red Bull and was anything but the consummate chem student. As I was in my daze, pondering what I would wear out that night, the guy next to me said, "Can you stop chewing like a cow and acting so immature? Some of us want to pay attention, here."

He raised his voice at me. He was demanding. Other people looked over and smirked. Suddenly, I felt my face turn red hot with embarrassment and anger. I couldn't even think of a good comeback, partially because I was taken aback by his nasty directness and partially because I would basically rank him as a 10.5 out of 10 on a scale of hotness.

For weeks, I admired him from afar with quiet curiosity. Who was he? Was he good at chemistry? Would there or could there ever be a romantic chemistry between us? So many questions remained unanswered.

Finally, midterms were upon us. All students piled into the lecture hall — all 400 of us. I took out my calculator, my freshly sharpened pencils and turned to grab a Scantron from the person sitting next to me.

"Hey, gum girl," he said. It was him. "Good luck on your midterm. When I busted your chops that day in class, I knew that you were smart and just needed a kick in the ass to pay attention. It was intentional; you're welcome." I just stared in awe, feeling my palms start to sweat due to our second verbal encounter and the approaching exam.

I did the only thing I felt was appropriate: I handed him a stick of gum and said, "Good luck on the test, you jerk." I smirked and he exhibited one of those half-crooked "yeah, I like you" smiles. After that, our relationship had more kinetic energy than a chemical reaction.

The above excerpts are stories of my personal encounters, but are mere interpretations of ideal meet cutes — the happenstance occurrences of meeting someone, dating, falling in love and the whole nine yards that are so hard to come by in this day and age.

If only it were as is easy as having coffee spilled on you, actually coming across Mr. Right in a nightlife atmosphere or being mocked by a fellow student, things would be much easier.

Someday, I want to be able to tell my children about the whirlwind love story that transpired between their father and me. I'm not asking for much; I don't need to leave my glass slipper on the stairs at midnight, turn from mermaid to human or get a magic carpet ride for it to be magical.

I just want a real, genuine love story that resembles a fairytale in a realistic sense. Something that isn't akin to "Well, Mommy and Daddy both swiped right; Daddy said, 'What's up?' and that was that."

Today, you have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet your prince — that's just the way it goes. Although this has and always will ring true, there is that glimmer of hope that the "once upon a time" with your soul mate is predestined and will seamlessly occur between both parties when the stars align and the time is right.

Do I wake up every morning with the hope that I will have coffee spilled on my dress? Or that the guy who always runs past my apartment at 6 am will ring the doorbell and proclaim his love for me? No. The hope for butterflies and rainbows isn't always realistic.

Let's face it: We all hope for our set of fireworks to go off and for our love stories to unfold right before our very eyes. We all want that perfect encounter and want that "meant to be" feeling to trickle through our bodies and ignite a fire within us.

When and where will our own signature "meet cutes" occur? Who knows, but one thing I do know is that we will all eventually live our own happily ever after.

The End.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It