Three women share the rom-com worthy details of how they met their significant others.
Mark and I met at work. I was just making some copies in the copy room when he walked in carrying a big stack of papers. Our eyes met, and I fell for him right away. As clichéd as it sounds, I truly felt a spark between us. The copier had just spontaneously combusted, and the fire was spreading all over the room. My skin began to feel all warm and tingly as my shirt caught fire, and I tried my best to keep my cool in front of my new crush.
Mark tried to put out the flames by fanning them with his papers, which only served to fuel them more. He was so adorably silly. Pretty soon I was completely engulfed in flames. “The fire extinguisher!” I cried, unable to express myself beyond yells and wild gestures in Mark’s presence. I was never good at flirting.
I collapsed onto the floor. Mark finally got the fire extinguisher and put out the flames. “Nice to meet you, I’m Mark,” he said as he stood over me.
“Call 911,” was all I could say in response. I was so nervous I could barely get the words out. I spent two weeks in the ICU after that, but Mark was there when I woke up from my coma, holding flowers. He asked me out right then and there; it was so romantic. I told him that I’ll never forget how he saved my life. He told me that he’ll never forget the scent of my perfume that day: lavender, mixed with burning flesh.
It all started after I broke up with my crazy boyfriend, Joey. I had known Rob for a long time, and he finally seized the opportunity to take me out to dinner. He brought me to an Italian restaurant, which I totally forgot was owned by Joey’s cousin, Rocco, until we were sitting at the table. Rocco must’ve seen me with another guy and called Joey, because suddenly Joey appeared, pointing a gun at us. “Who is this clown?” he screamed, pointing at Rob. Before I had time to answer, the rest of Joey’s cousins came out of the kitchen and grabbed us. They dragged us outside and into a black car. “You’re both going to pay for this,” Joey said, his gun in my face. “You have no idea who you’re messing with.” Joey used to say that his family had connections to the mob, but I always thought he was joking. I should’ve suspected something when he told me that his family was in waste management and when he always complained that the Sopranos “wasn’t realistic.”
We were driving for what seemed like forever when finally, we stopped, and were dragged out of the car. I looked around. We were on some deserted pier in Hoboken. Rob and I were both thrown to our knees in front of Joey. We were shaking uncontrollably. “Joey, I’m sorry,” I said, trying to calm him down. “You’re completely overreacting-”
“Shut up!” he screamed. “Come on, Mike. I’ve had enough of these two. It’s time.” Mike, one of Joey’s minions, stepped forward. He was tall, with huge arms and a shaved head. I watched with a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach as he cracked his knuckles, did a line, took four shots of vodka, and did some weird breathing exercises. He then had this wild look in his eyes, like he could kill a man. And he did. He whipped out his gun and blew Rob’s brains out right there. I felt sick. I knew I was going to die. But then I noticed something: Mike looked pretty hot with that gun in his hands. He really wasn’t bad looking, just a little rough around the edges. I felt my heart begin to race even faster. With nothing to lose, I stood up.
“How about we get out of here, Mike?” I asked. Mike simply nodded. He then took his gun and shot Joey, Rocco, and the rest of the cousins. We dumped their bodies into the Hudson River, and rode off into the sunset.
My boss at the newspaper gave me an assignment to go undercover as a high school student. My job was to follow the upcoming campaign of Susan Jenkins vs. Fred Summers for student body president. “Just remember one thing,” my boss warned, “don’t fall in love.” That didn’t worry me. I knew my angle. Fred Summers was hiding something, and I was determined to find out what.
I was doing a great job blending in with the teens because I knew all their hip lingo. It was totes cray-cray how easy it was to infiltrate the school. But the more time I spent with Fred, the harder I found it to write a scathing article about him. I couldn’t believe it. I was falling for him! I couldn’t take the secrecy any longer. I told him everything—about how I was actually 25, how I was sent to write an article about him, and about that thing I did at Becky’s birthday party in fifth grade.
“Actually, I have a secret for you, too,” he said bashfully. “The truth is I lied about being able to put a pool on the roof. I needed something to spice up my campaign.” He sighed. “Do you hate me now?”
“Bro, I think you’re the coolest cat around, the flyest dawg this side of the Mississippi… Sorry, I forgot I’m not undercover anymore. What I meant was, I think I love you,” I said. “But how can we ever be together?”
He smiled. “Meet me on the top of the Empire State Building,” he said. I had no idea how that would solve our problem, but it was the most romantic thing I’d ever heard. But as I ran down Fifth Avenue later that day, I failed to look both ways when crossing the street and was hit by a taxi. In that instant, my life flashed before my eyes. I saw all my unfulfilled dreams. I still had two seasons left of Gossip Girl. How could I ever die without experiencing true love, and without knowing who Gossip Girl was? In that moment, I realized that I didn’t want to go meet Fred, who I barely knew and who also happened to be sixteen and gave off a strong Michael Cera vibe. I wanted to know all about the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite, marry my own Upper East Side prince, and open a massage parlor for dogs. With a jolt of determination, I picked myself up off the street. I deserved so much more in life, and I was going to make it happen.
So I jumped into the taxi that had just hit me. As fate would have it, in the backseat sat a guy who looked exactly like Chuck Bass if I really squinted my eyes and looked past his baldness. We drove to JFK, hopped on the next flight to Vegas, and got married by an Elvis impersonator in the KISS-themed Monster Mini Golf Wedding Chapel. It was even more glamorous than I’d ever imagined.
— KD ’19