Love in Lost Places – Proof-of-Concept

People told me that weird things happen in Baker City, Ontario, but I never really believed them until my second year at Baker City University.

“Just text her already,” Simon said, pushing the scrap of paper towards me over our hand me down IKEA dining room table. He tilted his head and smirked mischievously before passing his hands through his short cropped reddish brown hair. His dark skin was speckled with the most adorable freckles that mirrored the colour of his eyes.

“That’s impersonal. Shouldn’t I call?” I was stalling and we both knew it; nobody just called.

“Dude? Seriously. I go through all this trouble to get you the number of the only girl you’ve had a crush on since first semester and you won’t text her?”

He wasn’t wrong. She was in most of my classes and was one of those people who attracted the eye. She wore lots of colour, especially in her hair, and everything she did or said was the most important thing imaginable.

He also wasn’t right. She wasn’t the only crush I’ve had, but I don’t think he’d figured out that I liked him.

Taking my phone, he typed in the number and sent a text. “Hi Zoey”

We both sat staring at my phone waiting for a reply. It came faster than I expected. “I DON’T HAVE ANY FERRETS!”

Simon and I looked at each other confused and I picked up the phone to say, “It’s Harry… We have Can-Lit together.” I pressed send and then quickly added, “Just wanted to say hi… and I think I’m allergic to ferrets.”

“Oh Harry… Blond guy who wears a lot of plaid?”

“That’s me”

“Sorry about that. Someone keeps texting me about ferrets. It’s bloody annoying.”

I wasn’t sure what to say to that. My first instinct was to apologize for bothering her. While I hesitated, Simon grabbed my phone and wrote, “I was wondering if you’d like to go out for coffee sometime?”

“Sure, Meet at Café Nation on Bank at 4?”

“Great. See you there.” I shoved my phone into the pocket of my jeans to avoid Simon adding anything.

It was already three fifteen so after a high five from Simon I rushed to take a shower. As I got out of the shower I put on a fresh pair of jeans and my favourite red and gray plaid shirt. I ran out of the apartment convinced I’d be late.

I was a block away from Café Nation when I realized I’d left my phone in my other pants. I walked into the Café and saw the big coffee bean shaped clock read five to four. I wasn’t late, I was actually early. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself. The smell combination of chocolate cake and brewing coffee helped soothe me a little and I sat down to wait.

Five minutes after four she came in, her hair was fuchsia this week, and walked right by me. She was wearing a dark blue skirt with constellations on it and a white sweater. I stood up and walked behind her and said, “Hey Zoey. Can I buy you a coffee?”

Looking back at me startled, her brow furrowed, she opened her mouth to say something and paused. Finally her posture relaxed and she smiled. “Harry right? Sorry, I didn’t recognize you right away. I’ve been just so frazzled by this ferret thing. I’m so glad Simon gave you my number.”

We spent the next half hour chatting and having a great time. Around fifteen to five Zoey looked at her phone and said, “I have to call my mom. Something’s going on.” She stood up and walked to the front of the café. I took the opportunity to go to the washroom.

As I came out of the washroom Zoey was nowhere to be seen. I chatted with the barista as I waited. When she finally came back she’d tied her pink hair into a pony tail and changed her sweater.

“How’s your mom?” I asked.

“She’s okay. She just needed to talk it out. Sorry about flaking out on you. How about we go to dinner? I’ve had enough coffee today.”

That night when I finally got back to my phone I had an email from Zoey saying, “I had a nice time. Sorry I disappeared but my mom needed my help urgently. We should do this again sometime. Next time’s my treat.”

I also had a text from her earlier that day saying, “My mom’s freaking out be there soon.”

This all seems perfectly normal right? Boy crushes on roommate, oblivious roommate hooks boy up with girl; a typical twenty something romantic comedy.

Well, here’s where it get’s weird…

Simon typed in the wrong number, putting a one instead of a seven at the end. What are the chances of two women, going to the same university, were both called Zoey with a penchant for bright colours? I don’t know, but this is how I accidentally dated two women who had never met and were almost identical.

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