Sonder. The sudden inexplicable realization that everyone’s lives are just as vivid and complex as your own life. This thought passed through his brain, the meaning of it completely and utterly incomprehensible, unattainable, while the next moment it was understood, an explicable part of him;changing who he is and what he is becoming.
He looked around at the brightly lit and sparsely decorated diner, the appearance it exuded giving it the look of something from the 50’s; checkered patterns of red and white adorning the cream coloured walls and floors; despite it being 2014. The diner was exceedingly crowded tonight: groups of friends occupied whole rows, lovers snuggled against each other, hoping to glean some source of heat and a reprieve from the biting chill, waiters and waitresses weaving in and out between the tightly packed tables. And then there was him; sitting in the back corner, alone, eating sparsely; a burger, chips, a coffee and a piece of cake.
As he ate, he looked at these people and wondered, wondered what had brought them here tonight, to this place, where their lives would seemingly intersect and impact each other, changing they are and who they become. He wondered if it was ‘fate’, a word given to describe the things that man could not possibly believe without disproving everything it had worked for, or if it was their own choice, to come out tonight, to expose themselves to harm, to love, to warmth, to the chance of something new.
Whilst pondering sonder, a pretty young woman not much younger than himself, 26, walked over to him, holding her food on a platter. “Hey, could I please sit here?” the woman asked, a hopeful tone in her voice and a slight smirk on her face, perfectly accentuating her features.”There’s nowhere else to sit because this place is packed tonight.” Thinking of the opportunity to make a new acquaintance, or even a friend, he replied “Yeah, sure. Why not?” She graciously accepted and sat down and began eating. Sensing that this comfortable quiet might potentially descend into awkwardness, he asked her her name. She replied stating that it was Crystal. From there, they became more and more loose tongued, the man seemingly infatuated with her while, unbeknownst to him, she was slowly becoming infatuated with him.
After hours of speaking with each other, the diner finally emptied of all it’s customers, they were still talking. Finally deciding to leave, they packed up and left side by side. Walking into the crisp cold night air, he finally realised how surreal the whole night had felt to him, the chance that a girl as beautiful as her would ever approach him, that in itself was crazy. Or sonder… maybe sonder. The fact that every person there tonight, especially her, was just as important and complex, if not more so, than himself.