Remember Topher? Cayden's best friend? He was with Cayden when we met way back when. I'd always joked with him about how I was going to set him up with a beautiful American girl so he, too, would have to suffer through a long-distance relationship. It's true what they say about misery loving company, you know. But I couldn't just hook him up with anyone. Topher isn't just another cute guy with a British accent. He's real. He's genuine. He's one of those people you meet and think, "why aren't there more men out there like you?"
When I found out I won the Cosmo Blog Award, Topher's the one who called me from his work phone so I had someone to freak out with. Cayden was on a plane and it was 4 am in Texas, so it wasn't like I could call one of my friends. He listened to me scream and hyperventilate and maybe even cry a little. And as soon as I'd shut up for a second, he told me how proud he was of me. He truly meant it.
Needless to say, I couldn't just set him up with anyone. It had to be someone who also gave off that genuine-good-person-vibe. I'm not trying to say that all of my friends aren't genuinely good people, because they are. But you know the type. I had to find someone with a positive outlook on life. Someone adorable. Someone who wouldn't take advantage of his nice-guy quality. Someone who truly cared about people as much as he did. Someone who was passionate about not only her career but also her hobbies.
I found her when I started my new job. Her name was Kate and she was tall with long, beautiful wavy red hair and a permanent smile on her face. Not one of those cheesy smiles, but one of those smiles that said, "The glass isn't half-full; it's overflowing." She was so adorable I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her everywhere with me. She was excited about life. My first week of work, we were at happy hour and she said, "Your boyfriend lives in London? Lucky! My 5-year plan is to move there. I'm in love with London."
"Want an adorable British boy to help move that plan along? I'll get you one!" I said it jokingly, as if I could stop by the Sexy Brit Supermarket and pick one out for a good price. She half-jokingly nodded. I made a mental note to hook them up, but the timing was all wrong. Topher had a crush on a British girl and Kate had just started talking to a guy she met at a bachelorette party (he wasn't AT the bachelorette party. He just happened to be at the same bar). "One day, I'll hook them up," I thought to myself. Even if nothing came of it, even if they just became penpals or ended up hating each other, I had the strangest urge to introduce them to each other.
"So, remember when I said I'd get you a cute Brit?" I asked her one day at work. She nodded eagerly.
I gestured to my computer screen where I had one of Topher's photos pulled up.
"Are you serious?" She asked. Her cheeks turned dark red in a matter of seconds. "He's beautiful. Who is that?"
"That's Topher. Cayden's best friend. I think you two should start talking. You know, just for kicks."
I hadn't even asked Topher if I could hook him up, but Cayden and I decided to move forward with our sneaky plan anyway. We gave Topher Kate's email address and then we waited. And waited. He didn't email her that day. Or the day after that. But the day after the day after that, Kate had an email from Topher waiting in her inbox.
They talked about their career aspirations. Their dreams. Their families. Religion. London. Texas. Uni. Movies. Everything under the sun. It was like I'd just found two long-lost best friends and reunited them and they had to catch up on everything they'd missed.
It felt familier. Very familiar. The look on her face when she'd tell me about the emails, the way her eyes lit up, the way she blushed at the mention of his name. She was me two and a half years ago. She was me when I met Cayden.
"I just can't explain it," Topher said to me a few weeks later. "I feel like I've known her for years. She's so easy to talk to. I truly enjoy chatting with her."
Emails turned into text messages turned into Skype dates turned into phone calls. Topher was staying up until 3 and 4 am to talk to her. Kate admitted to waking up in the middle of the night and checking her phone for an email from him. To this day, I still do the exact same thing. I even check my phone for emails from Cayden when he's here. In my bed.
"So, don't tell Kate," Cayden said. "But Topher bought her a Christmas card. I'm bringing it when I come down next week."
"So, I'm thinking about giving Cayden something cheesy to bring back to Topher," Kate said the next day. "You know, something lame like a jar of Texas dirt or something random like that."
"I don't know how you do this," Kate said. "I just want to hang out with him. But he's 5,000 miles away!"
Misery loves company. I had company.