At the time, he called it a ‘chemical reaction.’ Two elements that, if kept separate, nothing would come to pass but once combined would provoke an irreversible, extraordinary change. An encounter between two people that could change the world, though, must be something much more powerful than mere chemistry. It has to be caused by something far more powerful than chance.
More than six billion people in the world, each one of them brewing incalculable possibilities inside them, possibilities that would only multiply once they crossed paths with another person brimming with just as many possibilities. Many of those encounters very likely might never lead to anything more than a graze, a faint bumping of molecules, the softest disturbance in the air, before each one of them goes on their foretold path. Only a few encounters in a lifetime will leave their mark; they’ll signal, perhaps, a fork in the road, a change of direction, a new universe of possibilities.
And in the course of history, the encounters capable of altering the expected course of fate must be the strangest, the hardest to come by. With over six billion people spread out all over the world, it’d be impossible to even attempt to calculate the infinitesimal odds of such an encounter taking place. An encounter between two people meant to provoke such a chemical reaction that could change everything.
If just one of those variables was modified, if just one step had been taken into a different direction, such an encounter would have never taken place. The pieces of the puzzle falling into place as to pave the way towards such an encounter: can such thing be explained just by statistics or chemistry?
Does he run the risk of being labeled a romantic if he calls it a ‘miracle’?
A gym might be somewhat prosaic as the scenery for the extraordinary to arise; a high school boys’ volleyball tournament can hardly be considered awe-inspiring.
And yet, he feels it to be so when he sees such a small-looking boy, so deceivingly frail, running up for a jump and as his body stretches in mid-air, he can almost see the black wings unfolding towards the ceiling. The ball seems to become an extension of his hand, and then it reverberates as it bounces against the wooden floor on the other side of the net, so fast his eyes can barely glimpse it. The amazement doesn’t dilute no matter how many times he sees it, always finding a new aspect that manages to leave him open-mouthed as the crowd lets out a collective gasp, their gazes drawn like magnets to the boy in the jersey with the number 10.
A chemical reaction requires two elements though, and there it is, the tall boy pushing his dark fringe off his forehead as he dries off his sweat with the back of his hand. Blue eyes meet hazel ones, and he could swear he sees the electric current that seems to connect them, an identical grin of triumph drawn on their faces, a perfect symbiosis in every single one of their movements. Their bodies seem to move in a gravitational pull of their own that draws them closer. And maybe they’ve learnt to move in step with the rest of the team, maybe Kageyama has stopped being the “King” to match the other members of Karasuno, perhaps Hinata does no longer depend exclusively on Kageyama’s tosses to score. But none of Karasuno’s other combinations appears to his eyes as perfect, as organic as theirs; none of them make him think of chemical reactions with the power to provoke irreversible changes.
Hinata could have taken another turn with his bike that day, so he would have never known such a fascination with the Small Giant; he could have not gotten enough people to take part in that tournament in his last junior high year. The organizers might have picked any other combination; Kageyama could have swallowed his pride and gone to Seijo instead of Karasuno. Sawamura-kun could have made a different call; the spark might have never been ignited.
But unknowingly, both of them followed for years the impulse that would lead them to share the same gravitational orbit, despite all the other unexplored paths they could have walked on. And perhaps, for many it’d sound too romantic, perhaps it sounds somewhat silly.
To him, it’s still nothing short of a miracle.