CHENGDU, Sichuan: A married couple in China recently found out that they had unknowingly crossed paths nearly 20 years ago, thanks to an old photograph stashed away in a family album.
Mr Ye and his wife, Ms Xue, met and fell in love in 2011 in Chengdu, and have twin daughters - but the two unknowingly crossed paths in July 2000, when they visited the May Fourth Square in the seaside city of Qingdao at the same exact moment, Sina News reported.
Mr Ye made the discovery on Mar 4 while he was going through his wife's photos from her younger days at his mother-in-law's place to compare who their daughters resembled more.
Ms Xue had gone to the square with her mother, who had just undergone an operation three months earlier and wanted to visit the city to relax.
As fate would have it, Mr Ye, who was also at the square with a tour group, was there only because his mother had suffered from appendicitis after booking the trip and asked him to go in her place instead, according to Sina News.
Ms Xue, clad in a white dress, had taken a photograph in front of a large sculpture in the public square. The photo also managed to capture her future husband, dressed in a blue T-shirt and black trousers, posing for a photo in the background.
When Mr Ye saw that photo, he instantly recognised himself in it.
“I heard her mention before that she had been to Qingdao, while I also went to Qingdao and took pictures at the May Fourth Square. We didn’t know it yet," Mr Ye told Sina News.
"When I saw the photo, I was taken by surprised and I got goosebumps all over my body ... that was my pose for taking photos. I also took a photo, it was the same posture (as captured in Ms Xue's photo), just from a different angle."
Mr Ye subsequently managed to find the photo he took at the landmark back home.
He then shared his story on a social media platform, and it soon went viral. China Daily reported that many of Mr Ye's friends commented on how the couple was meant for each other.
According to Sina News, Mr Ye now plans to bring the family back to the same spot in future.
“It seems that Qingdao is certainly one of the most special cities (for us). When the children are older, we will go to Qingdao again and the family will take a photo again.”