What’s stronger? True love, or soulmates?
Strings
CHAPTER
2
The Other Boy
I’ve been able to see the Strings all my life. It took me awhile to figure it out though. But the thing that really helped was my parents.
See, they didn’t have a string.
It took awhile for everything to fall apart. Several years actually. I was seven when it all went to the dogs, I still hadn’t told anyone about the Strings, I still didn’t understand them back then.
So imagine little seven year old me, seeing people connected by Strings. One heart to the other, soulmates and I didn’t even know it. Sounds confusing, right? Well trust me, it was.
When my parents started fighting, I got scared. I had heard of parents who broke up from some other kids at my school, but for whatever childhood fairytale magical reason, I figured my parents would never do that.
Long story short: I was wrong.
After they split, my mom got custody of me, and she started dating a year later. It took a little while but she finally introduced me to a man who had a String from his heart to hers.
Then one day I asked her if she loved him. Do you know what she said? yes. Then it all just clicked.
The first person I told about the Strings was my best friend. Leo Knox. I had fully been expecting him to call me crazy and run away. But by some miracle that’s not what happened.
And maybe that’s part of the reason I fell for him. And oh boy did I fall for him. Head over heels landing flat on my face I fell for that boy. But there’s no String connecting us. And I understood what that meant. I understood we were never going to be together. And it killed me.
There’s something about knowing. Knowing that no matter what happens it’s impossible. Knowing that no matter what happens, he’ll never love me back. Something so angering and frustrating. Like who decided that? Who gets to decide what happens to us? Who looked at me as a baby and thought, hey, you know what? I’m gonna make her life extra hard!
All those times he asked me if I saw his soulmate anywhere, it was like a knife to the chest. A slash to the heart, and another, and another, until there was a big, gaping hole where my heart belongs. It left me wanting to scream in his face I’m right here! I am right freaking here! But of course, I never did.
And so on that day that I met the boy on the bus, I knew what that meant. And I didn’t like it, hated it even. Because over all these years, I’ve never stopped loving Leo, the boy who’s destined to love someone else.
A secret I’ve never told anybody: I know who Leo’s soulmate is. She goes to our school, and the first time I saw her, I steered us both in the opposite direction.
It’s selfish, beyond selfish. It’s stupid, and mean, and cruel. Who does that? Deny someone the person they’re supposed to love forever?
But I think I would probably do it again. Take him away from that girl, as sick as it makes me feel, because a part of me never wants to let go. But the rest of me knows I’ll have to one day.
Funny how things like this work, hey? We think we’ve got a choice, we think we get to choose who we’ll end up with. But the truth is, we never have any control over it at all. And most people don’t even know it.
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