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Fictory Stories

#BookbedFictory 022: ‘More Than Strings and Fate’

by Paola Aliedo
This year’s Fictory is for a cause. We donate P100 to a chosen beneficiary for every fic submitted this July. Participate here if you can. Enjoy this one!

Prompt: You don’t believe in soulmates but you’re one of the few people who can see the red string on their finger (red string of fate trope).

‘I finally found my soulmate!’

I shook my head as I read a comment from the Facebook thread I posted on our page last night. The hashtag #FindingMySoulmate became a trend and people around the world were posting their stories on how they found the one and thought they were their soulmates.

“Pity.” I couldn’t help but voice out my opinion as I continued checking their comments.

“Imbery!”

I frowned then looked at my back. “What do you want, Tash?”

She smiled sweetly at me before circling a date on my desk calendar. “Remember tomorrow is a special day to us. As a yearly part of our agenda, we have to cover the event.”

Not again. Can the world end tomorrow? “Can we skip this year?”

She lay her hand on my elbow. “Nope. I will be meeting my Tinder date during the event. I can feel it in my bones that he is one!”

I rolled my eyes. “You’ve been saying that for three years, Tash.”

She pinched my right cheek. “And for three years, your vision has been accurate. Look at Ma’am Chet and Dyna!” She gestured at our two colleagues.

Not a vision but more on seeing red strings for two people. I saw Ma’am Chet’s wrist connected to a string on her old enemy when we had an outing. A month after, they got married. Dyna bumped into a celebrity chef for an interview and they ended up partners in the kitchen. Last year, it was my spinster Aunt Voila who met the love of her life on a game show.

And now, Tash thinks it’s her turn for a happily ever after.

* * *

The cover for a Valentine’s event for one of our major sponsored brands was a success. I slumped at the bench. I glanced away from the couples around me because I could see some strings.

I was not a believer of love. I hated the word since my parents didn’t end up together forever. And I cursed February 14 as my doomsday.

Yet here I was waiting for Tash and her date to meet-up. I would be the witness of the beginning of their love story.

I was about to stretch my legs when Tash came out of a booth and tugged a guy. Poor him.

She pointed to the miserable man’s wrist whose face I could not still see. Yes, there was a red string and it was connected.

My eyes followed the trail. I frowned. I caught Tash who was waiting for my confirmation.

This was impossible.

I shook my head and ran away from them.

* * *

“Imbery?”

Thanks to this person, I carried this wrong spelled name for the rest of my existence.

“Dad.”

The smell of beer and cigarette wafted in my nose as I entered our living room.

“Dad, what is this?” I threw the empty cans and sticks into the trash can.

He beamed at me before patting the chair beside him. “I’m celebrating.”

“Today is not your birthday.”

Dad laughed. “My lovely Imbery. Your humor makes me young.” He touched his belly. “Daddy is getting married.”

“Come again?”

I was not against my father dating or meeting someone else because he had been single for 20 years. But marrying at his age? Not possible.

“I invited your soon to be stepmom and her kids tomorrow. I expect you to behave, Imbery.”

I hate you more, February 14!

* * *

‘I’m really sorry, Tash. But you and your Tinder date are not compatible.’

For the nth time, I deleted the message. I felt so guilty of my action yesterday and for not answering texts and calls from her.

I was about to refresh the page when I heard voices outside my room. They are here. I turned off the laptop and hurriedly went out to greet our visitors.

“Imbery, meet Lenie and her daughter, Verity.” Father was there when I closed the door.

“Hi!” I greeted them as politely as I could.

Our front door banged and we jumped.

“Sorry, that was my son.”

“Thank you for coming too, Eris,” Father said.

The stranger nodded his head. His sister chuckled at him before he peered at me.

He was about to open his mouth when a sudden light glowed from his wrist. I saw it and for sure he did because he was staring at the red string that connected us.

* * *

Dad decided to tour our guests around our house so I stayed in the garden.

I sat on the grass and touched my forehead. Eris was the guy whom Tash dated. And he is your soulmate, Imbery. No freaking way!

“Headache?”

Before I could react to his question, he sat beside me. “What are you doing here? You should help Cristoff in entertaining us. Hiding here won’t make you stop their wedding.”

My eyebrow raised. “I’m not a wedding crasher and it’s none of your business why I decided to be here.”

He smirked at me. “Any idea why we’re connected by this string?’

I shrugged.

“Do you want to cut it off?” I was shocked when I saw Eris holding a scissor.

“You cannot—”

There was blinding light that came out from the string and everything turned white.

* * *

“You are safe now.” Mom whispered to a kid who was crying. “Don’t worry, your Papa is coming.”

I heard a siren from the distance and a man embraced the boy.

“Papa, she saved me. Please help her.”

Mom twitched her lips. “Tell my baby that I love her always.”

* * *

I saw how my mother died and sacrificed her life for others.

And for the longest time, I wept for Mom. I released my hatred and pain to the world.

Now, I understood the string.

Mom connected me with the person whom she saved. She wanted me to be happy.

The fate and Universe were not playing tricks on me. Now, I was ready to open my heart and let love pour in. ☁️

Paola Aliedo is a Filipino Indie Author. Her works have been published in some book anthologies like A Time of Heists, Out of This World, Silver Linings and Virgo: Zodiac Chronicles.

2 replies on “#BookbedFictory 022: ‘More Than Strings and Fate’”

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