Part 1: Carpus
“Don’t you want to be happy, Shila? Don’t you think you need something else in your life?” my sister shouted at me. Her eyes filled with tears and slowly started approaching me. “Yes, but you’re better at this than me, Jenni! You’re great! Please don’t be upset!” Her skin started fading to grey and she extended her arms to me. “I just have to go to do something. Actually, I’m fulfilling my Carpus fate! Please, where are you going, Jenni!” I frantically tried to get a hold of her, but the last words she said was, “Don’t fail the family, Shila.”
I woke up with a start, heart pounding and drenched in sweat. I started doing a bunch of checks to keep myself from overthinking. My name is Shila and I left home three years ago to fulfill my Carpus fate. I’m living in Washington right now and I’m getting pretty close. I looked around my apartment and saw empty cartons everywhere. There were water bottles, take out boxes and papers strewn everywhere. I muttered, “My mom would kill me if she saw my room like this.” The last time I talked to my mom was a week ago and our conversation was extremely stiff. She just asked where I was and I gave her one worded responses. There were sometimes several seconds where our faces would silently be pressed against our phones with only an exchange of our breaths. My mom would finish the conversation off with a quick “I love you.” and before I had a chance to say so, the line was cut. I got dressed and had a quick bite of breakfast before heading to class.
When I first left home, I was set on proving to everyone that I didn’t need the fate to prove my worth but the more I ventured off, the more stories I heard of failed attempts to ditch the fate. I’ve heard about people’s hands suddenly falling off. I’ve heard about people’s wrists becoming engulfed in flames and being burned alive. I’ve even heard about people disappearing and never seen again. I immediately enrolled in a school after being on the road for a couple months. There was someone in my class named Maryrose, but I never got close enough to see her wrist. I just had a reverberating thought that this was simply too easy. By the end of the year, I still hadn’t talked to my sister, made a group of friends and wasn’t able to get close enough to Maryrose. She must’ve realized that I was in her class, but it was a big lecture class after all.
The following year, I was in a different class and it had less people. There weren’t that many people that we could introduce ourselves. I sat in the front of the class and I noticed that someone jumped when they heard my name. I looked back and saw a guy who couldn’t have been older than me. He made eye contact with me before glancing at his wrist. It wasn’t until he introduced himself with his eyes locked on mine did I realize that there was a match. As I walked back to my apartment, thoughts ran in my mind. My first instinct was to call my parents and tell them I potentially found my soul mate and enemy at the school I was attending. I just had to find out who was which, but the thing is that they would want us to meet and I wasn’t prepared to speak to my sister yet.
One day after class, I was going to grab some lunch before I ran into Maryrose again, drawing me close enough to see her tan wrist. I clearly bore Shila on her wrist and before I could say anything, she bolted from the restaurant, with my forgotten lunch left behind and my mission quickly drawing to an end. Eventually, I caught up with her in an alley. Her hands were on her knees, her chest was heaving and her glare was unforgettable. They bore through me and before I could say anything, she shouted, “I know who you are! Get away from me! I don’t want anything to do with you or the Carpus mission!” I slowly approached her and said, “Look, I don’t know if you’re my enemy or my soul mate. I also hate the fact that we have to do this, but let’s get this over with. If you’re my enemy then I’ll leave you alone. If you’re my soul mate, then let’s work this out.” I wasn’t sure if my words made any impact, but I kept approaching her. “Don’t come any closer!” she shouted, from her back pocket, she pulled out a knife. I thought to myself, if she wanted to have a fight, then I’ll give her one. I lunged at her and narrowly dodged her knife. I managed to land a couple hits on her, causing her to pause and smirk at me. “Come at me, bitch.” she muttered as she slices my arm. I scream in pain and leaped on her and we wrestled around in the dark and dirty alley. I managed to wrestle and kick the knife away and I sat on her stomach and before I could pummel her face with my punches, I heard a distinct shout. I looked over my shoulder and saw Lucius holding a woman’s hand. We stopped fighting and sat up. “Maryrose, I know I avoided you last year because I was also in the process of fulfilling my Carpus fate. I met Keara and I immediately knew that she was my soul mate. When I saw you, I knew you were my enemy and I was afraid.” Lucius slowly said. His words only started to register with me when I sensed Maryrose standing up next to me. She extended her hand to me and without a word, she pulled me in for a hug. Instead of feeling hatred for her, a new feeling erupted within me as I made eye contact with Lucius who smiled to me and then smiled to Keara. “How come you aren’t fighting me?” I stammered to Lucius. Maryrose nodded in agreement and added, “I always thought you have to somehow defeat your enemy. When I saw Shila, I just got the feeling to defeat her. Maybe the paranoia was getting to me.” Her sorrow filled look erased the hard feelings I had for her. Lucius laughed and said, “As long as you recognize the relations of the names, then the fate will be settled.” And from then on, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.
A month later, Maryrose and I share an apartment and each day with her is a new adventure. Sometimes Lucius and Keara would visit us and we would happily catch up. After that night, I glanced at my wrists and to my surprise and dismay; I found the names completely faded from my wrists. Since then, I had tearfully reconciled with my sister with a five hour phone call and we’ve visited each other many times afterwards. And from then on, I knew that everything was settled again.