Strings of Fate

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Chp 11

Shayla was laughing with the nurse when they arrived at Mercy Central. Like all hospitals, it smelt of antiseptics and bleach. The floors were unusually scruffed and the walls were a stark white unless you were in the kids’ area. The room was a private one and was large enough to admit several people. Her mother was already there while Shayla rested on the bed, with a neck brace and her leg up in a swing.

Yet she seemed content and when Aisha took a glance at the soulbonds, the realization hit her. The nurse was the same guy that was Shayla’s soulmate!

She could see the same radiant joy that she had witnessed at the mall seep from her sister and remembered Jeremiah’s words.“Think about your own happiness for once. I can guarantee you that the future’s not set in stone and that happiness is a moment gained. You can’t assure happiness for anyone.”

She glanced at Michael who was staring at Shayla, a strange glint in his grey eyes. His eyes made contact with hers for a minute and she could feel that deep awareness of the bond start up. She left the hospital room and walked the stairwells all the way to the roof where she sat down on the concrete ground and thought hard about what she wanted.

Was Shayla’s happiness enough to forsake her own? What did the promise matter if her sister could find men on her own? Why do I have to be so unhappy and give away my soulmate so Shayla can be happy when she clearly has her own and can make her own choices?

The stairwell door opened and Michael stepped through, his feet leading him to her. He always knew when she needed him and now was one of those times. He stood beside her not saying a thing but wishing he could hold her. He wasn’t sorry for kissing her as he did. Even now all he wanted was to back her against the wall and…

“Michael?” she whispered, not looking at him.

He turned to her in question. “Yeah?”

She turned her eyes to peer deep into his own. “What would you do for your happiness?” she asked him.

He sat beside her and gently reached for her hand, not breaking eye contact. “Anything.”

“Even if it meant hurting someone you loved?”

His fingers played with her hand, deliberately this time. “Sometimes we hurt those we love. It’s inevitable but would you rather be miserable for the rest of your life? Not knowing, not risking it all for your chance at happiness? I know this is about Shayla...and me. And I know you don’t want to hurt your sister. I don’t want to hurt her either but...what about us?”

Aisha sighed and turned her eyes. For a second blond hair and green eyes blinked into sight and Jeremiah stood before he was gone.”There is no us,” she replied, tears coursing down her face.

“I’ll fight for an us if only you’ll say yes,” Michael said, bringing out her ring and placing the case before her. He stood and left her alone on the roof with her thoughts and a ring.

Jeremiah reappeared and sighed. “Aisha, come with me,” he said holding his hand out. She took it and then blinked back to Shayla’s private hospital room where Shayla was talking with Michael. She seemed frustrated.

“No. For the last time no Michael! My work is important to me. I have to leave as soon as possible! How can the damn nurse understand me better than you!”

Michael stood calm but Aisha knew he was simmering and Shayla was only pushing him away further with the talk of another guy.

Jeremiah pointed to the red bonds between them. There weren’t many left and what was left was quickly threading and changing color and back. She was watching the disintegration of a relationship before her eyes.

“Where’s Aisha?” Shayla spat surprising everyone in the room except Jeremiah.

“Why?” Michael asked, alarmed. “She has nothing to do with this.”

“She has everything to do with this! I’ve seen the way you two have been going out behind my back! What the hell is going on!”

Michael covered his face with his hands. “This isn’t the place to talk about that Shay. You’re hurt and”

“I’m going to put you in here beside me if you don’t answer me!”

Michal sighed and nodded. “Fine. We were shopping for your engagement ring and I fell in love with Aisha while she was helping me.”

“What?” whimpered Shayla as she fell back on her pillow, tears in her eyes.

“I went to get you a ring and fell for your sister, but she has nothing to do with this. She’s only ever thought of you.”

“Get out!” screamed Shayla and as they parted so did the last red strings. Aisha felt the last twang fall through the air as Shayla cried into her pillow.

Jeremiah turned to Aisha. “Michael’s made his choice. What will be yours?” He snapped and Shayla’s bond glowed. The nurse appeared at the door ignoring them and entering the room to check on Shayla. Aisha knew somehow all would be well.

She turned from the door and ran in the direction Michael had gone. He’d gone up the stairwell to the roof. She dashed up the stairs, taking them two at a time, and slammed the hospital roof open. He stood there silhouetted by the tall buildings around them and the setting sun. A few stars could be seen shining their light down upon his form.

Aisha rushed up to him only saying one word. “Yes!”

Michael turned grey eyes searching hers. Then a big smile lit his face. Their bodies wrapped around each other, and she threw her arms around his neck, kissing him.

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