It's a sign

Submitted into Contest #103 in response to: Write about a character looking for a sign.... view prompt

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Fiction Inspirational

“It’s a sign,” I told my best friend Cara excitedly. The cutest guy in our sophomore year, Jake, had been assigned to sit next to me in Biology class, and surely we were meant to be. In my teenage mind, we would be a real life Edward and Bella. 

“It doesn’t mean anything,” she’d said and I’d laughed at her for being so pessimistic. Later when he asked me out, I rubbed it in her face, but I suppose she got the last laugh when I caught them in bed together two years later.

“It’s a sign,” I told my sister over the phone, pushing back tears. “I’m not meant to be a lawyer.”

She sighed. “Be reasonable, Aika. So what if you didn’t get into the school you want? You’ve got accepted into three others. Go to one of them.”

I shook my head. She wouldn’t understand. But I did. I always understood the signs and so, to the shock of all who knew me, I left law behind for a degree and job in business.

“It’s a sign,” I told my neighbor, Haji, as we waited for the bus. 

“Eh?” Haji was half-deaf, so I repeated myself.

“What’s a sign?”

“This rain,” I said, indicating the downpour around us. It had been perfectly bright and sunny this morning, but the weather had done a complete 180 in the last hour.

“Ah yes,” Haji nodded sagely. “Rain is a sign of God’s mercy.”

I shook my head. “No, Haji. It’s a sign that this blind date is a bad idea.” A coworker had set me up with a friend of theirs, but it was already clear that it wouldn’t work out.

Haji stroked his long white beard and eyed me critically. “You are rather stupid,” he says as a matter of factly.

I’m offended. “Excuse me?”

“It does not rain only for you.”

“Whatever,” I huffed. “I’m going home.”

I was soaked all the way through by the time I reached my apartment, and my coworker got mad at me for cancelling last minute, but I was convinced that I did the right thing. The universe had already shown me once that I wasn’t cut out for romance, and the fact that it rained today had only cemented that in my mind.

“It’s another sign,” I said to my reflection. “I’m a failure.” Two days ago, my car had broken down. Yesterday, I’d heard that Cara and Jake had gotten engaged. And today, I’d been fired from my job. Five years of loyalty and hard work had meant nothing. One argument with the new management had led to them telling me to pack up and get out. 

My face crumpled up, and I hated how it looked but I could neither step away from the mirror nor stop the onslaught of tears.

How could I have failed so badly at everything? I lived in a crappy apartment, I’d lost my job, I couldn’t afford to get my car fixed and the two people that had betrayed me were living their best lives. 

A thought crossed my mind, a fleeting idea. But it picked up strength and became a decision. After all, all the signs were pointing me in that direction.

“I need a sign,” I whispered, staring out at the deep blue waters. “I don’t want to do this.” My feet wobbled as I stood at the edge the bridge. All I needed to do was take one step forward and it would all be over.

One step.

But maybe I was a coward. Or maybe Hajji was right and I was stupid, but I was waiting for a signal to tell me that I didn’t needed to do this. That there was still a reason for me to live.

I would’ve taken anything. A phone call from a friend. A stranger running to stop me. A UFO. Heck, even a gust of wind nudging me in the opposite direction.

But the night was still and quiet. 

There are no signs.

There was only me.

So I stepped…back. 

I didn’t want to die. And for the first time, that was enough of a sign for me. I scrambled off the edge of the bridge, onto solid ground and ran all the way home, not stopping until the door was shut and locked behind me.

The gravity of what I had been about to do hit me, and I ran to face my reflection again. “Listen Aika,” I said firmly. “No more.”

No more letting my superstitions rule my life. No more interpreting obscure signs as messages from the universe. From now on, I would follow my better judgement, and live my life how it was meant to be lived.

I’d reached a new low today, and I was determined to bounce back stronger than ever.

So I did it all. I signed up for a dating app and gave strangers a chance. I took post-baccalaureate classes and applied for law school again. I attended Cara and Jose’s wedding because I was curious to see if they really were happy after what they’d done to me.

And now, a year after the darkest night of my life, I’m a different person. For the first time since high school, I’m in a steady relationship. It’s only been six months and I don’t know if it’ll last. If it does, good. If not, then I’ll try again. I got rejected from my top choice of law school again, but I’ll be attending one that accepted me in September. As for Cara and Jose, I realized as I sat through their cliche, lovey-dovey wedding, that I simply didn’t care. In the end, their betrayal said more about them than it did about me. It was the closure that I didn’t know I needed.

With that, my story comes to an end. To anyone who reads it, this is your sign to stop waiting for signs. Go live your life the way you want it. Love freely, chase your dreams and most importantly, be happy.

July 23, 2021 12:15

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1 comment

Kyle Barratt
21:40 Jul 28, 2021

Nice story of self discovery, I'd just watch things like, where the your character jumps from the being in the apartment to standing on the edge of the bridge, the transition was slightly confusing, apart from that well done.


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