Contemporary Fiction American

I am no prophet, oracle, or sage. I am just what many call an “observer of life”. Many people in my honest opinion walk this journey of humanity believing that destiny is controlled by them. They, themselves can make the reality of which they want to exist in and though I see why this idea is so attractive and riveting it is my fundamental belief that, it is a fallacy. A fallacy that creates a narrative of hardworking champions and lazy losers. Though I believe there are circumstances where an individual may believe they are making a choice that defies destiny, fate, or what one calls the plan that governs all things. It is my deepest proclamation that they are unknowingly being guided by fate. Think of a writer who writes his story and from the words he has crafted, his characters all fulfill his vision in between the covers of his masterpiece. The characters within the borders of the master authors all believe the trials, tribulations, battles and successes were won by their own wills and determination. Never conceding as they are mere pawns in the entertainment of the masses. And their struggles are only as big as the womb of paper and ink they were birthed in. I ask you why we are so narcissistic, egotistical, prideful, snobbish, and pompous to believe we aren’t like the fiction we consume? I see my words are touching your soul but aren’t convincing your mind. So let me tell you a story that will restructure your understanding of the forces that control this world, and help you realize human will is not one of them 

My young boy, on a cold winter day a boy just your age went to dinner with his mother. They ordered the same meal, and received it at the same time delivered by the same server. They laughed and enjoyed that meal as the two hadn’t spent much time together with one working and the other in school. The mother and son went home feeling full, when a few hours later the mother began to feel sick. She began to have aches all over her body and a queasiness plagued her. Her condition did not change by the morning, her body still reeling from an assault on her immune system. The boy was decently afraid for his mother’s condition, and opted instead for dinner to get some soup from the local restaurant to help calm her ailing condition. He wore his heavy jacket and made his walk to the restaurant. 

The cashier looked at the boy and gave him the total 

“$35.00 dollars for the two meals sir.” she uttered   

The boy fiddled in his pockets, finally getting a grasp of his wallet. Within it he saw that he had two twenty dollar bills. He gave the cashier the money and gave him a five dollar bill as his change. In a haste to get back home to his mother he placed the money returned in his chest pocket of the winter jacket. And made his way home. 

Fast forward a few weeks later it's a cold day in March, the weather has reverted back to its old ways, not realizing it should be spring time. The boy puts on his winter jacket begrudgingly and makes his way to school, attends his class, takes the bus to the train station, and waits for his scheduled train. Upon standing there waiting he notices a woman. Unsure if it was a mental disturbance, or an alcoholic intoxication he knew she wasn’t in a stable frame of mind. She eventually staggers over to him, with bags in hand. 

“Hi baby!” Eyes disturbingly wide open inspecting the young man. “Uh I don’t have any money– and I need to go home. Can you give me a few dollars, just a few.” 

The boy, not wanting to go in his pocket and take out his wallet for this woman to see, went into his chest pocket and took out a five dollar bill. The woman took the money and made an interesting request. 

Thank you, Can I give you a kiss?”  The woman's eyes fixated on the answer of the young man 

“No I can’t. I'm just getting over a cold, but thank you though” The boy made up the ailment. The woman nodded her head and disappeared. 

This young man felt an odd sensation, someone was looking at him. It wasn’t the lady but someone was looking at him. He fixed his gaze forward and saw the janitor shaking her head in his direction. 

“You shouldn’t have given it to her.” The janitor said in disapproval. 

“Why not?" The boy was perplexed by the janitor’s admission. 

“That lady was here when I started my shift begging for money! She has been here all day”. Her voice filled with chastisement of the young man.

The boy fell silent not saying a word. Feeling both a twinge of embarrassment as well as a bit of anger at being taken advantage of. And yet these emotions started to flee, feeling as though he made the right call in helping the woman. Pondering this decision, he makes his way up the stairs awaiting the train. The boy notices this same woman standing waiting for the same train. The locomotive screeches to a halt at the station and a rush of people are emitted from the train cars. A flood of bodies racing trying to get to their destination, a typical day at 4:00 in the afternoon. He gets on the train with all the other people and sits down. To his surprise and perhaps even his dread, the woman who he gave the money to sits directly in front of  him next to an old woman. With the noise of everyone speaking at the same time he could not directly decipher what their conversation was but all he could see was the older woman shaking her head in rejection. A couple sitting across the aisle noticed the commotion and the wife handed the woman three dollars from her purse. To which the interesting woman accepted gratefully. 

Eventually the conductor made his way down the aisle, punching tickets and greeting travelers. He finally came to the row of this interesting woman. 

Ticket ma’am?” He said arm outstretched to the woman. 

“Here ya go.” she handed the conductor her ticket.” He scanned the woman’s ticket slowly inspecting it. 

“Ma’am this ticket has expired three weeks ago.” 

The woman sifted through every pocket she could find in her bag to spot if she had any extra money. 

“I don’t have that much money,” she said gazing deep within her pockets 

“It’s alright let me at least ring up exactly how much your ticket will be. Where exactly are you going Miss?” 

She paused and thought about where she needed to go. 

“Huntington Park station,” she uttered. 

The conductor waited, punching the numbers in his device so he could draft a price for her journey. The device which was the size of a phone began to ring. Alerting him, he drafted the price. 

“ It’s 8 dollars ma’am,” the woman with a sigh of relief gave the money to the conductor and he went on collecting and punching tickets for the other passengers.

I see the shock in your face, boy. This story isn't fiction, it's the truth. And the reason why you haven’t questioned me on it is because you are the boy in this story. Your mother was sick, you bought her the soup, and it was in your jacket that you had the remaining change to give to this woman. And on that day you were shocked that the money you gave this woman plus the money given by a loving couple was the exact amount that she needed to make it home. 

The fear plastered on your face asks me how do I know these things to be true. For I already told you I am an observer of life. But now I have one last short story for you, my boy. One that will dry the cement that I have laid down as the foundation for my principles. Destiny didn’t put me here by accident. For today you see a homeless man, but yesterday I was a marine. Even further yesterday I was a student at MIT. You think my current state today is because I willed it to be this way. No it is fate that has put me here. It is fate I tell you! If this is not true, then tell me boy what is real on this earth?

Please my boy don’t run from me, I haven't finished my story, please! The man’s voice begins to trail off as the young man he spoke to ran from him in fear and nervousness. For he was also accepted into MIT and he also considered joining the Marines to pay off his debts. Was he dreaming or was it real? You decide.

May 06, 2023 19:58

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Marty B
04:08 May 16, 2023

I really liked the first paragraph, and this line 'The characters within the borders of the master authors all believe the trials, tribulations, battles and successes were won by their own wills and determination. '


Pres T
20:02 May 16, 2023

Hey Marty! Thank you, if it’s believable I spent the most amount of time on that first paragraph.


Marty B
03:12 May 17, 2023

And you did a good job!


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Andrea Doig
14:19 May 14, 2023

Ah Fate’s hand. She is devious like that …. (a line from my own story this week!) Intriguing little story. Indeed for us to decide 😁


Pres T
12:51 May 15, 2023

Yes ma’am most definitely🙏🏾.


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