Fated To See

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“Turn left at the clocktower.”

I turned around, expecting to see children jumping rope to a new tune that went something like

Turn at the clocktower, now

The queen is waiting for you to bow

Jump one, jump two

If you’re late, your head will roll anew.

Children are odd like that;  you never really know what they are saying. Things didn’t need to make sense as long as they were the norm. In reality, I didn’t see a group of chattering, bubbly kids. No, I didn’t see anyone, and that was a lot scarier. I kept walking.

“You know, that clock tower that goes BANG-BANG and has the roman numerals that no one can really read? Yeah, turn left once you get there.”

There! There was that incessant voice again. I deviated into a paint-peeling alley with tattered cobblestones and spoke back, “Why do I need to turn left? Frankly, this is quite an imposition seeing as I wanted to turn right to go home.” I realize that perhaps that wasn’t the best question to ask. Maybe something along the lines of ‘who are you?’ or ‘how are you talking to me?’ would have been more beneficial… but, give me a break. It was a stressful situation!

“You’re going to do me a favor.”

I frowned, “What kind of favor?”

“The kind of favor that involves you turning left at the clock tower.”

I considered the proposition for a second. It was quite odd, not to mention that I still hadn’t seen the person who the voice belonged to. 

It’s a lot to think about. Life, that is. 

If I were to flatter myself, I would claim to almost understand it -- flimsily, tenuously. But reality is never as it seems. 

Just yesterday your life could have been as perfect as could be, with no regard to whatever choices you happened to make. 

The truth is much darker than that. 

Sometimes, I like to imagine where I could be -- anywhere but here. Simply looking at the wispy clouds that trailed my thoughts. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed by the idea that any choice of mine could lead to drastically different results. What if things didn’t need to be the way that they were?

I paced in the alley, thinking about what this could mean…but then again, is it truly so selfish to do something just for me, every once in a while? Maybe this could be my “big” adventure. 

It is said that no matter how far away some particles are, they will forever be entangled and affect each other no matter the consequences.

These are mine. 

I moved out from behind the alley and decided the only course of action was to turn left at the clock tower. I moved stealthily, with my head down. 

“I’m here. What now?”

“Do you see that suspicious looking man dressed in white like a knight out of a movie?”

I scanned my surroundings for men dressed in white looking like they came out of a medieval book, but the truth was it was hard to see anyone that looked different in such a crowd. 

“Close your mouth. You look like fish. He’s coming to you, so just pretend to be good.”

What an offensive line, but honestly, I probably did look like a fish. A fish who was just told that a man was coming to me. It hardly seemed promising to be on the receiving end of whatever mysterious package I was supposed to be picking up. 

Worse things have happened, after all. 

Then, like a child stretching for the stars but instead catching only a white soccer ball with their face, a package soared through the air and smacked me in the face. But I mean, who needs a good face, anyway? A pretty face, at that point, is only necessary to get away with a few trivial matters, like dying later and getting better opportunities, that I have no concern with. 

In the end, I held the rough, crinkly white package in my hands and stared. 

“What is this?” I asked after the man who already seemed to be disappearing into the crowd before I had even gotten a good look at him. 

“Something that belongs to me, but I’m giving to you. I’m sure you’ll make good use of it eventually.”

The voice sounded much closer than it had before. 

Her hand landed on my shoulder as she said, “Time to get explaining. This is a very powerful device. Open it.”

Unwrapping the device was the easy part, but actually knowing what it was supposed to be was stump worthy. 

“Annnndddd. I’m impressed. If impressed is even the right word.”

She rolled her eyes, “That was unnecessary of you. You know that right?”

I laughed, “So what is this supposed to do? Though I guess a more pressing question is, how did you even talk to me when you weren’t near me?”

One corner of her mouth quirked up, and she snatched my bag like a bear that had just smelled the most delicious salmon in the river. I tried to take it back, but she was too fast to even see. She pulled open the bottom most pocket that already had its zipper open and pulled out a small rectangular device with a speaker, and a microphone. 

“This,” she said, “Is the best invention since bread. This portable rectangle can translate our words into numbers that are transported via entangled qubits and out again through the speakers. Ingenious right? Entangled particles never lie. The other gift comes only with a warning: to open Pandora's box and see, you need only ask.”

Open Pandora’s box? I dream of parallel worlds, and in a way I already know I am in every world all at once. A culmination of my decisions and different worlds being the culmination of the decisions I didn’t take. 

“Fate is simply a choice turned on its head. You choose.”

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