By Beth Winze
My feet faltered from underneath me. I tried to recover my poise as promptly as I could, but I felt my hands making contact with the concrete below much quicker than anticipated. I kept my hands in firm contact with the ground for a moment catching my breath, before turning to look at the cause of my graceless tumble. A taut, red string scorned me at eye level where I had collapsed. Of course, the strings were back. One day without tripping over the neon red strings would be a relief.
I looked to where the strings connected. A young boy sat on a bench with a girl similar in age. They could not have been more than seven. He had his chubby hands wrapped around an oozing waffle cone that dripped ice cream like a steady faucet. She was picking her scabby knees, laughing every time a drop fell into his lap. He would glower back in feigned loathing; but his stare broke into a smile the longer she laughed at him.
“If only they knew what the string connecting them meant”. I thought to myself. But in complete truth, they could not see the thing that tripped me. They only saw a clumsy woman sprawled out on the ground, if they even noticed me at all.
I slowly peeled myself off the sidewalk and brushed my hands on my jean clad thighs. I sighed looking back at the two kids one more time before turning back towards my destination. The day was hot and my stomach was growing louder than before. If I was to continue on, I had to find nourishment somewhere. A small bistro jutted out of the buildings, a quaint gold and red awning covering the entrance. I opened the door finding myself in a quiet little restaurant. I was getting ready to walk to the nearest booth when I noticed the tangled web of red strings hanging everywhere throughout the room. They resembled laser beams protecting a rare diamond. Couples and individuals laughing in booths, tables and reserved corners never even noticed how tangled their strings had become. One lady, nearest to me, leaned over and kissed her husband on the cheek. He smiled through his rugged beard, winking at her and kissing her back. A man at the counter, reading the newspaper, did not realize that his string was tied to the waitress serving the first couple. The waitress proceeded to fill his cup again but accidentally spilled the coffee down his front. He stood up abruptly and looked at her in shock. Apologies were spilled from her and he slammed the door behind him, breaking the string that had previously attached them.
All these strings were getting to me, so I hurried out of the door, yet again, tripping over strings of two people walking in the door. This time I maintained my balance and continued off into a sprint. I passed people with strings that were tight and strings that were completely slack, but they all had strings attached to someone in their eyesight, regardless if they knew it or not.
You see, I was cursed with the ability to see people’s connections to soul mates before they even knew. I was able to see their strings and who they were attached to. The tight strings showed that their heart already had acknowledged their soul mates, while the slack strings were people who had yet to discover their soul mates. But everyone I came across had a string connecting their hearts to another’s. I looked down at the skin over my heart looking at the tiny bump of red string immerging from my chest. No matter how long I searched the string would not make a connection to anything. At least if I had a connection I would be able to follow my string to the other end, the end where my soul mate connected to me.
Months later, something finally clicked in my heart. My string developed and I followed its lead. Constantly searching for the person who held the other end, but with little success. I followed it for years, letting it lead me to one person after another who only succeeded in cutting it off. Every cut was another wound on my heart that I had to heal. The Band-Aid wrappers in my pocket were increasing as was my scarring heart. My pain and heartache over trying to find the one person, who would hold my heart, left me in ruins and angst. I shut myself out from the world and refused to find joy.
One morning, I felt my string pull tighter. I stood up right away and followed its tug. I followed it for days. Whenever I felt like giving up, it would tighten again, only pushing me onward. This was it! I was about to see who I had been waiting all my life for. I turned the corner of a brick building, excitement nearly blinding me. At the end of the dark alley, I made out the faint figure of a person. I drew closer, feeling an overwhelming sense of relief, that this was the end of my searching. I approached the man standing there, but in an instance, he was gone. I looked everywhere, disbelief making home in my heart again. What kind of cruel world was this? I turned to leave when the string tugged. I looked behind me. Where the man had been standing, there was a cross. I looked up at its towering height to see a man on the cross. He was beaten and bloody and some sort of weedy thorns were resting on his forehead. His hands and feet were bleeding profusely from metal lodged in them, keeping him on the cross. My stomach turned, nauseated by the stench of blood and the sight of his helpless body. While looking at him, trying to figure out what to do, string flew out from his body. Pure white strings like nothing I had ever seen before. One linked with mine and I watched as this man’s blood stained my string red. In one instance I was overcome with a sense of untainted and whole love.
The love I had been searching for was connected to a stranger who died for me; a far-reaching love that no other man could ever offer me. I wound up my string and set off to bring other lost connections to the One who would complete them.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”