Chukwukwe Eugenia Adaku
Fate is a cruel bastard who fucks with me every chance he gets. So imagine my surprise when one day, I bumped right into Fate while I was walking, and knocked him to his feet. I didn’t recognize him at first, and so I helped him up. He smiled and said. “Thank you,” and only then did I recognize the son of a bitch. I grabbed his collar and pushed him against a wall nearby, and he let out an “ungh” when he fell against the brick facade. “FUCK YOU,” I roared into his face as he turned his head away, trying to avoid the rage emanating from my gaping mouth. “What makes you think you can keep jerking me around, huh? What gives you the right to try to control me? Why can’t you just leave me the FUCK alone?” Fate cringed as I spat out this last line and turned his head slowly back to me. His large and doleful eyes, a fiery green that glowed with intensity at all times, looked directly into my soul. “Think of it like this,” he said calmly with a slightly nervous chuckle, “I fuck with everyone. Don’t feel so singled out.” I snarled and removed my hands from his collar, letting him slide down the wall into a crouched position on the sidewalk. I turned around and looked away, disgusted by my actions and lack of self-control, but still seething from pent-up emotions. “You okay there, bud?” he called to me. “Just…just shut up, okay? Seriously, just fuck off..I’m tired of being led around like a dog on a leash, but apparently my desire to escape it all is even foretold for me. I don’t control ANYTHING in my life, not a thing, and I don’t even have the knowledge of what it is I’m supposed to do, who I’m supposed to be, where I’m supposed to go.” “Sounds like an existential crisis, eh champ?” Fate said, smiling weakly. I grimaced at him while I tried to compose my thoughts. Most people don’t have the chance to corner Fate, and while I did not want to let this chance slip past me, I couldn’t let myself do anything I’d regret. “There are only a handful of things in this world,” i began, slowly and
clearly, “that matter enough to me that I care–no, I demand –that they go exactly as I want. Not because I’m selfish,” I watched Fate nod his head in agreement, “but because these few things will make my life perfect and enable me to focus on fixing the lives of those around me, where a hole or a cut or a chip needs mending.” “Of course I know that. I watch you every day. I feel your thoughts and emotions and desires just as you do, only I nudge you into the right direction.” “But how do you know it’s the right direction?” I cried out. “What if you’re pushing me away from the things that make me complete and happy and whole? How can I be sure that what you have in store is what I want, what I need?” “Simply put, you don’t,” Fate said wryly, understanding my angst. “But I do. And I can’t make you believe me beyond your belief in yourself.” I pondered the meaning of that for a moment, and decided that it wasn’t worth pursuing. “Look,” said Fate, “I know that one of the things you want most–if not the thing you want the most–is happiness, bliss. Everybody wants that. But you want it differently than most people,” he said slowly, causing me to swive my head. “Oh sure,” Fate continued, “fame and fortune are attractive to you, but they don’t offer a magnet like this does. And that makes you unique. You could live life fully, completely, happily, gracefully, if you just had this. I see that. People the world over make empty assertions and promises that this is the one thing in life they need, but they’re lying,.deluding themselves. That’s not the case with you.” I was curious what Fate meant. He was obviously leading me into something, but I wasn’t quite sure what. “Love. I’m talking about love, champ,” said
Fate earnestly. “And girl, I’ll be damned if you don’t have a lot of it in you.” “So what? I want love more than anything else; I want to be loved and most of all give love more than anything else. There’s no way I’m unique in that sense. Besides, it’s not like I can ever recognize love myself, since you control it.” “You think I control love?” laughed Fate. “Dear girl, you are unfortunately misinformed. Love is as uncontrollable as Death, they exist outside of me. Sure, I employ them to look after each and every person, but the ways in which they operate are completely unique–I exert absolutely no control there. Death and Love, they’re uniquely themselves,” Fate continued. “In fact, why don’t you meet my good friend, Love?”
I turned around at the sound of clicking heels approaching. As I looked, my gaze rested on the most stunningly handsome man I had ever seen. He exuded an air of intelligence and charm, wit and kindness, which added dimension to his physical beauty. And to my surprise, he looked oddly familiar. “Well hello dear,” Love cooed gently, and I couldn’t tell if he was talking to me or to Fate. “Love, this young man finally caught up to me and has been asking all about his life.” “How about Death?” Love asked. “No, no, he doesn’t care about that. He tries to live without fear or concern of what comes later. Can’t you tell?” Fate gently chided Love. “Of course I can see that!” he said, smiling brightly. “And he wants to know what I have in store, don’t I?” Fate turned to me, indicating that I should answer. “Yes…yes, that’s right. More than anything, I just want to know that the love I think exists around me is true, isn’t fleeting or imaginary.” “You and everybody else!” Love chuckled with mirth. “But let me tell you something: all love is true. Some love is weaker or stronger than other types, but such is the quality of the material I work with: it’s imperfect. But the people with whom the bonds of love are shared, they determine the strength. They determine the flexibility, the strength, durability, the length and design of the love. I can’t do that for them.” “So…you’re saying I get to control how I use the love I’m given? Not you, not Fate?” “Precisely darling,” Love smiled brightly, her amber eyes ablaze with pride. “And let me tell you, I’ve given you a lot of love to use as you wish,” she said, winking coyly. “And what if I think I’ve found the love I need now? What if I know it? What if I need it, just want to know that it’ll be there for me all along, just as I want it to be? I…I just want to hear from Fate that I’m right in my belief now–that this is in fact what he has in store for me.” Fate looked down at his feet, and Love looked directly at him. “He doesn’t understand, does he?”he whispered to him, loud enough for me to hear. Fate shook his head. Love turned to me and spoke again. “There are some things in life, and in death, that only one
single being has any control over. And it’s not me, it’s not Fate, and it’s not Death. It’s you.” “Me?” I asked incredulously. “But I’m beholden to you three! I don’t control anything beyond my day- to-day routine, and even that’s directed by Fate–I just choose what I do to complete it.” “Look,” Love said, showing no signs of exasperation, “your issue is that you’re so concerned on breaking free of Fate, trying to run away from the path he has so meticulously and carefully–and conscientiously!–
laid out before you, that you don’t realize what’s really holding you back: once again, it’s you.” Fate lifted his head when Love said this, and smiled weakly. “She’s right, bucko. She and I don’t control every last thing. We can’t, it’s too much effort.” “If you want something, sweetie,” Love began again, “you have to chase it. You have to cast aside all doubts, because let’s face it–if you’re sure about something, if you can remove all the doubts and worries regarding something, then I promise you– Fate promises you–that it’s meant to be. Nothing is there to hold you back. It’s all in the plan, guaranteed, if you are completely sure in your own heart and mind that it is.” I smiled at Love, so kind and tender. I was beginning to believe what I just been told, and my confidence was ballooning. I looked at Fate. “Fate, I…I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry for what I did, for what I said. I didn’t…” “Shh,” Fate cut me off with a wave of his hand. “Not a problem. I’ve been accosted before, but never by
someone with the sense to actually listen to me.
Every other time, they’ve run off screaming and crying and cursing the universe for the cruelty of everything. Nobody has ever approached me rationally like you, and stayed to listen.” “Thank you,” I breathed. “But now I have to figure out how to overcome myself.” “You’re well on your way,”
Fate said, Love nodding in agreement. “Andl I believe once you do, I know exactly where you’re going to go and what you’re going to do.” “Wait, you mean…” I asked excitedly, but Fate waved his hand again to silence me, and winked. “Shh. Don’t tell anyone,” he whispered as Love giggled. “This time it’s a secret you know, deep down. I didn’t say anything,” he articulated with a coyness tinged with faux-severity. I looked down at my feet to hide my smile, and when I turned my head back up, wanting to continue the conversation, Fate and Love had vanished from view, but I could still feel them
nearby. I continued on my way, my mind clear, my heart full.