The Red Thread

Legend has it that love is a red thread, connecting the fingers of those whose hearts are destined for each other.

I know for a fact this is not true.

I closed my eyes for a moment, as I felt the strain of several hours of staring at a monitor. When I looked up, people were milling about as usual. As they did, several dozen gossamer threads of crimson fluttered about, following those whom they bound. They were invisible to the eyes of everyone else, except mine. Sometimes I see them slice clean through any obstacles that come their way. Sometimes they fail, and snap soundlessly in midair. Sometimes they wither away unnoticed... only to find other loose ends and meld with them instead.

My eyes followed a particular string, one whose end sat next to a plain golden ring. A wedding ring. Its owner was sipping her morning coffee, as she excitedly told a friend how her husband would be coming home today after weeks of absence. Her hand waved around, and I was vaguely aware of a few other red strands moving in unison. Most of them bound her to other hands in the office. One of them bound her to me. And -- I had checked -- none of them bound her to her husband.

As I watched, several strands broke off from her fingers, and new ones replaced them in an instant. And yet she felt none of it. I then looked at the lone strand on mine. It burned a blood-red path through the air, blazing past the people and objects between us.

Legend says that love is a red thread connecting the fingers of those whose hearts are destined for each other -- I know for a fact this is not true. "Love" isn't about who is meant for whom. It's about who is prepared to do what, for whom.

As I sat, the thread on my finger tightened, sending up a sharp pang of pain and nearly slitting my skin. I've had enough. I stood up, and followed the red thread. The scars on my other fingers cried out for me to stop... but who am I to refuse my fate?


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