Fork in the Road

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Paths

Submitted: April 23, 2017

Reads: 124

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Submitted: April 23, 2017



Do any of us really have a choice in our fate?  Is our path just laid out before us and no matter what choices we think we are making, are destined to stay on course?  Or do we honestly get to pick?  In the end, does it even matter?  

The 11x14” poster on the opposite wall of the beige waiting room seem to think we have a choice.  The poster shows a fork in the road.  Nothing more.  Each road is well used.  Each road is sunny.  There are no gloomy trees or WARNING DANGER! Signs.  No ghosts or monsters lurking in the woods. Each road seems perfectly fine.  I find myself seriously considering which road I would walk down.  Would I flip a coin to make the decision? Would I choose left or right?  

I feel as though I’ve seen posters with forks in the road all throughout my growing life.  Usually these poster tell you what path to take though.  For example, in Mr. Shrant’s chemistry class a large poster shows two paths with street signs labeled Success Road and Failure Road.  That pretty much makes the choice for you.  Then there are those other posters telling you to be different and take the road less traveled. It always sounds like a noble idea, but now that I’m thinking about it why would I want to take the road less traveled?  Can’t I still be me and have the luxury of walking a paved road instead of a small forest path?  I bet there are more bugs on the small path.  I hate bugs.  I bet there aren’t any rest stops with vending machines for snacks or bathrooms.  What if the road less traveled is actually hard to navigate and my not so athletic body can’t make it to the end?  These are all things to consider.

But in this poster in front of me I have to really wonder which path I would choose and if indeed I’m really choosing at all.  They might both lead to the very same end.  I know they also say it’s all about the journey, but let’s be real here. I wouldn’t be walking down a road at all if I didn’t have a destination to get to.  And if one of these paths didn’t lead there, why would it even be an option?  

“Maggie Rherse?” calls a middle aged lady in a grey pant suit.  

That’s me.  Time to get this over with.  I stand up and smile politely. 

The lady extends her hand.  “Hello Maggie, I’m Dr. Bendel.  Let’s have a seat in my office.”  We shake hands for a brief moment and then walk into her office. 

She motions for me to have a seat in a large plush salmon colored chair.  She sits across from me in a similar chair, but hers has a little desk by it.  The desk has a pair of glasses, bottle of water and a pad of paper. 

As she is getting situated I look around the room.  There are various pictures of flowers and sea scape settings.  No pictures of roads though.  No pictures forcing me to make a decision.

“So Maggie, why don’t you tell me a bit about why you are here today.”  Dr. Bendel smiles sweetly, her voice is so soft and reassuring.  She must be really good at this. 

I take a deep breath in, my hands become a bit sweaty and suddenly the room starts to feel smaller.  “My mom and dad wanted me to come. I mean, they think this is a good idea, for me to talk about what happened...”  I trail off.  The words are stuck in my throat.  I don’t want to say them outloud.

Dr. Bendel nods and presses her lips together in a show of mock support.  “It’s okay Maggie, I know it’s hard.  Something happened to one of your friends, isn’t that right?”

I give a quick nod, yes something terrible did happen.  The picture in the waiting room comes racing back into my mind.  Which path would I have chosen?

“Which friend was it Maggie?”

Would I go left or right?  How far can I really see down these paths? Where am I even going?


Where was she even going?  Did she know what was going to happen?  What path would she have picked?  Did she pick?  Why didn’t she pick the right one?  

Tears prickled in my eyes.  Why did she do this?  How could this have happened?  

“To Jenna.” I croaked out her name.  The tears spilled over, they felt like they were burning my skin.  

Dr. Bendel silently handed me a box of tissues.  I took them.  Did Jenna have a choice? Or was this always her fate?


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