A girl sat at the edge of the dock, her toes dipped in the cool water. Her complexion was dark and her hair and eyes black, the same as her mother and sisters’ before her. Her mother was a traditional woman of incomparable beliefs, teaching her daughters lessons of fate. Amani accepted this, waiting patiently as destiny swept up her sisters. But it had never returned for her.
Behind her mother’s shadow stood her father; a gentle man, bent by age and the domineering will of his wife. He had a large, gap-toothed smile that crinkled the corners of his eyes. He always encouraged his daughters, and spent many nights placating their fears.
That afternoon Amani received the phone call that had prompted her to leave the confines of her apartment and textbooks, and question her beliefs.
Her mother’s authoritative voice relayed that her father had stage four cancer, but they shouldn’t worry as it was out of their hands. Grief and rage swelled within her heart. He would not be there to see her in a beaded wedding gown. He would not see her graduate University. What kind of fate was this? Her vision became obscured with tears, the lake and surroundings blurring together. She imagined her mother and sisters’ disapproving expressions at her behavior; tears were to be saved for the privacy of the home. However, her white walls had trapped and suffocated her until she could not stay any longer.
Footsteps creaked across the planks. A man sat down beside her. He had thick black hair and large brown eyes framed with long eyelashes. She recognized him as one of her neighbors, though they had never spoken. He handed her a tissue and looked out at the lake without speaking. She mopped the tears from her face.
“The lake is beautiful this time of day.” He had a deep, melodic voice.
“This is the first time I’ve seen it.”
A smile transformed his features, and though she searched she could not detect the hint of pity she suspected. It was getting dark, but the darkness wasn’t all encompassing; there was still the moon’s silver light, and the dancing stars in the sky. The man held out his hand.
Trivial are matters of fate as she takes his hand with her own strength. His fingers are warm against hers as she unwittingly rewrites her destiny.
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