“Do you believe in fate?” he asked, a twinkle in his eye.
“Yes… and no.”
“You’re not very good at straightforward answers are you?”
Em just shrugged, a slightly embarrassed smile curling up the corner of her mouth. He leaned forward and kissed her quickly, on that very spot, before she had time to react. Wrapping his arms around her waist he pulled her towards him.
“Tell me then. You can’t just give me a terrible vague answer and leave it at that.”
“I didn’t want to be too long winded.” Which wasn’t entirely true. She didn’t mind talking, it was more concerning that he would think she was ridiculous. Anyone else and she wouldn’t care. But him? His opinion mattered so much more.
“Em. I’m used to it.” She jolted out of her thoughts, realizing for the first time that she was sitting very cozily on his lap. Her face warmed and she looked away, anywhere but at him.
“Fine, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.” She paused a moment to collect her thoughts, or rather, to attempt to focus them on just one topic.
Wait. Did he kiss me?
She looked at him in shock, but he was the picture of innocence. She must have imagined it. Good grief. She was starting to lose her mind…. well. More anyway. She swallowed the sudden lump in her throat.
“Fate and destiny are tricky things.” She began, not noticing the faint sing-song lilt of her voice.He did, and smiled just a little as her eyes took on a dreamy quality. It was a different look from when she was thinking too hard about too many different things. It was so much more rare, there were no frown lines between her eyes and her lips weren’t pursed in concentration. She looked happily lost within her mind.
“Most people who believe in fate believe that no matter what you do, you will end up where you are fated to be. I think that is simply a lie that people feed themselves to make them feel better about their lives. If there is nothing they can do to change it, because it is destined to be, then they don’t have to try, they don’t have to dream and they certainly don’t have to fight for it. What will be will be.”
“But you don’t believe that?”
“No. I think in every moment of every day we have a choice. Every second we are shaping our lives and there is no one but yourself who determines how your life will turn out.”
“So you don’t believe in destiny?”
“No… I do. I don’t believe we have one all-fated destiny and that we will end up there no matter what we do. Your future is changing with every moment – where you end up cannot possibly be determined beforehand. I do think that there is one fate, one destiny that is meant for each person but most people never manage to discover it. They give up too soon or don’t try at all and at some point that destiny simply disappears from their future. I also think that it’s not always what people expect.”
“What do you mean – not what they expect?”
“Well sometimes when you look at someone, their supposed destiny can seem easy to figure out. Take for example a man who is extremely gifted musically. Those around him see him destined for what they think are great things. Playing for hundreds of thousand of people, gaining the admiration of a nation, fortune, fame… and perhaps all that is well within his reach. He could achieve it, and find himself desired and envied; but his destiny, his real and true destiny might be different. Perhaps he doesn’t chase down riches and the world sees it as a failure, maybe even he sees himself that way. He could have had it all! But time finds him living a simpler life, taking smaller gigs, playing at weddings, in orphanages, half-way homes. And suddenly there he is… not playing for adoration and to increase his own self-worth, but playing to brighten the lives of others. Giving them hope. Inspiration. Love. And being loved for who he is, not what he has.
Which would be the greater destiny?”
There was a long silence until finally she dared to look at him. At her movement he glanced up and smiled, albeit a little sadly. “I think you could change the world with that kind of thinking.” He said quietly.
It was her turn for sadness, “Perhaps, but the world doesn’t like to listen.”