The Soul Mate Seer
By Heather Ostler
Have you ever wondered if you have a soul mate? The one other person in the world who makes you complete. Maybe that one person is thinking about you, or maybe they don’t even know you exist. Perhaps they are searching for you, or maybe, coincidentally, you’ve already found them. My name is Alex Isle, and I know who my soul mate is. There’s only one problem—I’m forbidden to tell her or anyone else about our destiny together.
My family is the most normal family you’ll ever meet, except we can see into the future and we’re not allowed to tell anyone. The visions we have are rarely anything disastrous or life changing. Just small things like the winner of presidential elections, small shifts in the earth’s core, or whether or not our house is going to catch fire that day. Okay, so maybe our visions can be life changing. For me, however, there’s only been one revelation more important than any other: the day when I found out who my soul mate was.
I knew it was going to happen, my parents warned me about it. Every member in the Isle family experiences it when they’re in high school, though it’s not an exact age. My Grandpa saw my grandmother’s face in a vivid dream four years before they met. Parker, my father, saw his vision of a tall and beautiful brunette, who seven years later became his wife. And Sam, my older brother, knew when he saw a blonde girl at Lake Tahoe that they were meant to be together. He had seen her in a vision five years before.
Of course knowing who your soul mate is does change things. Dating other girls? Not so fun when you know you’re just spending money on someone you’ll never end up with. Flirting with other girls? It just feels too strange when you know nothing will ever come about it. Why would you want to mess with destiny if you already knew your fate?
But I’ve never looked at the visions as a curse. I’m reserved, so I don’t mind having the security of knowing exactly who I’ll end up with. That way I only have to put myself out there once for a girl, and I’ll know exactly who it is.
The night when it happened I was driving home from a friend’s house. There was no moon out, and my beater of a truck’s headlights did little on the winding, black road. Suddenly my body froze, and I felt like someone was punching me in the gut. Taking in a rigid breath, I veered off the road and pulled over. Seeing the future was usually overwhelming, but never painful. I guess I should have seen it as an omen of what was to come.
I turned off my car and put my head back, wondering if I was experiencing a vision or becoming sick. Then the flashes started. My sight was obscured and my body relaxed. A cloudy scene unfolded in front of me that consisted of water, sand, and a gritty feeling on my skin. I whirled around to take in my surroundings. I was on some sort of a quiet beach; only noises of the shore broke the silence. I thought I was alone, so when someone brushed my left arm, I jumped back. Who else was hiding with me on this solitary island? A small figure stood next to me. It was a girl with dark hair that covered her face.
I became panicked and couldn’t breathe as I realized what was happening. My soul mate was about to be revealed. My life would forever change when I saw who she was.
“Alex,” the girl whispered as my arm hairs stood on end.
All she needed to do was move her hair and I could see what her face looked like. As if reading my mind, she grabbed a fistful of her long, black hair and pulled it out of her face. I gasped, covering my mouth. “No.”
The girl was in front of me. Her honey-colored eyes became large and anxious. “Alex,” she said. I took a step back and the beach began to spin; the vision was over.
When I gained consciousness I looked around the darkness, disorientated, until I realized I was in my truck. “No,” I said again into the black abyss of a night. “This isn’t right.” I shook my head, which didn’t help the throbbing headache I now had. How could my vision have gone so wrong? I was supposed to see a stranger who one day would cross paths with me and we’d live happily ever after. Instead I saw a small, dark-haired teenager—someone who went to my high school.
My parents were waiting up for me when I walked through the squeaky back door. The kitchen lights were on, and my mother was putting away leftovers.
“You’re late,” my father said gruffly. He didn’t even bother looking up from the television.
I was silent as I sat down at the table. How could I tell them what had just happened? The soul mate vision was supposed to be a turning point for members in my family; a celebration for what the wonderful future held.
My mother turned towards me. “You missed dinner, Alex. Are you hungry?” She was watching me, and like always, got her motherly intuition. “Oh no,” she said worried. “What’s wrong?”
I looked up at her, feeling shaky. “I just saw her,” I whispered.
Her jaw dropped. I didn’t even have to explain what I meant. “You did?” she stammered.
My father, who was sitting in the living room couch, barreled into the kitchen yelling. “Are you sure? When did it happen? Where were you?”
I swallowed and traced a line on the table with my finger. “I was driving home when a vision overtook me.”
My mother gasped and sat down next to me. “And what did she look like?”
“She,” I began, “is, I don’t know how to tell you this…”
“What? What is it?” My father looked frantic.
“She’s someone I know,” I chocked out. “Her name is Alora Leon, and she goes to my school.” I stared at the floor, feeling ashamed.
My mother and father were quiet, but I could feel the apprehension.
“Okay,” my mother said, finally. “That’s all right. We can figure this out. Right, Parker?”
When I looked at Parker, my father, he didn’t look happy. “Uh,” he said sighing. “This could be a problem.”
“Yeah, it’s going to be a problem!” I yelled angrily. “I’m seventeen, and my soul mate is someone I go to high school with. I thought that the vision would predict where we would meet in the future. How that crap does that work when we’ve already met?”
“So where did the vision take place at?” my mother asked, shaking her head slightly.
I took a deep breath and spoke quietly. “Some sort of beach, I guess.”
“And you are absolutely sure it was this Alora girl?”
“Yes, dad, I’m sure.” I hit my palm against the table. “This is ridiculous. I mean, what am I supposed to tell her?”
My dad’s face became stiff, like he was holding his breath. “You can’t tell her anything.”
I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach again. “What? I have to tell her. I mean, if we’re meant to be together—”
“No,” my dad said, cutting me off. “You might mess something up. The vision will happen on its own time. Besides there’s no way you can drop a bomb on her like that.”
“Are you serious?” I said irate. “I’m supposed to watch my future wife go out with other guys and pretend I don’t care?”
My father rubbed his temples, stressed, and my mother was looking paler by the minute. The clock on the wall chimed at the top of the hour, and we all ignored the obnoxious bird chirping noise it resonated.
“Alex, you’ve got to let things happen naturally,” my father stated. “Eventually, when you’re both older, you’ll find each other and then things will be right. For now, as hard as it is, you need to stay away from her.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. Why can’t we just date? If I don’t tell her about the vision, and she’s with me on her own free choice…” I trailed off, not really sure if even that made sense. What if we dated now and things didn’t work out? Would Alora and I get back together later? What if she didn’t want to date me now?
My mother pursed her lips. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea, honey.” I could tell she felt bad for me, which made me feel even more pathetic.
My brother Sam, who lived down the street with his wife, walked through the back door, startling us all. “What’s happening?” he asked, casually.
My parents shot him dire looks and Sam stepped back. “Did someone die?” he said, raising his eyebrows.
I scooted my chair back loudly. “I’ll let you guys tell him the wonderful news,” I said to my parents. Sam looked at me curiously, and I darted upstairs to my bedroom before he could ask.
The next day as I walked through school my thoughts repeated over and over like a devious chant. Don’t look for Alora. Don’t bump into Alora. Don’t look for Alora. She wasn’t in any of my classes, and I never stayed before or after school just to socialize—ewe. So how hard would it be to avoid her?
“Hey Alex!” someone called behind me and I wheeled around, clenching my jaw. It was Melissa Ethridge, my next door neighbor.
“Are you okay?” she asked, noting my tense shoulders and balled up fists.
“I’m fine,” I blurted. “What’s up?”
Her hazel eyes looked suspicious, but she continued anyway. “I’m in charge of the assembly today, and we’re going to call up the winners of the Honors English essay competition.”
I grimaced. I loved my English class, and I loved it even more when Mr. Henley said I’d won his essay contest. But standing up in front of an assembly? What was I going to do, wave my arms around while everyone applauded me? Not likely. Other students wouldn’t give a crap unless I’d won them a sports championship or stolen the rival high school’s mascot.
“So just plan on me calling you up, Okay?” Melissa ordered.
I nodded. Whatever. As long as Alora wasn’t the one handing me the award, it didn’t really matter.
Melissa left hurriedly, saying something under her breath, and I made my way to the auditorium. Just as I got comfy in the front row, I pulled out my phone and began texting Josh, a college friend of mine.
“Oh, uh, Mr. Isle?” I looked up to see our school Principal, Mrs. Smith, standing above me. “Would you mind waiting backstage? That way you’ll just be right there when I present you in the assembly.”
I stood up and slung my bag over my shoulder. “Yeah, sure,” I mumbled.
Westfield High School was old—I mean really old. Walls were cracking, desks wobbled feebly, and the whole place smelled like your grandmother’s house. There was even a running joke that Westfield was build right after the Great Wall of China. Supposedly that was why the cafeteria had an oriental decoration theme.
I climbed up the ancient steps in front of the stage and felt around in the dark, finally pushing my way through the thick curtains. A couple of dim lamps were scattered around backstage, and groups of clubs huddled together. Apparently both the band and the dance team were going to perform in the assembly.
A dancer wearing a bright costume stood up and waved her arms. “Okay guys,” she hollered, “it’s almost time for us to go out there, so let’s start warming up.”
The wooden floor creaked as nine dancers began stretching. I stood there, awkwardly, wondering how long it would be until I was called out on stage, and then something bumped into me softly.
“Oh I’m sorry!” a dancer called near me.
I turned around, ready to brush it off, but quickly choked on my words as I realized who it was.
Alora Leon stood before me wearing a bright pink dress. She was tan with flowing black hair, and the huge tropical flower by her ear made her look Hawaiian. “Did I hurt you?” she asked concerned. Maybe she thought I was angry because of my shocked face.
“No,” I mouthed, and she smiled like she was about to laugh. She was beautiful and probably used to guys being speechless around her.
She raised a petite hand and patted me on the back where she bumped me. I tensed up, but she was already running over to the dance instructor, who looked upset with her.
“Alora, where were you? We go on in five minutes.”
Alora began warming up. “I know. I’m sorry. I had to go home. My parents needed me for something.”
The instructor clucked her tongue angrily and walked away.
I became aware of students chatting noisily in the auditorium and Melissa appeared next to me. “Guys, we’re starting now,” she beamed. “So remember your cues!”
She vanished behind the heavy, black curtain and erupting cheers echoed through the stage. I watched Alora, who was talking avidly with another dancer, and her eyes flickered towards me. Immediately, I turned away, cursing myself for acting like such a child.
Melissa’s voice bellowed through the microphone on stage, but it sounded muffled and I could barely make out what she was saying. She cheerfully said something about our school pride, then something about supporting our PTA, blah, blah, blah. Then, “Alex Isle!”
I almost tripped over some theater props making my way out to the stage. A blinding light shone in my face, and I could feel how many eyes were on me. Principal Smith walked towards me carrying a cheap trophy, and she shook my hand with a cheesy grin.
“This award is very important to our Honors English students,” she said, her voice a little screechy. “So we’d like to—” she stopped abruptly as the huge row of lights above us suddenly teetered back and forth in the air.
There were gasps and calls from the audience as the beam holding the lights looked like it might fall on our heads. I ducked instinctively, wondering if I needed to jump off the stage.
The wavering lights eventually stopped, and Mrs. Smith took a deep breath in the microphone. Students began laughing, probably happy to make one more joke about the ancient school, and I bit my lip.
“All right,” Mrs. Smith said, trying to gain everyone’s attention again. “Just, congratulations to you, Alex.”
The audience applauded, and Mrs. Smith gently pushed me towards one of the stage’s wings. Well that’s over, I thought, wondering if I should just leave the auditorium through the back door. I really did need to avoid Alora until I was sure I wouldn’t be a space-case around her.
Loud, upbeat Polynesian music blared through the speakers, and I froze as the clump of dancers ran past me on the stage. Alora was at the tail of the group, beaming in her bright costume.
It would be okay to watch her perform, right? After all, this was my future wife we were talking about. What if one day she referred back to this dance number from high school? Wouldn’t she be disappointed that I’d never seen it?
The dancer’s moved quickly and came to the center of the stage, circling Alora. She burst free from the middle and did a solo number. Loud cheers exploded from the audience and my shoulders became stiff. “Go Alora!” a deep voice called, and I peered out of the wing to see a bunch of football boys whistling at her. How dare them.
I had an overwhelming urge to come out on the stage and grab her. “No,” I growled under my breath, taking a step back. What was I thinking? Two days ago I wouldn’t have had a second thought to the mindless football team ogling a beautiful girl—but now she was my girl. The most haunting part about it was that she didn’t even know who I was…
A scream broke out from the audience and I was jarred out of my selfish thoughts. When I glanced at the audience again I noticed a lot of students pointing at the stage. At first I was sure that it was for Alora, but then the row of lights caught my eye. The same beam that swung back and forth threateningly on stage before was back for more havoc. One of the cords holding it snapped angrily and the lights bobbed around.
Those dancers needed to get of that stage now. Immediately I began yelling on the wing of the stage. Not one of them looked at me. Why was the music so dang loud? The song changed suddenly and nine dancers pranced off the stage, leaving only one dancer left. Alora began doing some complicated ballet turn, probably the grand finale, and was oblivious to the menacing lights rocking above her.
I leaned forward on the edge of my toes, staring at the beam. Another cord snapped then three more. Alora kept turning beautifully. A loud moan was issued as the beam tilted diagonally above her. “C’mon, c’mon,” I whispered. When would her solo end?
A weird sensation came over me and my nerves stood on end. The moaning became louder above me, and that was the last straw. I sprinted out of the wing and straight for Alora. When the students in the audience screamed I thought it was because they were shocked to see me running out onto the stage. But when I saw something black coming for me in my peripheral vision, I understood the real reason why they were screaming: the beam of lights had finally decided to give way.
I beat the metal bar to Alora and slammed her out of the way. It missed her, but clearly it was still keen on taking down a victim. I braced myself for the blow, but it still happened quicker than I hoped. My arm was hit so forcefully with the bar that I was knocked forward off the stage and into the crowd. White hot, searing pain shot from my shoulder to my hand. If my arm was still attached to my body it was definitely broken.
I’m not sure if the blaring music stopped or not. All I could hear was yelling. The strangest thing to me is that when people panic they move in slow-mo. Instead of those students, who are attached to their phones, dialing 911 in the five seconds it takes, they just freeze up. Their eyes go big, their mouths move into the shape of an O, and they just stare. Meanwhile, I was grabbing my arm, ready to pass out from the pain.
When I finally got to hospital I wasn’t just injured, I was livid. Not because of the dumb school that I could’ve sued for shattering my bone, but because that beam could’ve done a lot worse to Alora. What if that had hit her in the head? I shuttered thinking about it.
My parents arrived at the hospital with that same look they had when I was seven and Gigi, my pet hamster, had died. “Alex,” my mother whimpered. She tried to hug me without causing anymore damage to my left arm.
My dad tried to look positive. “Well, at least it’s not your writing arm,” he said.
I rolled my eyes, still angry with him for telling me to stay away from Alora. Maybe if I would have told her the truth, things would’ve been different. Maybe I wouldn’t have a chunky cast on my arm. But I guess I would have pushed Alora out of the way, regardless.
My dad stepped closer towards me. “I’m sorry this happened to you, but you did the right thing.”
I nodded. Why did doing the right thing always hurt?
My parents drove me home and tried to leave me alone as much as possible. Sam came over and made fun of me for a while (which is what brothers do), and then I took my painkillers and tried to sleep. At six in the morning I felt exhausted, and my parents didn’t even flinch when I yelled out that I wasn’t going to school.
Being bound to my room, I decided to reread one of my favorite childhood books, Treasure Island. My parents never allowed me to have a TV in my room, so this was going to have to be my distraction from the pain.
It wasn’t until late in the afternoon when a soft nock was issued at my door. “Hello? Alex?”
The voice was a girl’s, and I quickly ran a hand through my matted hair. “Yeah?”
My door swung open slowly, and my heart became lodged into my throat as I saw the familiar soft, tan skin, and long dark hair.
“Hi,” Alora whispered. “I hope its okay I’m here—your brother let me in.”
“Yeah.” I’d have to work on not stuttering around her.
She walked towards me and sat at the foot of the bed. “How are you feeling?” This time she looked nervous, instead of her usual confident and bubbly self.
“It’s all right.” I bit down on my lip. “Pretty painful, actually.” I laughed. I wouldn’t be able to keep up the tough-guy act.
Alora looked sympathetic. “Alex, I don’t know what to say.” She put a hand to her forehead and shook her head. “I can’t believe this happened. I feel terrible and I think the school needs to pay or do something.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I’ll be fine. And my parents aren’t really the suing type.”
A crease formed in between her eyebrows. “Why did you do it?”
I was about to make some lame joke, but she didn’t look like she was in the mood for comedy. “I just didn’t want you to get hurt.”
I thought that would make her happy, but she almost looked upset. “How did you know that was going to happen?”
I swallowed. Don’t say anything you’ll regret. “I was just watching. It was good timing I guess.”
She learned closer to me and touched my cast. A light floral scent encased her. “If it was good timing than you wouldn’t have this on your arm.”
I suddenly felt tingly and vulnerable. Her lips were a soft pink and I kept glancing from them to her honey-colored eyes. I needed to change the subject before I said something stupid.
“Your dance was really, uh, artistic,” I blurted out. That’s what dancers like to hear, right?
She looked at me suspicious and then laughed. “It was actually a pretty dumb dance. Not really artistic at all.”
“Oh, well, thanks for not making me feel stupid or anything.” I smiled at her and she looked sheepishly away from my face. Her eyes caught sight of my Treasure Island book next to the nightstand and she picked it up. A curious look formed over her soft face.
“I used to read it a lot when I was younger,” I explained.
She thumbed through the worn pages. “Because you wanted to be a pirate?”
“I actually wanted to find Treasure Island and move there,” I said. “Because, I mean, if I lived there I wouldn’t have to go to school.”
Another serious look clouded Alora’s face. “We should runaway and go there.”
I laughed. But she didn’t. “Okay,” I teased. “Just let me leave a note for my parents real quick.”
“We’ll definitely have to graduate first,” she said, too serious. “But then we can just elope.”
I looked away from her hypnotizing eyes. Had I taken too much painkillers? Or was I just dreaming that Alora had said those things. When I peered back up at her she pushed me back and pressed her lips against mine. Her lips really did feel as soft as they looked, and they tasted even better.
When she leaned away I noticed her jaw had hardened and her eyes looked like fire. “Alex,” she whispered. “I know about the vision.”
I scooted away from her, shock seizing me. “Who told you?” I stammered.
A smile formed on her pink lips. “Your family isn’t the only ones who can see into the future.”
A door slammed downstairs, and my parent’s voices echoed out of the kitchen.
“I have to go now,” she said hesitantly. “But just remember, you are mine Alex Isle, and I am yours. We will be together…”
Alora stood up and gently left me alone.
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I graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in English and a creative writing emphasis. I am a freelance writer and live in Utah with my husband and two pugs.
Labels: Heather Ostler