Who ever said fate was horrible?

January 6, 2009
The timing was unnecessarily bad. Marcus and I were filming a short film for coursework when he met her through a friend of a friend. Although she was drunk and year below him, I could see her presence affected him from the start -- her friends would have noticed too if they weren’t intoxicated beyond their threshold. Amongst the action between the group, Marcus and Holly somehow ended up face to face and despite his usual timid personality, he was able to look her in the eye and just stand to appreciate the natural piece of art that God had presented before him.
Come to think of it, it was less than a week before they were dating. The moment he got home, he found her on the internet and built a bond that I personally had never bared witness to before -- not from mother to daughter, father to son or husband to wife -- I had just never seen anything like it. As everything panned down and settled in, it actually turned out that she had a boyfriend when they had their first kiss. I’d never seen him so distraught before this point. The following day, he developed a bad habit of walking ahead or behind the group and staring seamlessly at the floor while he paced. I saw genuine fear marked on his face, and so did everyone else. Even at the ripe age of 16, he had been with many female counterparts before and never ever considered staying with them for the rest of his life. Naturally, as it would, things unfolded to Marcus’s delight when she actually did break up with her boyfriend for him.
After two months, they were still holding secrets, as someone inevitably does during a relationship. I’m not sure exactly what was said when he told her that he and I were joining the Army a month following that date, but what I do know is that she pretended not to care, and that it wouldn’t be a problem regarding their all perfect relationship. Actually, at the time she probably didn’t care -- after all, how could a minor bit of time and difference separate such a bond?
She came with us to the barracks when we joined. Being best friends, he was fairly open to her in front of me and just pulled her to one side when he took the necklace that he had been wearing for 2 years off and handed it her. I found out later that that wasn’t the original plan -- it only crossed his mind to do so when he realised jewellery wasn’t allowed in the Army.
So there we were -- 16 years of age, and Marcus had left behind the love of his life to join the army. He did notably well on the first few days, there was no doubt about it. He was resilient to being shouted at, and he was extremely fit for his age. If I remember correctly, it was in fact the sixth day when it started to go wrong. The training to Marcus was fine, he handled it perfectly, but it was still five weeks before he could next see his love. He made the ultimate decision to tell the corporal that he wished to leave and did the right thing by doing so. The corporal wasn’t angry in anyway, more disappointed. It was painfully obvious that he was just doing his job, but he gave Marcus an inspiring lecture that convinced him to stay.
It is commonly said that if you try hard enough, you can pinpoint the exact moment that someone’s life takes a different path that will land them a new way of life. I didn’t need to try hard -- I could feel it happening in the room. The aura was immense. I tried to resist, but I strayed from my workspace to investigate it. There he was -- letter in hand with the look of death painted upon him. I could try and fail to explain the emotion and mental trauma exhibited by Marcus, but I will save the bother. To put things simply, she had basically given Marcus the option to leave the Army or leave her. Although upon reading the letter, she kept it a bit more discreet than that; she explained that she just couldn’t go through the pain of being away from him for so long, and needed to start the ‘getting over’ process if he was going to stay in service.
He made the choice to leave, which I didn’t argue with. As the weeks of his compulsory service passed, I made the choice to leave with him. After all, we made the choice to join together all those years ago, so why wouldn’t we leave together?
The first day back was no less depressing than the day we left. They saw each other as soon as we arrived, arranging it on the phone on the train home. Things weren’t how they were before we left for the army. Marcus was ridden with guilt, and she was less of herself than she usually was. Naturally, we brought a bit of pot with all the money we had been paid from the army. I left them alone to relax indoors briefly when she laid an emotional body slam upon Marcus. She had left when I arrived back in the garden, and Marcus just about managed to tell me she had broken up with him. Nothing compared to the depressive state he was in. She had literally taken everything from him. I accepted the fact that I didn’t know how he felt, so I didn’t pretend to. The only person who he held a stronger bond with than her was himself -- so I decided to leave and let him figure things out by himself after saying, “Fate has a horrible way of turning your life for the worst for no real reason Marcus.” After all, he had had such a perfect road of events leading up to one ultimate destruction.
I visited him the next day. Everything had changed. He was happy, talkative and active. At the first viewing, I would imagine he had decided to rejoin the army, and actually had a successful night sorting things out for himself. But no, he handed me a small pink leaflet before saying, “Who ever said fate was horrible?” Just as I imagined, his fairytale had given him an extraordinarily bright happy ending in the form of seven lucky numbers.

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