[ a s t o r y a b o u t s o u l m a t e s ]
Eclectica Magazine has published the longest short story I've ever written, The Testimony of Jayce B., about an island where people are matched with their soulmates with numbers they're born with tattooed on their foreheads. Thanks to Tom Dooley for taking it, and not only that, but choosing me as a runner-up to their Spotlight Author! This means I got paid for the story!
In 2003, fresh out of a three-year relationship with someone I thought might have been "The One", I started lamenting about how emotionally and time consuming the trial and error of relationships were. Wouldn't it be great, I wondered, if we could just be born with tattoos on our heads that told us who our soulmates were? We could walk around the world, and when we found someone with the same number as ours, we'd know we could stop the search. It'd be great. We could choose to go on our merry ways until we were both ready to settle down, or settle down immediately.
Eight years and several failed relationships later, I sat down and started writing a story about an island where precisely the above happens. But because I was older, and a little more weathered in the romance department, things in the little world I created didn't go the way I envisioned them.
This story, one of the most plot-driven stories I've ever written, is also one I can't stop thinking about even though I wrote it several years ago at this point. It's far from a perfect story, but it's one I care deeply about. Partly because it's in many ways, a journal of my own understanding of love, relationships, free will, and the power of belief. It occurs to me that the stories we write are a reflection of who we are, what we believe, and what we hope for and fear at the time of writing. This story could only have been written at the time it was written.
It's a long read, but I hope you will take the time to sit with it. It moves fast, I promise. And if you like dystopian fiction... well, this is one.