Not My Thoughts

Ruby lives in a world where your 18th birthday changes everything. Dead in the night, she's awoken by the painful sensation of her mind being opened and expanded to allow another's thoughts into her mind. That other is her soul-mate.

(For the Name On Your Wrist competition)


1. Birthday Wake-Up

It happens in the middle of the night – that burning stabbing feeling I’ve been warned about.

I’m jolted awake by it, my breath hitching in my throat as I do my best not to cry out and clutch my head in pain. At one stage I’m even able to glance at the clock before the pain makes me close my eyes.

2:48am. I’m officially eighteen.


This isn’t unusually. In fact, it would be totally unusual for this not to happen. At eighteen, a chemical is released in our brain that starts hunting and searching for their soul-mate. This pain in my head is the chemical reaction happening now and I can finally understand why my mum never wanted to talk about it, or my dad.

The brain is partially ripping itself open and that’s because, as weird as it may sound, it’s opening a passage into my very thoughts. What do this achieve? This will allow me to hear the thoughts of my soul-bounded mate and he, likewise.

For minutes, this pain rages on and all I can do writher around on the bed, not wanting to wake my parents since tomorrow they have work to get to and even if this is a special occasion, they wouldn’t appreciate it.

But just as quickly as the pain starts, it stops.

I unclench my fists and slowly open my eyes as I lay panting on my back, my brain feeling strangely empty and light. On shaky legs, I force myself to stand to switch on the light and make my way over to the mirror where I stare back at my reflection.

There’s visibly nothing different about me. My brown curls are tied at the base of my neck, my dark eyes stare blankly back at me and of course, thanks to the open window, I’m covered in goose bumps. If it wasn’t so painful, I probably wouldn’t ever know anythings happened.

You see, when you communicate with your soul-mate via thoughts, it’s exactly like it’s themselves talking back to them. Since, when this all started, it got too confusing for everyone, the government introduced another chemical to make it all the more painful so we’d know when the love chemical was released.  

I stare at myself for a while, waiting for something to happen. Maybe my brain might randomly start talking. I know I should be excited for all of this, but unlike my friends, I’ve never been to entirely worried about who my soul-mate is. While they were busy imagining what he’d look like and how he’d act and be, I was caught up in my books, not really caring.

Should it really matter who your soul-mate looks like? Wouldn’t you rather love them for their soul and not their looks?

Still, as I climb back into bed after switching off the lights and straightening the wrinkled sheet, I can’t help but curiously call out with my mind.

“Can you hear me?”

I hold my breath nervously, making sure I stay calm so I don’t miss any response. However, my brain stays silent.

It’s not a bad thing when your soul-mate isn’t immediately there to answer you. There’s multiple reasons for it. While I know most of my friends panicked when this happened to them, I don’t stress out. I’m happy to wait for the right moment to arrive.

Rolling over with a small smile, I close my eyes.



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