So my second post. Exciting! And for it, I’ve decided to do something a bit different, and something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but never had the means of doing so.
Below, you’ll find the first episode of my first web-serial, ‘The Red Thread’. (Appropriate, right?!)
The premise is simple: two people tied together by the Red Thread encounter each other, and all hell breaks loose in the process, tightening and straining the bonds with their family and friends, and revealing all the secrets that each of these destined individuals hide.
This story is going to be a short weekly instalment, on the condition that you’ll please leave a comment and tell me what you think. If you’re intrigued, then there’s an episode 2!
Please do ‘Follow Me’ by entering your email address in the left sidebar, and follow me on Twitter (@tmir92).
In the meanwhile, please enjoy the first instalment of my first web-serial:
~ THE RED THREAD ~
Covent Garden on an August afternoon. The air was fresh, and surprisingly cool, chilly even, but nothing that a light cardigan wouldn’t resolve. I found myself winding through the mass crowds of people, so many people. Covent Garden was even busier than usual, the market packed out with various merchants selling their products, and the piazza filled with colourful performers and people pretending to be statues, even a Mad Hatter offering to have photos taken whilst at his personal table, complete with teapot and teacup, and another man pretending to be a scruffy dog complete with his own out of a makeshift hay kennel…
I went to meet Emilia at our usual café, but getting through the crowd was ridiculously difficult. I finally walked past the Royal Opera House, where the same Chinese man was playing his zither and panpipe, looking at my watch. Five o’six. She was going to throw a fit. I sighed. It was going to happen at some point anyway. As I walked to the café, just at the mouth of the adjoining road, I caught sight of Emilia and tried to wave at her, but she was already talking to someone else, and laughing. Giggling. I looked at my watch. Had she seen the time? So unusual. As I walked up to her, she finally noticed me and gave me a shout of welcome:
“HEY BABE!” then turning her attention to – and I should probably add now – the rather good-looking guy she had been talking to, and continuing her conversation. Who was this guy? As I approached, they both turned to me.
“Mei, hey! This is one of my old friends from school! Can you believe it?! So random bumping into him right now!”
I watched him. ‘Scrutinised’ would probably be the better word. I knew what kind of crowd Emilia used to be part of. This guy was actually really attractive. Hair quaffed, a summery jacket, a light scarf, good shoes; everything was seamless, and yet I’d met guys like him. He’d made a lot of effort. I could tell. It was enough for people like me to roll my eyes with disdain and really want to say ‘Please get out of my face’. What I actually had to say:
“Hey, it’s really nice to meet you. Mei.”
“Mei, a Chinese name?”
“Japanese actually. My parents wanted to have the word ‘destiny’ in my name.”
“Ah, so ming in Chinese,” he pressed on.
“I guess so…I don’t speak…” But interrupted…I was…seriously, this guy. Who was he?
“Yue,” he informed, offering his hand. “Yue, like glue or moo, not yu-eh.”
“Okay then, Yue it is,” I laughed hesitantly.
“Yue’s half-English half-Chinese,” Emilia chipped in. Ah, that made more sense.
“Justifies your questions then,” I excused him with a smile.
“I suppose so,” Yue said, with a smirk and a slight tilt of the head. He turned back to Emilia, who was still excited by the fact that she had bumped into him. “I should probably get going. I’m gonna be late.”
“Ah, no problem! Next time, come and join us for a coffee or something?” Emilia told him. He smiled.
“Only if you bring Mei,” he smiled mischievously. “She’s way prettier than you are.” Then Emilia glanced at him.
“HEY!” I rolled my eyes.
“Thanks?” She realised what she had implied, and then quickly revoked her statement.
“You know what I mean,” she attempted to justify her comment.
“Just keeping my standards high, Em.” Yue turned to me, and with a slight bow of the head, hands in jacket pockets, he politely wished me a farewell, and then winked at…well, I want to say ‘us’, but that wink was directed at me. A slight bite of his lip, and then he turned and went off on his way. Seriously, that was exhausting. I turned to see Em now crouching on the floor.
“What’s up, Em?”
“Tristan’s joining our MPhil programme…”
“Tristan? Who’s Tristan?”
“Tristan Menhir!” Emilia suddenly jumped up. “He’s one of my childhood friends, and he was, like, the de facto head of the popular guys at school.” I rolled my eyes, for the third time in ten minutes, and dropped my head.
“You being serious, Em? ‘Popular guys’? We’re not in high-school!”
“Mei!” Em grabbed my shoulders determinedly. “You don’t understand! This guy was the guy that everyone – and I mean everyone – wanted! But he didn’t want anyone.” She looked up at the sky. “So dreamy.” I manoeuvred myself out of her her grip, and started walking off. “Where are you going?!”
“Coffee. I need a bowl of it,” I told her.
“Mei!” Emilia followed me to the café and, having sat down, she filled me in on what the relation between Yue and Tristan was, how she was connected to them, and how Tristan was like the ‘James Dean’ of their school, or maybe ‘Zayn Malik’ (she thought ‘it would be better to use a comparison from this generation’). Okay. Fine. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t really listening to her. But one thing did finally catch my attention: Tristan was definitely coming to join us at university, at least for this year. Something made him leave home, go somewhere far away from London, and something had brought him back.
For Em, that was intriguing. For her, it wasn’t a coincidence that we had met Yue and found out that Tristan was coming back. For me, Covent Garden was just as a valid a place as anywhere.
“You still don’t believe in destiny?! It’s in your frigging name!”
“It doesn’t matter. I’m a sceptic,” I told her, half-jokingly.
“Such a lame excuse!” Emilia sank back into her chair. Should I tell her what my grandmother thought? Yeah, why not? A good debate would start…
“You know, my grandmother, when I was really young, she told me about this thing called ‘the Red Thread’.”
“What’s that?” Emilia asked, taking another sip of coffee.
“It’s said to be an invisible thread that binds someone by their little finger to their destined person. The idea is that no matter what happens, if you encounter your destined person once and depart from each other, the whole world and cosmos will do everything in its power to ensure that you come together, even at the cost of other people’s lives and chaos and destruction along its path.”
“That’s so romantic!”
“That’s crazy!” I corrected her.
“Why?” she asked defiantly.
“Because I would never want my love story to compromise anyone else.”
“But isn’t that what destiny means? Our paths cross over and we end up affecting each other, even unconsciously, like a cause-and-effect thing. You do logic. You can’t stop the causes and effects. They’re endless, right?”
“Yes, maybe. But they are random.”
“Not if you believe in a grand design.”
And that’s when I went quiet. I wasn’t going to have this argument with her again. It was so pointless. There was no such thing as destiny. There was no such thing as the ‘Red Thread’.