When you’re born, a single birthmark develops on your skin. Sometimes it’s immediate and permanent, bold as brass until the day you realize who it’s for. Sometimes it’s vague, slowly building the older you go. Some have many of them, others just the one.
Mine was huge. My entire left arm, from shoulder to wrist, was solid black. It made me wonder if I had a lot of them, or just one big one. No one I knew or had met knew what it meant, but it certainly caught the attention of people when I went out.
That mark, no matter what it looks like, is your tie to your soulmate. Or how many you have, or will have. Fading marks mean you’re too far, or not quite on the right path yet. There’s always these cute stories about people going on journeys to find their soulmates, hopping from one place to another while their mark grows or fades. It’s like wearing a compass that your heart and soul controls.
Mine never did anything until I was twenty three. It was always a solid black, unmoving, no additions. Just solid. My mum thought it was special, my dad was impressed that it never moved though a little worried, and my older brother just said I looked like a cyborg. Thanks bro.
The day it shifted, I was standing in the middle of a courthouse, waiting for jury duty. I was the only one there so far, nothing out of the ordinary. The guard posted there was friendly enough, but small talk wasn’t encouraged for obvious reasons. No one ever showed up. It was just me. The judge said it was going to be a quick case, so they could get with me and one other person who was running a bit late. I agreed, thinking nothing of it.
The court went as fine as a court can go, I suppose. It was, just as the judge said, a fairly quick trial. The accused was in for grand theft auto, along with two accomplices. The officers were there, and the attorney for the accused had a resigned look on his face as the judge questioned him. My jury partner came in just a moment after we were seated, and that’s when it happened.
My arm lit up like the fourth of July as they sat down beside me, before I even had a chance to look at them. I was confused at first. It had never done anything before in all my years, and even the judge turned their eyes on me as they spoke, raising an eyebrow.
“Sorry I’m late, got held up.”
The woman beside me was stunning. Mahogany eyes peered at me beneath long black lashes, winged liner carrying on to her temples. A curtain of ebony hair fell in glistening sheets over her shoulders and down her back, and I wanted to run my fingers through her hair almost immediately. Her eyes went from confused to wide with surprise as she looked down at the beacon my arm had become.
“..You?” She whispered, and she reached out for my arm, before the judge clears their throat, and we turned back to the matter at hand.
I was speechless. Now, of all the times, places, events. My soulmate showed up during a court case, and I couldn’t even ask her her name or what her mark looked like. The day seemed to drag on forever, and we nearly fell over ourselves when the judge ordered a recess of an hour.
We stood across from each other, the break table between us, and simultaneously sat down. I rolled my sleeve up immediately, while she shrugged her cardigan off. Opposite arms, but matching. Solid black, from shoulder to wrist.
“Has yours ever moved?” She asked, and I shook my head.
“Never. I had it looked at by so many people, thought I was just broken or something. What about you?”
She shrugged her cardigan back on, shaking her head. “It took a lot of convincing that I wasn’t wrong. That my mark was okay. I um,” she looked uncomfortable for a moment, fiddling with the ends of her sleeves. “I was told that it never moved or anything because - because my self love was unwavering. My soulmate wouldn’t change that, but it would certainly light up my life.”
My arm shimmered again, radiating a soft light.