The Countdown

Isak adjusted his tie for what felt like the 50th time in the last 20 minutes. 

“Stop fidgeting, it’ll be okay” His mum reassured him. 

“I know, I’m just scared. What if she doesn’t like me?” 

“That’s physically impossible Isak, you’re soulmates.” 

“I know, but-“

“Look, you know what you’ve got to do, you’ve been through the soulmate guide more times than I can count.” She cut him off. 

He knew the routine, he’s been over it a million times in his head. According to the ruling society guide, you are just to do whatever feels right and you will find each other. His mum had told him the story of his dad and her meeting many times before. His dad had walked around the city when he stumbled and fell into the road, she’d only just missed him when their timers started beeping and hit zero.

Isak’s plan was to walk around aimlessly and hope a car didn’t hit him. He was terrified because he had no plan in his head, most of his friends that already had gotten to zero had a plan in their heads, like Jonas had travelled two cities over because it felt right. 

Isak lifted his sleeve and checked his timer, 20 minutes were left. He decided he should probably start to leave. 
Isak found himself across the from the local park when he saw a girl with a black pixie cut and a warm face walk out from the other side of the park. This didn’t feel right, he was looking straight into her eyes and she locked onto his and smiled brightly at him. He felt nothing.  This wasn’t supposed to be how it felt. She walked closer to him and heart sank. This wasn’t right at all. He waited for the beep of his timer but it didn’t come and the girl walked straight past him. Confused, he he checked his timer.

21:160:00:05:00

He sat down on a nearby bench, hope slowly fading when he couldn’t see anyone around. He lifted his sleeves and watched as the seconds slipped by.

21:190:00:02:00

The only thing occupying Isak’s mind was the overwhelming feeling of nausea that was swirling around in his stomach. He had tried to hold it in but knew he couldn’t keep it up much longer. He walked through to the nearby community centre where he knew there was public access bathroom. He knew the bathroom wouldn’t be where his soulmate was but he needed to get there now, maybe he would run into her on the way. 

He opened the door and stepped into the bathroom, only to find a man in a denim jacket standing at the paper towel dispenser pulling them out one by one. Everything in Isaks body felt like static. Every nerve tingled. Isak heard the soft beeping of the two men’s timers running out, whilst the man continued to pull the towels out. 

“Did you also need paper towels?”

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