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The Unseen Choice

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In the heart of Kingston, where the hustle of the city meets the calm of the suburbs, lived Marcia, a middle-aged woman. She had a spirit as vibrant as the town’s lively streets. Every morning, she wakes up, get dress and followed the same path to the market. Her steps steadily move in tune with the reggae rhythms floating from nearby shops. Today, however, as she approached the crossroad she stopped. She had an unseen choice to make, either go through the bustling street market or take the serene path by the Hope River.

With no thought of a decision she looked ahead, but something unusual caught her eye. There before her was a mural painted on the wall of the old crumbling building at the corner. It depicted a woman at a crossroad, much like Marcia’s own predicament.

“Wah mek mi neva notice dis before?” she mused aloud, her curiosity piqued. The mural was vibrant, filled with colors that seemed to dance in the morning light. For reasons she couldn’t explain, instead of turning left towards the market as she always does, Marcia felt compelled to go right. The one less traveled by her, leading down to the river.

The air was cooler, filled with the scent of wildflowers and the gentle sound of water brushing against the bank. As she walked, Marcia couldn’t help but reflect on her life, on the routines that had become her comfort and her cage. She thought about her dreams of starting her own business, a little store that would serve as a haven for the community.

Where she lived people had to travel far just to get essentials. Most of them were elderly and are unable to take the journey. Marcia wanted to give them a place where music, art, books and the flavors of Jamaican food and drinks could meld together. But fear of failure had kept her from taking the first step. It left her dreams out of reach, like fruits on higher branches of the mango trees along the riverbank.

As she reached a bend in the river, she spotted an old man fishing. His line was cast into the water with a patience that spoke of years of practice. “Mawnin’, Miss,” he greeted her with a nod, his eyes twinkling with a wisdom that seemed as deep as the river itself.

“Mawnin’, Sir. It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?” Marcia replied, stopping to admire the scene.

“Every day we wake up is a beautiful day,” the old man said. “But it’s what we do with it that makes it special. You seem like you’re searching for something. Remember, sometimes the most important journeys start with a single step right off the beaten path. It’s often forged by an unseen choice.”

“Unseen choice?” she asked while scrunching eyebrows.

“Yes. We mek a hole heap of choices a day and each time dem lead us to a crossroad. Every time we always have a choice make. When we choose, there are others that we don’t think about, but those are the are the unseen choices.”

“Oh. Me know what you mean. Every time we choose to go left instead a right without considering the alternative, dat is the unseen choice.”

“Exactly. Dat is something I learn many years ago. Now me a live a life without regret.”

The old man passed, looked her up and down, then focused on the lines on her forehead and bags under her eyes. He took a sip from his thermos, looked her in the eyes and said,

“From di way it look, you had plenty, no true?”

Marcia nod her head, “Yes. Too much to count.”

The old man, shook his head. “I see dat. So it was one of them that led you here?”

“I guess,” she replied with uncertainty in her voice.

The old man chuckled, “You know how many people pass through dis side just like you?”

“I don’t know dat,” she replied.

“Nuff. Each one a dem, me always say de same ting, me a go tell you.”

“And whats that?” She asked.

“Whoever you are, is irrelevant, what you did in the past is irrelevant. You haffi stop living a life of regret. Focus on the now and what you can do to mek it what you want. Today you made an unseen choice and dat led you here. You should keep making them. Continue to do the opposite of what you always does and see where it tek you. Me can see you looking for answers, but you already got dem. You know exactly what you should do. So stop tinking and just do it.”

Marcia pondered his words, feeling as if he had peered straight into her soul.

“You know you right. Me just realized that my daily routine, while comfortable, had also been a way to avoid making the difficult choices about my future. I saw a mural round de corner, and lead me to this path along de river. It led me to dis unexpected encounter with you. Honestly, it all seemed like a sign pointing me towards a truth I had been too reluctant to face.”

“So what you going to do about it? the old man inquired. “You must cease de moment, live in the now, stop thinking of possibilities and make dem your reality.”

“Thank you, Sir. I think I needed to hear that,” she said, a sense of clarity washing over her like the cool river waters. “I am going to do it.”

There was excitement in her voice as she turned to walk away. As she walked over, she looked back and said, “Thank you. See you later.”

The old man called out, “No problem” then returned to sipping from his thermos, and fishing.

By the time Marcia returned home, the sun was high in the sky, casting a warm glow over the city. She felt different, as if the weight of her indecisions had been lifted. In that moment of introspection she was inspired by a stranger’s simple wisdom. A voice in her head kept saying, “Do it.”

She closed her eyes, clinched her fist, shook her head and whispered,

“Gimme the courage to pursue the things I dream of. I don’t want it be an unseen choice. I want to make every choice a reality borne from my desires. I want it to be my future. I want it to be my strength, my purpose, my life.”

Marcia spent the remainder of the day contemplating the possibilities of the paths less traveled, considering the pros and cons of all that she had chosen not to do. That night, her desires crept into her dream. She saw the life she wanted, one where she was not afraid, one where she makes the unseen choices.

The next day, as she approached the crossroad, she stopped and looked up with a smile. It slowly morphed into a scrunched eyebrow when she saw peeling paint on the old rotting structure in the place of the beautiful mural.

“A what happen to it? How comes it gone?” She pondered.

Marcia took a moment to think and in a split second she made a left like she always does. As she walked along the street, she greeted the street vendors setting up for the day. This was just like she had done millions of times before. Just ahead was the entrance to the marketplace. She waited for a car to pass. Thoughts swirled around in her head, as the words from the old man repeated over and over. Once the car breezed passed her, she made a hard turn and took a detour.

With each step, she kept saying,

“Live in the now. Make the unseen choice. Live in the now. Make the unseen choice.”

This went on until she stopped at the doorway of a building four blocks from where she started. She sighed, grabbed the knob and pushed her way in. There no other customers inside, so she walked up to one of the service windows. There was a woman standing on the other side of the window looking at her with a smile.

Marcia took a deep breath as she approached. The young woman greeted her,

“Good morning Miss, how can I help you?”

As the words left the woman’s mouth, Marcia could feel the excitement brewing inside. “This is it,” She thought. “This is the first step on a new path. One of uncertainty, one of promise. I may fulfill my long deferred dream driven by an unseen choice.”

She took a deep breath in, then asked, “Who could I talk to about a loan for a business?”

The End.

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