“This life is yours. Some of it has been given to you; the rest you’ve made yourself.”

The child, no older than ten years, quietly read his fortune while the rest of his family laughed around him, trading fortunes back and forth, giggling over the ones that were spot on or way off.  His mother, seated across from him reached her hand out across the table.  “What does your fortune say, love?”  He glanced up at her but said nothing, only shaking his head in response.  Her face clouded, eyebrows scrunched together in worry.  “What’s wrong, honey?”  Again, no response.  His eldest sister sat next to him and peered over his shoulder at the small slip of paper he held in his hands.  “It says ‘This life is yours.  Some has been given to you; the rest you’ve made yourself’.”  All laughter stopped.  His mother with a tight smile offered her best reply.  “It’s a rather nice fortune, isn’t it my love? Can really mean anything, you know.”  But everyone was thinking of the same thing.  The boy felt sorry; he never wanted to ruin the mood.  This was their first family dinner out in such a long time!  It was supposed to be fun!  Now he had to go and ruin it like he always did.  A knot of guilt nestled in his stomach, his cheeks reddened and he felt the beginnings of tears well in his eyes.  His oldest sister snatched the fortune from his hand and crumbled it in her hand.  The boy cried out, tears now flowing freely from his large dark eyes.  His sister regretted it immediately; she had miscalculated, thinking getting rid of the thing that bothered him would solve everything.  She uncurled her hand and tried to smooth out the small piece of paper the best she could before handing it back to him.  The siblings looked up at their parents, unsure of the next step. Their mother was holding back her tears while their father stared intently at them, equally unsure of what to do.  Finally it was his second oldest sister, just begun her first year of high school that smiled back at him with comfort in her eyes.  “You know what that means Andre right?”  She asked, an eyebrow raised.  “It means that your life is what you make of it.  You have the power to choose how to live it and what to do with it.  And…seeing as now you have a little more life given to you than what was granted initially, that’s a big deal dude.”  Andre nodding his understanding, placing his small hand on his chest, feeling the surgery scars beneath his shirt.

For this writing assignment, I chose to do was the fortune cookie one (three stars).  When “This life is yours.  Some of it has been given to you; the rest you’ve made yourself” popped up I immediately thought of a quick story about a boy who maybe had more life given to him by another person.  So I wrote this short story about a boy who had received a heart transplant and dealing his newly held future.