Set your timer for 10 minutes and go.
There it was, right where Rebecca said it would be! The old stone bridge was covered with moss. Knobby protrusions belied where the support stones were joined. The path across was covered with brown, brittle leaves, while still-green vines lined the walls. The autumn countryside was beautiful; reds, oranges, yellows. My favorite time of year. The water beneath the stone arch was still and green from algae. There was no mist today, no breeze to stir the stream or rustle the leaves. It was eerily still, the air pregnant with possibilities. I could see both ends of the bridge.
And now, if I were to believe Becca, I had to make a choice. Were I to stay on this side, my life would go on as it had been. Boring, uneventful, purposeless. My parents were gone, I had no siblings, no lovers. I’d been missing from work for nearly a week, and as far as I knew, no one had bothered to look for me. I didn’t belong anywhere.
And what of my other choice? What would happen if I walked across the bridge into another life, another century altogether. I’d heard tales of others wandering across to this side then never being able to find their way back. I supposed it worked the same on the other side. What if I got there and didn’t want to stay? Well, was that so different from how I felt here?
I put one foot on the bridge path, then the other. I stopped, looked around and reconsidered. In my heart I knew once I did this there was no going back. Did I like who I was enough to stay, or did I want to find out what else life might have in store for me — no matter where that life led?
I was scared. My body trembled at the thought of taking nothing with me, of knowing no one. But it trembled even more with the realization that to stay meant I might miss my destiny. I hitched up my skirts and set my face toward the far side of the bridge. What could be worse than being here and not being wanted by anyone. I didn’t hesitate. I nearly ran across the grooved stones, whispering goodbye to the white witch Becca and the life that did not want me any more than I wanted it.