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Caged Bird

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The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,

of things unknown, but longed for still,

and his tune is heard on the distant hill,

for the caged bird sings of freedom.

-Maya Angelou

No one was truly free. That is the great lesson, that is what you learned from them. They controlled everything they touched, their reach slipping beyond borders, across oceans, through the social classes.

They had decided, they could decide, who lived, who died, who suffered. They had agents working behind the scenes of politics, behind the faces of major companies.

They controlled everything, they controlled you. They controlled you from the moment you were born, from the moment his name and his birth year were inked on your skin as a soulmate mark.

You were watched, you were monitored.

You were bound to a man you had never met, your soul was intertwined with a man who was born in 1917, an impossible and bewildering amazement.

How could your soulmate be a man who was born in 1917, when you were born in 1994? How could you have a soulmate who would be well into his old age, possibly dying when you were in your prime?

Your question of how, and why, was never answered in the way you imagined. You never got to meet your soulmate, James, in a way you had hoped.

Because from the moment you were born, your destiny had been controlled. Without you even realizing it, without you even truly being aware, you were marked special, a tool for future use in their plans.

Your soulmate mark had set you apart, made you different. Though for a great deal of your life, until you turned 25, you greatly ignored his name and birth year inked on your skin.

You thought you had freedom, you thought you had choices. You thought you were unnoticeable.
And you were dead wrong.

“Welcome to your cage, little bird.” A voice you had never heard before, laden with a thick accent, cooed in a condescending way. “You will save Hydra well, you will serve the soldier well, little dove.”

How wrong you were.