At 18 Pran remembers clearly staring at the tattoo on his collarbone, it was no where near as obnoxious as he expected it to be. On the contrary, it was pretty.
Pran doesn't get all the hype over soulmates or soulmarks to be honest. If there really was someone out there that you were destined to meet, how comes most soulmates never meet. His parents were living examples of how you could live and fall in love without ever meeting your soulmate.
However, regardless of what he thought everyone was completely enamoured with the idea of it. Pat, his 'enemy' (also the guy he may or may not be crushing on) and the next door neighbours kid (that his parents hated) couldn't wait to get his soulmark.
Pran hated hearing him ramble on about it.
"Don't you even for a second wonder what it will look like?" Pat spoke his eyes twinkling with curiosity.
Nope. He wasn't even the slightest bit interested.
Pran knew whatever it was it wouldn't be pretty, afterall your soulmark was a reflection of you printed on another person. And Pran knew if his tattoo reflected what he felt deep down inside it wouldn't at all be pretty.
But Pat went on and on about how if Ink was his soulmate his soulmark was bound to be the most beautiful thing.
Ink was a recent addition to their friendship group, she had joined mid way through the year and already had a lot of guys crushing on her. She was pretty, albeit bit too clumsy but in an indearing way and she was easy to get along with. It was virtually impossible not to like her.
"If ink and I were to be soulmate, do you think her soulmark would contrast too much against, you know my cool guy vibe"
Pran just laughed but what else could he do, he couldn't even stop himself from letting a bitter tone slide in. Pat was so ablivious in all the wrong ways, but Pran wasn't allowed to get mad hell he wasn't even allowed to be bitter afterall he never said how he felt. Pat was allowed to like Ink and he was allowed to talk about it but even so Pran didn't like to hear about it.
Ink was perfect in every way, and he gets that. Honestly if he could he'd probably like her to, and Pat was right her soulmark was surely going to be just as pretty and perfect as she was.
"How would you even know, are you going to ask her to show you"
That was Pran's biggest issue with the whole soulmate thing they could live right next door to you and you wouldn't even know. A tattoo tells you so much about a person but also so little.
So Pran never expected much from his 18th birthday, sure he'd wake up with a soulmark but everything else would stay the same. His parents would wish him happy birthday, his friends would make it their mission to embarrass him and Pat... Pat would tease him relentlessly and probably demand to see his soulmark.
However, Pran never thought at 4am on his 18th birthday he'd be sstaring in the mirror at his soulmark absolutely mesmerised. There were tiny black birds scattered across his collar only stopping at the end of each collarbone. They looked so dainty, so small almost fragile like they'd die at any moment. For a second Pran wondered who his soulmate was, for a second he hoped that these birds belonged to Pat and nobody else. Choking on that though Pran span around refusing to look at the mark scattered across his chest.
'As long as it doesn't belong to a girl you'll be fine'
Pran reminded himself, getting in his hopes up would only end bad. Plus what was the point Pran could hope all he wanted but he'd still probably never meet the person that it belonged to.
Needless to say he was completely right about the rest of the day especially Pat.
"Ah come on Pran show me, I really wanna see" Pat groaned draping himself over Pran's back his arms reaching round his neck grazing dangerously close to his mark.
"Pat" Pran said sharply leaving no room for argument, but Pat isn't the type to back down easy.
"Come on, why won't you let me see it" Pat said pitifully laying his head on Pran shoulder as his hands played with the hem of his shirt.
Pran abruptly span around pushing Pat off.
"Why do you even care, it isn't a big deal!" Pran yelled annoyed with all of Pat's questions.
Or maybe he was annoyed because the reality of the situation was that it wasn't going to be Pat's soulmark. That in the end it probably belongs to some random person he'd never meet.
"Sorry, I'm just curious you're the first to get one out of all of us" Pat said apologetically he clearly didn't intend to over step.
Unfortunately Pat wasn't lying, out of their whole friendship group Pran was the oldest followed by Pat who was 1 week younger.
Sighing softly Pat moved around Pran and plopped himself down on top of the bench that they were currently working on.
"It's fine, my soulmark just isn't anything be excited over" Pran responded truthfully, he'd never be able to get excited over it like Pat did. In his eyes having a soulmark completely spoiled all of his chances, even if he never had any to begin with.
A week later, Pat was in the same situation as Pran was. Everyone was asking about his soulmark but unlike Pran he didn't avoid the questions, he answered them and gushed about how pretty it was. He even showed Pran what it looked like (this was of course done by seeking into his room in the evening.)
"It's pretty right" Pat said staring straight at Pran as they sat on his bed crossed legged facing each other. Pat's school shirt was half open exposing the left side of his chest and in any of scenario Pran would have been flustered and unable to look. However, Pat's soulmark stole all of his attention it was a caged bird. The strangest thing to Pran was that the cage was open and although the bird was surrounded by flowers and greenery outside it seemed to refuse to fly away. To leave the cage it was trapped in.
"It's kind of sad though" Pat spoke softly now staring down at his soulmark.
"Umm" Pran agreed but he was too lost in his thoughts to respond with words, apart of him wanted to believe that maybe Pat was his soulmate. Their tattoo's were way too similar to be a coincidence, but Pran knew better so what if they both had similar soulmarks for all he knows Ink could have to same. Anyone could.
"I wonder who it is?" Pat questioned, his face scrunching up in thought.
"Do you not think it belongs to Ink" Pran replied raising his eyebrow at Pat.
All he got in response was a shrug.
"You're the only person that's seen it so far, and I don't think it matches Ink" Pat said after thinking for a while.
The first sentence made Pran's breath hitch. He was the first person Pat showed his soulmark to, without knowing he let a small smile slip onto his face.
"Wanna show me yours now" Pat teased leaning in with a smirk on his face.
"In your dreams, leave i have homework to finish" Pran pushed his face away and headed over to his desk.
That was the last time Pat entered his room.
Pran had never been a stranger to fate. It tears you apart and then brings you back together.