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Author: winebabe
Title: Alone
Story: The Gemini Occurrence
Rating: PG
Flavor(s): Black Currant #21: epidemic; Triple Berry #20: me, myself & I; White Chocolate #4: corruption
Extra(s)/Topping(s): None.
Word Count: 1,464
Summary: 2025; Genevieve spends her time watching videos from Soulmate vloggers.
Notes: Genevieve Kessler-Downing, Jude Downing. (I don’t talk much about Soulmates anymore, which is ridiculous considering that’s what my whole plot is based upon. Anyway, getting back to the premise!)

After the dinner, things seem to settle for the time being. Jude is proud, briefly, and comes home the next Monday evening to tell her that Bryant and Chloe were so infatuated with her, they want to have them over for dinner sometime.

Genevieve blinks at him, holding a mug half-full of tea dosed with a fair amount of vodka, and forces a smile. “Wow, that’s wonderful news. I really did like Chloe.”

Jude smiles and turns away to finish hanging up his coat. “Wonderful. I’ll tell Bryant to pick a date and we’ll be there.”

“Of course,” she says, slowly turning back to the TV. “We absolutely will…be there.”

Jude makes his way up the stairwell, already having tuned Genevieve out, and she lets out a sigh of relief. It’s good to see him happy. It’s good to see him take pride in her, for once. But she knows all too well that it will stop, and when they come out on the other side, there will be hell to pay.

No good deed goes unpunished. Nothing gold can stay.

The lock clicks on the study door and Genevieve turns the TV off. She hadn’t been paying attention to anything on the screen anyway; instead, she pulls her laptop out from under the couch and opens it up once more, where a video with a young, pink-haired girl is taking up the screen. Genevieve settles herself on the couch, the laptop resting on her thighs, and clicks ‘play.’

It was...surreal. The girl beside her flips her long, dark hair and laughs. I didn’t think I’d meet my Soulmate so soon! But there we were, just...standing there, staring at each other, staring at the hearts on our wrists...

She started crying, the dark-haired girl interjects, and the pink-haired girl hits her on the arm.

Shut up! Don’t tell them that! She giggles. Her eyes are glistening. I did, though, but what do you expect? I mean, I met my Soulmate! I’m 17 and I already met my Soulmate! She starts crying then, and Genevieve raises a hand to her mouth, feeling the tears well up in her own eyes.

The dark-haired girl kisses her girlfriend on the cheek and pulls her into a hug. Why are you crying? she asks, laughing. Come on, this is a happy video! Don’t cry, baby.

Genevieve has to close her laptop. She can’t watch any more of it; the video makes her heart ache too much. She slips the laptop back underneath the couch and pulls her knees to her chest, staring at the heart in her wrist, looking at her own reflection in the darkened surface.

Genevieve lies awake in her marital bed, while Jude snores softly beside her, and all she can do is stare at her wrist. She knows she’s in the majority; most people who have the heart device haven’t found their Soulmates yet, and it’s still considered rare and almost impossible to find them. With billions of people on the planet, across state lines and country borders and vast oceans, how could anyone expect to just run into their Soulmate at their local Starbucks, or in school, or on the street? Genevieve knows the odds are against her, and Jude more than provides for her. Soulmates and love are not one in the same. She knows she can love someone who isn’t her Soulmate. She knows she can be happy with someone who isn’t her Soulmate.

The problem is, she doesn’t love Jude. The problem is, she isn’t happy.

But, her Soulmate, whoever they may be...they could make her happy. She could love them.

She loved Adelina, once, entangled together on the daybed covering each other in wine-drenched kisses. She wasn’t her Soulmate, but the love they shared, however brief, was worth a thousand years of marriage to Jude. It was worth all the money in the world. With Adelina, Genevieve had been happy. She knew she had been happy.

If her Soulmate can give her even half the happiness she experienced with Adelina that summer...if they are different enough from Jude, Genevieve knows it’ll all be worth it. Everything else would have been worth it.

She falls asleep holding onto her own wrist, two fingers gently resting atop the darkened heart as though searching for a pulse.

The liquor in her stash is gone the next morning, so Genevieve texts Adelina to let her know she needs a liquor store run while Jude is in the shower. She makes coffee for herself and sits at the island alone, watching as Jude puts his shoes on in the foyer and hurries out the front door, muttering to himself under his breath.

She cups her hands around the hot mug, glaring at the space he’d just been standing in. The people in the videos--none of them seemed unhappy, even the ones who admitted their relationships took extra work. Every single person radiated the kind of warmth and light that Genevieve wishes she could, and she feels bitter, sitting alone in her mansion while a man she despises holds control over her.

They haven’t really talked in months. She doesn’t know a damn thing about Jude’s job, about how his family is doing, about his thoughts or feelings. He probably doesn’t care an ounce about her or what’s been going on in her life, not that she could tell him about the videos, about her afternoons out with Adelina. She’s not supposed to leave the house while he’s gone. She’s not supposed to do anything. She’s only supposed to exist when he looks at her, when he wants her around, and she’s supposed to disappear in any other moment.

Instead of making herself a useful housewife, though, Genevieve curls up on the couch with her laptop and searches for more videos. The Soulmate vloggers are a rare bunch, but she does manage to find a video, with a woman, a man, and three children in the thumbnail, and clicks on that. They look so normal, like an average, happy family, and it’s all Genevieve wants. All her money could disappear if it meant she’d be happy, she thinks.

So, a lot of you have been asking for the story of how we met, the woman begins, holding a squirming toddler in her lap while the man beside her waves a toy in front of the toddler’s face, and I have to tell you, it’s really not all that exciting.

She’s not kidding, her husband says, handing the toy off to the toddler and turning back to the camera. We literally met in a grocery store. That’s it. That’s the story.

Well, we’re going to tell them the whole story, Allen, the woman says, and dips her head so that she can look at the child in her lap. Do you wanna get down, honey? Okay, there you go. She puts the toddler down, out of view of the camera, and sighs. I was hoping he’d sit still long enough for us to film this, she replies, and Allen laughs.

If Matt sits still for more than a minute, I’d be impressed.

Genevieve pauses the video when her phone buzzes on the coffee table. She quickly responds to Adelina, telling her she needs wine, rum, and maybe some Baileys for her coffee in the morning, and then resumes the video.

You know, my other two kids were perfectly well-behaved, the woman says. I’m blaming your genes.

Allen laughs, and Genevieve is jealous of the joy on his face.

Anyway, the woman says, casting an unamused glance at her husband as he continues laughing, so I had just been through a really messy divorce. I owed my attorney a few thousand dollars, my ex-husband was filing new petitions every week...I was a disaster. And I was in the grocery store with my two daughters, just trying to get the basics so I could feed them home-cooked meals that week--

Okay, she may have been a disaster emotionally, but she was still beautiful, Allen interjects, and Genevieve finds herself smiling.

What a joke, she laughs, shaking her head. I was not, but whatever. So, anyway, the cereal that Madeline wanted was on the very top shelf, of course, so there I am, standing on my tippy toes and jumping and trying everything to get it...

And then I appeared! Her six-two knight in shining armor!

That was it, the woman says and laughs. He got the cereal box down for me, I took it from him, and our hearts started glowing.

The rest is history, Allen says, beaming.

Genevieve doesn’t even realize she’s started crying until she turns off her laptop. She can’t even bear to look at the heart in her wrist.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2017 07:55 am (UTC)
Aww, poor Genevieve! And the hearts things and how it works really is fascinating, so I'm glad you've come back to it for a bit. :-)
Apr. 7th, 2017 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I really did almost completely forget about it...it's not so important in the spin off pieces I've been writing lately so once I got back to canon I was like wait! There's more to this!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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