Apart from articles, I also write fiction. This story is about a 30-year-old woman named Mackenzie who seems lost in life. Until she meets her spirit guide Takuya during her stay in the Norwegian city of Bergen. It’s the start of a very interesting day for her…
Travel does not make you happy. I tried it, multiple times, but my depression hasn’t alleviated one bit. Persistent as I can be, I decided to give it one more try, just in case. I literally threw a dart on a world map and got on a plane the day afterwards. And now here I am… having breakfast in a luxury hotel in the Norwegian city of Bergen. Beautiful nature, a picturesque city centre and a pleasant temperature. Miserably I poke my fork in the piece of fresh salmon on my plate. I look around towards the other hotel guests. A British couple enthusiastically discuss their plans for today. Two tables further there is an elderly gentleman, enjoying his morning cup of coffee with a satisfied expression on his face. And near the entrance of the breakfast room a family laughs at the mischievous perils of their youngest member.
I sigh, stir my tea listlessly and close my tired eyes.
“Is your life that miserable?” a gruff voice suddenly asks me.
Startled, I open my eyes and see an Asian man, around forty years old, sitting across from me. He is dressed rather strangely. Like a sort of ancient samurai warrior, with long black hair in a ponytail and an unshaven face. He glares at me with strict dark eyes.
For a moment I’m surprised. And that’s putting it mildly.
“Is your life that miserable?” he repeats, at the same time using my fork to scoop up the piece of salmon and putting it into his mouth.
“Hey, that is my breakfast,” I blurt out, amazed at so much impertinence.
“That is what happens if you wait too long.” He shrugs, chewing the fish and looking at me with a very serious expression. “Consider this lesson number one for today.”
“There will be more?” I ask, totally taken aback by this unusual situation. I quickly look around, but nobody seems to take notice of us. Nobody casts weird glances at him. Instead a waitress friendly smiles at the man and approaches us.
“Would you like something to drink, Sir?”
“A cup of coffee, please,” the samurai warrior smiles politely.
“I’ll be right back,” she says and disappears in the direction of the bar.
“Why…” I start, slightly hesitating.
“… doesn’t she bat an eye at my outfit?” he adds.
“You are the only one who sees me in my true form. The rest of the people see a regular Japanese businessman.”
For a few seconds he transforms into a neatly shaven man with a perfect hairdo, wearing an impeccable expensive business suit. Then he’s back to being a rough warrior.
Alright. This is kind of… unusual. I didn’t drink that much yesterday, did I? I had a glass of wine at dinner and a liquor for dessert afterwards.
“It’s not the booze,” he says.
Shit, he can read minds. I must be hallucinating. The depression must have severely affected my brain.
“No, I’m not a hallucination.”
“Then what are you?”
“I’m Takuya, your guide.”
“Excuse me?” I blink in surprise.
“Your spirit guide. Before you came to earth, we agreed that I would guide you and try to keep you on the right path. But since you have been making a mess of things lately, I have come to help you.”
“I think you’re talking to the wrong person,” I protest. “You don’t even know me.”
“Mackenzie, I know everything there is to know about you.”
Now it’s getting a bit too creepy.
“You turned thirty on the 30th of October. You were unhappy with your job as a reporter for a local newspaper. You bought a lottery ticket last year and won a million euro, after which you immediately quit your job. You slept the first ten years of your life with a stuffed animal elephant named Wobbo. You wolf down a whole bag of marshmellows each weekend. Yes, I deliberately said ‘wolf down’ instead of ‘eat’. You don’t like beer, but you still drink it because all your friends do. You love opera, but you don’t want to admit it. And you regularly sing along to Celine Dion songs in the car, very out of tune. I can go on, if you like.”
Alright, he knows more about me than my best friends.
The waitress returns with a large cup of coffee and puts it down in front of Takuya with a coquettish smile.
Takuya takes a big gulp and give me another intense stare.
“You have enough money, if you handle it wisely, to live comfortably for many, many years to come. You have a few good friends and a family that loves you. You are physically healthy. You can do whatever you want, because you don’t have a partner or kids. And yet, you are incredibly unhappy.”
I bow my head with shame.
“I’m depressed,” I mutter, almost like an apology.
“You are not depressed. You have forgotten what life is about. Luckily we are here to help you remember.”
“Who is ‘we’?”
“Me, and four old acquaintances of yours. You might not recognise them physically, but your soul knows who they are.
“When will I meet them?”
“Just walk around the city today. You’ll run into them.”
I close my eyes and rub my tired face with my hands.
“How can I…”
When I open my eyes again, the samurai warrior is gone. Only the steaming cup of coffee is still there.
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