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You think you know where you stand in life, like everything you've done up until this moment was in your control somehow and every mistake you ever made wasn't really a mistake- it was fate or kismet or some other such crap that no one understands but gives good lip service to. You're the master of your destiny, or something like that.

"Men, at some times, are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." - Act One, Scene Two: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Yeah, you've got that whole "what if" thing licked, haven't you? You're perfectly in control.

And then it happens... your past catches up with you, like something out of a bad psycho-drama, where the protagonist is faced with a dreaded mistake from decades ago and now has to deal with the consequences. That girl you knocked up once; that car wreck you ran away from before anyone could catch you; that one-time drug deal you made because you needed the money for rent and no one ever was the wiser to your indiscretion except the people you sold the shit to... that kinda thing. Dark, deep secrets of the soul that we do our best to forget and hope no one else remembers.

When it sneaks up on you and shouts, "Surprise! I'm fuckin' ya!" you experience this cold, stabbing feeling in the pit of your stomach. A small, childish voice that you thought had died when puberty took over surreptitiously echoes plaintitively, "...but you can't be here! I left you behind!"

Whatever it is, it never completely goes away. The world is a circle, in 360 directions, and whether you choose to believe it or not, some paths do cross again.

Faced with this horrid memory brought back to life, resurrected for your enjoyment, you embrace the reality of the situation. You are older, stronger, wiser than you were oh-so-many years ago. You can deal with it this time. Your mind turns to ice and you become a machine, intent on driving this skeleton back into the closet from whence it came, this time for good. You'll do whatever it takes, anything, to make sure of that.

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