The Butterfly Effect

Essay by asgunuHigh School, 10th gradeA, February 2008

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Ashan Sanjeeva Year 10 Short Story

The Butterfly Effect

Take one story, viewed from two different angles.

Take a Friday night in July, in the late 1990s. It is seven 'o clock, and a young woman, 22 years old, is packing up, ready to leave the office and travel home. She wishes her colleagues goodnight, and walks to the elevator, briefcase in hand. She reaches out, presses the "down" button of the elevator, shuffling her feet impatiently. The elevator doors open. It is empty. The woman walks in, the elevator taking her down to the ground floor of the building. The doors open, and she hurries out, out through the revolving doors of the building, out into the open. A concoction of loud and piercing sounds meets her ears, contrasting with the relative, ordered lull of the office: cars shriek as they speed by, people talk animatedly on the footpath, men on loudspeakers sell their wares.

She breathes in deeply, savouring the smell of the fresh, cold air, and smiles. All she could think about was getting on that bus home, where she could relax, away from the stress and boredom that was work in the office. Maybe, if she catches the early bus, she could make it in time for the evening movie. She strides forward onto the road, absorbed in her thoughts, towards the bus bay on the other side of the street. A car horn sounds; brakes screech, and the woman's world turns black.

Now take that same story from a different angle. On a Friday night in July, in the late 1990s, a 40-year-old man walks out of his house, going to purchase the week's groceries. He gets behind the wheel of his second-hand 1993 model Ford Falcon, and drives to the local supermarket. He...