14 June 2015

Fortune Cookie

A short story

It was early November, snowing heavily. I was driving from Ohio to New Jersey. Except few monstrous trucks, the road was almost empty. It was my first long road trip. As a new driver and still new to America, I was a bit nervous. I had just completed my first consulting assignment in Ohio, and my company had asked me to come over to New Jersey for a new assignment.

As it was getting late in the evening, I took an exit to eat. It was a small town in Pennsylvania. Most of the restaurants were already closed perhaps due to heavy snow. I found one small Asian restaurant open. I quickly had small chicken fried-rice. The waiter brought the bill along with a fortune cookie. I paid the bill and left the restaurant taking my fortune cookie.

During my past six months stay in Ohio, I met many interesting people. John was my close neighbor, we often played tennis together. Sometimes another neighbor Nancy would join our game. She did a medical training there for few months away from her home. On her last day, John and I gave her a small send-off party in a fancy Thai restaurant. As we were finishing our dinner, a beautiful Asian girl came to our table to give our bill. I said to John and Nancy, "Oh my god, I'm totally attracted to her". I do not think they understood how much I meant it. As we were looking at the bill, we opened our fortune cookies. I opened mine and it said, "You will find your love today". I showed it to John and Nancy. As we were laughing about it, she came back again to collect the bill. Without any thinking, I just took my fortune cookie and gave it to her. She read it, looked at me and shyly went away. Nancy told me that I was so courageous to do it.

John and I went to that restaurant many times after that. With all the busyness in the restaurant, I made few eye contacts with her and she seemed to be interested, but perhaps shy. She often seemed to be close around me but not close enough. I wanted to approach and talk to her but I was shy. It is so ironic that once we like someone, suddenly saying even a simple 'hi' becomes so difficult! Every time, I left the place frustrated. Over the time, I had a feeling that everyone worked in the restaurant knew about me and my interest in her. They even seemed to treat me better.

On one such occasion, as John and I were leaving the restaurant, she was standing at the reception area along with couple of other girls. She looked deeply into me as though to communicate something important. I felt sadness in her look. Still I did not have enough courage to approach her. I said to John, "I have a bad feeling. Perhaps she is going to leave this place soon or something".

When we went to the restaurant next time, she was not there. I casually asked the bartender about her. He replied that as she had finished her school, she went back to her country couple of days back. John looked deeply at me for the first time, as though he just understood what I had been sharing with him all these days. After all, I never spoke a single word with her, and all I really knew was just my intuitions and feelings. Whenever her image comes to my mind, a sharp pain hits my heart.

As I was leaving the small Pennsylvania town, it was still snowing heavily. I was holding my new fortune cookie in my hand that said "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer".



I wrote it on 16th April 2014, as an assignment for a short writing course that I took (This is my first story I ever wrote). Thanks to my instructor (Matt) and all my classmates who reviewed it. Special thanks to my friend Boomi.

5 comments:

Memoroid said...

Very engaging story

CorTexT said...

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Memoroid said...

Very engaging story
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Thanks!

Godwin Paiya said...

Cute love!!! I think.. She still remembers u.. n miss u... I too came across this exact situation.. able to feel, what u guyz felt..

CorTexT said...

//Godwin Paiya said...
Cute love!!! I think.. She still remembers u.. n miss u... I too came across this exact situation.. able to feel, what u guyz felt..
//

Thanks for the comment. To me... more than the initial attraction, it's about fear and courage... I think, we don't regret much about our failures, but we do regret the chances we didn't take in our life.

Anonymous said...

It is a nice story about fear and courage. In this case, fear of inadequacy or rejection?
Often, in life, fear keep us from stepping beyond our limits and boundaries .
Fear often lead us to form preconceived notions about people and events...closing down, unable to experience and see from all fresh perspective.
May we all develop the courage to just sit with the groundlessness of fear just a little longer everyday...with love and compassion.
Thank you for sharing your story.