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.
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.