Chapter one: The Fortune Cookie
“I love you Fanny,
As a man loves a woman,
As a hero loves a heroin,
As I’ve never loved anyone in my entire life…”
Oh come on!!
Elena turned her TV off with an annoyed sigh.
I used to love Jane Austin! What happened to me?
As if to answer her question, her phone rang, snapping her back to reality.
It was David.
That’s right… you happened to me… You and every single guy I’ve ever met.
She went to her kitchen and opened her fridge to see if she had any leftovers. She only found an expired yogurt, a slice of pizza and a fortune cookie. Intrigued, she took the cookie and wondered how it got there.
After a minute’s thought, she remembered it came with the Chinese food she had ordered a week ago. She cracked it open, and read the prediction out loud: “Your life will take a much unexpected turn as you will be lead to the most important man in your life.”
Of course I will! Seriously, how do they even come up with these things?
After eating her meager meal, she went to bed, and tried to get some sleep, but her mind didn’t give her a moment’s rest. She couldn’t help playing the same scene in her head over and over again… David kissing his long-legged assistant… Her chock… Her tears… His words… His lame excuses, but most of all, she remembered the look that awful woman gave her. It felt like she was judging her, mocking her. She had never felt more humiliated in her life. And now that jerk had the nerve to keep calling her every day! How weak did he think she was?
I AM weak… I almost answered nearly every time he tried to reach me… What is wrong with me? Why am I a bad guy-magnet?
Finally sleep got the better of her tortured thoughts…
With difficulty, Elena got out of bed ten minutes after her alarm went off. She quickly put on the clothes she had picked out the night before and set out in the cold Manhattan air. She decided to stop at Starbucks on her way to work. She was definitely going to need some caffeine to get through the day. While she was waiting for her turn to order, her attention got caught by a family having breakfast together. They looked so happy, so carefree. She would have given anything in the world to be able to experience that. Her mind wandered to her days spent at the orphanage, to her excitement whenever a couple came to visit them, and her disappointment every single time because she wasn’t the one they picked. She shrugged. The woman in the family must have felt someone was looking at her. She turned around, and the moment she saw Elena, she froze in astonishment. Her face was livid. It was like she had seen a ghost. She even dropped the cup she was holding. Embarrassed by that stranger’s reaction, Elena was relieved when she realized it was her turn to order. She wanted nothing but to get out of that coffee shop. Yet, as she was walking towards the exit, the woman came up to her and said with a sad smile on her face: “You look just like your mother”.
Isabelle Jambart, FM