Jason Lawrence Bell
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09-10-19 Fortunes Rearrange

09-10-19          PUSH ARROW TO BEGIN AUDIO

‘Wait for it. wait for it. it’s here,’ read the fortune cookie that Shea opened. Shea was enjoying a meal at a local Chinese restaurant with a group of friends. It was a couple’s dinner. Shea and Dave invited Diane and Bruce, and Nick and Joanie for Chinese food at a new restaurant that has become very popular. On the table set a plate of fortune cookies and each person picked up a cookie. Shea was first and read the fortune out loud, ‘wait for it, wait for it, it’s here.’ Shea looked at the others and said, ‘wow wait for what? She looked excited and smiled. Then Diane opened her cookie and read it to the group. ‘You are betraying a friend’s trust. True love is at stake.’ Diane and the group were startled. Dave spoke, ‘Nasty little cracker.’ Diane sat quietly and looked worried, then said, ‘I don’t know what it’s talking about. It’s crazy.’ But everyone could tell there was more to the story.

Nick took his turn and opened his cookie. ‘If you walk on a path of lies it never leads to true love.’ Nick threw the paper down and mumbled something about lying cookies. Bruce spoke, ‘these are ninja fortunes. I thought they had to be happy. Okay my turn.’ So, Bruce cautiously opened the cookie and read. ‘She wants you too. She will leave him’. ‘What the hell. This is crap.’ Blurted Bruce whose face was blushing. He seemed overly disturbed. Diane was looking at Bruce, her live in lover, like she finally understood. But she said nothing.

Joanie was feeling brave and opened her cookie, ‘true love is near but not with you.’ She looked puzzled at first, then seemed to understand. The group asked her ‘what did it mean?’, but Joanie played dumb and said she had no idea. Dave was left to take his cookie and he opened it. He quickly read it to himself and began smiling. ‘If you asked her, she will say yes.’ Dave read it and looked up at Shea who was smiling lovingly at Dave.

Just then Diane blurred out, ‘I know what they are saying. I know what the cookies are about. Okay. Everyone put your fortune in the middle.’ Diane took her fortune and placed it in the middle of the table and everyone did the same. Diane moved the fortunes around until there were three pairs. ‘This is what it is saying. These are the couples.’ One pair was Dave and Shea. They were still smiling at each other. But the other pairs were different. It had Diane and Nick together and then Bruce and Joanie.

Diane continued ‘If we are really going to be honest with ourselves, we should tell ourselves the truth. Bruce I am so sorry but I have become infatuated with Nick. We can’t go on as a couple. I’m so sorry.’ Bruce was looking sad but also looking at Joanie who was not looking sad. Joanie turned to Nick and spoke, ‘I think I’ve known for a while you and I were not right for each other. Especially when you were around Diane and I could see you light up.’ ‘Like when you light up for Bruce.’ Responded Nick. Diane whispered to Nick ‘you light up for me?’ Nick blushed as their eyes locked. The new couples stood up and walked to private corners of the restaurant and began talking about their futures. They didn’t notice Dave down on his knee and as Shea repeated ‘yes, yes, yes.’ Peace***