The wrapper of the fortune cookie fluttered to the linoleum before settling there. I ignored it, instantly fracturing the cookie into two neat pieces. With enthusiasm that probably had people at other tables dubbing me an outcast, I pulled out the small piece of white paper inside and flattened it out.
Love is like wildflowers...it is often found in the most unlikely places.
I let out a short laugh and threw it across the table to Mary. She glanced down at it and cast me a light-hearted, flirtatious wink. I rolled my eyes in response and sighed, resting my chin on my palm.
I always received romantic messages in my fortune cookies, but the truth was, I was the least lovable person. Not 'lovable' in the way that your parents love you; a lot of people did love me. But it was just my luck that nobody was in love with me. I was going to be seventeen next month, and I had never had a real boyfriend. It was as if there was fluorescent sticky note on my forehead reading "WARNING: THOSE OF OPPOSITE SEX- DO NOT APPROACH".
The odd thing was, I never really had wanted a boyfriend. I was just sick of all of the fortune cookies and hints from my friends that there might be a boy in their history class who I would like. Mary brought me out of my reverie by tapping me on my wrist.
"Charlotte, diners are 'unlikely places'," she hinted, casting a profound look to a large table in the corner of the room where a half a dozen boys were chucking broccoli at each other, "Maybe you could do one of those things that you do- like walking over there and accidentally tripping and falling into one of their laps?" I snorted into my Coca Cola, covering my mouth in horror.
"Jesus, Molly," I retorted, "That's really subtle." Mary shrugged and leaned back in her chair.
"Unless you have any better ideas?" she prompted, tilting her head to the side. I rolled my eyes and swallowed.
"No, Mary, that's just it," I snapped, "I don't have any ideas, and I don't want any. Fortune cookies are a bunch of garbage anyway." Mary reached across the table and dropped her fortune into my hand.
"When it comes to the night life, you excel. Use this to your advantage tonight."
I scoffed, rolled it up into a little ball and chucked it at her.
"Well at least they got yours right," I pointed out. Mary smiled, but the corners of her mouth turned downwards after a second.
"Do you think it means that I will meet somebody tonight?" she asked thoughtfully.
"Maybe," I offered patronizingly. My closest friend closed her eyes dramatically, laying her hand on the table and clearly counting to ten.
"What are you doing?" I asked exasperatedly. She tapped her left ring finger.
"When I get to ten," she explained, "The boy of my dreams will walk through that door." I blinked in shock, turning halfway around in my chair. There was nobody in the parking lot.
"Nine..." I heard Mary mutter, "Ten." Her eyes flew open with anticipation, only to fall down again. Nobody had entered.
And then the door flew open, and both of our jaws dropped.
"Twelve works, too," Mary whispered in awe. I nodded, completely dumb-founded.
Standing in the doorway was the most beautiful boy that I had ever seen. He had bronze-colored hair that stuck up in the most asymmetrical way that only a boy as handsome as he could pull off. His eyes were a strange topaz color, and his skin was almost translucent. He had raindrops sparkling on his face as he took of his coat and said something to the mesmerized Asian hostess.
"Do you see him?" Mary demanded, shaking my bony wrist in her hand.
"Yes," I breathed, stiffening as he walked by us, two feet away. We watched conspicuously as he took a seat in the back next to a pretty woman with soft features and caramel-colored hair who had arrived several minutes ago.
"Are they together?" Mary demanded in horror. I considered this.
"I don't think so," I decided, "He nodded to her without smiling. Maybe she's a relative? They both are really pale, and her hair is almost the same color..." Mary seemed comforted by my thinking, so she agreed.
"Yes, their eyes are the same," she established, as if that made everything clear, "She's his older sister." I smiled consolingly, and we both nodded, resuming our meals.