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Hanging out with my friends on the pier in Atlantic City has always been something I loved to do, except for today.
Today, I felt more like a fifth wheel than ever before.
I'm the only single one in our group. I haven't dated someone seriously for about a year and a half.
I just haven't found the right woman to commit to.
We were just passing one of those fortune telling booths that lined the boardwalk, as Alice stopped.
"Come on guys, let's go check this out," Alice called as we stopped to look at her.
"What? Come on Alice. You know all that is bullshit," I said looking at my twin sister like she was crazy.
"Edward, stop being a stick in the mud. Maybe she'll tell you how you can meet the girl of your dreams."
"Right, you know that stuff is phony."
"Come on, it could be fun. And it will give us something to laugh about," Emmett said as he led the way.
Fuck, why do they always drag me along for things that don't sound good to me?
I followed behind them as we entered the darkened tent.
"Hello, Welcome to Madame Rita's. How may I be of help to you?" the woman dressed in gypsy clothes said as we entered.
"We'd like a reading," Alice said as she bounced in place.
"First, I'd like to ask if there are any skeptics among you?" she asked looking at all of us.
They all turned to look at me.
"Thanks," I mumbled as I looked back at them.
"Sorry, she knew someone was a skeptic," Emmett said looking scared of Madame Rita.
"Well, young man have a seat," she said as she motioned to the empty chair in front of her.
I sat down and looked at her.
"Give me your hands," she said.
I placed my hands in hers and she looked into my eyes.
"You have a desire to be loved and accepted, " she said.
"Don't we all?" I mumbled.
"Yes, but love seems to elude you. It is on the horizon, you just have to have your eyes open and when you find something tonight don't toss it away. Search for it with all that you have."
I rolled my eyes at the woman.
"Don't scoff at me, Edward. I can see the future and what I see is you and a woman, happy and falling in love. She will be what you've been searching for, and you will no longer be the fifth wheel."
"How did you know my name and what I thought earlier today?" I asked.
"I told you, I know things."
"Who is she and what will I find?"
"I cannot say, all I was able to see I told you," she said as she let go of my hands.
"I think you're lying. One of them probably said my name and since I'm here with two couples, it's easy to come up with that fifth wheel thing," I said glaring at the woman.
"Believe what you want, but when you find something tonight don't throw it out. You will regret it if you do."
With that ominous warning, we decided to leave.
Alice gave her the money and we left.
"Ooh, Eddie are you scared?" Emmett teased as we walked out.
"No, why would I be? She's full of shit and you know it."
"Then, how did she know your name?"
"That I don't know, Emmett," I said as we continued walking down the pier.
They all wanted to go on some water ride, so I told them to go ahead.
I wandered along, looking at the various shops and little stands.
It was a nice night, not too warm but not too chilly. It'd be a perfect night to stroll along with someone close by your side.
Maybe one day.
It was hard being the only one without a girlfriend.
When I was with Kate, she never liked coming to the pier.
She thought it was a childish place to go. We were only twenty-three then; I'll be twenty-five in June.
The pier doesn't have an age limit. I've seen couples in their seventies enjoying themselves.
Kate just didn't like the noise or the wind, she always worried about it messing her hair up.
Why couldn't I ever find a woman who was easy going, laid back and enjoyed life?
I've always found ones that liked the finer things in life.
There's nothing wrong with that, but there's more to life than that.
I want to meet a woman who likes me for me. Not for the job I do or the amount of money in my bank account.
The women that I've found to date, once they heard my last name, that was it. They wanted to get engaged as soon as possible.
Did they even love me? Hell to the no, they just wanted what the name and the money I could give them.
I wanted more than that.
I wanted to find the right woman for me.
Maybe that woman doesn't exist. Maybe she's just a dream of mine.
The sun was starting to set as I kept walking and people strolled by. Some smiled at me, others were talking with their partner.
That is what I miss most about being in a relationship, the small conversations as you strolled along.
I was walking past the carnival games and watched as a teenage boy tried to win his girlfriend a teddy bear.
Poor guy just wasn't having any luck, but he was determined.
The girl just watched him with such a look of love. I haven't been on the receiving end of that kind of look.
I want someone to look at me like that.
The guy went to talk to the girl for a minute.
No doubt she's giving him the 'I believe in you speech.'
So I took the opportunity to go over and talk to the game attendant.
"Hey buddy," I said.
"Yeah, you wanna play?"he asked.
"Nah, how about I give you fifty dollars to let that kid win the biggest bear you got," I said as I looked at the couple.
"Sure," he said as his eyes twinkled. Carnies are all the same, money talks.
I slipped him the money as the guy walked back up with the girl.
I smiled as I watched the girl kiss his cheek for luck.
He threw the ball and knocked down most of them, and I watched as the guy told him he could get any bear he wanted.
The girl literally squealed and hugged the guys neck.
'Aww... the innocence of love', I thought to myself as I walked away with a smile on my face.
I kept walking, I really wasn't in the mood to go find everyone yet.
I passed one of those picture booths that they had around the pier and I decided to step inside and get my pictures done, just for fun.
I deposited the money and then waited to take the pictures.
I used to love these when I was little; Alice and I would always make goofy faces in the pictures.
I ended up making a couple of goofy faces, just for old times sake.
As I waited for the pictures to print, I thought about what the fortune teller told us. I wonder what I'm supposed to find.
I don't really believe in all that hocus pocus stuff.
Alice, on the other hand, is a firm believer in fate, karma, and horoscopes.
Me, I'm more of thinker. I brood a lot and I write my thoughts down.
The pictures were finally done and I reached to get them. I pulled out two strips of pictures.
Looking down, I saw my pictures. But, the other one was of a woman.
She had dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes.
Damn, she's beautiful. I could feel my cock getting hard.
No woman in a long time has had this kind of effect on me.
Her eyes were so mesmerizing, and her smile was so genuine.
She made several goofy faces also.
Could this be what the fortune teller was talking about?
Could this be what I wasn't supposed to throw away?
Could she be who I'm supposed to search for?
She could be anywhere.
Maybe I need to believe in a higher power, in fate, in karma. In anything other than what I can see.
I needed to find the rest of them and see what they think.
I headed back towards the carnival rides and hoped that they were still around there.