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English Publications

Short Stories

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It’s All About Fate

Grace Chu

Many people often talk about destiny bringing two people together. Although I love fairy tales, I always wondered if there was really such a thing as fate. But those doubts disappeared after June 19, 2001.

On that day, the place where I teach English, Chinatown Manpower Project (CMP) hosted a special banquet to honor the volunteers and celebrate another successful semester. I arrived at the banquet early and staked out my table. But since many people had not yet arrived, I thought I would walk around. I considered leaving my bag to reserve spots for my two students and me at my chosen table. However, I felt uneasy about leaving my bag unsupervised and was certain that my seats would still be free later since there were so many available tables. So, I went to help the volunteer coordinator and then mingled with the other volunteers for about half an hour.

When I finally went back to the table, I found that the seats I had saved were now occupied. I was angry and contemplated telling the people to move, but I decided I would just find another table. I looked around and saw a fairly empty table toward the back of the restaurant and headed there. There were three people at the table. I introduced myself to the young woman who was sitting down. The other two men were standing and engaged in a conversation; one of them had his back toward me, so I could not see him. He turned around though when he heard my voice, and I found myself staring at the most handsome man I had ever met. He had sparkling brown eyes and a heart-capturing set of dimples. He smiled at me and said that his name was David. My heart began beating very fast, and my palms became sweaty, but I managed to introduce myself, and smile back. Once my heart slowed down, we connected instantly and talked until it was time to eat. The woman who I had introduced myself to earlier was sitting between us, so it was difficult to talk to David during dinner. But, I was able to successfully learn that he was single.

When the banquet ended, we approached each other to say good-bye. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses before we parted. I wanted to walk out with him, but I had to say farewell to my fellow volunteers and the volunteer coordinator. As I headed toward the exit though, I found David waiting for me. I was elated, and we walked to the subway station together. Unfortunately, he and I were going in opposite directions, so I tried to make the most of our time together as we waited for our respective trains.

Hoping to see David again, I sent him an email the next day indicating that I enjoyed talking to him. The following day, David called and asked me to dinner. I was ecstatic and counted the hours until I would see him again. Of course, as the time approached, I became more nervous and wondered if things would work out. It did! We had a candlelight dinner at an Italian restaurant and talked and laughed for hours. As we got to know each other, I found that David was more than just an attractive guy. He was also intelligent, funny, and sweet.

On June 22, 2002, David and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. In that time, we have shared many special moments and have grown closer. But more importantly, David has given me a lot of love and support. He has encouraged me and patiently stood by me as I juggle a full-time job and part-time graduate school. No matter how busy he is, he always takes the time to listen to me and see me through difficult times. David has also helped me celebrate my achievements, such as winning a national scholarship and getting an A on my first graduate paper. David is not only the best boyfriend, but also the most generous and wonderful friend that anyone could ever have.

So, next time someone bumps you from your table at a party, don’t get mad. You may actually end up meeting the person you have been waiting for all your life.

 

- End -

About the author: a 29-year-old native New Yorker who lives in Whitestone, Queens. A Chinese descent, a graduate from Townsend Harris High School in Queens in 1991 and from Boston University in 1995. Currently working at the Teachers' Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS), enjoying freelance writing and doing community service.

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