Valentine’s Day is around the corner — what better way to celebrate than with a story about true love? Or is it?
Waiting for True Love (rated G, for those who need a rating)
“You can’t be serious.” Allen tried to stop her from packing the final suitcase. “How can one fortune teller make you give up the last four years?”
“I told you what she said,” Rachael snapped. “‘True love will walk up to you at your favorite place during the next full moon.’” She continued packing. “That’s tonight.”
“This is crazy, Rach.” He pulled the top layer of clothes out of the suitcase. “We’re engaged. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?” He grabbed her hands and forced her to face him. “This is already true love.”
Rachael pushed him away. “It can’t be,” she whispered, “not when someone else is out there for me.”
Allen ran his hand through his short black hair. “They’re not even real.” He turned her back around. “They make a living lying to people, telling them what they want to hear.”
“She didn’t know anything about my love life,” Rachael retorted.
“Of course not.” Allen lifted her left hand. “You didn’t wear your engagement ring, so how would she know?”
Rachael jerked her hand back and returned to packing. “You don’t get it Al.” She stuffed the last of her belongings into the suitcase and zipped it. “This isn’t true love. It can’t be.”
A few tears escaped as she walked out the door, leaving behind the tall man with the gorgeous goatee that she’d begged him to grow out.
After lugging everything from her car to her friend’s living room, she walked the short distance to the park. “True love,” she whispered to the full moon, “here I come.”
Her favorite bench sat empty under the pecan tree, so she sat down to wait.
She looked down to check her watch before remembering that she left it behind. She didn’t want to bring any reminders of Allen with her, including the silver and gold beauty with an inscription of love.
“Love,” she whispered. “What if-”
A blue blur jumped out from behind a tree, sat down beside her, and took off its hoodie. The short blond hair was quickly hidden by a red hoodie, which seemed to appear out of thin air.
“Who-” Rachael started.
“So sorry. I’m Becca.” She looked over her shoulder, then back at Rachael. “We’re playing Moonlight Madness, but I don’t want anyone to find me.”
“Shouldn’t you hide then?”
Becca laughed. “I am.” She pushed her glasses back up her nose. “The winner is the one who’s best at hiding in plain sight.”
“Right.” Rachael looked around again, wondering if her true love would stop to talk to her with a teenager sitting next to her. “Maybe you should hide somewhere else, then.”
“Please let me sit here with you. I promise I won’t bother you.”
“I don’t…” She saw him walking her way. Tall. Short hair. Face shadowed like the dark side of the moon. “Sure kid,” she whispered, standing. “Stay as long as you want.”
Rachael moved closer to the figure. “True love,” she whispered, heart pounding.
The goatee made her stop in her tracks. “Allen?”
“This isn’t funny, Allen.” She turned away, but he pulled her back.
“Rach,” he coaxed. “You can’t-”
“Can’t what Allen? Can’t be happy? Can’t have true love because you won’t let me go? Can’t-”
“No,” he said. “You can’t possibly throw away what we have. I love you, Rach.” He moved closer. “I love you. Why would you leave me over what a fortune teller said?”
Her heart pounded, and she pushed him back. “Just go, Allen.”
“You know where to find me when you’ve come to your senses.”
She watched him walk away and wondered if she was doing the right thing. Could the fortune teller be wrong?
“Who’s that?” Becca stood next to her crunching on a chip she pulled from her hoodie.
“Oh.” She grabbed another chip. “You went to a fortune teller?”
“Yeah.” Rachael sat back down on the bench. “I had a gift card for my birthday.”
“Cool!” Becca sat next to her. “My mom always said it’s hard to find love after visiting a fortune teller.”
“I don’t know, but my parents split up after-”
“Found you, Becca!” A red-haired kid wearing a ninja costume jumped out from behind them.
Becca screamed. “Tom! What’s wrong with you?” She tackled him, chips spilling everywhere. “Did I win?” she asked when she had him pinned.
“Almost. We still can’t find Timmy.” He escaped her hold and ran off.
She picked up her empty chip bag and ran after him.
“True love,” Rachael whispered. “Full moon. Favorite place.” She looked around.
When she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, she started walking back to her friend’s apartment. “I’ll just come back tomorrow,” she said to the moon. “You’re still full tomorrow.”
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