Finishing up the last of her chicken chow fun Jan took a sip of jasmine tea and smiled at Kenny, her waiter, as he approached with the usual fortune cookie to complete her meal.
“Your lunch was satisfactory I trust Miss Jan?”
“As always Kenny. What do you think my fortune will be today?”
Kenny frowned. “I have a feeling Miss Jan. I think something…well, I wish you good fortune but I think you must be vigilant.”
He put the plate down and walked away without another word. Jan was left looking after him in bewilderment. What was that supposed to mean?
Picking up the fortune cookie she hesitated. Was there something out of the ordinary in there? She held it up to her ear and shook it. Nothing. It was just a fortune cookie and she was being silly she decided.
She broke it open and picked out the fortune. Something wasn’t right about it but she couldn’t decide what. She unfolded it and read the black writing.
‘To seize the day
The will abides
But outcomes rest
On unseen tides’
Pursing her lips she read it over several times and then put it down gingerly on the plate. Odd is what it was. Her elbow slid an inch or two and knocked her teacup onto the floor. A passing bus boy cleaned up the mess and gave her a shy smile.
Such an odd fortune, she thought. Unseen tides. What could that mean? She vacillated over calling Kenny back to the table and asking him what he thought it meant and why he had told her she needed to be vigilant but she didn’t want him to think her silly.
Paying her bill and heading for home she found she couldn’t get the matter out of her mind. So distracted was she that she managed to run a stop sign and nearly got in an accident. The other driver shouted obscenities at her and drove off in a huff.
Embarrassed, she forced herself to concentrate and made it home without further incident. She put on the kettle thinking a nice cup of camomile tea would sooth her. She got out a tea bag and put it in the cup and was pouring the boiling water over it when the phone rang. It was inordinately loud. Startled, she spilled water on her hand and felt a searing pain. She ignored the phone and ran cold water on her hand until the pain subsided and then put some lotion on the burn.
She sat down with her tea and turned on the television for a bit of distraction. After a bit she remembered the phone call and checked to see if there was a message. There was, and after listening to it she felt a chill run up her spine. She listened to it again and then walked back to her seat.
Why would anyone want to say something so vile to her? The message had been graphic and repellent. She fretted over what she should do. What had been a wonderful day until lunchtime had turned into a virtual nightmare.
She decided to call Marsha. She just needed to confide in someone, and if anyone would know what to do it would be her best friend.
Part 2 Tomorrow