3rd place Pete Graff - It’s serendipity


story tease

By Pete Graff

Poland

“Serendipity,” Chloe blurted out.

“What?” said Jason.

“Serendipity” repeated Chloe as her face flushed.

“It means ‘when things happen by chance and have a happy or beneficial result.’ I remember seeing you here a while ago, but I was too shy to say hello. And now here you are again. It’s like I was given another chance to have a first hello.”

Now it was Jason’s turn to blush. “Really?” he said. “You were too shy to say hello? I have been sitting here thinking of some way to talk to you without sounding like a complete spaz. The best line I could come up with was ‘Hi, I’m Jason, AB Negative, nice to meet you.’”

Chloe laughed and suddenly the tension between the two of them was lifted.

“Wow, AB negative. That is kind of a rare blood type, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yeah, I am kind of a big deal among vampires and blood banks,” Jason answered.

She laughed again as Jason flashed a pearly grin in her direction.

“Well, I am just a plain, old “O positive Chloe,” she said.

“I don’t think you are plain or old. But I am positive I would like to get to know you,” he said.

Laughing hysterically, Chloe choked out, “You really are bad at pickup lines.”

“I know, right? Maybe I should just eat some of those free crackers and juice and let you do the talking.”

Wiping tears from her eyes Chloe said, “Really - it’s fine. I had a bad day at work and a good laugh was what I needed.”

“What happened at work?” he asked.

“Well, I work for a local newspaper and my editor wanted me to do a story about romance and chance encounters for our Valentine’s edition. So I wrote about two people meeting on a subway train and having a love-at-first-sight moment. I spent two days writing it and he said it was ‘not how the real world works, people just don’t bump into each other and fall in love.’ Now I have to start over.”

He said: “I guess he doesn’t believe in “syrup en pitty”

“You mean ‘serendipity?’” asked a smiling Chloe.

“That’s what I said. It is hard to talk with these crackers in my mouth. Anyway, why don’t you write about us?” he continued.

“Is there ‘an us’? You would date a girl you met at a blood bank?”

“Sure - if that girl would date a guy who lives with his parents.”

“Wait, you live with your parents?”

“Yeah, it’s a long story for a another blood donation. But let’s stick with what we have now, our chance encounter. We could start with ‘Girl gives blood; boy gives blood; girl meets boy giving blood; boy likes girl he met while giving blood.’ Now all we need is a happy ending to their chance encounter. Maybe ‘boy asks girl to dinner?’ Maybe pasta and red wine?”

Chloe interjects, “Girl says yes to boy! But maybe they have Chinese instead? I have seen enough red for a day.”

They both smile at each other and lock eyes for what seems like an eternity.

Drip, Drip, Drip.

“Okay you two, time to finish up,” said a nurse breaking their spell. “I will have you out of here in a jiffy.”

As they gathered their coats and headed for the door, Chloe turned to Jason and said “Well, AB negative, how about that Chinese?”

“Sounds good to me O Positive. Oh, and I thought of the perfect title for your story. ‘SerenDRIPity.’ You know - cause of the blood dripping.”

“You know what AB?” said Chloe, “you really are bad at pickup lines.”

As they touched hands, their knees got weak.

Maybe it was the blood donation or maybe it was serendipity.

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