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Amanda was the kind of friend who was always full of great ideas.
Amanda was not the kind of friend who always followed through on her great ideas.
Amanda posted one of her great ideas after final exams; “Hey everyone! If you’re staying in town over the summer, let’s all get together for Chinese food. 2Nite at 6. Be at that little hole-in-the-wall across town, The Wok and Roll. C U there!”
I had a Tuesday lab with Amanda and shared several classes with her, so I thought I’d likely know some of the others in Amanda’s circle. Perhaps it was time to stretch my boundaries with some new acquaintances, since most of my closer mates had other plans for the summer and had just left town. Starting the summer with an informal night of sharing Chinese food after finishing exams, that sounded like a great plan to start my senior year – I certainly didn’t have any better ideas.
I drove up to the Wok and Roll. I arrived early, not wanting to be late, but then I kicked myself for being too early. I walked into the little restaurant, a converted small, old house and selected a table that I hoped would be large enough to seat all of Amanda’s friends — once they arrived. I told the proprietress that I was waiting for a few more before we all ordered. She asked, “How many?” I said I didn’t know. That earned me a dismissive glower.
I waited, checked the time, and waited. Then I doubted that I was at the right place. I rechecked Amanda’s message. I was at the right place. Why am I always the fool who gets stood-up by girls that do not follow through with their plans?
While I was wondering if I should leave, the proprietress looked at me frequently as if I was up to no good. I watched an old car pull into the parking lot, telling myself that if this was not Amanda or one of her friends, I’d call it quits. I’d slink away from the hostile glare of the Chinese proprietress and order a greasy cheeseburger and a strawberry shake somewhere else. It’d be another dinner for one. It’d be my reward for my trouble and it might take the edge off the bitter taste of my gullibility.
I recognized the woman who stepped out of the car and walked through the door. She was a year behind me, she had a couple of classes with me and Amanda. I struggle with names, but I remembered her name, Rori. As she stepped inside, she looked around the vacant room with hesitation. She did not seem to see me, or at any rate recognize me sitting at the large table across the room. I lifted my arm and made a gesture that was not overly familiar, but enough of a movement to catch her eye. She looked at me, but her expression was somewhat blank and I thought I recognized some disappointment recorded in her blankness as well. I stood and stepped toward Rori and introduced myself, “Good evening, I’m Carl, one of Amanda’s friends…”
Rori let the corners of her mouth turn up a bit as she brushed her wavy, light brown hair off her shoulder, “I know that,” interrupting me in mid introduction. I couldn’t tell if she meant that to be dismissive as if she felt insulted, or if she meant it more as ‘yes, happy to see you here’.
I pulled a chair out from the large table as a gesture to seat her. She threw her elbows up on the table and waited for me to be seated across from her and then commented, “Well, quite the gentleman this evening.” Again, I could not be sure if she was somehow insulted and was being dismissive of my gesture of best-intentions or whether I’d perhaps lucked into a good social start for the evening. I hoped it was the latter and planned to pretend as if that was the case, whether it really was what she was thinking, or not.
Rori swiftly threw her head from side-to-side to cast her glance around the Wok and Roll dining room and then folded her arms on the table top and asked, “How many did Amanda invite?”
I shrugged, “She seems to have invited three and I fear that the third person lost the invitation.”
“The third person being Amanda — right?” Rori looked at me as if to confirm that I’d made a joke, or perhaps checking to see if I was just that clueless.
I broke into a smile, feeling it was now necessary to laugh or at least smile at my own humor. Rori then laughed with me, not at me. I continued, “If you’ve got better information, I’d love to hear it.”
“I got nothing. Other than this is sooo typical of Amanda!” Rori smirked and shook her head in a dismissive gesture of exasperation at Amanda’s no-show.
“They say, two out of three ain’t bad. At least that’s what I’ve always heard.” I took a sideways look at the girl across from me, “And this time I’d have to agree with ’em. May I buy you dinner tonight?” I asked with what I hoped was a winning smile and not something creepy.
Rori smiled again, “Well, quite the gentleman this evening,” was her answer. Rori dropped her head and looked across the large table, “What are you going to have?”
I paused, pressed my open palms together in front of my lips and closed my eyes for a moment, I then reopened them. With a deadpan casino oyna expression I said, “Your name is Rori, right?” She nodded with a quizzical look. “If I am not mistaken, that is an old and venerable Chinese name from the Wu Tang Dynasty of the 11th Century. Why don’t you order for the both of us?”
I could see she didn’t know how to take that offbeat suggestion. She asked in an honestly confused voice, “Are you serious? Because if you are, you are mistaken.”
“Oh, my apologies; did I say 11th Century? I meant to say 12th Century — thanks for catching that! However, I am most certain that Rori is a most honorable name from China.”
Rori now caught my jest and pressed her palms together and brought them up in front of her lips and said, “A-so” as she nodded her head.
I remarked, “Your fluency in Japanese is making me hungry for Chinese food.” I hit my hand on the table in a chopping motion and told her, “Chop chop! Order us some Chinese food, most honorable Miss Rori.”
She laughed out loud and replied, “As you wish.”
The dour proprietress was satisfied to finally take our order. At Rori’s request, she brought us chopsticks. “You did say ‘chop chop’, isn’t this what you wanted?” She asked as she picked a piece of Mu Shu Pork off of my plate. She then parried my chopsticks with hers as I reached toward her meal as I tried to remove a piece of Mongolian shrimp from her plate. It was an evening of chopstick wars and a source of some consternation from the severe proprietress lurking with a jaundiced eye behind the counter.
We received our fortune cookies after I paid the tab. I offered Rori her pick of the two cookies. She selected hers and then waited for me to peel the cellophane wrapper from my cookie. Rori leaned across the table with an intent stare and cleared her throat as if she had something serious to announce. “Carl, you must follow the ancient tradition of the Wu Tang Dynasty when eating your fortune cookie. You have to read your fortune aloud to me — and you must insert the phrase ‘in bed’ at the end of the fortune.” She tried to not break character, but I detected a smile in her eyes as she introduced this ancient Chinese custom to the end of our meal.
“What about you and your fortune?” I asked playfully indignant.
“A gentleman will not make a lady reveal her fortune, especially ‘in bed’. It is a lady’s prerogative to read her fortune to a gentleman, only if she so chooses. Besides, it has been an old Chinese custom since the 11th or 12th Century, the height of the Wu Tang Dynasty.” Rori humphed with a coy tone.
“Oaky doaky Carl, read me your fortune.” My accidental dinner date waited with a twisted pair of lips as she encouraged me to play her flirty little game.
I cracked open the cookie and pulled out the tiny strip of paper and read aloud, “A trip across the water will bring you pleasure.” I put the tiny fortune into my shirt pocket.
“No! I told you how to read it right. Read it again, this time like you mean it,” she insisted with a firm and devilish smile in her eyes and voice.
“A trip across the water will bring you pleasure tonight — in bed”.
“Here! Let me see that!” She snatched the fortune paper from my breast pocket. “You added the word ‘tonight’ and it doesn’t say that. What are you trying to do by adding ‘tonight’?” Rori asked with a sly lilt to her suspicious voice and a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.
I defended myself with an indignant response, “And what my lady are you trying to do by making me add ‘in bed’?”
Rori’s only response was a pause and then another humph sound, delivered in what I thought might have been interpreted as a ‘come hither and try me’ tone.
Rori raised a regal eyebrow and informed me, “OK, I am going to let you hear my fortune: ‘Your wishes will be fulfilled under the full moon — in bed’. Carl, you understand it was my prerogative to let you hear my fortune, do you not?”
“Yes, I do understand that. Now. Thanks for sharing your fortune with me.” I leaned back in my chair, enjoying a growing sense of ease around my dinner mate. I returned my elbows to the table and folded my hands under my chin, “I have a question. Rori, how good are you at interpreting someone’s fortune?”
Rori shimmied her shoulders and dropped the corners of her mouth in a smug expression, “I think of myself as a gal who understands and takes opportunities for fortune when they are presented. By the way, what phase is the moon tonight?”
I took a risk. “There’s a full moon out in the sky tonight,” I told her with confidence. I was unaware of the moon’s phase, but I assured her it was a full moon. I lucked out. I discovered later that it so happened to be a full moon that night. It was damn good luck.
She threw her long hair back over her chair and said, “A-so” in a thoughtful way. I thought I detected some mental calculations flickering behind her bright eyes.
Rori asked, “Carl, where are you going to be able to find pleasure by crossing the waters slot oyna tonight?”
I said, “I am feeling fortunate this night. Would you like to marry our fortunes together? If so, I have a plan.”
Rori cocked her head, and slowly asked, “What… kind… of plan?”
I responded in a matter-of-fact manner, “I have kind of a daring plan compatible with our mutual fortunes. But I must warn you, I fear we are tempting fate in a dreadful way if we don’t do exactly as our fortunes dictate. I fear it’d be a terrible catastrophe if we did not follow what these cookies tell us to do. I wouldn’t want to risk bad fortune. Would you?”
I could see Rori was curious about my plan. She squirmed in her seat as she folded her arms across her chest while she considered my proposition. “Would a girl be risking a bad fortune if she did not follow the advice given to her by a stale cookie at the Wok and Roll?” Her question to me seemed to be searching for encouragement; her eyes begged for a reason for her to agree to my undisclosed plan of our joined fortunes.
“You know, there is an ancient Chinese proverb; the bitterest of regrets falls not on those who try and fail; but on those who fail to try.” I impressed even myself with that one. I congratulated myself, that was damn clever thinking dude. I just might be on a roll. I continued, “A good ol’ American proverb might add; nothing risked, nothing gained.”
It seemed like Rori didn’t need all that much persuading. “Okay, I guess that old stale cookie has my best interests at heart. To not follow the advice to fulfill my wishes under the full moon might be inviting bitter regrets. Is that how I should interpret my fortune?” Rori seemed like she’d made up her mind as a confident grin crept across her lips.
I added, “This is your chance, the next full moon may not come around for a very long time. Like maybe seventeen years.”
She laughed, “Don’t overplay your good fortune Carl. I know I only have to wait another four weeks for the next full moon; but I agree, I don’t want to risk it by waiting any longer.” Rori tucked her souvenir fortune into her purse. “I’ll find that someday when I clean this thing out and I’ll try and remember if my fortune came true. I’ll wonder, were my wishes fulfilled under the full moon?” Then she turned her head and mumbled almost out of earshot, “…in bed.”
Rori sat straight and with some spunk in her voice asked, “So, how does this plan to seek our mutual fortunes begin Carl?”
I agreed to follow Rori as she dropped off her old car at her place and then she climbed into the passenger seat of my pickup. She looked over at me and asked, “So, your fortune says a trip across the water… Where do you think you will find water to cross?”
I told Rori, “Sit tight. You might have to use your imagination a little for this plan to work.”
She reflected a second, then allowed, “I can be pretty good at imagining. Try me.”
I drove across town and headed outside the city limits on a small county road. A few miles beyond the edge of town I said to her, “There! Did you see that?”
“We just crossed over a bridge! And do you know what was below that bridge?”
In a somewhat deflated voice, she asked, “What?”
I chuckled a little, “There was a river below that bridge that we just crossed over.”
“I am not impressed. Are you telling me that it brought you ‘pleasure’ to bring us across this rinky-dinky bridge; crossing over a river that’s likely a dry one this time of year at that?”
“So, Rori, are you telling me that that doesn’t count as part of my fortune for tonight?”
“Actually, I was expecting a little more.”
“Glad to hear that. That was just a tease.”
As we drove up the rising road about a quarter mile on the other side of the bridge, I slowed and pulled the truck over to the shoulder.
Rori asked, “Carl? Is there something wrong with the truck?”
“No,” I told her, “I’m looking for a small dirt road, not much more than a rutted trail really.” I flipped on my high beams and trolled slowly along the shoulder until I saw the limestone boulders off to the side that marked the spot that I was looking for. I turned off the paved road and steered onto the rutted tracks that went around the stone blocks placed to prohibit access to a rough dirt road. We bumped along for a short ways and Rori said nothing. I stopped on a small flat spot on the hillside and turned off the engine and set the parking brake.
Rori asked, “Where are we?”
I replied, “What, you don’t recognize this place? This is just where the cookie told me to come tonight.” I quipped, “That’s the way the cookie crumbles; I think I read that in a fortune cookie once.”
My mystified passenger snorted, “That was a pretty lame joke.”
I acknowledged, “Yeah that was low humor. May my low humor be in contrast to your high expectations. Shall we…?” I opened my door and met Rori in front of the truck.
I took Rori’s hand as we stepped sideways canlı casino siteleri down a rough and rocky ravine below my parked truck, inching carefully down the hill in the dusk until we intersected a gravel road at the base of the slope. We followed the road for a couple of hundred feet where it disappeared into a pool of water. The full moon was just beginning to rise, illuminating the calm, dark surface of this secluded little lake. In the moonlight we could see trees fifty yards on the far side of the water.
Rori stood gazing across the small lake, turning to me she said, “I didn’t even know there was a lake way out here in the country. Carl, you surprise me.”
I explained, “Its existence is a guarded secret, so don’t tell a soul. The lake was formed by a rancher who dammed a tributary to that river we crossed over, the one that you found to be unimpressive. The dam flooded an old limestone quarry next to the creek, making this hidden swimming hole pretty deep somewhere out beyond the shore. This tributary is named Luck Creek, and this secret swimming hole behind that rancher’s dam is known to us chosen few as ‘Dam Luck’.” We stood in silence, shoulder-to-shoulder, peering across the moonlit surface under the humid air of an early summer’s eve.
Without turning to look at Rori, I said, “Well, my lady, here is our water, just as it was foretold by my cookie. Are you a good swimmer?”
Without a hint of surprise at my question, she offered, “I’ve got an old Red Cross Lifesaving card in my purse. Do you need to see it?”
“I’ll take you at your word. Maybe you’ll have to resuscitate me if I get into trouble.” And then I bumped into her hip with mine. “Did you bring your swimsuit Rori?”
“Yeah, but it is too much trouble to put it on.”
My jaw dropped. I said, “Seriously, you have a swimsuit with you?”
“Didn’t I just tell you it is too much trouble?” And then she returned the favor by bumping her hip into mine with a wink that I could not catch in the darkness, but she clicked her tongue audibly indicating she had just thrown me a sly wink.
I stuck my hands in my pockets and casually said “It is a pretty warm night tonight, would you care to take a little dip? You know, it’d give me pleasure if you’d swim with me across the water to those trees on the shore over there.”
“Oh but sir, my clothes would get so awfully wet if I went swimming with you now. Oh my! What’s a good girl to do?” I was pretty sure Rori was leading me on. I liked it.
I mused, “Come to think of it, so would mine. By golly you are damn right about that!”
“It looks like damn luck for you then, doesn’t it Carl?” The clever woman standing at my side sounded as if she was about to call it quits unless I came up with a solution for her. She waited in the dark for me to make a proposal. If I was going to convince her to take a dip with me without her swimsuit, I was going to have to make a compelling case; though she just may be acting coy. If I made a reasonable offer, just maybe she’d agree to skinny dip under the full moon. Rori stood with her arms folded in front of her chest, waiting for me to make an offer that she couldn’t – or wouldn’t, refuse.
“Here, I have an idea if you don’t mind. If you trust me, I will promise to keep your clothes dry. I’ll keep them in a safe and dry place.” Rori dropped her arms to her side and turned to me with a toss of her hair in the moonlight with a seductive little move. I brushed her hair back off of her shoulders and brought my hands back around behind her neck and lightly brushed her cheeks to see if she would pull away or say something to stop me. But she stood still as the moon cast its silvery light on her at the edge of the gravel road.
I moved my hands back behind her shoulders and brought her gently and slightly closer to me and I bent my head as we touched foreheads. I moved my hands down the back of her blue floral print blouse. She remained motionless, but I could hear her breath growing heavier as I slowly caressed my hand up to her breasts, while our moist foreheads remained touching in the thick air of a sultry summer evening. I poked out the tip of my tongue and made a small circle at the bridge of Rori’s nose, between her eyes. I continued to slowly move my fingers across her young breasts, feeling their firm form bound up inside of lacey cups. I detected her nipples were erect through her blouse and bra.
I continued to caress, waiting to see if there was any hint of protestation or objection to where things were going. Finding none, I inched my reach up to the top button on her blouse and worked the first button free. I moved without hesitation now down to the second button and parted her cotton blouse slightly and moved my lips down to press them to the base of Rori’s neck. She threw back her head and took a deeper breath and sighed. She breathed heavily, causing her breasts to lift up and down with each charming inhalation of the wild jasmine-scented evening air.
In undoing her third button I could now see that Rori was wearing a pale blue bra with lace covered cups, the lower half of her breasts were concealed by stout fabric, but the upper half was a gossamer lace that went low enough for me to just make out the top of her large and dark areolas.
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