12 Months of Romance | 24 Reasons to Love: A Holiday Anthology sneak peek at Marian Tee’s short story, Fireworks.
For Chinese New Year, a shy but snarky woman asks the gods for a little help in finding Mr. Right. They point her to the right direction, only – why does it have to be Jared? He’s her too-hot-to-handle friend from childhood…and the man she’s trying to forget.
The rituals start at exactly one hour before midnight. The host starts with a list of prayer intentions, and then our feng shui master takes over. He speaks in Fookien as he asks us to turn this way and that way, bow thrice, and throughout it, we all try our best not to accidentally burn the person in front of us with the tips of our incense sticks (it’s happened before). We do the same thing over and over until we’ve honored all the gods around us and we’re about to pass out from inhaling too much smoke.
When it’s time to offer up our own prayers and intentions, I close my eyes, and for the first time in my life, I pray to the gods for something I’ve always been too, well, shy to ask.
May I finally meet my first boyfriend (hopefully the last, too, since I’m a romantic)? I’m twenty-four, and I just think it’s time? So how about giving me a sign, gods?
How about…the first guy I see with a—a—a striped cap…is the one I should ask out?
This way, it’s more a give-and-take thing, and you don’t need to do all the work. Just point me to the right direction, and I’ll work on the rest.
Please, gods, please?
I promise I’ll place my faith in your choice, even if the guy turns out to be a bare-chested dude peddling nuts outside the temple.
So please, umm, hear my prayers?
As I open my eyes, I hear my inner bitch tauntingly whisper in my mind: Cheater. I ignore this, of course. For one, only crazy people talk to their inner voices. Secondly, it’s better to shut up when the other person is telling the truth.
Since I’m choosing to ask the gods for a sign now, I’m effectively putting him out of the running. So, yes, maybe I’m cheating, but so what?
Honestly, I think my inner bitch needs to go out more. Or just try to catch Hunger Games on cable. She has to understand that in the real world, there are some things we must do to survive.
What do you think? Visit my page again tomorrow to catch a sneak peek at Erleen Alvarez’s Valentine’s story.