I could not believe I was waking up this early on a Saturday, but the Christmas spirit had me springing out of bed. I was a 25 year old woman who was still living with my mom. Kind of embarrassing, right? I wanted to be a writer, but turns out that was a bust. I tried so hard to get my novel of 4 years published, but I guess it just was not good enough. Anyway, back to Christmas morning. My mom and I have celebrated Christmas for the past few years in a very simple manner. We exchanged two or three gifts and then ate a delectable pancake breakfast. This year, however, I had gotten her the best gift yet. I ran downstairs stumbling like a child, for I was extremely cheerful. I saw my mom was already up, getting her coffee of course. “Merry Christmas Kate”, my mom said softly. I walked up to give her a warm hug. After enough chit chat, we strolled into the living room where our strong-smelling Christmas tree sat. I handed her my amazing gift. I was more excited than I had ever been to give someone else a gift. Usually I just like to receive gifts, but this year I had turned a new leaf. My mom ripped open the package to reveal an old watch my mom had gotten as a gift from my father. It had been broken as long as I could remember, but she had never had the time to get it fixed. I could see her eyes watering, and I reached over to give her another warm hug. “Thank you so very much”, she whispered. My turn. I reached over for a box that had my name on it. I was thinking of all the things it could be. A TV? A new laptop? A million dollars? I was about to find out. I tore back the wrapping paper to reveal… a book? I forced a smile upon my face and cried “Thank you! This is the best gift ever!”. “I read this book with my book club and thought you would like it”. “I love it! Thanks, ma!”.
The next day our lives were back to normal. I always got the day after Christmas off, so I thought why not begin to read this “epic” book my mom bought me. I was not a huge reader or writer anymore. After I had failed to get my novel published, I stopped buying books and writing stories; it just made me feel depressed. I did not want anything to do with it anymore. I began to read the book anyway, for I didn’t want my mom to think I didn’t like her gift. I read the first chapter in the matter of twenty minutes. I couldn’t believe it; it was a romance novel. The main character of this book oddly had the same name as me; Kate. I started to think, what if this is a sign? No, no way. I can’t think too much into this. Kate was struggling to find the perfect man, just like me. However, in chapter two, she met a guy while in a coffee shop, who was attractive and sweet. She desperately wanted to see him again. Whatever! Things don’t happen like that in real life.
I woke up the next day to the sound of my alarm at 6 in the morning. Time to head to work. Again, since the whole writing thing didn’t work out, I had to find another job. I work as a waitress at a restaurant near the beach. I think I forgot to mention I live in South Carolina. Beach-related jobs are very easy to acquire here. I didn’t have time this morning to make coffee, for I ran out the door after I realized I had overslept by 45 minutes. I could never start my day without a cup of coffee. It is a major must for me. I ran into the closest Starbucks I could find. I ordered a basic coffee as quick as I could and grabbed it as soon as it was ready for me. As I turned around to sprint out the door I smacked right into someone and the next thing I knew my coffee was all over me, the person I had run into, and the floor. Of course! I could never just run in, get my coffee, and leave. Not possible for me! “I am so sorry. I didn’t see you and I’m just in such a rush”. I looked up for a brief second to see a young, good looking man staring at me. “Don’t even worry about it! I didn’t like this shirt anyway”, he laughed. As awkward as I am, I could not stop glaring at him. We just kept eye contact for a while, until I realized that I needed to clean this mess up and get to work; I was already running way behind. I snapped back into reality and ran to grab some paper towels. “I am so sorry again, but I have to run”, I explained as I hurriedly ran for the door. I hopped in my car and drove off. The whole way there I kept thinking about him. “He was nice and funny and… hold on. Snap out of it Kate! You’ve known this guy for a matter of like five seconds!”
After a long day of work, I still couldn’t get the whole incident out of my head. I was awaiting my mom’s arrival so I could tell her all about it. As soon as she came home I leaped towards the front door and shouted, “I must tell you the craziest story you will ever hear”. We sat down at the dinner table with our Chinese takeout as I told her all about the run in at the coffee shop and how he was super cute with a nice smile and how I ruined his shirt and on and on. “This sounds just like the first chapter of the book I gave you for Christmas”, she said with a grimace. “Ma, you have to be kidding. It is just a coincidence”. “So far it sounds as if you and Kate in the story might have more in common than you think. Read the next chapter tonight. I’m exhausted. I’m heading to bed. Good night Kate”, she yawned as she left me sitting alone at the table. Maybe she was right. I could just read the next chapter to see what happens. Kate in the book sees the same man she ran into in the coffee shop and he asks her out on a date. Typical. Such a basic love story. I finished the chapter and decided it was time for me to get some rest as well.
The next day I made sure that I got up on time and was at work when I was supposed to be. I could not afford getting yelled at by the boss man again like yesterday. Oh, did I mention that my boss is, well, insane! He is the assistant to the manager of the restaurant and he makes my life extremely difficult. Not only does he have the worst temper on earth, but we have history. Well, I don’t have history with him personally, but my mom does. You guessed it. They went out for a while. By a while I mean 2 years. I still don’t see what my mom saw in him, because he is the worst. After my lunch break I walked up to the next table I had to wait on and I could not believe it. It was him, the guy I had run into at the coffee shop, and he had someone with him. A girl. I had to act cool and calm. Cool and calm. I walked up to his table and gave the basic speech I give to all the costumers. At first, I didn’t think he remembered me, for he didn’t give any signs that he recognized me. I acted as if him and his lady friend were just a basic couple having lunch at the restaurant. It went really well. I wasn’t awkward at least and he wasn’t either. After he paid for the meal and I said the usual “Have a great rest of your day”, he came up to me before leaving. “Hey, you’re the girl from the coffee shop, right?”, he asked. “Yes, and I’m so sorry again for bumping into you”. “Oh, no problem at all. Anyway, I was wondering if you would like to go out sometime”. Is he joking? He was just on a date with some other girl! I couldn’t believe this player. What a jerk! “Um, seriously? You were just on a date with someone else! And now suddenly you have interest in me? I don’t think so. Have a nice day”. I felt good telling him off and I turned around to walk away. “Wait, what? I was not on a date, that was my sister who just came into town from New York”, he exclaimed. I stood there for what felt like a century, until I finally turned around. “I am so sorry for jumping to conclusions like that. I had no idea”, I stammered. I knew that there was no way he would want to go on a date now, but I felt the need to apologize. “No, I understand why you thought it was a date. It kind of looked like that”. “I’m really sorry. I’ve got to get back to work, though”, I replied. I turned back around to officially walk away when he asked, “So, what about that date?”. I was stunned. He was seriously still interested in me? “I would love to”, I said as I spun back around. “Alright, I’ll come back here tomorrow to pick you up. Is 8 o’clock good?”. “Sounds great”.
Right after my shift ended, I ran home to my mom to tell her all about this new development. “This book is predicting your life. It’s as if it’s psychic”, my mom yelled. She was kind of right. Everything that was happening in the book was happening to me. It was freaky. “Well, I hope the next chapter does not predict your date tomorrow”, mom said skeptically. I was confused, but she wouldn’t tell me anything besides, “Just go read it”. I listened to her instructions and read the next chapter. Shoot. Kate in the book and the hot coffee guy had their first date, and saying it went bad would be an understatement. They disagreed on everything, and they had nothing in common. They agreed that it wouldn’t work out and chose not to be together. I was bummed now. What if what happened to Kate happens to the real Kate, me? No, I can’t be serious. It was just some stupid book, it can’t predict my date or my life, right? I put the book away and turned out the lights. I should stop over thinking this.
Today was the day. I had my date with hot coffee guy. Wait a second. I just realized that I don’t even know his name! I tried to remember if he ever said it, but he never did. That’s kind of weird. Don’t people usually say their name within the first few minutes of meeting them? Whatever, whatever, it’s fine. I will find out tonight. Another boring day of work passed with the boss man screaming at me every time I walked past him. Again, the worst. Finally, it was 8 o’clock and I waited for the coffee guy. It was 8:10 and I almost gave up hope, when he arrived. He looked even better than he did yesterday and I didn’t think that was possible. “Hey, you ready?”, he asked as he took my hand. “Yes”. I was ready, but of course nervous. I was socially awkward and weird, so who knew what this date would turn into. I definitely wasn’t prepared, but how could I be? I just had to jump in. He took me to one of my favorite restaurants, Max’s. I go there all the time with my friends. About 30 minutes into the date and so far, so good. We talked about favorite movies, music, our jobs, and much more. Oh, and he told me his name; it was Ryan. It was going well until some girl walked in. I could tell that Ryan knew her because he couldn’t stop staring at her, until finally they made eye contact. She started walking over to our table.
“Hey Ryan, haven’t seen you in a while”, the woman said as she leaned down to give Ryan a hug. Both Ryan and I looked up at her, however we were thinking totally different things. “Who is this?”, I asked quietly from across the table. Of course, she heard the question and before Ryan could answer, she pitched in. “I’m Ryan’s ex- lover, Lina. I can’t believe he hasn’t talked about me yet”. How wonderful. Running into my date’s ex on our first date. “Oh, nice to meet you”, I casually replied. This was the most uncomfortable I had ever felt on a date. They chatted for a long time, while I just sat there pretending this was normal. Finally, she left to go join her friends who were waiting for her across the restaurant. The rest of the date went downhill. We didn’t speak and just ate our food in silence. I couldn’t stop thinking of how the book had predicted the date going bad towards the end. He drove me home and I was opening the door to get out when I thought to myself, “I need to be frank with this guy”. “I didn’t know you were so close with your exes”, I stated firmly. “I’m not. Well, not really”. “Really? I find that hard to believe considering you spoke to her more than you spoke to me when this was our date”. “What are you implying?”, he asked, almost yelling at me. “Maybe you still have feelings for her. Maybe you’re not ready for a new relationship. Maybe this date was a mistake!”. With that I got out of the car slamming the car door behind me. I was furious. I wasn’t sure why I was mad. Maybe because a guy I thought was really great turned out to be a complete player, like I originally thought.
The next morning, I decided to move on and forget about him. It wasn’t going to last anyway. Last night I didn’t read a chapter of the book, so I had no idea if it was going to predict today or not. The day as a whole was better than yesterday. Boss man wasn’t here today. He took today off for some reason I didn’t care about. All I cared about was the fact that he wasn’t going to be here to make my day hell. I certainly didn’t need that. For some reason, I didn’t want to see Ryan. Usually I would wish for him to come to me and tell me how amazing I was and how much he loved me. Nope, that’s not how I felt. I never wanted to see his face again. The day went by so fast; the restaurant was busy all day. 8 o’clock came around fast and I was home before I knew it. My mom wasn’t going to be home for another 3 hours; she was working a late shift today. I sat myself on the couch and watched TV for an hour. After the episode of Law and Order ended, the doorbell rang. I didn’t remember ordering any food, which was usually the only reason why the doorbell rang. It was usually a deliveryman. I opened the door and it was Ryan. “What is he doing here?”, I asked myself. I did not want to see him. “Look, I was a jerk yesterday. But that doesn’t mean you were right. I don’t have feelings for her anymore”. I wasn’t sure if the next thing I said was true or not, but I said it anyway. “I believe you”. “Good, can we please have a do over? I would love to take you out again”. “I’m sorry, but I just don’t think this is going to work”, I replied. “Okay, just say the words and you will never have to see me again. Say you want me to leave and I will. I will never bother you again”. “Fine. I want you to leave”, I stated. He started to walk away until he turned around and exclaimed, “No, I’m not going to leave just like that. Give me a chance”. “I’m sorry. I really don’t think this will work”, I said. Without any warning, he leaned in and kissed me. I wasn’t sure what to do except return the kiss. “How about now?”, he asked. I was blushing so hard, but all I could say was, “I think I could maybe give this a try”. “I will see you tomorrow, Kate”. “Gladly”.