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Wishes for Love
Have you ever tossed a coin into a fountain of water and made a wish? Or have you seen a shooting star and dropped all that you are doing right then and there to wish upon that shooting star? Come on, admit it. We've all done it. I see you smirking and laughing at me and saying "Psh, that stuff is for babies." Believe me when I say that I know for a fact that you still do it. It's a human trait: we all use means of superstition to try to get what we want. If you think about it, it's a sort of selfish act. We're wishing to better OUR lives, to make OURSELVES richer, to let US live forever. Sure, there's the odd person out there that wishes for world peace and no more hunger, but come on. You may say you do, but do you really?
If you're anything like Christian Williams, you do. Her parents say she came out of the womb a bundle of joy. Not once in her life has she ever been upset or angry (I've been keeping track of these things, FYI). She has always wished for the bettering of others; yes, she took care of herself, but not in the same way she took care of others. She did the necessary things for herself and the unnecessary for those around her. It wasn't because her parents forced her to be that way; she chose it to be that way. She chose that lifestyle. Little things like mowing the lawn for her elderly neighbors to big things such as saving up enough money to take a trip to Africa on her own and help out the locals. And all with the consent of her parents. They themselves were missionaries, and they went on many escapades like that of Christian's. They were your not-so-regular help-the-world family.
Not only did Christian seem to have the perfect attitude towards life, but she had the perfect life in general. She was a straight A, 4.0 GPA student. She was popular in school and had all kinds of friends. And she was athletic, too, being that she was on the swimming team, the track and field team, and the girls lacrosse team. Even the teachers and coaches loved her; she just had one of those personalities that everyone seemed to be able to flock to. Everyone loved Christian and everyone wanted to be her friend. But the one thing that Christian was lacking was love; not the "Oh, I love my family" kind of love. The "I wanna spend the rest of my life with you" kind of love. Regardless of her popularity and extreme kindness, no guy seemed to want to date Christian. She could never understand why and feared that fate had her being alone for the rest of her life.
Christian had consulted all of her closest girl friends about her problem. Mackenzie, the red-headed musical goddess, had no helpful advice for her except to wait and live life. Juliette, the genius blonde actress, had said that when the right guy came along, Christian would know. And Samantha, the brunette soccer star, said that Christian wasn't destined to be alone and that destiny wasn't ready for her to be occupied with boys. With disappointing results from her gal friends, Chris (as people had so fondly nicknamed her) consulted her closest guy friends. Michael, the black-haired basketball point guard, had said that he would be Chris' guy, to which she had laughed and said no. And Caleb, the nationally known cross-country runner, said that even if she was destined to be single for the rest of her life, she still had him and the rest of their friends.
Although the advice from Christian's friends was not what she wanted to hear, she dealt with it. She went through her senior year of high school saddened by her sudden lack of love, only for it to be forgotten with the approach of senior summer. Her and her friends had been planning senior summer since they were in third grade; they had each started saving ten dollars a month up until the last month of high school. Each individual's totals amounted to $1000 and some change. With the money that they saved, the group of friends was going to take a cross-country tour starting in their tiny town of Woodville, Maine and ending all the way in Los Angeles, California.
LA would be the biggest city any of them had ever seen; their town of Woodville had about four-hundred people and a little more than a hundred families. It was a town where everyone knew everyone else, and you usually married someone that you knew very well. There wasn't really much room for outsiders; the community of Woodville was a very tight-knit group. So this big cross-country trip for the six individual's would be pushing their comfort zone. But this is what they wanted; they wanted to know what the rest of the world was like with all it's big cities and busy lifestyles.
And this made sense considering they were all going to start new lives the next year and every single one of them was destined for fame. Chris herself was most likely going to become a new breed of politician. Her dream was to become a US Senator and eventually run for president. Mackenzie was already signing with a major record label and would soon be going on tour with two major bands. Juliette had already appeared in several indy films and television shows; she was soon to play a major role in a major film directed by a major director. Samantha was being scouted by several college teams, and she had her choice of ivy league schools. Michael was likewise being scouted by colleges, and his older brother was already a sport's superstar. Caleb, although passionate about cross-country running, was most passionate about science, and was going to college to become a neurochemist. Obviously, Chris has a very diverse group of friends. But they were all extremely close. Since the day their group was formed, they had promised to never forget about each other, no matter how famous they did or didn't become.
By the night of day one, the group had reached New York City. There, they went shopping and took a walk in the famous Central Park. At the end of week two, they had reached Detroit, Michigan. Nothing spectacular happened there. A week later, they found themselves in Tennessee. They visited Graceland and then were on their way again. In San Antonio, Texas, they met up with some relatives of Mike's. Approximately three weeks later, they were watching animals in Yellowstone. Just two days later, they were standing in four different states at once. A quick stop in Las Vegas later and they were heading down the highway to Los Angeles, California. It was nighttime, and the sky was twinkling from the stars. Mackenzie was driving, so Christian was able to look up at the starry sky.
She had been about to close her eyes and go to dreamland when she saw a shooting star. At first, she hesitated making a wish, but something in her told her that it was now or never. She pinched her eyes shut and thought, The one thing I wish for is true love. Christian felt stupid saying it in her head, but she had never wished for something so hard or so much in her life. She laughed out loud, and everyone looked at her.
“What are you laughing at, Chris?” Samantha asked, sitting forward in the back seat.
The next morning, the group awoke in a not-too-shabby hotel on a street lined with hotels that they had chosen the night before. The guys had taken one room, and the girls had taken another. Chris found herself awaking on the floor. Her back ached, but she simply ignored it and stood. The little black alarm clock on the dresser read 6:53. She groaned and walked into the bathroom. Her long, nearly black hair was falling out of it's sloppy bun and her make-up had smudged. She frowned.
Fifteen minutes later, Chris reemerged with a make-up free face and her hair down. For clothes, she selected a pair of pink pajama pants, a purple tank-top, and her black flip-flops. She decided she was going to head downstairs and get some coffee from the small cafe. All of the girls were still passed out, so she tip-toed out the door all the way to the elevator. She rode by herself down to the lobby. There were only three other people seated at various tables. The male cashier looked just as tired as Chris felt, and she sympathized with the man.
The dark liquid was of no comfort, but she found herself waking up. Slowly, the tables began filling up. But there were still no signs of her friends. She frowned and was about to head back upstairs when a guy that looked to be about her age approached her. He sat down at the same table as Chris and smiled widely. Chris raised her eyebrows.
“Can I help you?”
“Well, I was wondering why you were sitting by yourself. Surely you came here with somebody?” He chuckled and interlaced his fingers on the table. Chris took in his appearance: spiky brown hair, sea green eyes, black rectangular glasses, tall, muscular build, and pajamas. She half-smiled at him.
“They're still asleep.”
“Who would imagine! It's nearly quarter till eight!” he said in mock surprise. Christian laughed, and he smiled at her.
“Preposterous!” Chris exclaimed. “So what do they call you, mystery man?”
“Bond. James Bond.” He plastered on a fake serious face and spoke with a horrible British accent. “Nah, I'm just yanking your chain. Dean Vitetto, at your service.”
Chris accepted his extended hand with a smile on her face. “Christian Williams.”
“Pretty name. So what brings you to LA?” Dean sat back in his chair and gazed at her.
“My friends and I are on a road trip. LA is our last stop before we return home. And then it's off to college for me.” Chris looked down at the ground, the smile fading from her face.
“Ah, I see.” He didn't say anything about the change in Christian's mood, but she knew he was aware of it.
“What about you? Why are you here in good ol' LA?” She hoped he hadn't noticed the change in subject, but she knew he did when he hesitated to answer her.
“Similar story, actually. I'm on a road trip...by myself.” Dean laughed, and Chris smiled. She was about to say something in reply when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She recognized it as Juliette's.
“How come you're awake so early?” her friend asked, taking a chair from another table and sitting down.
“Come on, Jul, you know I'm the early riser.” Chris looked up at her. Juliette laughed. She extended her hand to Dean.
“Dean Vitetto. It's a pleasure to meet you, Juliette. Is that Juliette as in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'?” He took her hand with a smile on his face.
“Actually, yes.” Juliette smiled. “Although the spelling is a tad bit different.”