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Rat in a China Shop

The future has been revealed

By C.Z.Published 3 years ago 3 min read
Rat in a China Shop
Photo by Kyndall Ramirez on Unsplash


Maybe no lipstick. Gloss was better.

Did a second date call for gloss or lipstick? Surely there would be at least a bit of kissing. Maybe just chapstick?

Chloe was officially overthinking everything.

The first date had just gone so well. Charlie had taken her to a lovely Spanish restaurant, they had decent wine and fantastic conversation. It was the best date she had gone on in months. He emanated a relaxed nature, spoke softly, and always had a quirky comeback for her awkward attempts at conversation.

Just go with the gloss, it'll wear off during dinner anyways.

He was showing her his favorite Chinese food place, taking their second date in a much different direction. The other night had been sportscoat, Malbec, and opera. Tonight was jeans, egg rolls, and classic cinema. Both were perfect to Chloe. At least he hadn't spent an hour talking about his favorite sports movie like Jake did, or try to teach her how an engine works like Leo. Calm, soothing, conversation topics, like good food and indie artists, seemed to be more Charlie's style. Thank God.

Date number two started beautifully, if not a little awkwardly. There was some confusion about getting picked up but they sorted it out with a chuckle. They got to the restaurant, a very casual sit-down place with a lot of decorations. Intoxicating scents wafted from the back, pork, sweet and sour, garlic. Not the sexiest foods but certainly a fantastic dinner.

Everything was going so well. Charlie was interesting, an environmentalist, recent graduate and an inexplicable love of made-up Bigfoot facts. He looked deep into her eyes when she spoke and listened as she nervously stumbled over stories about her childhood in Montana.

"My family used to go to this little Chinese place, the kind that had the zodiac under the glass tabletop and we'd fight about who had the coolest animal."

"So, what are you? Were you the coolest?"

"Chinese Zodiac" by Vegan Feast Catering is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Chloe let a laugh fall out. "Oh, god, no. I was a rat. But I always justified it by saying that I should be something else because my astrological sign is a bull! I'm a Taurus. Far from a rat."

A strange look washed over Charlie's face. "Did you say you're a Taurus?"

"Yeah. What's the matter?"

Suddenly Charlie looked extremely uncomfortable. "You are not going to believe this..."

"What? What is it?"

"Well," He took a deep breath. "My psychic told me that, in the very near future, a bull would harm me in an irreversible way. It would leave me broken."

Again, Chloe laughed. The look on Charlie's face said that this was no joking matter. The air between them had turned icy and distant.

"Oh. Well... did she say anything else?"

"Just that a bull would present itself in my life unexpectedly. I would say we met unexpectedly. I mean, we literally ran into each other at that cafe."

"Are you... and you believe all this?"

Charlie looked offended. "Of course I do! She's a well respected psychic. She hasn't been wrong yet. I'm sorry." He went to stand up, obviously trying to leave in the middle of their date.

"Are you kidding me? You're leaving?" She stood up with him, flabbergasted that he was letting a psychic ruin their wonderful date.

"I have to. I really am sorry, Chloe. You are a lovely person. I can't see you anymore though." He practically ran out, timing it perfectly as the food started to arrive. The server had no sympathy for Chloe and dropped the check off roughly 1 minute later.

She stared at the abundance of food, trying to comprehend what had just happened. This perfectly intelligent man had ditched their dinner over a palm reading or whatever his deal was. Chloe sank into the chair, intimidated by the heaps of buttery noodles and red sauce.

One bite of egg roll. She could feel her gloss slide from her lip to the wonton. Maybe she would go buy a new lipstick after this.

It pained her to admit that the food was indeed delicious. She might even risk seeing that ridiculous man to get more of these impeccable egg rolls. Oh well, it wasn't the first failed date and it surely wouldn't be her last. It kinda sucked that she had to pay for all the food this time though.


Weeks later she had basically forgotten about Charlie and the horrid date. It had turned into a cute anecdote about horrible chance encounters. Chloe hadn't gone on another date since but that was her decision. Walking downtown one day, the newsstand caught her attention.


Chloe stopped.



Apparently the psychic had been right. Imagine that.


About the Creator


A slightly inspired, barely motivated, lover of fact and fiction

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Loving it!!!?💖💕

  • This was hilarious!

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