Exercise #33: Serendipity

Exercise 33 Instructions

You won’t believe this! Two days ago, a friend of mine got me to try this new fruit called a loquat. It’s sort of related to kumquats except kumquats are like tiny oranges and loquats are more like a cross between an apple and an apricot. That’s why they’re called Japanese or Chinese plums. Anyway, I loved it! My friend told me that the Japanese like to make jam with them. I was hot to try that, so, the day before yesterday, I went on the internet and found a great recipe for loquat jam. Then I got a few empty jam jars from my mother, went to the local asian market and bought a whole big bag full of loquats.

I was carrying them home and kind of carelessly swinging the bag back and forth, thinking about how great that jam was going to taste, when along came this big, brown dog. It grabbed my bag of loquats in its teeth and ran off with them.

“Hey, you mutt!” I yelled, surprised by the sudden lack of weight in my now completely empty hand. “Come back here with those!”

The dog didn’t even look back, so I took off after it. The dog ran around a corner and I would probably have lost him at that point, because the dog was about the same color as the alleyway, if it wasn’t for the fact that my bag of loquats was bright blue.

“Come back here!” I yelled again, wondering if I dared to stop and pull one of my shoes off to throw at it. “Dogs don’t eat fruit! Give me back my loquats, you stupid dog!” The dog glanced back, but didn’t stop running as it turned out of the alleyway onto another street. I would probably have yelled something unladylike at the dog at that point, except I had to save my breath for running.

I rounded the corner and just about skidded to a stop. I was in the section of town where most of what my sister calls “the richies” shop. Most of everything is more expensive than a cruise vacation there; the cars, the clothes, even the groceries. I took a deep breath, hoped nobody would look at me funny for chasing after a dog with a bright, blue bag of loquats in its mouth and started running again.

For a minute, I was scared I’d lost the dog, but I saw a flash of that blue bag again. At a crosswalk, I chased the dog across four lanes of traffic and barely made it across before the light changed. Finally, the dog ran up to this swanky-looking building. You know, the kind with the awning over the door and the doorman out front. There was a guy there showing a flyer to the doorman when the dog suddenly ran up and knocked the guy with the flyer right over. Finally, the dog dropped my bag of loquats, now probably bruised beyond recognition, and started licking the guy’s face.

“Bear!” the man laughed, grabbing the big dog by his collar and yanking him off. “You furry escape artist! I should have named you Houdini, you rascal. Now, what’d you steal this time?” He bent to pick up the bag of loquats. When he straightened up and I saw his face, I almost fell into the street. Talk about handsome. The guy was practically a poster child for GQ, not that I’m into that kind of thing.

“Are these yours?” he asked, smiling a smile so perfect it must have cost him hundreds of dollars.

“Uh,” I replied intelligently.

“I’m Brent,” the guy said, offering me a hand.
“Jenna,” I responded, sounding like a rock groupie meeting her favorite band for the first time.

“What are these things?” he added, opening the bag.

“They’re loquats,” I answered, finally getting both my breath and my wits back.

“What-quats?” Brent responded looking more puzzled.

“Japanese plums,” I explained, accepting the bag from him. “I have a friend that insists they make good jam, so I have a recipe I wanted to try. That’s what I bought the loquats for, at least until your dog took them.”

“Yeah, he’s not just an escape artist, he’s a kleptomaniac,” Brent laughed, bending to ruffle the big dog’s fur. “You wouldn’t believe the different kinds of people I’ve met thanks to this guy; doctors, teachers, tennis players, even a florist, once. You’re probably the prettiest of the bunch, though.”

“Thank you,” I smiled, feeling my face suddenly get really warm.

“When are you going to make this jam you talked about?” Brent asked then, quickly clipping a leash onto Bear’s collar.

“Probably as soon as I get home,” I replied, opening the bag to check the loquats for bruises. Luckily, not one of them seemed to have even the slightest dent.

“I think I’d like to try some, if you don’t mind,” he suggested then, smiling that million dollar smile one more time.

“I could bring you some tomorrow afternoon,” I offered.

“Great!” he said, pulling out a business card and handing it to me. “My address and my cell number are both on there. Call me when the jam’s ready, okay?”

“Okay!” I agreed.

I brought him the jam yesterday and, guess what! We have a date for next week! Who ever thought a bag of fruit and a dog could equal romance?

Okay, I know that this story is slightly cliché.  However, the results of my dice rolls suggested it to me so, being a typical writer, I ran with it.  Here are my dice rolls, in case you’re curious: 3, 6, 2.  You’ll have to click the link to see what they mean.  Don’t forget to click the like button if you find this oddly short story interesting.

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