Leora could not help the fluttering feelings she felt for Matthew every day they went home together thereafter.
She didn't want to push her feelings onto him so she decided to let things take their course. Let fate have a chance of sorting their relationship out because she did not want to risk something that would result in losing him.
Did she really believe in that stuff? Leora believed that people created their own fates. And fates are what the people were meant to create. Confusing, right?
Well, people have their own decisions and whichever ones they made were meant to be fate.
Much simpler now?
She hadn't much really cared about fate, except when it seemed that fate was the only explanation to the strange events that followed within the next month.
While growing up in a family of Scottish heritage, right down to more generations than you can count on your fingers, she had heard of the stories of the tensions between the English and the Scottish and the magnificent highlands of Scotland. Every group of Scots had their own territory, their own people, their own plaid. And more or less the castles and fortresses that now stood as ruins today. She had planned to visit Scotland when she graduated, during the summer she would leave with her family and reside with distant relatives.
She liked listening to her grandmother's stories of the courageous and ruthless leaders of Scotland and their battles and rivalries, as well as the tales of the kings and feuds.
That was when she was younger.
She knew that Daliya read romantic fiction and often ranted to her the stories of young maidens in compromising situations that fell in love with strong Scottish warriors.
Blah. She liked reading anything but fictions of these rough Scottish giants. She preferred more of the kind of romance found in the drawing rooms of London with the dashing earls and dukes. It was bit more modern and more civilized, in her opinion.
A few weeks later Matthew found himself in Leora's living room, discussing his English thesis, which just so happened to be about the Shakespearean play Macbeth. He joked about how she had the same last name as the out coming hero, MacDuff, and as they went on, Leora's grandmother was listening as well while she enjoyed her cup of tea.
Grandmother MacDuff was a proud Scottish woman. She interrupted them and began to tell them all sorts of tales about her own family lineage. Leora tried to stop her grandmother from drowning Matthew in her stories, but Matthew didn't mind and he was interested in what Grandmother MacDuff had to say.
Leora decided, as much as she didn't want to, to listen to the stories she had heard before several of times.
Except this time she was captivated.
Was Granny's stories always this interesting?
She learned that the leaders of the Scottish clans were called lairds and that the bloody battles had left her in constant suspense.
Her grandmother had told her that there was a wishing well built by Scottish immigrants who came to the States about half a century ago. Leora had remembered it. When she was younger she would often go there with her father. It was quite at the edge of town.
"Every wish you make to the well will come true," Grandmother MacDuff warned, "Fate has its own way of seeing to them."
Looking back now, she had warned.
Which made it all the more tempting to go and make a wish.
Matthew decided to take Leora out to the wishing well, he called it a date. She couldn't believe he asked her out. Maybe this is fate?
Later that weekend they had taken a stroll together through the trails in the forest leading to the well.
It was a resplendent view. The sunset, the trees, the birds, and the beautiful pink sky, surrounded them as they stood on the hill with the wishing well.
She looked into his eyes. He looked back into hers.
"You ready?" he asked.
"As ready as I'll ever be," she replied.
They held hands and held their coins in the other. They clenched their eyes shut and they made their wishes.
If I ever have a true love, I wish he will love me back.
She knew it was corny. She wasn't expecting Matthew to be her true love. But then again, she was here with Matthew.
Should I have wished to be in love with him?
But her wish had come out last minute, from somewhere inside she didn't expect to show. She was going to turn eighteen and here she was wishing for true love. A girl who never had a boyfriend before. A girl who never had her first kiss before.
She read books, saw movies, and listened to music. She wanted to feel what those people felt when they spoke of love; the thrill, the eagerness, and even the heartbreak.
Because for a girl who had everything in place, it was the one thing she didn't have.
So when she wished for something, it was her utmost personal wish. No one had known before.
And fate had decided to grant it.
As their coins fell in simultaneously, they opened their eyes.
"What did you wish for?" he asked.
"If I tell you, will it come true?" she asked, returning a question back to him.
"Depends," he said as he let out a playful smile.
"Well I'd rather not take my chances because I really do want it to come true," she replied looking deep into his eyes.
With no further second notice, his lips were on hers.
She was startled by the suddenness, but let her eyelids fall as she kissed him back, her body feeling light.
It was sweet and innocent. It was everything a first kiss ought to be.
With the sunset behind them and no one else but them.
It was perfect.