Have I Ever Told You the Story of My Fortune?

A long time ago in a faraway land, there lived a fair maiden applying for the Peace Corps. While waiting patiently for an invitation to the grand ball that is Peace Corps, the fair maiden got a distressing note. Sadly, because the big bad wolves in Washington, DC couldn’t decide how to divvy up dinner, everyone had to get smaller portions. That meant our fair maiden’s chances of getting an invitation to the ball in the summer were shattered. Saddened, but not disheartened, the maiden kept hoping and dreaming that one day her invitation would come.

One day in late August, when the summer heat was finally starting to fade, our maiden made a strange decision. See, our poor maiden was doomed. Born with a rare sensitivity to Chinese food, the maiden could not stop craving sweet and sour chicken. Finally one day, she gave in. She knew that she would become very ill, but her desire to eat Chinese food was overwhelming. It had been over two years since she had caved.

She consumed the food with zeal, forgetting about her fate. After all the food was heartily enjoyed, the maiden reached for her fortune cookie. She cracked it open and pulled a tiny slip of paper out. She read the fortune and smiled. “Soon you will be sitting on top of the world.” What a fantastic fortune to find, exclaimed the maiden. She kept the paper and set it beside her.

The maiden returned to work. Two hours later, the maiden received a note very unexpectedly. The note said “Congratulations, you have been invited to serve as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Finally, an invitation to the ball! The maiden had given up hope that she would receive an invitation that year. The maiden was overcome with joy. And then she remembered her fortune. She was now sitting on top of the world. Upon further investigation, the lucky numbers on the fortune also contained her mother’s lucky number. Did fate tell the maiden to forgo her health for a few days so she could have happiness for many years to come?

The maiden accepted her invitation and left for the Ghana Ball a couple months later. Ever since that fateful day, the maiden has carried this tiny slip of paper with her everywhere. It serves as a constant reminder of the beauty of fate. 

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