Her Lucky Charm - Cassie Cole
Ever since I was a little girl, I had always been incredibly lucky.
My earliest memory of the phenomenon was Christmas when I was five or six years old. Santa gave us a bunch of scratch-off lottery tickets in our stockings. Sometimes my brother would win five bucks. Maybe ten.
I won a hundred dollars the first Christmas. The year after that I won six hundred. The year after that, it was four digits. My parents cashed out the tickets and put them in a college fund.
I was lucky when it came to family games, too. I always hit the properties I needed in Monopoly, and never landed on Jail. Any game with a dice roll was a piece of cake. When my brothers got sick of me winning and refused to play anymore, I played games by myself. Solitaire lasted five minutes.
It manifested in other ways when I got older. I was a right-forward on the high school Field Hockey team. Although I wasn’t a great player, I always managed to be exactly at the right place, at the right time. The ball bounced off opponents in unexplainable ways, ricocheting into the goal. Sometimes I subbed in for the goalkeeper, and my stick always blocked the ball—even when I closed my eyes and guessed.
“You’ve got a horseshoe up your butt!” my coach used to say.
I was on the Geography Quiz Team my junior year. No matter the subject, I always got a question I knew the answer to. Sometimes it was a subject I had just studied the night before. A random factoid at the bottom of a page that stuck out. One time I dropped my highlighter on a book about Sub-Saharan Africa, accidentally highlighting a sentence about Namibia. The next day I received a question about Windhoek, the capital city.
My dad claimed luck was a result of good preparation. But I knew it was more than that.
I wasn’t very popular in high school. One weekend the coolest girl in school was having a party, and Lindsay Vought got the flu and couldn’t go. “We should invite Rose,” one of the girls said, because I happened to be sitting behind her in class. “We need an even number of boys and girls. We’re playing spin the bottle.”
I had never been to a party before. At least, not an unsupervised party. The twenty of us gathered in a big circle in the living room: ten girls and ten boys, alternating boy-girl-boy-girl. Everyone looked nervous, but was trying to pretend they weren’t. I was practically shaking.
Eleanor spun the wine bottle first, and it landed on Patrick Carter. They kissed, and then it was Andrew’s turn. I didn’t want it to land on me because I thought Andrew was a creep, and sure enough it landed on the girl directly across from me.
Then it was my turn. I crawled out from my spot and grabbed the bottle. I gazed around the circle nervously. I would have been lucky to kiss any of the guys, but there was one in particular I wanted it to land on.
I spun the bottle, but I didn’t need to watch. I knew exactly how it would stop.
Roman Keller was roguishly handsome, and popular with everyone in school. A sweetheart despite his popularity and rugged good looks. His green eyes glittered like emeralds as he gazed across the circle at me.
A bunch of the girls wooed when the bottle landed directly on him. “Lucky Rose!” one of them said.
Roman smiled and brushed back his wavy brown hair. “I think I’m the lucky one,” he said in a smooth, confident voice.
It was a ridiculous thing to say. He was the most popular guy in school, and I was a loner girl who ate lunch by myself in the corner of the cafeteria. But he said it with a dashing smile, and instantly I was blushing more than I had ever blushed in my life.
We crawled on hands and knees toward the middle of the circle. The other bottle-spinners had gotten their kisses out of the way quickly, pecking each other on the lips and hastily retreating to their spots. Roman and I paused with our faces a few inches apart. I can still remember the way he smelled: like woodsmoke and peppermint, with his musky scent underneath it all.
His lips were warm and perfect. He cupped my face as we kissed, holding me against him to make sure we got a real kiss, not just a quick peck. It might have