Colleen flipped through the pages of the tabloid, reading about the newest celebrity gossip in Hollywood.
The Kardashians may quit their show. Ben and Jen may be reconciling. Taylor Swift broke up with her latest beau.
Colleen’s eyes drifted from the pages to the clock on the wall. It was two o’clock. In another two hours, she’d be able to leave. Then she’d have a day off away from the dry cleaners.
A sigh escaped her lips. This isn’t how Colleen pictured her life.
At twenty-five, she’d expected to be doing something glamorous with her life. Her dream was to be a cosmetologist. She did makeovers for her friends, who said her work was as good as a professional. She went to cosmetology school, yet after graduation bad luck ensued.
Colleen had no success in the cosmetology job search. With bills and student loans to pay, she took a job at Dan’s Dry Cleaners, the only one in the small town.
Colleen told herself it’d only be a year or two tops, then something better would come along. Cut to five years later, she was still working at the dry cleaner.
Was the job the best?
But it offered just enough money for Colleen to pay rent, bills, and loans. On the side, she still did makeovers for her friends, who paid her for her work. Colleen still held out hope for her cosmetology job, yet as more time passed, her hope began to dwindle.
I’m going to be stuck at the dry cleaner for the rest of my life.
Hearing her name, Colleen dropped the magazine then jumped from the chair.
Dan Smithers, the owner entered in a tuff. He acted tough, yet it was hard to take him seriously with his short stature and receding hairline.
“Yes, sir,” Colleen said in a calm tone.
“Are you goofing off?”
“Then explain that?” Dan pointed to the magazine featuring Brad Pitt on the cover.
“Well—I—I—we weren’t busy—“
“No excuses,” Dan huffed. “We’re a business, we’re supposed to be professional. You need to be on your toes. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir.” Colleen tried to be nice to Mr. Smithers. She couldn’t afford to lose her job.
“Good.” Dan smirked. “Now, clean up the area. Oh, and check the lost and found bin.”
“I’m going out. I should be back in time for the shift change.”
Colleen watched as Mr. Smithers walked outside to his Corvette. As the vehicle pulled out of the lot, Colleen stuck out her tongue. Mr. Smithers acted like a hotshot, proclaiming he’s a smart businessman. Yet, the employees would disagree. He paid them next to nothing, then gave them a list of tasks a mile long that they had to complete by the end of the day.
Colleen tucked the magazine into her bag, then checked the bin. The plastic container was filled with an assortment of lost items found in the dry cleaner. Most of the time it was filled with junk and customers didn’t bother to come in to retrieve their stuff.
Sifting through the bin, Colleen noticed the various items. There was a tube of Ruby Red lipgloss, which looked like a good color. She made a mental note to check for the lipgloss during the next trip to the pharmacy. Tossing the tube back in the bin, Colleen looked at the other items. There was a rubber band, a pen, and a napkin with a woman’s phone number.
Good thing the guy’s wife didn’t see that. Colleen chuckled at the thought.
Colleen picked the change from the bin, it wasn’t much, maybe just sixty cents. It’d be enough to buy a snack for later.
Sifting through the change, one coin stuck out to her. It was the size of a quarter, yet solid gold. When she turned it over, there was a profile of a woman in a headdress.
This is unusual.
Colleen was intrigued by the coin, she made a note to look it up later.
“I wonder if it could be worth anything.” Knowing Colleen’s luck, it was probably fake. A coin designed as a gag gift for someone.
The phone rang, breaking Courtney’s concentration.
“Dan’s Dry Cleaners, how may I help you?” Colleen asked in a polite tone.
“Have you cleaned the store?” Dan shouted over the sound of the engine running.
“I’m doing it now, Mr. Smithers.” Colleen had to yell also so he could here.
“Good, I want that place spotless by the time I get back.”
“It will be, sir.”
Mr. Smithers hung up and Colleen again stuck her tongue out at the phone.
She stuck the coin in her pocket, then went to grab the broom. As she began sweeping the floor, she glanced at the tabloid. A side bar picture had three Hollywood hunks, proclaiming them the Sexiest Men in Tinseltown.
“I wish I had a handsome man like one of them.” Colleen shook her head. It was useless. The only way she’d get a gorgeous man is in her dreams.
The ringing bell indicated a customer had arrived. Colleen set the broom against the wall, then turned to greet the customer.
“Welcome to Dan’s Dry Cleaners, how may I—”
Colleen was rendered speechless by the sight before her. A man looking like Channing Tatum, except with lighter hair stood in the lobby. He wore a dark suit that fit his muscular frame very well. Colleen tried her hardest not to picture the guy doing Magic Mike moves.
“May—I—how may I help you?”
“I’m here to pick up my dry cleaning.”
The guy’s soothing voice and his baby blues were enough to drive Colleen crazy.
Get a hold of yourself, Colleen. Remember, be professional.
“Yes, sir.” Colleen managed not to stammer. “What’s your name?”
“McAvey. Brett McAvey.”
Colleen excused herself to go fetch his suits. She returned with his designer suits all clean and pressed.
“Here, you go, Mr. McAvey.”
“Please, call me Brett.”
“Okay, Brett.” Colleen could smack herself for acting like a foolish idiot.
“I’ve never seen you here before.”
“I’ve worked here for five years. You probably come on days when I’m not working.”
“Must be. Cause I’m sure I would remember a pretty face like yours.”
Colleen felt her face warm at his compliment.
“What’s your name?”
“Colleen.” A smile pressed on Brett’s lips. “It’s very pretty.”
“Thanks.” Again she felt like smacking herself.
“I know we just met, but I was wondering if you’d like to grab a coffee sometime.”
Colleen was taken aback by his question. This must be a dream. She quickly closed her eyes, then opened them to find Brett staring at her.
“Would you like to go out for coffee?”
“Sure. I love coffee.”
“Great. May I have your number?”
Colleen tore a piece of paper from the stationary, then quickly jotted down her digits. Brett handed her his card, which showed that he was a realtor.
“I’ll give you a call tomorrow.” Brett took his dry cleaning, then began walking towards the door. “It was nice meeting you, Colleen. I can’t wait to learn more about you.”
“It’s true.” Colleen stretched on the couch after a long day at work. As soon as she got home, she called Samantha to let her know about the handsome hunk.
“Shut up!” Samantha said on the other end.
“I’m telling you he’s one of the sexiest men I’ve ever seen.”
“You go, girl.” Samantha snapped her fingers. “Sounds like this was your lucky day.”
“Meeting Brett was the highlight of it.”
“This could be the beginning of good things.”
Colleen shrugged. Normally, she’d disagree, yet the chance encounter with Brett at the dry cleaner made Colleen change her mind.
“I wish,” Colleen faintly laughed.
“You never know,” Samantha teased. “Things usually don’t go the way you want them to. Then all of a sudden good stuff happens.”
“We’ll see.” Colleen looked at her nails, deciding they needed a splash of polish. “I haven’t had a date with Brett yet, there’s no telling how it’ll go.”
“It’s going to go fine. There could be wedding bells in the future.”
“One step at a time.” This happened everytime Colleen met a guy. Samantha was eager to plan the wedding, while Colleen wanted to take it slow.
“Whatever you say,” Samantha chirped. “Your personal life seems to be going great.”
“Yes, at the moment. The same can’t be said professionally.”
“Oh, by the way. You know that salon, what’s it called—Beautopia. I heard they’re hiring again.”
“I put in for them three months ago, but never heard anything.”
“Try again. They could hire you this time.”
“I wish. I’d give anything to work at Beautopia, or any salon.”
“You will. Your time is coming trust me.”
“Whatever you say.”
Colleen and Samantha chatted for a few more minutes before saying their goodbyes. Colleen was going into the kitchen to fix dinner when the cell rang again.
“Hello,” Colleen answered.
“Hi, is this Colleen Woods,” a woman’s voice asked on the other end.
“Yes, this is she.”
“My name is Karen, I’m from Beautopia. I received your application a few months ago.”
“Yes, I did put in an application.”
“I’m sorry for not getting in touch with you sooner. But I was impressed by your resume. I was wondering if you could come in for an interview.”
“Yes, of course.”
“Great. Could you come in tomorrow afternoon, say around one?”
“Yes, I can be there at one o’clock.”
“Thanks so much,” Karen replied. “I’ll see you tomorrow for the interview.”
Karen once again thanked Colleen before hanging up.
Colleen was shocked by the unexpected news. This day had been full of surprises. First, she met Brett and they planned a coffee date. Then there was the job interview with Beautopia. She wondered what caused the change in her luck.
Reaching into her pocket, Colleen pulled out Brett’s card along with the coin from the dry cleaner. In all the excitement, she forgot about it. She remembered she was going to research it.
Turning on the iPad, Colleen once again looked at the coin before entering the description in the search engine. She wasn’t expecting to find anything, yet when she pressed enter, images of the coin popped up. She clicked on the first link, reading the article she discovered it was an ancient Spanish coin. According to legend, whoever is in possession of the coin will have all their wishes granted.
Colleen leaned back in her chair. A glance at the coin sent an eerie sensation through her body. What are the odds that a magical coin shows up at the dry cleaner, where she works. And what are the odds that everything takes a turn for the better.
“No, it can’t be. It’s got to be a coincidence.”
Or was it?