(Not) My Lost Ring

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I lost my ring. This ring was so special to me. It wasn’t valuable, or even given to me by a loved one. I actually found it under a chair as I was cleaning at one of my night job locations and immediately knew that this was precious. The most beautiful ring I had ever seen and it was mine now.

Of course I didn’t claim it instantly on the chance that the rightful owner came to claim it. A few days went by before I brought it home on the ring finger of my right hand. I almost felt whole.

The ring had a delicate yellow gold band with a pearl at its centre, surrounded by eight small sapphire gems. I received so many compliments. The pearl fell out months ago and I couldn’t wear it in public anymore, but that didn’t change my feelings about it. In fact, they only strengthened, because instead of just a pretty ring, it was a pretty ring with potential.

I locked my ring away safely to be used for a later date, that day being when my lover decided to make me his wife. He’d secretly take the ring and outfit it with the diamond he could best afford. I’d get the dream guy with the dream ring.

All that came to an end and it all started the week prior. I saw a psychic. I didn’t wear any jewelry because I didn’t believe in her ability to read my future but figured she could extrapolate from my past with the hints my personal items could give. In their trade, they pass their subtle perusal of clients for clairvoyance.

My friend Corrine and I like to go in small adventures when we see each other since our visits are so scarce. We’ve finished Escape Rooms and strolled through natural beaches. Having our palms read is just another story we can tell the other friends in our circle. Core and I were best friends.

After a downtown lunch at a well-reviewed bistro, we walked into the first shop owned by a psychic. Inside was dark. The curtains were drawn. There were small knick knacks on display. Whether or not they were on sale was a mystery though I’m sure a price would be offered once the owner deciphered how gullible the client was depending on how the reading went.

And here it started. She rose from her chair behind a circular table to greet us. She was kind enough and dressed normally. In fact, the dress she had on, I’d liked to have. “Welcome to The Shoppe. Are you interested in a reading?” Corrine nodded nervously and a small giggle escaped me. “For both of you?” This time I nodded yes and Core laughed.

“I’m sorry,” Corrine said, “we don’t mean to be offensive.”

The psychic gave a small smile. “I get that more frequently than you think, not to worry. My name is Hester. Please have a seat.”

We remove our coats and purses to get comfortable in our chairs across the table from her. “I’m Dam and this is Corrine.”

“Beautiful names. Why don’t I start with you, dear,” Hester said to Corrine. “Would you like your palm read or are you more interested in the Tarot cards?” We hadn’t considered the card option. “Tarots please!” Hester pulled the deck from her shelf behind her and gave it a shuffle.

She asked us, “Is there something you’d like to ask the universe?”

Corrine pondered on the question. It hadn’t occurred to me there would be so much choices. I assumed we would sit, the psychic would talk for ten minutes while we confirmed details or follow up with stories and we would all go about our day. The session was more interactive that I imagine.

What would I ask about? My love life was an obvious route. My past regrets. Was my death imminent and did I really want to know? As I brainstormed possible questions, I heard from my left, “How is my career going? I don’t know if I should stay or leave my current job.” This was news to me. I didn’t know she felt this way.

The reader laid out a short black sheet and had Corrine cut the deck three times. Then her predictions unfolded. “You work with people.” Check. “You are seen as a mother figure. Do you work with children?” Not exactly. “Ah, a nurse, so you’re the caretaker. It clearly suits you, but the stress of the patients is wearing on you. Perhaps it is the age group you are working with you do not enjoy.” Teenagers. “Their problems are difficult for even whole families to endure. You are adding more strain to your life by taking on so much of theirs and so many of them as well.” True. “However, moving from one age group to another will not change anything. Everyone has problems. Heartbreak will follow no matter where you go. Learn to thicken your skin. Do not take matters of another’s heart home with you. You may continue where you are, achieve success, be seen as heroic in your role there, but sympathetic not empathetic. Your heart is too malleable and will be crushed beyond repair if you don’t harden yourself.”

Corrine took all this in. I was the first to admit that the psychic was right. I never vented to Corrine with any heavy issues. I felt like she was a feather’s weight away from a mental breakdown. So imagine my surprise when she took on a nursing position at a mental health institution for young adults. All those hormones flooded bodies plus whatever going on through their brains. Her turnover was imminent.

I was impressed and now excited for my reading. If nothing else, I would get some valid advice that could be applied to any area in my life. Kind of like a horoscope. Even if I was a Taurus, when a Libra was told to go enjoy the day with a loved one because the signs pointed to a romantic day, I called up a boyfriend for a date. We enjoyed ourselves and possibly made even better because I took the initiative to ask him out. I was sure this was to be a successful day.

Hester turned to me and paused before she asked, “Are you here for my medium abilities?”

I was not expecting that. “No, I’m not sure what that is. I just want my palm read please.” I held my hand out, but she didn’t take it. What she did next chilled me to the bone.

Her eyes roamed the air around me and settled on the space above my right shoulder. She didn’t stop focusing on the same spot as she whispered, “Are you sure?”

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