Fiction Fantasy Drama

Fortune teller - one who practices divination, but has a more carnival or informal nature.

Oracles - also practice divination but oracle describes a higher class, often religious, profession.

Prophet - a person claimed to have been contacted by the divine, they may speak of the future,

they may speak of new revelations of God and spirituality.

“I can see it now so clearly! Yes! Your marriage is over, honey.”

Nancy’s jaw dropped while she was watching the woman in front of her casually looking at Nancy while smoothing around a big skirt with her calloused hands. Her reaction was understandable – Nancy was recently married. They just had a little girl so she was hoping for the best. Things were not always perfect but what marriage is? Especially, when you have a newborn in the house while wrapping up final classes at the law school. Today her mother-in-law had a rare attack of conscience, so she came for a visit and offered to watch baby Ruth. Nancy didn’t need to be asked twice and the minute she was offered to skedaddle, she grabbed her purse and escaped the apartment before her in-law even finished her sentence.

Now, she was just hoping her bestie was free. Nancy ran down a couple of flights of stairs ringing the doorbell next to a green old door that desperately needed some painting. She used their special ring – one short and one long– Jill would know that it was her at the door! A few moments later she heard the light footsteps and the door swung open.

“What did you do with the baby?!”

“Hello to you too!” smirked Nancy squeezing by Jill into the apartment.

“Wait!” Jill blushed, smiling uncomfortably. “I’m not alone…” she looked away.

Nancy stopped in her tracks.

“You have a guy in here? Who’s he?!”

Redheaded Jill was now bright red in her face and replied, still avoiding looking at Nancy.

“It’s not a guy, it’s a girl… a woman…”

Nancy raised her eyebrows in surprise. “You mean, you…?”

“Argh,” Jill huffed, “It’s not what you think…Fine, I’ll tell you but you have to promise not to make fun of me. Ever!”

Intrigued Nancy nodded enthusiastically trying to suppress her smile – her bestie was so dramatic at times!

“Well, it’s like this. A friend of my sister’s introduced her to this WOMAN – she is a prophet!”

“You mean, like a fortune-teller?”

“Better! Everyone says that whatever she predicts comes true. You wouldn’t think she’s anything special when you look at her.”

“Really?” Nancy smirked sarcastically. “And how much this famous shyster-myshister is charging you for her services?”

“Not that much, actually,” Jill flashed a guilty smile. “Do you want to meet her?”

Nancy shook her head.

“I’ll let you get back to your circus, call me later!”

She turned around grabbing for the door handle to leave when she suddenly felt a strong desire to stay here at any cost. Nancy was a very pragmatic young woman, completely deprived of any romanticizing of the events around her so this weird feeling was new to her. She looked at Jill hesitantly but a second later Nancy heard a soft voice calling out from the living room.

“Honey, I think you should stay – there are some things to be discussed…”

No one ever called her “honey”. Nancy couldn’t stand all these sugary nicknames such as sweets, honey, sugar, etc. She had a name and that was enough! Even with her own baby, Nancy didn’t experience a need for “extensive cooing” as she called it. But now… now her legs carried her to the room as if they belonged to someone else. Before she knew it, Nancy sank into the seat at the end of the huge sofa that was practically filling Jill’s small living room. Nancy found herself looking into the big dark eyes of a woman in front of her who was sitting in the matching armchair but unlike Nancy and Jill, she sat on the very edge of it not letting the furniture swallow her, keeping her back very straight.

“I’m Lina,” she smiled kindly at Nancy. “You like my dress?”

Indeed, Nancy couldn’t stop gawking at her. Lina had a long black dress to the floor covered in enormous poppy flowers. The neckline of her dress was open more than most would be comfortable with but her neck and her chest were covered in thin golden chains. Lina wasn’t a skinny woman but somehow this outfit looked very attractive on her. Nancy made an effort and looked into Lina’s face again deciding that she was in her mid-to-late-fifties. Her shiny black hair was braided and styled modernly around her head. All-in-all, there was something magnetic about Lina and her large black eyes. There wasn’t a trace of makeup on her and Nancy caught herself thinking that she wouldn’t mind looking like this herself when she gets to be this age.

“I do like your dress,” Nancy smiled friendly, deciding to make the best out of this curious situation. “Are you a gypsy?”

“Nancy!” Jill was horrified about Nancy’s directiveness but Lina laughed out loud and her laughter sounded surprisingly young, like a little crystal bell.

“You think only gypsies can predict the future?”

Nancy shrugged uncertainly – this was the first thing that popped into her head and now she felt a bit embarrassed. In the meantime, Lina continued:

“You are not far off. There are some Romanian gypsies in me but I also have many others. You know, I’m like a very good cocktail where you mix a lot of strong spirits to make it just right!” Lina smiled kindly and again, Nancy felt strangely drawn to her, like she wanted to tell her all the secrets, hopes, and dreams.

“Please don’t take it personally, I’m sure you are a lovely person but I just don’t believe in all this stuff,” Nancy shrugged again. “I don’t want to waste your time, so…” she attempted to get up when Lina looked straight into her eyes and started talking slowly, quietly, and clearly, seemingly without stopping to even take a breath.

“You are twenty-six years old. You are about to become a lawyer. You have big plans and are a bit frustrated about needing to take care of Ruth. You love your daughter but you don’t have the sentimental attachment that you see in other new mothers and it bothers you. You are questioning if you are a good mother and a wife if you are not enjoying either one of these jobs.”

Nancy’s jaw dropped. Of course, her age and major Lina could have gotten from Jill but Nancy NEVER discussed details of her inner struggles with anyone before. She didn’t even understand what was causing her so much frustration until now when this strange woman verbalized it in such a simple form.

“Well?” Lina’s eyes turned warm and friendly again. “Would you listen to me now? Because I do have a few things to tell you, honey.”

Nancy continued to stare still in shock. Lina took it as an agreement and turned her attention to Jill.

“Would you please give us a few minutes? Alone?”

Jill, equally stunned, obediently got up and left the room, closing the door behind her. Nancy looked after her before turning back to Lina. A sarcastic remark escaped her before she could stop herself.

“Are you going to predict my death or something?”

“Oh no, honey, not this time!” Lina replied softly, ignoring Nancy’s tone. She leaned forward staring into Nancy’s eyes like she did the first time and continued.

“I can see it now so clearly! Yes! Your marriage is over, honey. It was over before it even started and you know it. You did the right thing for yourself and Ruth but… he was never the ONE. You don’t need to worry about your work or your daughter. Both will be equally fine. You need to stop worrying about your parenting skills - you won’t be the most nurturing mother but you will do your job well and that would have to be enough…” Lina closed her eyes for a moment. “You want to know what’s going to happen with you after you get divorced… you will be by yourself but when you turn thirty, you will start dating a man. He will be quite a bit older but…hmmm interesting!” Lina smiled.

Nancy wasn’t sure she liked that smile and the last comment.

“What? What is so interesting?”

“You already know this man. Actually, you’ve known him since you were ten.”

Nancy’s eyes got wide – she mentally scanned everyone in her life but couldn’t come up with any candidates.

“Are you sure about that? I don’t know anyone like that.”

“Why don’t you think about some more it in your free time?” Lina nodded encouragingly. “I can see the both of you very clearly. He will be your soulmate and it won’t be easy. Both of you will have to fight for this relationship but if you’re patient and don’t give up on him no matter what, you will be together for many years and even after his and your death. I know, you don’t like to wait but if you want to keep that man in your life, you will do yourself a favor by remembering my words – patience is the key.”

She sat back and Nancy felt herself snapping out of trance. She shook her head and stood up.

“I have to say, you are very good about keeping up appearances,” she smirked again at Lina who was watching Nancy with her head tilted.

“I knew you won’t trust me. You won’t trust HIM right away either, but that’s OK. I’ll tell you what. You don’t have to pay me anything today but If by the time you are thirty-one, five years from today, you are with this man – you will meet me at the square around the corner here and we will work something out, how does that sound?”

“Really? And you think I will remember to show up?”

“Oh, you will remember,” Lina smiled. “The day before, Ruth will break her arm right in front of your building and you will know that we have a date the next afternoon! I hope you enjoy the rest of your day while you still have a babysitter.”

Nancy had no choice but to nod and leave. She waved to Jill telling her that nothing special happened before she left and walked outside. The day was still unrolling, the sky was blue so Nancy decided to kick the events of the last hour out of her head and strolled down the street towards the square.


Nancy was watching Ruth splashing in the shallow water thinking about how youthful she still felt despite turning thirty a couple of months ago. She squinted at the sun thinking that maybe she needs to pull her hyperactive daughter out of the water for some sunblock. They were sitting on the small deserted river beach where she brought Ruth for a few weeks. Behind them were some cabins that were typically rented to tourists that passed through the area but Nancy got lucky and so far, no one was there but the two of them. 

“Ruthie, come here,” she called out. “Let’s take a break. Are you hungry?”

Before Ruth could respond suddenly Nancy heard a soft male voice behind her.

“I know, I am, what’s for lunch?”

Nancy jumped and turned around.

“No way!” the man exclaimed coming up closer. Nancy’s heart got back to its normal rate when she recognized in him a friend of her aunt’s. “I think I know you!”

“Yes,” Nancy nodded. “You went to school with my aunt, right?”

“That’s right! You have a good memory,” he smiled. “I was away for a while on an expedition so just got back and decided to come here for a bit of a break. What a coincidence! I think, the last time I saw you, you were about to get married – was it six-seven years ago, right? Is this your daughter?”

Nancy stared at him with a wide-opened mouth – why didn’t she notice before how attractive this guy was? Or maybe it was his tanned face and the whole sort of romantic setting around them? Or perhaps because it’s been a couple of years since she got divorced and she really didn’t date anyone since then?

“Her name is Ruth,” Nancy said not knowing what else to say but remembering that his name was Tom.

“She looks just like you when you were about her age!” His eyes were smiling at her and Nancy suddenly realized that she remembers Tom ever since he got back from yet another trip and came to her aunt’s birthday. Nancy was about nine or ten at the time. With that realization, she immediately heard Lina’s words echoing in her ears:

You already know this man. Actually, you’ve known him since you were ten.

“So, what were you girls planning to have for lunch? I’m starving! Mind if I join you?”

Nancy shook her head and unconsciously gave him a flirty smile.

“Don’t mind at all. Ruthie, come here, meet uncle Tom!”


Nancy slammed the phone. She was so angry her hands were shaking. Thank Goodness Ruth was too busy getting ready for her wedding so she wasn’t home much. If only Nancy would have listened to Lina’s prophecy more carefully! She laughed it off, didn’t trust a word of what she said but every single thing she predicted came true!

The following year after Nancy and Tom started dating, Ruth tripped in her usual fit of clumsiness and broke her arm in two places. Nancy could hardly believe it when the next day she showed up at the square and saw Lina sitting patiently on the bench. She didn’t seem to change a bit and they smiled at each other like good old friends.

“You look happy, honey,” Lina hugged her. “Is he everything you hoped he would be?”

Nancy nodded and smiled.

“Is it hard?”

“Yes, our families are not happy with this match. To make things worse, his ex refuses to give him a divorce even though they have been separated for years!”

“She will. Remember what I said – patience.”

Nancy took an envelope out of her purse and passed it over to Lina but to her surprise, Lina didn’t take it and shook her head.

“I don’t take money for what I do if I am the one who called you over. I wanted to read you – it felt very interesting! So, it was like watching a good love story. You owe me nothing.”

“Then... then why did you ask to meet me here after all this time?”

“So, you learn how to trust people around you – not everyone has an ulterior motive. Remember what I said – be patient and stay by his side.”

More than a decade has passed but the situation with her family wasn’t getting better. Only recently Tom finally was able to free himself and they got married but her aunt and parents continued to torture Nancy and Tom every chance they got. The situation was toxic and what’s worse – Ruth ended up being in the middle of all of that. Instead of overjoying about her upcoming wedding, Ruth was constantly trying to reconcile the two sides to make sure that all the people important to her can come to the ceremony. Nancy thought about Lina more frequently than she wanted to admit – how much she wished she had a way of finding her now so she could ask for advice. Patience. That’s what she said the last time – Nancy needs to have patience. But for how much longer can they endure this? In her analytical mind, Nancy also started to question how much of her love for Tom was truly her own feelings and how much was it a subconscious desire to fulfill the prophecy? Was she influenced by that or did she truly love him? Would her life be completely different if she didn’t come to Jill’s place that day? She thought about it for a second and decided the answer was “no”. All she had to do is think about the way Tom always looked at her, how happy he made her feel, how well he treated Ruth all these years – he was truly the love of her life and she will stand by him for better or for worse.


Nancy walked out of the little old church – this is where they had Tom’s service. She was alone once again and this time she knew there would not be someone else walking into her life – she was almost seventy. Her parents were gone, her daughter was a middle-aged woman now and Nancy reserved the bragging right about her two beautiful, mostly grown grandchildren. Tom loved them and the feeling was mutual - he was the best grandfather to them anyone could hope for.

As she walked around the beautiful little rose garden next to the church, she couldn’t help but think again about her life and how each event followed the other. Funny. The family feud finally ceased fire once Ruth had her first baby – everyone’s attention was diverted to it so the constant provocations and conflicts stopped once and for all. Nancy and Tom spent a wonderful thirty-five years together. Yes, they had good and bad days, fights and arguments – just like any other couple but that feeling of something magical between them, like the fate itself brought them together, always helped Nancy to find strength in any situation and wait for it to resolve itself.

Now… Now she has to summon her patience one more time and wait. Wait until she and Tom can reunite again. According to the prophecy, it will happen… of course, if one believes in this kind of thing.

June 26, 2022 22:07

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