The place was not on my way. I had to take a big detour if I even had to see it's signboard. But atleast thrice a week, on my way home from work, I try to make it through that area.
By dusk, she turns on the neon lights. It doesn't look welcoming at all. The entire place had a very aloof look about it. Despite being in a busy neighborhood, the house stood empty, forlorn..almost forgotten.
I had discovered it by accident. I was on a house hunt and had to drive through the community. It's been over a month now since I first saw the place. I could never muster the courage to go up the pathway and open the door. I feared of what lay inside.
But today, I had to keep myself occupied. I needed to divert my attention. So on my way back, I took the detour and instead of driving past it as had been habit, I parked beside and walked up. I knew that if I hesitated even for a second, I might not want to step inside. So I walked in as fast as I could, making the cold fall evening my excuse.
I was expecting to see a multi-colored, dingy, ill lit, scary place. Instead I saw a very cozy and quaint living room. Seated on a teak wood desk by the side of the room, I saw her.
'Where's your crystal ball' - I ask her even before any introductions.
She had the sweetest laugh.
She beckoned for me to take my seat. I obliged. And repeated my question.
'I don't have a crystal ball. But I read from the cards and your hands' - She answered.
'So then you are not a psych.Psychic readings should be from the crystal ball' - I was my stubborn self. Even to a complete stranger.
'Are you expecting any miracles' - Her question was as abrupt as my indignant query on the crystal ball.
I guess my silence was good enough an answer for her.
From the extended deck of cards, I hastily picked out one for her.
'I saw it in your eyes the moment you walked in. I have seen very few people with this aura. Do you want to hear it?' - I guess it is the beauty of her profession. To talk in riddles.
I know I have to pay her either case. So I decided to hear her out.
'In the olden days, we would have called it a gypsy curse. I don't know if you modern folks would like to believe it or not. But you have that curse. You are cursed when it comes to the matters of your heart. You are cursed to be loved by people you can never love back. And the love of your life will never love you back'.
Like I had to pay her 10 dollars to hear what I have known all my life ! So much for wanting a distraction from the killing pain in my heart. Period.