Jackie and I were so excited to be going to the boardwalk after all these years. We were not very close in those days when we were nine or ten years old. We were neighbors and usually went our separate ways. However, we always seem to find each other on the beach at Atlantic City. Most every summer we would spend a few long days together enjoying the freedoms of childhood.
We met at a neighbors wake two years ago. Jackie was 26 and I was 27. We kept in touch after the funeral and have become very close. We arranged some time off together to take a trip to the boardwalk once again. We were sharing a room overnight at the Royal Hotel Casino on the end of the boardwalk. We had just checked in and freshened up from the drive. We could not wait to walk the old boardwalk.
The smells and sounds were timeless, and brought back vivid memories, as we started down the two mile long walk. We rode the merry-go-round and ate salt water taffy and cotton candy. The roller coaster still rumbled with ferocity like it always did.
“Hey, let’s see the fortune teller like we did when we were kids.” Jackie suggested looking at the colorful window with the huge eye painted on it.
“Sure, that might be fun.” I added and we entered the small room.
“That looks like the same lady.” Jackie whispered to me.
“It does! My lord, that was almost 20 years ago.” I answered
The old lady stared at me, her eyes got big and her lower jaw dropped.
“I have seen you face.” The fortune teller said, still staring.
“We used to come here when we were kids.” I responded.
“I saw your face a short time ago. A blond haired man about your age was here for a reading. I held his hand and I saw your face in my mind’s eye. You are in his destiny. It was most definitely you. Do you perhaps know this man? He had short hair and one blue eye and one brown.”
Jackie and I looked at each other shrugging our shoulders.
“No, I don’t know him. What did you see?” I asked curiously.
“Only your face, it was revealed to me and then vanished.” The fortune tells appeared to be genuinely shocked to see me.
“We would like a reading.” Jackie said breaking the silence.
“I am sorry; I do not feel so well. Perhaps later, I need to rest.”
As we continued down the boardwalk we looked at every blond haired man we saw. This mystery man, with two different color eyes, was nowhere to be seen.
We had a great time reminiscing. I kept seeing the look on the old ladies face when she saw me. I tried not to focus on it. We went on some of our old favorite rides. The pirate boats and the autorama cars were such nostalgic fun. We spend the afternoon going up and down the boardwalk. When we went by the fortune tellers booth the second time a closed sign was hanging on the door.
We changed our clothes and went down to the restaurant near the casino floor for dinner. We both ordered Chicken Marsala and it was delicious. After dinner we split up in the casino to play some slot machines. I lost sixty dollars over the next hour and went looking for Jackie. I heard someone say “Judy” and I turned to see Jackie headed toward me.
“I saw him, the guy with the brown and blue eyes. He is dealing blackjack at a fifty dollar table. Follow me.”
I followed Jackie across the casino to where there was a row of blackjack tables. I saw a blond haired man dealing at one of the tables and walked to the front of the table with Jackie. He did indeed have a blue eye and a brown eye. He was also very handsome and did not have on a wedding. I don’t know why I looked, habit I guess.
“I have to try a hand but I only have forty dollars in cash on me. Can you spare a ten spot till I cash a check?”
Jackie gave me sixty dollars, “Here, try two hands.”
There was one seat open at the table. I sat down and waited for the current hand to finish. I looked at the dealers name plate. Dean was written on it.
“How are you tonight Dean?” I asked boldly and while engaging his eyes with mine.
He smiled warmly at me and said, “Very well, thank you. How about you pretty lady?”
I felt a wave of warmth flash across my face and I hoped I had not blushed as much as I felt I did. Jackie was behind me watching and I could not see her face.
“I am feeling lucky.” I said as I pushed fifty dollar out into the betting circle.
“That’s the spirit, good luck to you.” Dean said with a grin.
I got a blackjack and he paid me right away before continuing with the other players. I pulled back the seventy-five dollars he paid me and let my fifty bet ride again. Dean had eighteen and I had twenty and won again. I won the next twelve or fifteen hands in a row and had $900 in front of me. Another dealer came to relieve Dean and I decided to stop. Dean disappeared through a door and I went to the cashier to cash my chips in and pay back Jackie.
“It looks like that Fortune teller was right, he was very lucky for you.” Jackie said grinning.
We gambled for a little while on the slot machines near the tables. We were waiting to see if Dean was going to come back out to deal again. We were both planning to play if he did. After about an hour we gave up and went to the bar. We were sitting at a table listening to a man on the piano playing a variety of pop songs and Dean walked in. He was walking right past our table and our eyes met.
“Hello there pretty lady, you were very lucky tonight, congratulations. “ He said and smiled as he was passing by.
“Would you like to join us?” Jackie blurted out quickly.
Dean stopped and said, “Sure,” and he signaled the barmaid as he sat down so she would come and take his order.
“I have to tell you what happened today.” I said to Dean after he ordered his drink. I explained all about the fortune teller and what she had said. Dean listened intently to the story without interrupting.
“So, I guess that old lady really can tell the future. I mean after all, I won probably seventeen hands in a row from you at the table tonight. Then we ran into you in the lounge.” I said with a grin.
Dean was staring at me but I could tell he was very deep in thought and just looking without really seeing.
“Is there something wrong, are you alright?” I finally asked.
Dean rubbed his chin and said, “Do you want to know what the fortune teller told me?”
Jackie and I both nodded but I added, “What did she tell you?”
“She told me that she saw the lady I would fall in love with and marry. When I asked her what this lady looked like she said, ‘You will know her when you meet her’.”
Nobody said a word. Dean and I were looking at each other and Jackie was looking at both of us. Dean was a handsome man and I could picture us going out together.
“I am Judy.” I said extending my hand to Dean.
Instead of shaking my hand Dean held it and gently rubbed it.
“You told me you felt lucky when you sat at the blackjack table. Well, now I feel lucky!” Dean said and grinned ear to ear.