Psychic

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sabrina finally gives in to her doubts about her future and visits the psychic.

Submitted: December 22, 2011

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Submitted: December 22, 2011

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“You will find love,” she said to me before the bead curtain I had just stepped through even stopped its rainstorm clattering.

I paused before continuing into “The Parlor,” as the signs in the adjacent tattoo shop had called it. It looked like no parlor I had ever seen before. A dingy green armchair with stained pink cushions took up a corner, with fringed lamps, psychedelic posters, and other kitsch around it. The psychic was a black woman several shades lighter than myself. She wore large gold seashell earrings and had let her hair grow out naturally. I fingered my weave self-consciously as I took the rickety chair across from her. A metal table exactly big enough for its crystal ball, cracked teapot, and tarnished set of keys sat between us.

“Why do you say that I’ll find love?” I asked, curious despite my diffidence in the unfamiliar surroundings. This is what I get for my superstitions.

She gestured up with her middle finger. At first I thought she was flipping me off—I would not have even been surprised, the hatred-on-sight was now familiar to me—but then I realized she was pointing; she had no index finger. She was indicating to the sign on the right wall, which spelled “PSYCHIC” in a blood-boiling neon pink.

 “How did you—” I started to inquire about her missing digit, but she would have none of it.

“Dear heart, you are a beautiful woman. You did well in school, listened to your parents—most of the time—and you tip your ice cream servers with more than spare change. Your karma couldn’t be better. Society is almost ready for you, just wait and see. You’ll find love.” She folded her thin arms across her chest. Her eyes were catlike as they watched me from under long false lashes.

She sounded so sure. I shifted uncomfortably and crossed my bare legs, enjoying for an instant the feeling of having them smooth and in the open. “You…you called me a woman.”

“Of course. A beautiful one. What the hell else would I call a beautiful woman?” She nibbled already bitten nails.

“Beautiful!” I echoed, my chest twinging. As though the word had not been said enough. “So—you don’t care?” I knew that she knew.

‘Baby, does it look like I care what people think?” She ran her bitten, heavily ringed hand through her hair and sighed. She was stunning, and I was entranced. “Being born a with something down there, who gives a hoot. Anybody can do that. It takes courage to tell ‘em that it’s wrong. People shouldn’t act like you’re letting them down just ‘cause you changed your name to Sarah.”

“Sabrina.”

“Whatever, I was close.” She wiped her nose and leaned back in the chair, her low-cut red tunic showing a bit of bra. If I had tried to recline like her, I would’ve been on my fat ass in seconds.

“Even women don’t find me beautiful, let alone men…”

“What are you calling me then, chopped liver?”

“You’re different. You’re—” My eyes grew wide. “Are you like me?”

She shook her head, that glorious hair moving slowly, a beat behind. “Not in the way you mean, at least. Born a girl, stayed it. It’s a habit. Though sometimes I do have fun mixing it up a little.” She grinned, and I wondered if I had seen her walking around in hightops and a baseball cap at some time or another. I gulped, my head reeling.

She leaned forward, suddenly grave. I could not meet her intense gaze, and somehow my eyes found the loose top of her shirt instead. Her small brassiere was an old gray-tan, and I thought of my own large pink one for which I had busted half a paycheck. It had a little bow in its middle, and held my gel packs in place tightly.

She was talking again. I hastened to listen. “Listen, Sabrina. Listen to me. You will find love. Be true to yourself—it’ll get better. It’ll get so much better… believe me.”

“How…how can you know?” I whispered, twisting my long-nailed, unfeminine hands together.

She cocked one eyebrow, then reached across the table to put one of her hands over mine. My fidgeting stilled at the cool touch. And with her other hand, she flipped me off again.


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