the short story project


Janeen Abdo

Tarot- Past, Present, and Tomorrow

My last appointment arrived. An elderly woman, she has come to me since I first opened my shop. The dearest woman I have met, she is one that makes me enjoy what I do. So many come to see me to find riches and greed. They become angry when the cards tell them they are destined for destitution. Many do not realize rewards they are looking for, they come with sacrifice.

Gladys, she is different her story is all about sacrifice.
I flip over the last tarot card of the spread. The Death card. The old woman’s eyes grow large. The fear behind them. There is nothing in her layout that says she is dying soon. That card, people fear it more than others. It comes up, and they believe they will die. While it is inevitable, everyone dies, it is not because I read your cards.
Start the reading with her past, recognizing her difficulties. The Star is the card of significance. Identifying her yearnings and beliefs. She has met trials and struggled. She rose above earned her place to be here today. My reading of her life must do her justice. I continue the anterior portion of her spread and how it builds up to where she is today. Her present cards are governed by the Queen of Pentacles.
The Queen sits on a throne. A pentacle, she holds in her arms. Power and success leap off the card. The old woman has endured the battles of business and succeeded. She has contributed to society and recognized not only as powerful but for compassion. Not traits found together often. She sits up holding her head high as I tell her who the cards see. The pride reaches her eyes as she recognizes her own accomplishments in life.
We reach the death card, the future point in her reading. She waves her hand to stop me. “I do not want to know more. You have reminded me I have lived a full life. Death will come on its own, I will not fear it, and I do not wish to know how it comes.” 
I wrap my hand around hers, “My dear Gladys, you have come for years. This card is not acknowledging your death. Your journey is not near over. Please allow me to show you what tomorrow brings.”
Gladys hesitates, staring at the death card, justice, world, and judgment follow. A deep sigh escapes her, and the nod for me to continue. The grim skeletal reaper is not a card of death it is a card of change. New paths are visible, and the journey continues. The new mission will make her strong and take her to the places she never dreamed of seeing. I find a feeling of regret in my dear client’s mood. I stare at the spread of what in her life could she regret. My eyes fixate on the justice, the karma card.
“You have paid your dues, the one thing in life that has always escaped you will join you for the final journey. Your life is just beginning. Travel the world and find your love. You have lived a life most dream of, and you stayed on the straight and narrow. Judgment will reward you.”
Months pass, and I do not hear from Gladys. Her reading stays in my mind, to think someone as accomplished as she had a single regret. Her fear of the death card told me she was afraid of dying without fulfilling her dream. I read people’s cards daily, and none seem to come together as vividly. A woman who knew what she wanted from life.
The mail delivery, and I find a letter, it is from Gladys and postmark is from Paris. A knot forms in my stomach as I tear the envelope open.

My dear Morgan,
I appreciated the last reading you did for me and took it all to heart. I returned home and looked at my life, recognizing your accuracy of interpretation. I sold my home and traveled to Europe. I spent days eating the greatest cuisines and danced in the evenings to wee hours of the morning. You reminded me that at my age I accomplished all they asked of me. I was successful in all my endeavors, but not once did I follow a dream to happiness. I found my lost love, my Le Jean. He too lived his life alone and victorious.
As young children, we met. I was from a wealthy Welsh homestead, Le Jean lived in the school they boarded me at. He was the cook’s son. My first friend at the school, we grew up together. Recognized our love in high school, forbidden by my father, they sent me to the US to further my education. Never to see Le Jean again. I have lived the life my father wanted for me, everything most dream of having.
The death card appeared as my future, regret-filled me. I have had many lovers, but no love since Le Jean. I returned to Paris, to the boarding school. He was not there, but his menu was available. My Le Jean is a world-renowned chef. We are traveling Europe doing food shows. My journey has just begun. I owe you my gratitude for asking me to take that chance for you to finish my reading. I would have believed my life was over, it had just begun.
I write to not only thank you but to give you advice. Life is never over until you give up. Tomorrow is always a new day and you need to embrace it. Neither Le Jean nor I have ever had children, I told him you are the closest I ever had.
Do not wait as we did, start your new beginning now. Fulfill all your dreams. Enclosed in this letter is a bank statement, the account is now yours. Use it to find a career, travel to find love, but most of all find happiness. 
 With love,
Gladys and Le Jean
I open the bank statement, my jaw dropped. I turned my open sign to closed. I will not disappoint Gladys. I book the next flight to Paris.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *