A typical work day passed. I paved my way out of the office building past little 5 o’clock in the afternoon. My medium sized brown sling bag was bumping on and off my thighs as I increased the pace of my steps. I knew there is something new and peculiar will happen. How did I know? I was not my usual calm and living in the moment state of self, but a little more of a paranoid intuitive child because I can somehow sense the future.
It took me fifteen minutes of brisk walking until I reached the lobby of the condominium building where I live. It’s a quite fair lovely place — clean, well-lit by medium sized chandeliers and with enough interior decors such as carpet, big vases and an entryway rectangular mirror which I neglect most of the time because I don’t really care how I look. But my favorite feature of the building is its tight security. If you are not a registered occupant or a with-permit visitor, there is no way the security in-charge will let you in.
As I passed along the security counter, I noticed that the person on duty was unfamiliar. Perhaps, a newly hired, I thought. I gave her a decent smile and initiatively recited the room number where I live, “Room 1617, Luisa Trainor.”
She smiled back with a big smile that revealed her perfectly aligned set of teeth. “Thanks for that. You’re the first person that I didn’t have to ask the room number and name. My name is Jackie, your new evening security in-charge.”
In my three years residence in the condo, it was the first time that they hired a female security. Jackie looks nice and snappy at the same time, which I can say, will make her fit in the job, and gender won’t be an issue at all.
As I prompted my feet to pass by the security booth area, I saw something on Jackie’s counter that caught a spark of curiosity in my eyes. They are medium sized deck of cards with quirky prints on it. Jackie saw the trail of my glance, “Tarot cards. Do you know how to use them?” She asked.
I only heard and knew tarot cards in horror books and films that I’ve read and watched, but never saw real ones until that afternoon, the day I met Jackie. I shook my head when she asked me if I know how to use them and pretended that it didn’t interest me at all. That’s a lie. I have always been mystic. I have high regard and curiosity in magic, divination and I believe that love rules the universe. I am not sure if it’s because I grew up reading Harry Potter series, or because I am a natural highly intuitive person. I ignored Jackie afterwards and went straight to the elevator and pushed the button to 16th floor.
Jackie sensed my interest on tarot cards. The following day, Sunday, the only day that I have to do all the errands — purchase groceries and few clothings as my office attires are already worn out for about two years of regularly wearing them. On my way to finding a place to eat, I heard someone spoke of my name.
“Ms. Trainor!” It was Jackie on her silver plain tees and demin jeans. I went into halt, smiled at her as she made her way to me.
“I am off from security duty today. Would you mind if we can have coffee and bread today?” She asked politely.
I don’t have any reason to decline her invitation. She’s a nice person. “Yeah, sure! I am actually looking for a place to eat. Coffee and bread idea is great.” I replied in delight.
It did not took us long to settle in a coffee shop that also sells varieties of pasta and pizza. Jackie ordered a cup of hot latte and a vegetarian pizza slice, while I have an enormous plate of saucy fettuccine pasta, a hot cup of green tea and one slice of blueberry cheesecake. I caught her naughty smile as she stared on my food. “I know it’s a lot. This is a way of treating myself from a stressful work week.” I defended and we both laughed.
On the first sip on her latte cup, Jackie initiated the conversation. “When I was in middle school, I met an old woman and introduced me to tarot cards. Since then, I fell in love with its power and ability to see what might lie ahead in people’s lives. They are like guides for people who are uncertain, for people who wants to know their destiny, and a warning siren for misfortune and death.”
Jackie caught me. She knew that I would be very pleased to hear more about tarot cards. She continued talking as she recognized from my face that I want some more. “Most people do not believe in tarot card readings. Worst is, most of them rebuke and curse it for being satanic. Ironically, people are so good in judging an experience without having personally experiencing it yet. But that’s what we are.
“What these cards show are just guides. But because humans are afraid to know and face the truth, they find something else to blame. When misfortunes happened in their lives, and realized that what the cards showed were true, they blame it, curse it and spread to the whole town that tarot cards are evil, demonic and full of occult.
“I saw the looks in your eyes when you saw the tarot cards — full of curiosity and great fear. I can’t blame you, most people do. They have come to believe that these cards will bring death, sickness and bad lucks in their lives, so they fear and avoid any possibilities of encountering people like me who possess them.”
Jackie’s face suddenly filled with sadness and pain. I could sense her great admiration for tarots but because of socially established beliefs about them, she has been continuously judged and accused as a witch.
I finally spoke of my own sentiments about the natures of men. “That’s what fear do to us — countless lies, altered cultures and beliefs, division, conflicts, separation and close minds, because human instinct is designed to protect and survive, and this is the easiest way to save ourselves — find something else or someone else to blame.
“And you know what’s so shameful about us? When we receive good news from tarot readings, we solely own the victory, stealing all the glory behind success and happiness. We will not shout to the whole town that these cards brought us good fortune because we want to own the praises, we want to be in the spotlight when something good happened.”
She looked me in the eyes while gulping another sip of coffee. “So, do you want me to do tarot readings for you?” She asked as if testing my courage… or I should say, measuring how much fear I do have.
“Sure. I have always been a curious soul. Curiosity is more powerful than fear. It brings forth the courage that we need in order to dare try something unconventional.” I answered honestly.
Jackie motioned her body and took out from her bag a thick deck of cards. Using her hands, she intricately swiped the deck of cards from right to left, forming a paper fan made of tarot cards.
“I know you are not afraid to try it,” she said as she placed the cards on her hands in front of me. “This tarot is a deck of seventy-eight cards, each with its own imagery and symbolism. Pick one and I will read its message for you.”
I looked at her in the eyes, trying to find security from her capability to perform the ritual to me. “I trust you.”
I reached for the cards and slowly ran through my fingers over them, from left to right. Before I reached the right most card, I stopped and draw the second to the last card. The image on the card was a picture of a woman wearing a horned diadem, and at the bottom of the card, it says, “The High Priestess”.
Jackie kept the rest of the cards and took the card from my hand. “Luisa, listen to me. You are the creator of your own destiny. No cards, divinity and magic can dictate what life you are going to have. But I would like to affirm that your tarot card is on the right track to tell something about you.
“The High Priestess card is on upright position which speaks highly of who you are — highly intuitive, full of wisdom and very connected to your subconscious mind which makes you so special. This card shows only of the possibilities that you can make happen for your life based on the characters that you have. I will not do fortune-telling on you because you are a high priestess — fully in charge of your own destiny.” She put the card on the coffee table and took my hands facing both palms. Her eyes maneuvered on the lines of my palms and smiled afterwards.
Jackie said good bye without saying anything on what she saw on my hands.
“I’ll be seeing you on the building lobby. Thank you.” I told her before she totally made her way out of the coffee shop.
So this is what my intuition was telling me the other day — that I am going to meet Jackie, tarot cards and discover something more about myself.
I am a high priestess.
Monday came and I was so excited to get things done in the office. I was looking forward to see Jackie on the security counter. But upon entering the condominium lobby, I noticed from afar that a male security was doing the security check-ins. I wonder what happened to Jackie.
“Hello, Sir. I met Jackie the other day here and told me that she was the new evening security in charge. May I know if she’s doing the duty tonight?” I asked the male security.
He looked at me confused. “Jackie? There is no one who works for us here by that name. And we never had a female security.”
I just had met a witch not on her broomstick, I realized.
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Her mission in life is to write and help other aspiring writers make their dream writing projects happen.
She says, “There is a strong urge from the core of my soul that I have to let my thoughts, wisdom and stories out through a platform that is accessible by people all over the world.”
She is from Manila, Philippines.