IN THE CARDS • by Lori Dyan

“Tarot 911,” I recited, “where dreams are told and wishes realized. This is Desiree, what is your question today?” I spoke slowly, the better to rack up precious minutes and fill my quota.

“Um, hi,” a young woman’s voice breathed in my ear. “I have a question? About a guy?”

I automatically flipped to the red tab (‘romance’) in my “consultant” binder and started shuffling a deck of playing cards near my mouthpiece.

“Okay,” I said, scanning the page before me. “The two of hearts has come up, indicating a new relationship.” I paused. “Or perhaps one that recently ended…”

My binder had been provided by the owners, a couple from New Jersey with sketchy morals and questionable credentials (as if one could even have credentials in such a venture).

The caller jumped in where I’d left off, just like she was supposed to. “Yes! I’ve just started seeing David…”

My heart clenched like it always did when I heard that name. Why couldn’t I have married a Denzel, or a Sigmund?

“I’m wondering if he’s ‘the one’.” She was still babbling, just like they all did, eager to provide all of the necessary information required to get the answers that they craved. “We actually met when he was still married… so he doesn’t want to jump into something serious. But he’s been separated for, like, months.”

My headset suddenly felt too tight, my cubicle too constricting. “His, err, wife…”

Ex-wife,” she interrupted.

“Right. Whatever. I’m, uh, sensing her name begins with an… S?”

“Yes!” she exclaimed. “It’s Sara! And she’s a total nut job, too. She’s, like, practically a stalker.”

“Really?” I asked, my tongue suddenly like sandpaper against my teeth. I took a quick sip of my Big Gulp. “The cards show him to be rather tall, with dark hair…” Okay, it was time to stop messing around. “…and it looks like he works with animals.”

“OMIGOD!” she bellowed into my ear. “That’s amazing! How did you see…?”

“It’s all in the cards,” I answered in a stronger voice. “He’s coming through very clearly.”

So clearly I could punch him, I thought in disgust. If it wasn’t for that douche bag, I wouldn’t be here. I didn’t even get to keep the damn cat.

“So, um, what was your name again?” I inquired.

“It’s Sherene.”

Of course it is.

“Well, Sherene,” I said, as visions of payback danced in my head. “I have good news and I have bad news.”

“Oh no,” she moaned. “I knew he was too good to be true.”

“You’re half right,” I assured her. “There is some negative energy in your relationship house that’s preventing true bliss with Dr. Dave, but the cards are showing me how you can release it.”

“I’ll do anything,” she pleaded.

Like taking candy from a baby, I thought, closing the binder and leaning back in my chair. Or, in his case, dignity from a dumbass.

An hour later, Sherene had a lengthy to-do list and I’d doubled my quota for the day.

“I think I’ve got everything,” she said. “I’ll put it on eBay as soon as I get off the phone with you.”

“Perfect,” I answered. “And remember: he might be upset at first, but all those big boy toys — the Xbox, the diving equipment — are just cluttering his psychic house. He’ll be much better off without them.”

Just like I’m better off without him, I thought, finally believing it.

She exhaled loudly. “Thank you, Desiree. I feel so much better after talking to you.”

“The feeling is mutual, Sherene.”

We said our goodbyes and I was about to hang up when I was struck by a final, inspiring thought. “One more thing,” I added. “Make sure his ex gets the cat.”

Lori Dyan writes in Ontario.


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