Tea Leaves and Green Jade

Stranger, Tarot, and Disturbance

Match Eight: Stranger, Tarot, and Disturbance:

-Ju-

Back in October, I ran into the strangest encounter. I had just left my classes for the day when I noticed a man dressed in black looking for something or someone. I don't think that I've seen him around here before. Curious, I walked over to him.

"Excuse me, sir?" I asked. "Are you lost or something?" I had never seen a face look so pale as the one who looked up at me after he lowered his hood.

"Are Liao Ju?" he asked. I tilted my head at him.

"Who's asking?" I asked. He took a step forward, but tumbled to his knees, coughing.

"Are you okay?" I asked as helped him to his feet. The man looked up at me as he coughed.

"I'll be fine," he said. The man tried to get up, but sank back to the ground.

"No," I insisted. "You need to sit down." I dragged him over to a bench nearby. The man took in slow breaths. I handed him my water bottle.

"Here," I said. "Drink this."

"Thank you," the man said. He took the bottle, opened it, and took a drink.

"Better?" I asked. He nodded at me.

"Good," I said. The man lowered the bottle from his lips.

"Something wrong?" I asked.

"I need to talk to you," he said. I gave him a puzzled look.

"Why?" I asked. "What do you want with me?"

"Are you familiar with the major arena of the tarot cards?" he asked.

"Yeah, I mean, who isn't?" I asked. The man pointed at my chest.

"You are the Lovers!" he declared.

"What are you talking about?" I asked. He reached into his heavy cloak. I instinctively positioned myself to take off running. Instead of a weapon, the man pulled out a grey plastic box. He handed it to me.

"Take this," he said. "All that you need to know is inside." I still didn't see what he was saying.

"What is it?" I asked. "Why are you giving me this?"

"You have to know your role in the Wasteland," he told me.

"The Wasteland?" I asked. "What are you talking about? This better not be some lame joke they pull on the freshman! I'm reporting you to the dean!"

"This is not a joke. You do not have much time," he warned me. "You have to stop this cycle before it claims everyone again! Go further with the other half of the Lovers and seal the gates of Heaven." I blinked at him, tilting my head.

"Are you out of your mind?" I asked. "I don't have a lover and I am not the Lovers card!" I rose to my feet and reached into my purse. "I'm calling the police!" I shouted.

"You can do as you like," he said. "But…" I couldn't sleep that night because of what he said afterwards. I still can't get them out of my head.

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