The High Priestess & The Page of Cups
The High Priestess
Gina pinned the latest photograph and thank you card to the notice board. Two weddings this year already and it was still only May. Gina had twelve wedding photos on the board and was now known locally as The Matchmaker. She had opened the café some six years previously and read tarot cards to help people find the right partner for them.
Mama Gina’s got off to a good start, she found a great location, on the corner of a row of shops, sort of in the middle of the university, financial, arts and residential districts of the city. In the early days, trade was slow but as her reputation grew, so did the business, and she had recently purchased the property adjacent to hers but whose front faced the neighbouring precinct. Soon she would have to look at hiring some employees, but her cards had told her, ‘Not yet’.
Mama Gina was a superstition in her own right, and local people would often advise visitors that if they were looking for their soulmate, or just if they wanted to know what their destiny held, they had to visit Mama Gina.
The Page Of Cups
One particular morning before she opened up, Kris let himself in and helped himself to coffee, making Gina one in the process as he did pretty much every morning. Kris had studied music at the university and attained the position as a cellist with the city orchestra after leaving university at the age of twenty-four. That was five years ago. Kris had met Gina in his final year of university and stayed firm friends with her since, in fact, he moved out of his university digs and into Gina’s place for a while until he got on his feet financially and could afford a home of his own. Gina offered him a part-time job at the cafe, but as Kris wouldn’t accept payment Gina wouldn’t let him work, although he did help out in the coffee shop when the need arose—he pickled eggs and baked the potatoes, even helped bake cakes and spit roast the meat. Gina took care of him in her way, and this was his way of taking care of her. She fed him three square meals a day—he never had to pay for food or beverages, so the least he could do was help out. Gina saw him as the son she never had—he saw her as a better mother than the one he did have.
Kris had his laptop open reading the news, and they discussed the topics of the day, pretty much as they did every morning. Outside the sun had already started warming the patio. The city was beginning to bustle, and Gina’s take-out service from the hatch would soon be underway. Gina’s hours were long, her days taken up with the cafe, some evenings too when the orchestra had a performance. Her evenings taken up with preparing food for the following day, but she enjoyed every minute of it. She hadn’t had a holiday in six years, but it was worth it, she smiled at Kris, if she’d had a son, she would have liked him to be just like Kris. Her mind went to her daughter Arianna, as it usually did.
It was ten years since Franco her ex-husband had gone back to the United States taking her eight-year-old daughter, ensuring Gina would never be able to find her. Momentarily saddened, Kris caught her attention with some news about the war in the middle east. His brother Jared was in the forces stationed out there somewhere, so Kris read the reports daily to see if his brother’s name was amongst the fallen.
At lunchtime, Mr Jones came in a vibrant eighty-something-year-old man, who came in every Thursday to see if his Mrs Right had turned up yet. Always the same order, coffee with cream and a cheese bagel with his reading. Today was a little different, however, as when Gina read his cards, she turned the queen of wands. Gina was confident a good woman was about to walk into Mr Jones life and if she wasn’t mistaken, which she usually wasn’t, into her cafe. Mr Jones sat staring out of the window drinking his coffee when the heavens opened outside, and two ladies of a certain age entered the cafe to escape the downpour. As the ladies made their order, Gina read for them each individually. “Excuse me, what is your name?” she asked the lady on the left. The elderly lady was a little taken aback but said her name was Eva Symes. Gina smiled as she turned the queen of wands over and showed Eva and her companion over to the table adjacent to Mr Jones, introducing them as she did so, walking away with a big smile on her face.
Kris asked if Heaven had made another match? Nodding toward the couple by the window and the lady who sat looking like a third wheel—Gina winked at Kris, it had indeed.
Kris was beautiful—there was no other way to describe him, his perfect smile, mahogany hair, soft brown eyes. Lots of girls from the university stopped by in the hope of catching a glimpse of him, or catching his eye, and being with a world-famous orchestra—he often got asked for his autograph.
Kris had been hurt many years previously by a girl who had professed love for him, then took him for every penny he had and left him without a bye or leave, since then guarded his heart and it pained Gina to see him alone. When they spoke about it, he said he had her and needed nothing more. At forty-five, she had no intention of dating ever again, especially after the disaster of a marriage she had had. In every other way, they did indeed have each other and Gina would ensure no one hurt Kris ever again.
“Gina, when are you going to find my match for me?” Kris jokingly pouted. Gina had a coffee in her right hand and felt the cards with her left. Immediately drawn to one, she turned it over, she smiled. “Imminently,” she said as she turned the two of cups over. The bell above the door alerted her to a customer, and when she glanced up, she quite forgot Kris’s reading. She even forgot the cup she held in her hand which smashed to the floor. There in the doorway, stood Arianna.