Chapter 24: A Piece of Future
The days went by with excruciating slowness as I kept caution at hand, and refrained from stepping outside the boundaries of the house. My days comprised of a repetitive schedule constituent upon sleeping to the upper limit of unhealthy followed by eating, and going through few books I had access to in the house.
The highlights of my life in current times were only the few and rare visits from Vincent. He would come every four or five days to, as he put it, check on me in case I go out of my mind with regard to the uselessness I felt these days. Even though he made a joke of it, and blew most of the things in laughter, I knew he was worried about my safety not just my boredom, it was evident in the worry lines etched around his beautiful eyes; which were becoming a permanent feature of his face since a while now. I would reassure him countless times that I was safe, but he would not budge from his mission of visiting me every now and then, and honestly I did not want him to either.
At this point it had been weeks since I had been confined in the house, and my only human contact was Vincent. He would bring along some books, handsome amount of variety of delicious food, and bright happy moments for me. He would joke around till the point that my stomach would hurt from too much laughter and tears would roll down my cheeks. He was like a breeze of fresh air amidst staleness as of lately. I missed his presence around but it had only been a day since he last visited, so there was no hope that he would come today.
As a helpless sigh left my lips, I realized that it was not only Vincent whom I was missing. I was dearly missing Genevieve, I had received no letters or news from her since she had left me in this prison of a house, except for the one time Vincent told me that she was safe and out of any danger. It wounded me to know that my friend managed to write to Vincent, and inform him regarding her safety, but did not bother to send a word my way. I had tried to not show that when Vincent had delivered me the information that Genevieve was safe, but I doubt I had succeeded, Vincent wass far too good at picking emotions in air at least around me.
Pushing aside the thoughts that would rip open the barely closed deep wounds inflicted on my soul, and busied myself with whatever mundane tasks I could think of. It was barely noon when I was done with cleaning the house, bathing, cooking, eating, and reading twice all the books I had available at hand. It were times like these when I cursed the fact that I was not one of those girls who only wanted to play dress up and parade around, and be happy with it.
It was not long before I was dressed and ready to leave the house, and see for myself what was going on currently in the outside world. Tucking ample amount of money in the folds of my dress covered by a worn out cloak, carefully I stepped into the crowd of people rushing around. It felt heavenly to inhale fresh air even if it was laced with faint scent of sweat and liquor. Taking a few breaths I began to walk around without any particular destination in mind.
As I observed my surroundings while walking around my eyes landed on a wall painted with calligraphy ‘See what your future holds for you through the talents of the greatest fortune teller; Madame Rosalie.’ Even though I had no belief in magic or fortune telling I still followed the arrow painted under the writing indicating the small shop I would find this Madam Rosalie in. I figured it would do me no harm to see what lies the lady will try to sell to me and it would also kill some of the plentiful time I had at my hands.
Numerous threads with beads strung on them hung at the entrance of the shop forming something similar to curtains. Pushing the beads apart with my hands, I stepped inside. It was a small rectangular room but was larger than what its exterior led me to believe it would be. Darkness was the most dominant feature that met one’s eyes at entering the shop. It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the lack of light, and allow me to see to some extent. A woman sat Indian style in front of a small table supporting a crystal ball, a set of cards and a lot of small candles; only one of which burnt to cast a faint glow on the woman’s face, enough to allow me to make out her features. It would not have been wrong if I said she was beautiful with her dark hair fanning an oval shaped face. Her lips stretched into a smile as I approached her.
“Please have a seat, my dear.”
She said while pointing towards a plump red cushion lying on floor next to the table on the opposite side as the one she was seated on. With a nod of acknowledgement I sat down on the cushion, bending my knees and tucking my lower legs under my body. Giving me a few seconds to settle down and look around she stayed quiet. Only after my eyes had landed on hers post scanning the room, did she speak.
“What brings you here, Eleanor or you prefer I call you Lady Black?”
Seeing the surprised look on my face she let out a bubbly laughter. Her laughter snapped me out of my shock and stirred a bit anger in me, but more a wave of curiosity.
“How did you know my name?”
“I am anything but a practitioner of one of the arts people name fortune telling, if I do not even know who you are.”
“You mean to say you are a witch?”
“If you like that term, I will not refrain you from its usage.”
“Does your magical power tell you I am stupid?”
I said putting more sarcasm in the word magical. If she noticed my sarcasm she chose to ignore it.
“On the contrary I am being told you are a very brilliant if a bit anger consumed young woman.”
“You do know there is no such thing as magic in this world.”
She said with a slightly raised right eyebrow.
“No there is no such thing as magic.”
I repeated with somewhat lesser confidence than before, something in her gaze unsettled me and made me question my answer.
“If I said I knew you would be coming to me, and that is the only reason I set up my shop here, would you believe me, my dear?”
“Now that is absolutely absurd.”
“Absurd but true.”
I asked with confusion gripping my mind.
“Why what? I am sorry, my dear, if you want me to answer your questions you will need to be more specific.”
“If what you said was true, and you did come here just for my visit, why?”
A patient smile lightened up her face as she contemplated how to answer me, or at least that is what I thought her thoughts were about.
“It is because you, my dear, are no ordinary woman. You are destined to do great things regardless of your current situation. Fate and destiny have wondrous ways of working themselves out. I am just a mere mortal who can get a bit of assistance from higher powers in the form of some uncertain knowledge.”
Her words gave birth to more questions and confusions in my mind rather than giving me answers.
“What knowledge you have that you can give me?” I asked in response to her answer.
“I do not know yet.”
“What does that means?”
Instead of giving me a reply, Madam Rosalie picked the deck of cards from the table and began to shuffle them. After shuffling them thoroughly she placed three cards on the table in front of me, and stared at them.
“From this day forth your world is going to change. You are going to find your true lover in the date of today. You are going to....“, She spoke in unrelated sentences and stopped without finishing her last sentence.
“I am going to what?”
I asked impatiently, though her answer left me to believe I should not have asked.
Lifting her eyes from the card and settling them on mine, with a pained expression she whispered.
“Die, you are going to die Lady Eleanor Black.”