‘Tis this time of year, as the clocks go back, the nights draw in and Halloween looms, that the vivid imaginations of Earth-dwellers all over this wondrous planet of ours begin to conjure up images of witchcraft and wizardry; supernatural goings-on. For this blog, therefore, I thought I’d let you in on a real-life twisted tale all of my own…
‘Twas a fine summer’s evening in my back garden in the sprawling Kent countryside, many moons ago, whilst I was still living in my former incarnation: that of doting wife preparing for (what I thought was) impending motherhood.
My then-husband and I, having tried in vain to produce a child and heir to our collective fortune (ok, not so much a fortune as a red bank account and a few maxed-out credit cards; a hangover from our round-the-world backpacking trip), had been persuaded to seek the advice of a successful spiritual healer-cum-psychic whose name I shall refrain from revealing, except to say that is was wholly innocuous; a Brian, Larry or Jeff, for example. My loyal hubby, who knew his way around a car engine, had spent several hours prior covered in grease, toiling under the bonnet of the aforementioned healer’s car. As we’d not long returned from six months of gallivanting around the globe, the psychic’s eye-watering fee was slightly beyond our means, so we’d agreed instead upon an exchange of professional services in lieu of cold hard cash: he got his car fixed; we got a glimpse into his crystal ball to see if our future featured a family life.
Despite the homely setting, as dusk drew in and we gathered in the garden to perform the shamanic ritual Mr Psychic had planned, hubby and I were more than a little apprehensive; sideways glancing at one another as he positioned himself, eyes-closed in deep meditation, before us on the lawn. He got out the tools of his trade and began ringing tiny bells around our heads, chanting indecipherable verses of what sounded like Latin – to this day I’m not sure whether this was strictly necessary, or just for our benefit, but it certainly added to the air of mystery surrounding the bespectacled clairvoyant (I still find it mildly amusing that ‘clairvoyant’ translates literally as ‘one who sees things clearly,’ yet without his jam-jar specs this elderly American dude was clearly as blind as a Halloween bat).
For what seemed like hours, he delved and probed indelicately into our psyches like a bloodthirsty butcher pulling the intestines from a carved-out carcass, coming up with increasingly gory revelations about our childhoods; all the while placing his hands on us and closing his eyes as he prepared to foretell our destinies.
Eventually, he had his first prediction: the ex and I would be leaving this house sooner than we thought. The reason? It would become too small for us. As we’d not long moved in, and the detached property boasted five bedrooms – albeit in need of a little TLC – we shifted uncomfortably on our wooden garden chairs and shot surreptitious sidelong glances at one another; it seemed most unlikely. Eager to know more, I pressed him on the details: “So we will be having children then?! Wow!” A skipped heartbeat, then: “How many?!”
The silver-haired soothsayer went on to confidently and calmly predict that Mr W and I would suffer several losses, before eventually becoming parents to two beautiful offspring. Skimming over the ominous ‘losses’ I pumped him for information: “When? How long must we wait?”
His expression turned dark. He frowned. He had some bad news for me. “It won’t be an easy road.” He explained how, in a former life, I had been the greedy and materialistic wife of an incredibly wealthy man, whom I’d married for money, not love. My ex, in his previous life, was a stablehand employed by my husband. “Hmm. How convenient,” I thought, skeptically. Apparently, I’d cheated on my husband with said farmhand and passed off the two children I produced with the stablehand as his own (stay with me here, I know it sounds ridiculous on paper). Utterly drawn in to the psychic’s tale, we sat on the edge of our seats as he went on….
“So you will, eventually, get the two children that you crave…..but as you sinned so greatly, you will experience some suffering before that point. There are the spirits of these two children waiting to come into your life, but they must find the right channels and opportunities….”
After he made his sweeping predictions, the psychic bade us farewell, and drove off in the car my husband had fixed for him. We were left stunned, trying to make sense of our shredded emotions: happiness that we would eventually be a family; sadness at the painful journey we would endure to get there; shame at the sins committed in our ‘previous lives.’
Years passed, and we never forgot the predictions of the psychic, as time and again our hopes of parenthood were raised and then dashed. Eventually, spirits broken, we conceded defeat and left our ‘forever’ house. As predicted, it was sooner than we’d anticipated: four years after purchase. But as the relationship broke down under the strain of pursuing parenthood, the big empty house did somehow feel claustrophobic to us – a reminder of the absent children who should have filled it. One point to Mr Psychic. But we had not anticipated leaving it in separate directions, having given up on our marriage; a fifteen-year relationship. And he hadn’t mentioned that part, either.
For years after his predictions I often thought of that psychic, a smooth-talking ex-businessmen (a successful CEO, no less), who still to this day travels the world making bold claims, ‘healing’ people, and predicting the destinies of desperate (gullible?) people everywhere. I’d gaze at his website or Facebook page, finger hovering over the contact form or ‘comment’ button, longing to tell him how wrong and damaging his ‘abilities’ were; what an immoral charlatan he was.
Then, I met Andy. He had two children. Today, I look back on the predictions that psychic made: that we’d leave the house sooner than expected (tick), that years of suffering would follow (tick), that eventually I’d have two delightful children in my life, albeit in a different form than I expected – tick, tick, tick – and I wonder if he is such a charlatan, after all….
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