posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 05:28 PM
Jean was walking along the fairgrounds taking in the children laughter and the screams of those on the rides. She was nibbling on a caramel apple
trying to keep the light fall breeze from getting her auburn hair stuck to it. Not a typical Friday night but she had to get out. She hadn’t had a
date in months. Not that she hadn’t been asked but after a failed marriage and relationships too numerous to mention she just wasn’t up for the
Dating Game. She feared that she was turning into her mother, who likewise was disaster on the relationship front. Her father Gene Harmon, after whom
she was named, had left them when she was three, or so Mom had said and hadn’t seen him since. Subsequent fathers came and went.
She walked past a ring toss game where a young man was trying desperately to win a prize, probably a stuffed animal for his girl. The girl was jumping
up and down in anticipation. Young love. Jean smiled wanly. Those days were far behind her. She would loved to have had any relationship that
would work but found that she invariably sabotaged them. Feeling antsy, unfulfilled, even with the nicest, most caring of them. She didn’t know why,
there was something that was missing, something that couldn’t be filled.
The fall light was ebbing and the carnival lights were taking over, illuminating the grounds with their flashing brilliance, calliope music ringing
out loudly. She passed a dimly lit tent, incense wafting out of the small opening. Madame Lucine was painted on the tent red calligraphy. Her
curiosity piqued she lifted the flap and entered the tent. Madame Lucine was an elderly lady, sitting behind a folding card table, wearing a farcical
muumuu. Her wrinkled face was mischievous but not unkind.
“What can I do for you, my dear?” said Lucine.
“I’m not sure, just wondering what it is...”
“You are looking for love, my dear. I am here to help you find it. Please sit down.” The older woman motioned to the chair in front of younger
one. Jean pondered this for a moment, This old lady it probably a charlatan. Something about the look in the Madam’s eye prompted Jean to
take the seat though.
Lucine reached down and lifted a box to the table and opened it. She took another look at the younger woman and nodded. “For you, the crystal
ball”, she said. Removing the sphere from the box, she placed it on the table and put the box on the ground.
“Before we continue dear, would you weigh my hand with $20?” She stretched out her withered hand.
I knew it thought Jean. She looked into the old woman’s eyes once more and saw that there was something of other intelligence there
and reached into her pocket for the funds. She placed a 10 and two 5 dollar notes in Lucine’s hand, who then put them in the box and closed it.
The old woman leaned in close to the ball and looked into it intensely.
“You have been looking a long time dear but you do not know what it is you are seeking”, she continued, “What you seek you may find
tonight. The love you are looking for will be found in an older man. The choice is up to you. You will either find it or you will remain
The old woman looked up at Jean, there was compassion in her eyes, “I wish you well dear, follow your heart and make the right choice.”
Jean was perplexed, That’s it? She stood up and left the tent. Night was in full swing. There were few children about now and more couples.
She was to meet an older man that she would love? OK, what older man? She saw a few here and there in the crowd. She shook her head, passing this off
as wishful thinking. It was an interesting way to part with $20 though, Jean thought.
The night was turning chilly and Jean decided to call it a day. She left the grounds on her way home. It wasn’t far, 15 minutes at a mild pace. She
walked passed the Starbucks and wondered if an evening latte was in order. She decided against it and continued on the intersection. As she approached
it a large man came from around the corner and knocked her down, HARD.
“Are you OK little lady?” he said, reaching down and helping her up with rough hands. He was well into his 60's, with close cropped white hair,
cut flat on the top. Jean had a feeling about this man. His words moved her.
“I’m alright”, she said, noticing a strong smell of alcohol on him.
“I’m terribly sorry”, the older man said, “Can I buy you a coffee?”
Jean was reminded of the old woman’s words, “What you seek you may find tonight. The love you are looking for will be found in an older
man.” This was the man? She could hardly believe that she could find love here. He was much older and obviously a drinking man. He did move her
“No, thank you”, Jean said. He patted her on the head.
“Good night then, little lady”, he said and continued on the way the she had just come.
Again Jean was moved by his words, they was right but it seemed all wrong. She watched him walk away, wondering if she go after him. She decided
against it and continued on home.
Jean was preparing herself for bed, reflecting on the evening and still disturbed by the words of Madame Lucine and her encounter with the older man.
She didn’t know what it was, she was missing something. With these thoughts in her mind she went to bed. It was a restless night.
The toast popped and Jean buttered it. She poured herself a coffee and went to the table and put both on it. She went to the door and opened it,
reached down and picked up the weekend edition of the Sentinel. She returned to the table, sat down, took a sip of coffee, opened the paper and
reached for her toast. Her hand never made it to the plate. The article wasn’t a headline but it was on the front page. Here was a picture of the
man that had knocked her down last night, the title of the article was, Sailor Slain in Botched Mugging. She read the piece. “Bosuns Mate Gene
Harmon of the Persephone was slain in a failed robbery last night......”
The words of the old woman came back to her as tears streamed down her face, “You have been looking a long time dear but you do not know what it is
you are seeking.” And, “I wish you well dear, follow your heart and make the right choice.” This is what she was missing the night before, it
wasn’t the love of a man that was missing in her life, it was the love of a father. She hadn’t followed her heart. She was glad that she had seen
him one last time but it could have been much more. From this time on she would follow her heart.