Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.
â€œThis guyâ€™s been bugging me to go out with him,â€ Laurie tells Â me over a cup of hot chocolate at lunch a couple of weeks ago. â€œHe says heâ€™s a psychic and he can tell I want to date him.â€
â€œCheesy line. And heâ€™s not psychic.â€
â€œHow can you say that? You donâ€™t know anything about
â€œDonâ€™t have to. And if you want to date him, date him.
But my own intuition tells me heâ€™s not a psychic.â€
She rolls her eyes. â€œNo, really. He makes his living as a full-time psychic.â€
I smile. I donâ€™t know of anyone personally who makes his or her living as a full-time psychic, though I do know some very good psychics, enough so that Iâ€™ve been spoiled. I some- times think of the guy who wanted to practice on me over a year ago and got every single question wrong, except maybe for one, and even that oneâ€™s a stretch. But the ones I Â talk to most are deadly accurate.
â€œYeah,â€ she continues, â€œheâ€™s got a website and everything. You just email him a question and send him 25 bucks by Paypal and he emails a reading to you. Or you can call him and itâ€™s a dollar a minute. All he needs is your birthdate.â€
I donâ€™t remember real psychics asking for my birthdate before a reading, but okay. â€œHeâ€™s not for real,â€ I tell her. â€œI donâ€™t care how much money he makes at this. Heâ€™s not the real deal.â€
She sets her hot chocolate down too hard and it sloshes on her fingers. She licks them as though she were licking her wounds. â€œHow can you say that?â€ Then she wipes her fingers on a paper napkin and leans in close. â€œLook, I need to know for certain if this guy is for real. If heâ€™s real, Â then Iâ€™m not sure I want to be dating a psychic and have him guessing how I feel about him or things from my past I donâ€™t want known.â€
â€œAnd if heâ€™s not for real, are you sure you want to be dating a con man?â€
â€œWell, thatâ€™s, um, thatâ€™s what I need you for. Youâ€™ve been around a lot of good psychics, youâ€™ve said. So I got him to agree to give you one of his readings, free of charge.â€
Iâ€™m already shaking my head.
â€œPlease? You can tell. I know you can. Please, Lorna? For me? Okay, just for kicks then?â€
â€œI donâ€™t need to talk to him. I donâ€™t have anything to ask him thatâ€™s of any consequence.â€
â€œThatâ€™s okay.â€ She knows Iâ€™m relenting, curious about her latest Â non-freak of nature. â€œIâ€™ve already told him weâ€™d call him today and that Â you want to know about your next marriage.â€
â€œLaurie! What marriage?â€ She knows about my divorce from a banker and all the turmoil and my refusal to get emotion- ally involved with anyone Iâ€™m not compatible with. â€œDonâ€™t you think youâ€™re jumping the gun a little bit?â€
â€œAll right, well, I said upcoming-romance-slash- marriage-slash-your-children. Howâ€™s that? Does that cover every possible base? New men in your life and your daughters. Okay? And I hope you donâ€™t mind that I gave him your birthdate.â€
Ten minutes later, weâ€™d huddled over a speaker phone in somebodyâ€™s office, and weâ€™re talking to Gus. We say hi to each other and if heâ€™s intuitive at all, he knows Iâ€™m skeptical. Not be- cause I donâ€™t believe in psychics but because I do.
â€œOkay,â€ he says, â€œLaurie told me your question. Normally, I get paid, but Iâ€™m doing this as a favor to her, okay?â€
â€œAnd Iâ€™m doing this as a favor to herâ€”â€ Laurie elbows me before the words leave my lips.
â€œOkay, Lorna, Â I Â focused Â on Â your Â question Â for Â quite some time. It is very easy for me to sense that you are an attractive, intelligent Â woman, and that you have much to offer in terms of romance and relationships.â€
I make a finger down my throat gesture at Laurie, but she waves me off.
â€œYou ask about marriage and pregnancy, but I sense that you are currently not married.â€
I make a round-belly gesture at Laurie and shrug. She mouths back, â€œI said your children, not pregnancy.â€
Gus continues over the speaker phone, but unlike with most psychics, I donâ€™t notice a change in his voice as he â€œtunes in.â€ Itâ€™s a noticeable thing with real psychics and sometimes the only way you can tell theyâ€™re getting messages from the Ether as opposed to preaching their own opinions.
â€œI Â feel Â that Â you Â will Â meet Â someone Â in Â about Â three months, and you will definitely have the opportunity to develop a relationship with him. He is not wealthy, but he is successful and he is looking to meet a nice partner. He is in his mid-40s.â€
Laurie gestures and mouths, â€œSee? See?â€
â€œLorna, it is quite clear to me that you want to have a child, and I sense that you are still able to have children.â€
Ah, so Laurie didnâ€™t tell him I already have kids. Well, at least she didnâ€™t spoil this little test.
â€œI feel that you and this man will develop a relationship, and within about a year of meeting, the two of you will be planning marriage. All of this is a choice, of course, but I sense that it is a very real opportunity for you.â€
â€œHowâ€™s she going to meet Mr. Wonderful?â€ Laurie asks, grinning. â€œDoes she know him already?â€
Gus directs his attention to me. â€œI feel that you will meet this man socially, like while out with friends. It will not be at a bar or club, and you will not meet him on the Internet. Rather, it will be in a casual social settingâ€”like a dinner party. I feel that you have never met this man, but you will recognize the compatibility instantly.â€
â€œWhat does he look like?â€ Laurie asks.
Gus pauses, then continues. â€œHe has no facial hair and a clean cut appearance. He is average height and build. I feel that dating will be very easy, and the compatibility will be strong. I feel that the issue of having children will be easy to talk about. I sense that he is open to the idea. I donâ€™t want to say that pregnancy is definite, as you would need to meet Â this man first. However, as a clairvoyant, I donâ€™t sense anything standing in the way. Overall your future is very, very bright.â€
â€œYes, I know,â€ I say with a smile, though my knowing has nothing to do with him or any of the crap thatâ€™s issued from his mouth. Â Laurie nods excitedly, obviously expecting me to give him the Lorna Stamp of Approval. For some reason, Iâ€™m compelled to ask one more question. â€œSo, Gus, is there anything else you can tell me about Mr. Wonderful so I donâ€™t tell him to get lost when I meet him?â€
Gus pauses. â€œYes. I sense that his first name begins J and that he is some type of accountant or financial planner.â€ Glumly, Laurie reaches over and punches off the phone.
She stares at the floor, twisting her lips from side to side. â€œHeâ€™s not the real deal.â€
â€œNo. Heâ€™s not. What finally convinced you?â€
â€œBecause there ainâ€™t no way in hell youâ€™ll ever again convince yourself that youâ€™re compatible with an accountant.â€