“I’m going to hold your hands for a bit and then I’ll let go. Don’t grab mine or keep holding them after I say so, understood?”
"I know it's an important moment for you to be with your departed loved one but be calm, please."
“I’ll close my eyes for a moment so be quiet, all right?”
“Then, I’ll say … things … and you will only say OK, yes or no, OK?”
“Also, I don’t know how long this will last.”
Adar stretched out his hands. She did the same. A trickle of sweat rolled down her forehead and swam inside her blue eyes. It was warm and salty. It felt as if a drop of sea water, all the way from the Atlantic Ocean, had reached her like an --- omen. She felt uneasy and moved her small body on the white chair in front of him. She wanted to leave but it was too late. What would happen to her, after this reading? What would happen to her future, and to all the things she knew, and didn’t? She blinked her eyes many times and licked her pink lips, nervously. She thought of her room, silent and friendly, and yearned for its melancholic tenderness. She would be there soon. Peace comes ... slowly.
Elizabeth Durban felt his grip, soft --- then strong, like a bright lightning charged with fury. Fear ran through her body; nervousness touched her sad heart. Had he read her? How could he know … things? What made him different from regular people? Did he have powers beyond the paranormal? Her hands were trembling in his and they were becoming as cold as wintry snowflakes. Would he make it matter now? Would Adar summon ... him? Would he come to her tonight? Adar suddenly let go of her hands as if he had had enough of her; perhaps of her secrets.
He was quiet for a brief moment. He breathed in and out, slowly. He was a strange looking man yet handsome in many ways. When he had opened the door after her three knocks, she had stared at him in surprise and disbelief. He was tall and dark. His eyes were as black as a cave deep in the mountains but they were also as soft as a silk pillow touching your face at night. He looked at her as if he had understood her reaction. She had been really caught off guard by his presence. She was expecting a fortune-teller with a blue crystal ball, not a wizard. He moved in his chair, breathed hard and started to speak in a low, calm voice.
“I see a man. He is nervous.”
“He is tall. He has a small, dark birthmark on his forehead, on the left side of his face.”
“His name starts with a C; Conrad.”
“He wants you to know that he loves you. He will wait for you. He wants you to believe in … the Afterlife. He will have a home for the both of you in the spiritual realm.”
“He said that the soul is immortal; a gift. Life is only a tiny experience – it’s not even a sigh. When we are born, our spiritual mission is blurred but after death, we finally understand. He … finally understood.”
“Only OK, yes or no, please.”
“He wants you to forgive him, Elizabeth. ”
“Elizabeth, what's ... ”
“Can a spirit be eternally bad?”
“When we think about bad spirits it doesn’t mean that they will be eternally bad or that they were created bad, Elizabeth. They are no different from us --- they just followed wrong paths in their lives, wrong choices and attitudes, contradicting the Universal Cosmic Laws. The one thing that changes them is awakening to the spiritual life and discovering how morally wrong they were, and seek forgiveness. It’s a powerful, magic pill in their sick, crude souls in need of relief, like a breath of pure air in chaos. He needs this from you, Elizabeth.”
Adar looked at her from across the table, sitting some steps away from her, staring at her with a look – that enveloped you completely, that hid nothing, and that knew it all. He was surprised, and shocked. He nodded his head. She looked at him and painted a smile on her face. She played with the golden ring on her finger, shyly. She blushed, and looked down. He breathed deeply, and continued.
“He is asking you the following: why don’t ants look at the sky?”
“He said that … ants don’t look at the sky because they don’t know that there is a sky.”
“Accept. Understand the … now. At least, try to.”
“Why not, he asks you. He is saying that there is a perfect invisibility. You must live. Live long, and … experience – so that no one else tells you about it. Discover on your own.”
“He is worried about you. I see him, on my right side, holding my shoulder; his fingers, grasping my skin. His voice, hoarse. His eyes, penetrating, and gray; deep. He is in agony because he wants to stay … but he has to go. It’s the Law or else. He wants you to understand; he will not be able to talk to you again after he completely crosses over. It’s his one and only chance. So, listen.”
“Elizabeth, destiny uses its own mechanisms and nothing is capable of altering what is already defined. Our destiny doesn’t depend on bad luck or because of our omissions or wrongdoings. On the contrary.”
“Who is speaking now, Conrad or you?”
“I want you to understand the magnetism of a loving message coming from the spiritual world, from Afterlife; it’s powerful.”
“Why are you here then?”
“To know that he is really … there.”
“Yes, he is. And he is also … here now, talking to you. Isn’t this incredible? He wants you to know that there is another chance, another world. He wants you to forgive him.”
“Didn’t you come here --- trying to get a message from him?”
“No. I came here to deliver a message to him.”
“Yes. He has to know how --- I feel. It’s my only chance, too.”
“Conrad, I--I hate you. You hurt me for years. You hit me in the darkness of my being. I will never forgive you. I will move on, live long, be as happy as I can be and never, ever think about you for the rest of my life. Your sudden death was like unscrewing a cork from a lovely, blue, wine bottle --- me, and all its essence, perfume, soul and scent was set free to savor life, happiness and freedom. Our marriage was hell; you were a demon. I wasn’t a woman but a devoured skeleton, twisting in the flames. Now it’s over, and I don’t know who to thank.”
“What I don’t understand is how can a soul like yours be in another dimension, and not in hell, where you belong. You violated my soul and you tortured my mind. You hit me everyday; there were days you hit me twice. How can you be there, and well --- and not in hell?”
“We should not try to understand what is unexplainable,” Adar said softly.
“I will only believe in the elements, in earth, wind, water and fire, and especially in the laws of men, not in the spiritual laws of Afterlife, reincarnation, forgiveness and love. It is all a big lie! I will not meet you, Conrad, in the Afterlife. Don’t wait for me there. That is what I had to tell you.”
“He is leaving, Elizabeth… He wants to cross over and needs your forgiveness. Forgiveness is the key to enlightenment.”
Elizabeth felt something cold on the back of her neck. Her hair stood up. It seemed like an immense, wide, cold fork, or, was it a hand? Could have been Conrad, trying to hurt her again? He couldn’t; wouldn’t. He was dead. He was a soul now, gone from planet Earth, from her life and from her future. She blinked her eyes --- finally understanding her reality. And, it was … good.
“Elizabeth, listen to me. How are you going to deal with all this anger? You must forgive him, and to be able to move on; you must allow forgiveness in your heart.”
“Elizabeth, you can speak to me now. Express your thoughts. He is not in this room anymore.”
“He was a monster. He should be in hell like a horrible devil that he was. Don’t you understand what happened to me, Adar? Sometimes, when I was alone in the house, I could hear his footsteps; afraid of my own shadow!"
“Yes. I do. I saw it when I touched you. He saw it too and was terribly ashamed. I saw how he felt the pain you felt, then; your pain is in his heart. I saw a big, black hole, where all your suffering is locked. You see, Elizabeth, what we do to others in this world is felt twice in our hearts after death. We carry it with us; a lesson to learn, an experience to understand, and grow.”
“Oh what strengths must I develop further from this? Sorry. I can’t and won’t forgive. I feel that it’s the end of violent times; I deserve better.”
“I ask you to reconsider; think it over. Elizabeth, how do we translate the decision to forgive into a change of heart? Give Conrad the hope of a better … spiritual future.”
“No. This is final, Adar. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to open my soul and let all the darkness, pain and hurt come out from my sorry little heart. I had no other way. I have to go now. I want to go home. There is no more bitterness, you know. I feel … free.”
“I wish things were different but I cannot change human nature.”
He closed the door behind her and felt sorry for her fate, knowing what would come next. Elizabeth walked down the entrance’s six steps and headed toward the sidewalk and to her car, parked under an old willow tree that looked like a giant spider. Its thin, nervous branches carefully touched the top of her black car. She took a long, deep breath and watched the birds flying over her head. She looked at the blue sky intensely; unanswered dilemmas. She admired the white, cotton ball clouds and thought that life was really beautiful after all --- unaware of a large, grayish, ovoid shape being that hurried toward her, and rapidly reduced in size over her head, becoming an elliptical dark egg. As it gravitated over her, the spiritual vampire recognized its prey with the one eye it still had while the rest of its body became a distorted, liquefied mass inside its dark shell. It knew exactly what to do but would never remember its origin, reason, and destiny again.
Deformed in mind and spirit but desperately in need of second chances, the progressive evil parasite monster only had one thought in mind --- hurt her, hurt her and hurt her more until there was no more to hurt, only death. Closing itself from the outside world, the egg-shaped dark creature snarled and cried; it had reached its morbid goal --- a symbiotic vindictive existence. It had no more remembrances; it forgot that its name was Conrad. Its dense shape could no longer level other spiritual planes, and it cared less. While avidly following Elizabeth, it stretched long, disgusting, skeletal arms and twisted legs in her direction and stuck them into her back and stomach, rooting and locking him and her in an eternal embrace; sucking her vital energy. Elizabeth felt a chill and shivered lightly while thinking that the season was about to change, and so was her life.