He opened his car door. I stayed put. “Go where? I told you, they have a lot. Why are we parked here?”
“I wanna get our fortunes told.”
He motioned with his chin and my eyes followed. Sure enough, a fresh, crisp paper sign was hung in a window on the second floor of the building advertising fortune telling and massage services. Just above that was a sign that said OPEN.
Skeptical, I opened the door and stepped onto the sidewalk. Did he really want to get his fortune told? Now? It seemed kind of morbid, considering the possibilities from the test he had just taken.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Of course I’m sure. I pulled over and parked, didn’t I? Why wouldn’t I be sure?”
I paused a second in panic and then shrugged, hoping he couldn’t read my mind. “It’s kind of a weird mix, isn’t it? Massages and fortune telling?”
“I’ll just tell them I want my fortune told and that’s it.”
He walked around the front of the car, then held the door to the building for me. I walked inside and he followed closely after.
The smell of incense assaulted our nostrils before we were halfway up the stairs. By the time we got to the fortune teller’s suite, I was already feeling light-headed.
The glass door to the suite was locked, but there was a sign telling visitors to hit the button to the right of the door to be let in.
“You sure you want to do this?” I asked, my finger hovering over the button.
Hunter nodded from his place on the top step. “Yeah, I’m sure. Now let’s get some f**kin’ fortunes read!”
He laughed. I shook my head, uncertain what to think about Hunter’s sudden enthusiasm for fortune telling. When I pressed the button, a high-pitched bell sounded from inside.
A woman came to the door. Whatever I’d been expecting, it wasn’t this.
She was maybe thirty years old, if that, with long, wavy brown hair and pale skin. Her black drawstring pants were loose-fitting and paired with a white tanktop and a green zip-up hoodie. I was surprised to see she wasn’t wearing any shoes. She didn’t wear any makeup either, though her natural face was still pretty. In general she reminded me of the “hippie chicks” at Arrowhart.
She opened the door. “Come in,” she said, her voice a high squeak. A fresh, pungent wave of incense and scented candles greeted Hunter and I as we trotted in.
I leaned next to him as our fortune teller was closing the door. “I think all these smells are going to make me high,” I whispered.
He shrugged. “Don’t think you’ll be alone. I’m pretty sure I spell pot.”
I giggled and we looked around. A candle burned on every available surface. Across from us, a collection of well-loved books stocked a shelf leaned against the wall. I didn’t recognize any of the titles. In fact, I wasn’t even sure all of them were in English.
The wall was littered with posters containing strange symbols and seemingly symbolic drawings in pen and ink. I recognized one of them as a particularly complicated celtic knot, but that was it. This definitely didn’t feel like Eltingville.
Hunter seemed to be similarly transfixed. I turned to him to make a comment, but he was too engrossed with our surroundings to get his attention.
I heard the door close and the fortune teller scurry behind us. “Can I get you guys anything? Tea?”
We shook our heads. To our right was an old, oak circular table with four cushioned chairs around it. The fortune teller came around it to stand in front of us, putting her hand on Hunter’s arm for balance as she did so. I raised an eyebrow but didn’t say anything. Instead I looked at her eyes. Hunter was right, they were totally bloodshot. The girl was stoned.
“Awesome. Hi guys, I’m Trinity. What can I do for you today? Massage?”
My head snapped over to Hunter, who opened and closed his mouth once before answering. Part of me just wanted to get out of here. Trinity wasn’t exactly filling me with confidence. “We were hoping to have our fortunes read,” he said uncertainly.
She nodded and looked to me, a big smile on her face. I kept my expression blank and deferred to Hunter.
“Okay,” she said. “Great. Have either of you had a reading before?”
I shook my head and she turned to Hunter. He did likewise.
“Cool. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the experience. How about a tarot reading? Is that good?”
I vaguely knew what tarot was, but Hunter was running this show so I again deferred to him.
His eyes narrowed. “Is that the thing with the cards?”
Trinity nodded helpfully.
“Yeah,” he said with a shrug. “That sounds great.”
She smiled and quoted us her price, which was charged in half-hour increments. Hunter seemed satisfied, and told me he was paying.
The three of us sat down and got situated, with Hunter and I at one end of the table and Trinity on the other.
“So how long have you been doing this?” I asked, still dubious at her age and demeanor.
Trinity shuffled the deck of cards. “Like since I was born. My aunt did fortune telling here for a long time. She taught me growing up. I added the massage thing since I went to school for that and I’ve been here for a couple years.”
“Wow,” Hunter said. “So you’ve been doing this a long time.”
Trinity laughed and gave him a beaming smile. “I mean I’m only thirty-one, so it’s not that long!”
Wait, was she flirting with him? She cut the cards into three piles. “So who am I doing a reading for?”
Her eyes were still fixed on Hunter, who shifted in his chair. “Can you do one for both of us?”
She shrugged. “I mean we can do whatever you want.”
I flashed Hunter a scowl. She was definitely flirting with him, but he was too fixated on Trinity’s shuffling.
“Typically it’s better to do one person at a time though,” she said.
He seemed to be considering this when I stepped in. “Hunter, why don’t you get one first since you really wanted to do this? If you want I can get one after.”
He bit his lip for a moment but then nodded. “Yeah, let’s do that.”
Trinity cocked her head to one side and smiled, “Awesome,” she said, putting the deck back into one pile. “Let’s do this.”
She dealt the cards into groups of two, three, and two. When she was done, she put the deck down and studied the cards in silence.