I had a dream. A dream I had had dozens of times before.
There were two handsome men.
How thirsty of a woman was I, that I had to dream about men?!
They were literally, the “man of my dreams” –or men.
I could not make out their faces, or what they wanted to say to me, but I only remember the feeling of being loved—utterly, truly, sincerely, loved.
Did my yearning for love start manifesting itself in dreams?! It was a possibility. But why were they so odd? The dreams felt more like a memory, as if they had happened before, but I had forgotten. I saw myself being kissed in a maze garden while he twirled me in his arms. I also saw myself being held by another man under the light of the moon; the ocean waves crashing against our hips…
Okay. I was definitely thirsty. I was a desert, and my dreams were a mirage.
Normally, I would throw those dreams to the back of my mind, but today, something was different. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get last night’s dreams out of my head; they were more real than any of the dreams I had had before.
While I was walking around Seoul’s bustling streets, with no particular direction in mind, I happened upon a shop. There was a poster on the tinted window that advertised: Want to know why you haven’t found your soulmate yet? Dial 011 XXXX XXYY and book a free consultation now!
My face contorted with distaste. I looked upwards, and came face to face with a glowing neon sign which read: Enter to find true love!
Although I did pray for a ‘sign’ from the gods, I didn’t particularly mean it in the most obtrusive, literal sense. That sign in particular, felt like it was smacking me in the face, screaming, “Ha ha! Caught your eye, didn’t I!”
True love? The last time I checked, my true love was my mother’s homemade Kimchi.
Who in the world would even believe such a sign? They must be out of their minds.
I entered the shop, bearing in mind that every step I took indicated how insane I was becoming.
The shop interiors, unlike the bright and flashy exterior that seemed like it was made back in the 20th century, was a high contrast. The shop was dim, with only the Turkish lamps hanging from the ceiling emitting a dull yellow glow.
A granny sat behind the only table in the middle of the room, half of her silver-white hair were in braids on top of her head, while the rest were in curls down her elbows. Her outfit was simple, but I could tell it was made from expensive material (did fortune tellers eke out so much money from their gullible clients? i.e. Me?).
The granny looked at me, the wrinkles around her eyes creased more as she gave a smile. She was quite a stunning grandma, the kind of grandma you’d want to be around, if only so she could somehow rub her poise, perfection, and expensive perfume on you for free.
“I see that you have come at last,” she said, her voice smooth and buttery, her enunciation akin to those historical movies.
“Um,” was all I could say as I took a seat in front of her and her piercing eyes. It was very uncomfortable, as if she could read what’s inside my head. Had she already divined that I would be visiting her? Wait, that was impossible.
“So…uh…I saw your sign,” I said a bit sheepishly. I wondered how many clients she had, who were in search of ‘true love’, as cringy as that sounded. “I just want to clarify something. I’m not looking for true love or anything of that sort. I was just curious about the whole setup. You being a fortune teller, clairvoyant, a psychic, or whatever, I know it’s not real. I’m sorry if I feel like I’m insulting you.” I inhaled sharply. “I’m just saying this is intriguing and even if it’s not real, I’m just doing this to pass the time. For fun.”The granny smiled in acknowledgement, then gazed down at the table between us.
I followed her line of sight, and was transfixed. The tabletop glimmered, looking a bit like a landscape of the universe. The surface seemed to slowly move before my eyes, even twinkling at some point, that I felt like I was looking at the vast universe itself, almost falling into it.
“This can’t be real.” I didn’t realize I was whispering. This granny must have an exceptional software program to mimic the stars to such a degree of realism. Even for the 22nd century, this was pretty impressive stuff. After shaking myself off my trance, I looked granny in the eye, and went straight to the point. “Now that I’ve got it all straightened out, can you please tell me what my problem is?”
“Of course.” The granny smiled once again. She then held out a hand, palm up. “Please, give me your dominant hand.”
I extended my right palm for her to read. I guess palm reading was one of the most popular divination methods, huh.
It took quite a while for her to trace the messy lines on my palm, and with every second, her silver brows were drawn taut with consternation. I getting fretful of what reading she was able to draw out.
Although I forced myself to think that whatever she had to say was most likely preposterous, the anticipation still gave me anxiety.
The granny’s bowed head lifted, and the intense silence broke. It felt like a bolt of electricity coursed through my body.
“You cannot find your destined person in this current life, because of the misdeeds you have committed in the past.”
And that’s how everything started.