"What's coming for you March 2019?" My mind clamps onto psychic predictions as I catch myself watching a video of a pick-a-card reading on YouTube by a girl who calls herself a practical witch. I don't believe in witches. She has faith in magic even though magic doesn't exist. No one can read the future. I know the truth. She's full of falsities and watching her video feels like participating in a "choose your own adventure" game.
"Select one of the four card groups shown here. If you need to pause the video to meditate on the cards, feel free to do so. Pick with your gut instinct. Once you've selected your group, fast forward to the timestamp in the description below. This is a general reading."
I'm not deceived. All readings are vague enough to apply to anyone. That's why they work. That's why people believe them. They trick the mind but I'm no fool.
The witch's brown eyes twinkle as her lips part to carry every message through the wire of my headphones. The brunette roots of her hair surface against the lengths burned with bleach. I loathe fake blondes.
I silently select the first stack of cards. She flips them. Represented by the Queen of Cups, she says I'll be shining on my throne, gaining more attention than usual. When the Seven of Swords appears, she says to watch out for a backstabbing friend. That doesn't make sense. None of my friends are mean enough to betray me, or are they?
I forget she's separated from me by a screen. This is a prerecorded video, but her words pull me past the physical barrier.
My heart soars when she claims I'll shine because of an accomplishment I do. Could it be my history essay? Tell me, now. My manager has been impressed with my attitude and ethic at work lately. Maybe I'll have a sudden spark of inspiration to clean off the desk in my room and please my roommates.
I catch myself before the parabola of my smile widens further with each possibility. Perhaps I'm trying to justify her prediction, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don't believe a word she says. Don't fall in too deep. I remind myself she's tugging at strings, but I trust she's grabbed the right ones.
A friend of mine spent a thousand dollars on psychic readings, claiming they relieved her anxiety. Each time she said a reading would be her last one, she found herself paying for another one within a week. She drowned in debt and maxed out her credit cards. A mutual friend told her, "That's an expensive way to treat anxiety." She knew, but she found reassurance within the false signs of tarot cards. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was mistaken. She was in love with a boy who didn't love her back.
Did I betray my friend by not telling her? What if she's the one to watch out for, the betrayer, the one to haunt me? No, best friends wouldn't ghost each other. Anxiety is not yet my justification to let strangers dictate my future.
At least I know I'm not wasting money on something I don't believe in. It's all fun and games. No financial harm done. Lost among the witch's cards, I sense an insecurity hovering over an unknown future. She gives me a glimpse of it to grasp, filling me with false hope. I attempt to find the truth in the falsities, but I know my truths. I know I wouldn't date someone whose astrological sign is incompatible with mine.