As I mentioned earlier (see The Object of It All.), getting the crystal ball was out of my comfort zone, but what’s astonishing is what happened after I obtained my desired object.
“Martha, this unusual crystal ball will give you the answer,” Sally promised when she handed it to me.
“I certainly don’t need a crystal ball to tell me my past – I’ve lived it. I’m proud of my professional life as a bio-scientist, but I’m not thrilled with my personal life.”
I didn’t share with Sally that I’ve pined over three men in my life: Professor Jenkins at Oxford, who used me up like an old laptop and then flung me away with a new batch of freshman lovelies; Donte J—, the divorced state senator who swore he loved me and then married his office manager; and lastly, my best friend’s husband’s boss, a brilliant physicist, who two years into our romance turned celibate and became a monk.
“She?” I asked, stunned. “The crystal ball has a name?”
“Of course. Her name is Stella.”
I carried the ball like it was a gold-encrusted egg. My time was running out, yet look at me! I’m not bad looking; my body hasn’t started to sag too much, and I offer wit and wisdom and a healthy sex drive. I can’t seem to pick ‘em on my own, but that is what the crystal ball promises to do.
So, I closed all of my drapes, smoothed my hands over Stella, and asked sweetly and simply: Show me my true love.
When he appeared, crystal clear through the rounded glass, I gasped.
Ronnie, the café barista I’ve greeted these past three years with nary a glance or a concern. Ronnie stood in my ball with a beam of promise. He had to be ten years younger than me, levels below my intelligence with little ambition, but he wore the sweetest smile this side of heaven.
So, I spread on some lipstick and a bit of mascara – God knows he’s already seen me at my worse most mornings at 6 a.m. – and raced out to order a Grande Latte extra foam.
Lo and behold, Stella the crystal ball showed me my future, as bright as hope and love.
CONGRATS to the winner! First, kudos to all of the inventive, playful, creative guesses of what I’d learn from the crystal ball. Speculations included the secret to eternal youth; an alien lover; my life’s purpose; a star dust discovery; the way to woo a lover (in five easy steps); financial advice; the scientist trying to steal my research; the ability to travel to any destination I choose; and many more.
But the first reader who guessed correctly was Joanne Sisco (My Life Lived Full – If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space) who noted: “My guess would be that the crystal ball shows your true love.”
As important as star dust, success, and eternal youth may be, I learned that LOVE is the object of it all. Joanne will receive my friend Pamela Wight’s lighthearted flash memoir, FLASHES OF LIFE.