Ada picked at her food but could hardly finish it. Eventually she gave up and went to sit at the man’s table.
“How do you know how I feel?” she asked.
“Because I can see it.” He replied
“How can you see it?”
“Because I can feel it. When you’re around me I feel what you feel, and those feelings are identified by what I see.”
“So now you exploit people by telling them what you think they feel?
He laughed. “I don’t exploit. I earn nothing from this. I like to think of it as my calling, my purpose in life.”
“You mean it is your calling know how people feel? Aren’t you being a little bit too nosy?”
“It is my calling to let people know that they are not alone in this world. It is my calling to give them some solace and redirect them to what may be their own calling in life.”
“So you are not a scam?”
“How can I be a scam if I just told you exactly how you feel?”
“Well, like you said, a lot of other people feel the same way I do. You could have just made a lucky shot in the dark.”
He sighed. “I see you, but not like the others do. Your aura tells me you’ve had your fair share of emotional battering. You seem to harbour childhood scars which has affected your self-esteem and the relationship you have with yourself and others. Somehow the same principles which you thought were meant to protect you have exposed you instead, and now you are confused and have come here to think – or hide. You think you are hurt but I see a lot of anger. You are angry at your past because you feel you could’ve had more control. You are angry that you allowing others treat you the way they do and for passively letting things happen to you when you feel you could have avoided or helped change the situation. You have always felt helpless about your life and don’t seem to have a sense of control. Sometimes you feel detatched from this world and only exist because to you have no other choice. You are a victim of circumstance – the victim you are quick to recognize and loathe in others. You…
“Enough!” Ada shut her ears with her hands and her eyes squeezed shut to stop the hot tears from bursting through. “Enough! That’s not entirely true!”
You don’t have to tell me your story, I’ve heard too many to last a lifetime. I only say what I feel, and what I feel is the truth, because it is what you feel. And that, my friend, is my lucky shot in the dark. Would you like me to continue?
There was silence for a long time as Ada tried to gain her composure. She tried to focus on sound of the waves beating against the shore and the wind blowing through the restaurant, which was almost empty. She could hear a couple seated not too far off laugh and clink wine glasses. When she felt she was calm enough to speak without her voice shaking, she asked: “How can you know all this?”
The man nodded, clearly anticipating her question. “It has always been this way. I was born blind you see. My mother probably realized that she couldn’t cater for a disabled child and abandoned me. Being raised by the whole community wasn’t such a bad experience. As I got older I realized that I could “see” people and it was shocking to discover that I could differentiate one person from another and identify whomever I spoke with. I also began to feel their emotions which was a confusing time for me because I felt the same emotions any one next to me, even a group of people. However I learned how to isolate my own feelings and control how it affected me. Since I could sense people’s emotions, they resorted to defending their feelings by narrating their experiences. I became a confessor of sorts, listening to people’s stories, not judging, just listening. Some would come just once, others several times. As they spoke, their aura changed both in the strength of its brightness and its color; I could tell if they were being healed on the inside.
I came to this resort when members of my community came here to find employment, and I have stayed with them ever since. Every day I sit here, and see people come and go. Some see me as part of the tourist attraction while others stumble across me – just like you. I may not be widely traveled or as educated as yourself, but I have gained wisdom from their stories as much as they have gained healing from letting go. I am not a remedy for your problems, but I see, and I understand.” As he said that, he stretched his hands on the table – palms up – inviting Ada to hold them. She looked at them, then looked up at him, and slowly reached out, placing her hands in his. She could tell from the warmth of his hands that she was cold.
“You need to learn to love, my friend.” He gently squeezed her hands as he said so.
“Excuse me?” She shook her head, not understanding what he meant.
“You need to learn how to love yourself.” he replied. When you fail to love yourself the right way it reflects on your entire being and others will not love you the way you deserve. You reject yourself because you have rejected your past, an essential part of who you are today. But your past can never be changed, you must accept that fact and move on. Embrace yourself, because you are worth more than you think you are. A little part of you feels you deserve this pain, and you may have come here to dwell on it, but I must tell you now to let it go.”
“How?” She asked. “How can I just let it go? It’s not that easy!” She bent her head as the tears began to flow. He squeezed her hands a little tighter.
“That you need to find out on your own. It lies within. That part of you that is afraid, abused, addicted or whatever it is, must burn away from your mind. Accept your past, embrace yourself. Love.”
For what seemed like eternity they held hands, Ada weeping softly with her head bent low, and the man staring at what only he could see. She eventually raised her head and when she did he smiled, and she felt like he could actually see her.
“You already look different,” He said. “In no time you will look even more beautiful and stronger than you already do, and I would love to meet you again, just like I did today.”
This time it was Ada who squeezed his hands. “Thank you”.
He nodded, still smiling, and let go of her hands. “God speed, dear one”
Ada wiped her eyes, slowly stood up from the table and began to leave the restaurant which was by this time empty, except for the bar man who waved at her as she walked past. She took a longer route back to her cabin and on the way noticed a group of young people having a bonfire. They seemed to be having the time of their lives. When she got to her cabin the first thing she did was to call Lola. It was late but Ada was the only one whose calls Lola would pick up at any time of the day or night.
The phone didn’t ring for long. “Ada?”
“I’ve been so worried! I saw missed calls on my phone and I knew it had to be you! I tried to call back but…”
“Never mind Lo, I’m fine, that’s what I called to tell you. I’m fine, and I’m coming home tomorrow.”
“Really? That’s so great! It’s news as shocking as when you told me you were taking a trip into the unknown, but its great news nonetheless. I’ll ask your driver to be expecting you at the airport, how’s that?”
“Thanks dear, that would be nice.”
“So, I bet you got bored or scared, or better still – you missed me – that’s why you changed your mind shey?
In spite of herself, Lola laughed “You flatter your pretty little head, Lola. None of the above. In fact, it has been the most fulfilling one-day trip I’ve ever had in my entire life”
Lola gasped “No! Better than our shopping spree in Dubai last month?”
“This I have to hear! It’s a man, isn’t it? You met a man!”
“Yes I did.”
“Well I can’t wait to hear this fantastic story, he must be one hell of a guy to pull this one off!”
Ada smiled. “Yes he is, but its an experience I can’t share. Besides, you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. Anyways I’ll see you tomorrow Lo, as soon as I get back. Don’t forget to tell Thomas to come pick me”
“Oh no Ada, you are going to give me this gist, even if its the last thing….
“Looolaaaa, Love you, later!” *Click*. Their phone calls almost always ended that way.