The Fortune Teller
Cezarija Abartis

You have always yearned for clarity and perfection. Your son will die in a car accident, killed by a drunk driver. You will have no other children. He will be a beautiful boy. Is. Was. You will have fifty-three years ahead of you after that. Live wisely.

Wash your hands, so you don’t catch a cold. Eat your greens. Choose a loving spouse. Have a happy marriage and a baby that loves to be bathed. Do all the right things. Finish the laundry.

You want to know what the meaning of life is. Don’t drink. Stay clean.

And later, in ten years’ time, after you marry and have a son who will have been riding the tricycle, put his clothes in a box, his toys, take them to Goodwill. You won’t need them again.

You were doing laundry. Continue. Wash your clothes. After you hear, wash his clothes.

Learn how to walk on legs without feet, how to wash without hands, how to breathe without lungs. Teach yourself to be clean of the past. You will not crumble immediately. That’s the sad part. Here’s the saddest part. You have fifty-three years. Start now.

Cezarija Abartis’ Nice Girls and Other Stories was published by New Rivers Press. Her stories have appeared in Per Contra, Pure Slush, and New York Tyrant, among others. She participates on, and She teaches at St. Cloud State University. Please find her website here.