Changes of the Heart

By Disa Wylde

We are pleased to present our first fictional short story in Tarot Reflections. Enjoy!

The phone rang.  Sadie struggled to keep her balance on the ladder as she tried to squeeze a large cardboard box onto a high shelf. 

“Damn!” She descended the ladder with the box still in tow, then rushed to get to the phone before the machine picked it up.  “Hello?” she answered.

“Hey, it’s me. Tony.” 

The box fell to the floor.  She paced back and forth hoping to quell the confusion that was sweeping through her body and resonating to her very core.  Her mind swirled and she searched for just the right words to say.  “Hey,” is all she managed to get out.

He’d been gone for years.  No phone calls, no letter, no email, nothing.  She couldn’t imagine what had prompted him to call her now.  As he carried on a seemingly one-sided conversation, she fumbled with the contents of the box on the floor beside her.  She propped the phone between her ear and her shoulder, removed the satin burgundy drawstring bag,  and slid the Tarot cards out into her hand.  He’d sure get a kick outta this, she thought.

“I was thinking we could get together this weekend,” Tony said as though nothing had ever happened.  

As she began shuffling the cards in an attempt to calm her nerves, a feeling of deceit washed over her.  There’s no way I can trust him, she thought.   She pulled a card.  The High Priestess. Oh yeah, right, trust my intuition. I’m way too close to the situation.  

“I thought it would be good for us to reconnect….” He continued, but she wasn’t hearing any of it.  She drew another card.  The Magician. Trickery and deception, I see.  

The sound of his voice faded into the background as her mind raced, and she began to realize she was not going to fall for anything he said.  She continued shuffling as he spoke and a card shot out of the deck and fluttered to the floor.  It was the Strength card.

“You know what, Tony? I really don’t care.” She hung up the phone, scooped up the fallen card, and reunited it with its deck.  Then she plopped down onto the floor beside the box and lit a cigarette.  As she tossed the cards in, memories flashed through her mind of all of the unreturned phone calls, all of the missed holidays, her mother’s funeral, not that Mom and Tony liked each other anyway. He even missed her son Justin’s sixteenth birthday. Even though Tony wasn’t Justin’s biological father, Tony was the only father he had ever known and he was crushed when Tony disappeared. 

Feelings of resentment, abandonment, fear, and anger had given way to indifference as time passed. Still, Sadie blamed herself.  It was because of her Tarot reading and her ability to sense the presence of spirits that Tony left. Why is he calling now? I just don’t understand.

She stood up and took one last drag from her cigarette and headed toward the kitchen.  As she turned on the water faucet and ran the cigarette under the water, she gazed out of the window, which overlooked the garden.  A slight breeze brushed across her cheek.  

“Mom?” She asked out loud.  The curtain moved slowly.  The image of her mother’s spirit appeared in front of her.  “Mom, what are you doing here?” 

“Give him a chance, Sadie,” she heard her mother’s familiar voice say.

“Are you kidding me?”  Sadie turned to look at the clock as Justin came in through the front door.  When she looked back, her mother was gone.     

Several days passed.  Sadie didn’t mention Tony’s phone call to Justin for fear he would get his hopes up unnecessarily, nor did she mention that her mom had popped in for a brief visit.  Though the appearance of spirit was something Justin was quite familiar with, the message his grandmother delivered was not. It would inevitably provoke more questions than she was prepared to answer right now.

Justin barged through the front door, “Hey, Mom!”

“Hey yourself. How was school?” Sadie asked.


“What are you grinning at?”

“Nothing. Hey, Mom. Let’s go out for chimichangas tonight, ok?”

“Ok.” Justin’s grin widened. “What’s up with you?” Sadie teased.

“Nothin’. Go get dressed already so we can go.”

They arrived at their favorite restaurant and the waitress seated them at a table in the back. Sadie looked up as the waitress placed their drinks on the table.  Suddenly she felt the blood drain from her face and her stomach clench in knots.  Tony was walking right toward them.  She looked at Justin and grabbed her purse. “Let’s go. Now.”

“It’s okay, Mom. I told him to come.”  Justin stood up and put his hands on her shoulders to keep her from bolting.

“You did what?!”

“I saw Grandma in the garden the other day when I was on the way home from school. She said to trust him.  I was really confused, but then the next day Tony called me on my cell phone...”

“Hey, Sade,” Tony said as he approached the table.

Sadie jumped up abruptly, causing Justin to stumble backwards.  “Let’s go, Justin. 

Now!” She brushed past Tony and he grabbed her arm. She glared at him.  “And don’t you call me Sade!”

“Sadie, wait! Look!” Tony reached into his coat pocket and produced a Tarot card.  It was the High Priestess.  

"I can’t take this.” 

“Just listen to him, Mom,” Justin pleaded.

“I found this card stuck between the seats while riding home on the train a few months ago. Please sit down, Sade. Please.”

Sadie reluctantly took the card from his hand and looked at it. “Yeah, so. You found a Tarot card on the train, and?”

“And,” Tony whispered, “she’s you.”

"Uh huh. What’s that supposed to mean?” Sadie snapped.

“She’s the High Priestess. She is in touch with her intuition, in tune with the mysteries of the unknown.  She can bring out the best in others as she shows them how to trust what lies within them.”  

Sadie’s mouth dropped and she sat back down. Tony reached into his coat pocket again and thrust a worn box of Tarot cards into her hand.  She felt the heat rise in her face as her anger gave way and tears flowed freely down her cheeks.   She reached for a napkin.

“Finding this card on the train after I left…  It sent me on a search.  I wanted to know what the card meant. I mean, how often do you run across a Tarot card by itself on a train?”

“True.” Sadie wiped her eyes.

“I knew it must be a sign. So, I found out what the card meant and it sounded just like you. I wanted to know more, so I bought this deck.  I’ve spent the past few months trying to learn more about Tarot. I understand now where you were coming from all this time.”

He shuffled the cards.

“Cut the deck, Sade.”

She looked over at Justin and he was grinning wider than ever. She cut the deck into three piles and then gathered them all together again, then slid them across the table toward Tony.  “I just wanted to come back, Sade, to see if you’d give me another chance.  I knew I’d have to prove to you I had changed.”

He turned the first card over.  The Magician.  “Look, Sade! It means I have all the tools I’ll ever need to make it work this time.”  He held up his Tarot deck and grabbed the High Priestess card from the corner of the table.

“I… see,” Sadie dabbed at her eyes with the napkin and grinned at Justin.

He turned the next card over. Strength.  “That’s you and me, Sade.  You’ve tamed the ferocious lion. We’re partners in this now, or at least we can be, it’s up to you.”

I was way to close to the situation to read those cards, Sadie thought.  The waiter walked up.  “We’ll have 3 orders of chimichangas.” Sadie said, “two chicken and one beef.”   A slight breeze brushed against her cheek and the curtain moved slowly. 

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008

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