crystal ball

I haven’t been at a fair like this in decades, I can’t recall last I saw this kind of thing. With my usual luck as far as my gift is concerned I tend to stay away from these places but Eoghan wanted to come. He heard about how it was only for today and he had to come, we had to visit and had to look around. He wanted to bring everyone along but I had to convince him otherwise, plus, as is today is a work day so the only ones who would have been able to come are Quentin and Yael and I’m not sure Quentin would have cared to.

I swear, when he gets excited, Eoghan seems to forget even the simplest of things, like the fact that Quentin’s temper is very short and the place will be crowded, if we bump into one too many people I could see something explode. While the idea that Quentin’s temper could be lost doesn’t mean much else than he’ll yell and flail, I just don’t want to be the one to witness that.

So it was just the two of us in the car and it was more than enough, it was plenty. Eoghan was chattering away excitedly next to me so after a mere five minutes on the road to our destination I turned the radio off, it was pointless, he was talking over it.

I should have taken a leash along. The moment I park the car and turn off the motor, he nearly lunges out from his side of the car and I nearly miss catching his sleeve just a second before he’s completely outside. I roll my eyes at him and he looks at me with those wide, startled and confused eyes, as if I’d just told him that we’d come all this way to just head home.

“Eoghan, just give me a minute, if you run off into this crowd I’ll lose sight of you and spending the day here on my own, mostly looking for you just doesn’t appeal to me, all right?” He slumps lightly in his seat but he nods and I can’t help the slight sigh of relief. I don’t mind being here, I just don’t want to be here on my own or to be waiting at the car all day until he decides he’s seen enough and comes back.

Finally I get out of the car and slip around to his side, I smile at him warmly and I even offer my hand to help him out from the vehicle. He looks at me a moment, as if considering his options before he curls his fingers over mine and I lightly tug him out. He closes the door, the vehicle beeps lightly to tell us that all doors are indeed locked and I bring his fingers to my lips to kiss the back of his hand. The blush on his cheeks is subtle but I know it’s there and I know there are no harsh feelings.

After I release his hands, he stays by my side and I guess he understands well enough my desire to not be around this crowd on my own. I don’t mind crowds but most of the time I stand out by my height and my looks and people stare, I’d rather just be with him and focus on him.

We wander from stall to stall and I get the feeling it’s almost more a marché aux puces than anything else. There are people selling goods, people in olden clothing selling stuff I’m not sure I’ve heard about even though I’ve been alive so long. There’s one woman in her stall who sits behind her crystal ball. There are a few panels here and there that explains that she can tell one’s future of revisit the past and see if old and dead relatives might be willing to talk.

I scoff at the idea but I can see Eoghan’s eyes almost glow as he forms an idea that I know can only turn into disaster. He’s not mean-hearted though at times he likes the idea of playing pranks on people just to see if they’re the ‘real’ deal or if they’re frauds. Most of the time they turn out to be frauds.

He heads towards her and I stay back, just watching them. With his gift, it’s natural that he can tell whether folks are really gifted or not. I don’t envy him for it, all the trouble and pain he’s gone through, learning to control it. I’m glad Armin has my bracelet to help him along, I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone to have voices in their heads constantly. It’s bad enough my gift is difficult to control on its own.

He stays at her table for about ten minutes before he’s coming back up to me and linking his arm to mine. He looks slightly defeated. I nudge his side lightly as we walk away, it usually gets him talking.

“I don’t know, I kind of hoped she was the real deal, maybe she was one of us but she’s just a fraud. She kept on asking me questions, hoping I’d give her some hints as to what it was she could try to dupe me about, just didn’t work out. Her crystal ball was pretty though, I’m pretty sure at least that was real and it was an antique, it was in good condition.”

I pat his hand lightly and we continue to drift along the stalls, sampling this, that and looking but not touching these things and those. By mid-afternoon, it is Eoghan who turns to me to ask that we start on our way back home. That he’s had enough of walking around. What he’s not saying though I can read it in his face well enough, is that this isn’t what he had hoped for and now he’s just tired of the place as a whole. I make a mental note to take him to visit old castles in nearby places eventually instead of visiting fairs.

The drive back home is quieter. The radio is on to a classical station, the volume is down low so it’s mostly background noise. When we get home, he slips out and I know he’s bummed about the whole thing. It’ll take him a couple of days to get over it but that’s just how he is. Despite that he’s had a few hundred years to live already, he still gets excited about these things. The world as a whole hasn’t worn him down yet. He still expects that great things can happen, he gets his hopes up and then they tend to get crushed down.

I’ve learned a long time ago to not really expect anything from anyone and to just appreciate and be surprised when something good did happen to us. I know he’ll mope the next couple of days, just lazy about the house and sigh, look miserable enough that I’d want to just gently shake sense back into him but he’ll get over it. He always does. If he doesn’t after those two days I’ll do something about it. That’s all there is to it.

Maybe I’ll get him a crystal ball though, the real deal as he called it. I think it was more that than the woman and her potential gift that pulled him in. He’s on an antique kick and if I can get him what he wants then all is even better in the world. I have money, he has money, I spoil him rotten but it doesn’t really change the way we live. We’ve had to deal with enough shit with our lives to this day that we know that a little spoiling won’t turn us rotten. That’s just how our world turns.

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