Excerpt from

a love to behold

a novel by Wendy Stross

     As she turned the key in the ignition, Anne decided to stop at “the Gathering” – an annual event sponsored by a local store that specialized in spirituality.  It was around 10:30 and the church auditorium was humming with activity.  Tables of the various vendors, healers, and mediums were scattered throughout the room. 

     Jennifer, a friend, called to her, “Hey kid, what are you doing here?” 

     “Probably procrastinating!  I’ve never been to this event and was curious.”  Jennifer was an energy practitioner who did Reiki and Reflexology, and Anne asked if she had a table here. 

     Jennifer said no, that this kind of event was not conducive to the healing work she did – too busy and noisy.  “Actually, I’m just leaving.  My daughter has dance in an hour.  See you at Friday yoga?” 

     Anne nodded, waved bye and started to wander.  Everything from aromatherapy, crystals, jewelry, Christmas decorations and baking, as well as various healers offering their services were to be found in this one room.  She was thinking she should go when from the corner of her eye, she spotted a woman seated at a table; her sign read “Susan Barker, Psychic Medium – Readings – $60 for 30 minutes.”  Anne had had readings from psychics before, some good, some not so good.  She was not familiar with this one.  Anne circled the room once more, but found herself drawn back to psychic Sue.  Ms. Barker looked to be around fifty, heavy-set, and reminded Anne of a beloved great-aunt.  She was free at the moment, so Anne paid her money and sat down for a reading. 

     For the first fifteen minutes or so, the medium was pretty on track.  Anne’s grandmother had come through, saying Anne had come by her love of books from her. 

     “Was there something at the end whereby she couldn’t talk?” 

     “Yes, she had a stroke that affected her throat.  She could neither swallow nor speak at the end.” 

     The psychic said that her grandmother regretted she was unable to say some of the things she had wanted to say.  That she was very proud of Anne and of all she had accomplished while being a wife and mother.  Moments later, Sue looked above Anne’s head, her eyes widening in surprise.    

     “Your soulmate’s here, standing behind you!” 
     Stunned, Anne leaned forward to ensure she had heard correctly.  “I’m sorry.  What?”  And then, shaking her head, she said, “You must be mistaken.  I’ve been married over forty years and to my knowledge, my husband is very much alive.”