I checked my timer in disbelief. 20 minutes, 37 seconds. Shortest reading ever.

The bride-to-be had left the money on the table and the chair skewed at an awkward angle, when she got up and literally ran from me. She’d paid for the full 1-hour reading, but apparently what she heard in the first 20 minutes was too much to handle.

*          *          *

“My name is Jolie. I was recommended by Mandy. I’d love to see you today.”

– I have a slot at 4 pm, but there’s an extra charge for same-day bookings.

“No worries, Kelly! Mandy said you’re worth every penny! See you soon.”

Jolie turned up on the dot, a beautiful and exquisitely dressed young lady. She had a face I could vaguely recognise and, after a short chat, realised I’d probably seen in glossy magazines like Tatler. She was a young socialite from one of the country’s wealthiest families, and hers was fast becoming a household name.

But money can’t buy happiness. Even as Jolie placed her Hermes handbag on the seat beside her, the anguish permeating her entire aura had already reached out and hit me across the table. My eyes were also drawn to the tiny hearing aid on her left ear that she’d skilfully hidden with her long, honey brown curls.

“Thanks for seeing me at such short notice. I have a hearing problem in my left ear due to an infection, so I hope you don’t mind if I ask you to speak up sometimes,” Jolie said brightly as she arranged her hair to cover her ear and neck.

The Tarot deck I was shuffling fell apart as she spoke. Five cards shot out and lay face down on a haphazard track across the table.

I turned them over.

Five of Rods. Five of Swords. The Tower. The Devil. Death.

I put the cards aside for later reference.

“I’m getting married next month and I just want to ask questions about, you know, married life and all,” Jolie continued with a smile as her fingers ran through her hair, unaware that the Tarot had already begun calling her out on her lies and self-deception.

I smiled back, saddened at the sight of this broken spirit, desperately pretending that her life was going well because the alternative – the truth – was too terrifying for her to bear.

I decided on a gentler approach: the Angel Oracle deck.

– Here, Jolie. Take a deep breath, concentrate on your question, and pull out three cards.

Jolie’s smile disappeared once she saw the three cards her guardian angel had helped her to choose.

Be Honest With Yourself. Time To Go. Cupid.

It was time to tell the truth and set Jolie free.

– Jolie, your angels are concerned that you’re not being fully truthful to yourself about what you want in a life partner. They’re saying that you have the choice not to go ahead with this wedding. Your time with this person has come to an end, and it’s time to move on. If you do, the Universe has someone better for you, as the card representing Cupid indicates.

She cocked her head at me and laughed in disbelief, her eyes filled with resentment and fear. “What do you mean? I’m not backing out now! Do you know who he is?” She gave me the name of a young heir from a wealthy and well-connected family, a triumphant sneer on her elegant face. “He’s a good catch, Kelly!”

I took a deep breath, and exhaled.

– No man is a good catch if he hits you.

Jolie stared at me blankly, her mouth agape. Her fingers froze in her tresses. I glimpsed a faint outline of bruises on her neck, below her left ear.

No turning back now. I laid out the five Tarot cards that I’d put aside earlier.

– Five of Rods: constant quarrels and violence. Five of Swords: you’re silent because you fear public humiliation. The Tower: this card tells me he’s not only hit you, he’s pushed you down the stairs before. He’s destroying your life. The Devil: this man has major issues and needs professional help. Death: if you stay, your fiancé will take you down with him. Jolie, you deserve better. Are you sure you want to go ahead with the wedding?

I looked up from the cards. Jolie was pale as a ghost, and trembling like a leaf.

I kept quiet. My heart bled for her, but only she could decide what to do.

The sound of a purse being zipped open noisily stirred me out of my reverie. Jolie’s hands were shaking as she pulled dollar bills out of her Chanel purse.

“Thanks for the reading, I have to go, here’s a tip, bye… ” Jolie mumbled robotically, refusing to look me in the eye. She placed the money on the table, then got up.

Her teary, terrified eyes finally met mine.

“Don’t tell anyone,” she whispered shakily.

Then Jolie turned and ran, in her cute Jimmy Choo flats.

I glanced at my timer. 20 minutes, 37 seconds. A short reading for me, but a long and painful road ahead for Jolie unless she changes track.

I haven’t heard from Jolie since. I hope she’s okay.

*          *          *          *          *

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The stories on this website (including the above recount) are based on Kelly’s personal and professional experiences as a lightworker. Some details have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals involved.