It was one of those days, freezing cold seeping into the marrows of bones, fingertips painfully numb, exhaled pillowy mists instantly carried away in the winter wind. She hurried into the cafe and got her usual morning coffee. Holding it in her hands, she couldn’t tell if the warmth of the coffee soothed or hurt her as it thawed her digits.
Another dash – down one flight of stairs to work, and she would replace that harsh slaps of breeze with office heated air. But an old withered hand grabbed her arms with a strength incompatible with how it looked. Coffee rocked within the mug, spilling hot drops out of the lid.
“My child,” the old woman hissed, “listen to a near-blind woman who holds your fortunes in her hands.”
The young lady instinctively said she had no spare change.
“I don’t want your money. Only let me fulfill my destiny by telling you your fortune.”
There’s no harm, I guess, she thought to herself. She’s only an old woman.
You are without belief, child. It was in the voice of the old woman, but her mouth wasn’t moving, as if speaking to her mind-to-mind. You had it all at birth, and brimming in childhood. Curiosity and belief. Where is all that now?
The old woman’s iron grip sunk into her arms, imprinted.
You have the world in your hands, as I once had yours in mine. But know that if you go on obstinately keeping your eyes closed, with no trust, no belief, then it will all be for naught. You will not stay young forever. See me for who I really am, as you will at the end of times.
For my fortunes are in your hands.
And behind the old woman, the city’s skyscrapers melted away and reduced into dirt that will become pearls in oysters. As the sunlight filtered through the young leaves of spring illuminating her path before her, she saw and understood exactly who the old woman was.
Winter is no more.
She’ll make sure she would not just be another old woman. Believe.