Chapter 5 – Entry #40

Nadia shivered. “His body slid down mine and fell onto the sand. I stood motionless in shock, gulping in air. I opened my eyes and Zizi was standing in front of me holding a long neck bottle of beer in her hand.”

“Zizi!”

Chapter 5 – Entry #41

“Zizi had hit the guy on the head with the half-empty bottle of beer. He was clutching his head and cursing. I was gripping my torn blouse trying to cover myself, while Zizi led me off the beach to her car. I’m not sure how she got me to the street and into the car, because I was hysterical.”

Tears were rolling down Ilona’s face now. “You could’ve been killed,” she whispered.

Chapter 5 – Entry #42

“Yes, even when I look back today, I wonder how I could’ve been so naive,” Nadia admitted. “Zizi walked back to the party and found one of the girls we went to the party with. She told her I wasn’t feeling well and that she was going to drive me back to our hotel and stay with me.”

“What I don’t understand is how Aunt Zizi found you on that dark beach.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #43

“Aunt Zizi had a premonition. It started the minute I walked out the back door onto the beach. She immediately pushed her way through the crowd to the porch, but by that time, I was out of sight. As it happened, she started walking up the beach in the wrong direction, but her head began to pound. She immediately turned around and started running in the opposite direction. Even though that cretin had his lips pressed on mine to muffle my cries, Zizi heard me whimpering and that’s when she came up behind him and swung the bottle of beer.”

“Did you ever find out what happened to him?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #44

“You know,” Nadia said, “when the rest of the girls came home from the party, they didn’t mention anything unusual happening. Same thing, the next day. Nothing. The jerk probably slept it off right there on the beach.”

Ilona’s eyes were as big as half dollars. “So, what you’re telling me is that Aunt Zizi not only sees the future, she has premonitions on the spot–right when they’re happening?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #45

Nadia leaned both her elbows on her knees and closed her eyes. “It isn’t that simple, Ilona. Her vision is selective.”

“What does that mean?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #46

Nadia sighed. “I lucked out that night, because she doesn’t always know what’s going to happen. As a matter of fact, her gift is extremely selective. It only extends to family, and in rare instances, her friends.”

“So, Aunt Zizi could never be one of those psychics that help the police find missing persons, or something like that. I mean, not that she would want to, but that’s not what happens to her, right?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #47

“Zizi has enough to worry about seeing stuff about friends and family. She’s lucky her premonitions don’t extend to strangers. And the other thing is, they’re not always important.  Like today. She knew Aunt Magda was rushing over to see me, but she didn’t know why Aunt was in such an all-fired hurry.”

“This is bizarre,” Ilona said, “but now I understand why you and Aunt Zizi never go to Ocean City.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #48

“Aunt Zizi and I haven’t set a foot in Ocean City ever again. We’re superstitious. Now you know why we’re so close, and why I go along with any scatter-brained idea she comes up with. So, next week, when she has her annual fund-raising party, I’ll be there in a garish gypsy outfit doing a silly dance we made up years ago when we were children. The funny thing is, once she and I start dancing, I’ll find that I’m actually having fun.”

Ilona nodded her head and smiled. “Yeah, it’s always that way with Aunt Zizi. You gotta love her!”

Narrator’s Note and “The Party”

[And so ends “The Story of Nadia.” All that remains is the celebration of life and your attendance at Zizi’s party. Some say there is much more to tell about Nadia, and Zizi too. However, since Zizi is an enigma, both extroverted yet secretive about her powers, and because in Nadia’s profession she must adhere to a certain amount of discretion and loyalty to her clients, all that remains is the Celebration

Italian American Club

Some of the Entertainment

Band Playing

Performers at the PartyTraditional Dance at Party

Dance Routine at Party

Mistress of Ceremonies at Party

Elvis Impersonators

Some of the Guests

A party goerAt the Party

At the Party 4

girl-party-j3g

Partygoer

Jehan

Me and Italian Michael

Terry, the Receptionist  '07 026

Rayna '07 021

Man

Party Ends With A Big Bang

fireworks-87d

fireworks 2

fireworks 3

fireworks 4

The End

Chapter 5 – Entry #48

“Aunt Zizi and I haven’t set a foot in Ocean City ever again. We’re superstitious. Now you know why we’re so close, and why I go along with any scatter-brained idea she comes up with. So, next week, when she has her annual fund-raising party, I’ll be there in a garish gypsy outfit doing a silly dance we made up years ago when we were children. The funny thing is, once she and I start dancing, I’ll find that I’m actually having fun.”

Ilona nodded her head and smiled. “Yeah, it’s always that way with Aunt Zizi. You gotta love her!”

Narrator’s Note and “The Party”

[And so ends “The Story of Nadia.” All that remains is the celebration of life and your attendance at Zizi’s party. Some say there is much more to tell about Nadia, and Zizi too. However, since Zizi is an enigma, both extroverted yet secretive about her powers, and because in Nadia’s profession she must adhere to a certain amount of discretion and loyalty to her clients, all that remains is the Celebration

Italian American Club

Some of the Entertainment

Band Playing

Performers at the PartyTraditional Dance at Party

Dance Routine at Party

Mistress of Ceremonies at Party

Elvis Impersonators

Some of the Guests

A party goerAt the Party

At the Party 4

girl-party-j3g

Partygoer

Jehan

Me and Italian Michael

Terry, the Receptionist  '07 026

Rayna '07 021

Man

Party Ends With A Big Bang

fireworks-87d

fireworks 2

fireworks 3

fireworks 4

The End

Chapter 5 – Entry #46

Nadia sighed. “I lucked out that night, because she doesn’t always know what’s going to happen. As a matter of fact, her gift is extremely selective. It only extends to family, and in rare instances, her friends.”

“So, Aunt Zizi could never be one of those psychics that help the police find missing persons, or something like that. I mean, not that she would want to, but that’s not what happens to her, right?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #45

Nadia leaned both her elbows on her knees and closed her eyes. “It isn’t that simple, Ilona. Her vision is selective.”

“What does that mean?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #44

“You know,” Nadia said, “when the rest of the girls came home from the party, they didn’t mention anything unusual happening. Same thing, the next day. Nothing. The jerk probably slept it off right there on the beach.”

Ilona’s eyes were as big as half dollars. “So, what you’re telling me is that Aunt Zizi not only sees the future, she has premonitions on the spot–right when they’re happening?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #43

“Aunt Zizi had a premonition. It started the minute I walked out the back door onto the beach. She immediately pushed her way through the crowd to the porch, but by that time, I was out of sight. As it happened, she started walking up the beach in the wrong direction, but her head began to pound. She immediately turned around and started running in the opposite direction. Even though that cretin had his lips pressed on mine to muffle my cries, Zizi heard me whimpering and that’s when she came up behind him and swung the bottle of beer.”

“Did you ever find out what happened to him?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #42

“Yes, even when I look back today, I wonder how I could’ve been so naive,” Nadia admitted. “Zizi walked back to the party and found one of the girls we went to the party with. She told her I wasn’t feeling well and that she was going to drive me back to our hotel and stay with me.”

“What I don’t understand is how Aunt Zizi found you on that dark beach.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #41

“Zizi had hit the guy on the head with the half-empty bottle of beer. He was clutching his head and cursing. I was gripping my torn blouse trying to cover myself, while Zizi led me off the beach to her car. I’m not sure how she got me to the street and into the car, because I was hysterical.”

Tears were rolling down Ilona’s face now. “You could’ve been killed,” she whispered.

Chapter 5 – Entry #40

Nadia shivered. “His body slid down mine and fell onto the sand. I stood motionless in shock, gulping in air. I opened my eyes and Zizi was standing in front of me holding a long neck bottle of beer in her hand.”

“Zizi!”

Chapter 5 – Entry #39

“I tried to push him away, but that only intensified his assault. The more I squirmed, the more excited he became. He pinned my hands behind the post and pressed his lips and body up against mine so that I couldn’t move or scream. I knew when he ripped my blouse open with his free hand that I was about to be raped and possibly murdered. As he fumbled with his zipper, I heard something–a clunk sound.”

“What! What was it?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #38

Nadia continued. “My intention was to go out for air and conversation in a quieter environment. But as he kissed me, he pressed his body up against mine harder and harder. That was then I realized the danger I had unwittingly walked into.”

Ilona wrapped her arms around herself. “This is getting scary.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #37

Nadia gave Ilona a stern look and then continued. “Would you stop commenting, please? I know it was stupid, but at the time, it was very flattering. Anyway, at some point, we were out of earshot of the party and the only sounds were our voices and the waves. There was a tall pole sticking up out of the sand on the beach. I don’t know why it was there, but there it was. Before I knew what was happening, he pushed me up against it and started to kiss me. As I recall, it wasn’t all that distasteful, but I wasn’t ready for it.”

Ilona stared, disbelieving, at her mother.

Chapter 5 – Entry #36

“I did it,” Nadia said, “because I was 17 and I was stupid. And the sound of the waves was mesmerizing and it felt romantic and he was a college boy who was actually interested in me–a junior in high school.”

“Good grief!”

Chapter 5 – Entry #35

“Would you please let me continue without so many interruptions?” Nadia said. “Yes, I went with him. I’d lost sight of  Zizi, but like I said, the guy was sober and nice. We went out the back door, and I admit, I had no idea it would be so dark on the beach. The moon must’ve been hidden behind clouds. We walked only a few steps away from the lights of the house into total blackness.”

“Why would you do that?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #34

Nadia continued. “Well, he seemed so sweet and it was very hot inside the house, you know, with all those people packed in wall to wall. So, I agreed.”

Ilona was astonished. “You went out alone with him?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #33

“Stop interrupting, Ilona. Anyway, I was talking with this really nice, good-looking college kid. He didn’t know too many people at the party, either. One thing led to another and he asked me if I wanted to take a walk along the beach.” Nadia paused. “Did I mention this house was right on the beach?”

“No.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #32

“Look, Ilona. We went to the party to have a good time. You have to talk to people in order to make that happen.”

“Good lord.”

[Narrator: My computer has been sick, but it’s better now.]

Chapter 5 – Entry #31

“True,” Nadia admitted, “but times were different back then. Anyway, we all showered, dressed and took two cars to the party, which was in full swing by the time we arrived. It was so crowded, it was impossible for all of us to stay together. One by one, each girl paired off with one or two guys.”

Ilona’s eyes widened. “I can’t believe what you’re saying! You didn’t know any of these guys, but all of you were scoping them out?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #30

“Everybody did it. And we were a group of eight or nine girls. So–you know–safety in numbers. We felt relatively safe.”

Ilona crossed her arms across her chest. “You would have a flippin’ fit if you ever heard I did something like that!”

Chapter 5 – Entry #29

Nadia took a deep breath. “Back then, when you came off the beach to head back to the rooms you rented, people (mostly guys) carried placards advertising parties that were being thrown that night. You could stop any one of them (the cuter the guy holding up the party info, the better) and ask where exactly the party was going to be. Then you just showed up.”

“You and Aunt Zizi did stuff like that, mom?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #28

Nadia nodded. “Yes, something horrible did happen.”

Ilona couldn’t stand the suspense. “What? What happened?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #28

“Oh, Grandma was strict,” Nadia agreed, “but Zizi was relentless. She started working on breaking down Grandma a full two months before graduation. Finally, she convinced her that we would be with a large group and we would be together the entire time so nothing horrible could possibly happen to us. Grandma would have preferred reading our cards before she gave us her permission, but Zizi pooh-poohed that idea and, eventually, grandma gave in and let us go without reading our cards. It was the one time, she should’ve read the cards, but Zizi kept complaining about how much she hated being a gypsy and I think she hurt grandma’s feelings.”

“And something horrible happened?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #27

Nadia got a faraway look on her face. “Zizi had just graduated from high school. She and a group of her friends were going to Ocean City for a week to celebrate their freedom. Even though I was still a junior and wouldn’t graduate until the following year, her friends invited me to go along. Zizi and I were always pretty much inseparable, so her friends treated me as one of their group.”

Ilona looked surprised. “Grandma let you go? I believe your exact words to me many times when referring to grandma’s rules goes something like this. ‘The word “strict” cannot fully convey the entire essence of grandma’s laws. Once her final word was decreed, unquestioned obedience followed.’ She allowed you to go to Ocean City for a week? You were only, what? Seventeen?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #26

“No, that’s big,” Nadia admitted, “but it’s because your Aunt Zizi saved my life years ago.”

“What? How?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #25

“No,” Nadia said. “Zizi has no idea I decided to tell you, but she told me I should tell you when I felt the time was right. I got thinking about it a few weeks ago when Dominic caught me downstairs dressed in full gypsy regalia, practicing an old dance Zizi and I made up when we were kids. She and I are going to perform it together at Zizi’s annual party this year.” She smiled at Ilona. “Dominic said it was so out of character for me and he wanted to know what strange hold Zizi had over me.”

“Is it because she shared her secret with you?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #24

Nadia took a deep breath. “Yes, except me. That is, until today.”

“Does Aunt Zizi know you’re telling me today?” Ilona asked.

Chapter 5 – Entry #23

“Yes,” Nadia nodded. “The premonitions wouldn’t go away. Finally, Zizi had to admit she had a gift, but she refused to share her secret with anyone.”

“Except you.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #22

Nadia folded her hands on her lap. “Yes, it was a shame, but you have no idea what grandma put Zizi through. For years, she tried to teach Zizi different things. Zizi could never remember the meanings of the various tarot cards; forget palm reading, she was terrible at that, too. The more ideas grandma came up with, the worse Zizi seemed to become. In all honesty, Zizi refused to try.”

“But the premonitions,” Ilona said.

Chapter 5 – Entry #21

“Yeah, Grandmama was right,” Nadia admitted. “And in a way, it was cruel of Zizi to keep it from her. But Zizi wanted to be normal. She didn’t want to be different. After all, the kids already knew she was a gypsy, which was bad enough. No way did she want anyone to know she could see into the future.”

“Poor Grandmama,” Ilona said.

Chapter 5 – Entry #20

“We loved your grandmama very much,” Nadia said, “but she was relentless when it came to discovering what special talent each of her children were born with. She was convinced that Zizi and I were both gifted.”

“Well, she was right.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #19

Nadia giggled. “Momma!? She would’ve been the last person Zizi would’ve told.”

“Why?” asked Ilona.

Chapter 5 – Entry #18

Nadia leaned back on the sofa. “Zizi didn’t know she had premonitions until she was about 8 or 9 years old. Up till then, she thought she was just intuitive. But too many of her daydreams happened exactly as she envisioned them. That was when she admitted to herself that she had a special gift.”

“What I don’t understand is why she didn’t tell anyone, especially her mother,” Ilona said.

Chapter 5 – Entry #17

“I know, I know,” Nadia agreed. “I’ve argued with Zizi many times, telling her that she shouldn’t keep this secret hidden from her husband, but she insists that it’s her gift and she doesn’t want anyone to know about it, especially Vidor.”

Ilona shook her head back and forth. “Well, we know once Aunt Zizi makes up her mind, there’s no convincing her otherwise. When did she get around to telling you about her gift?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #16

Nadia raised her eyes to the sky. “Oh, heaven forbid! No! Zizi never wanted her ability to cloud her marriage to Vidor. She’s very careful not to let him suspect.”

“This is crazy, you know that, right?” Ilona said.

Chapter 5 – Entry #15

Sitting together on the sofa, Nadia took Ilona’s hands in hers. “The day I brought you home from the hospital, Zizi proclaimed you the child of her heart. After your fifth birthday party, while she and I cleaned up in the kitchen, she told me only two people beside herself would know about her gift–me and you–the child of her heart.

“I can’t believe Uncle Vidor doesn’t know.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #14

“Come,” Nadia said, pushing back her chair and standing. “Let’s go sit in the living room. We’ll leave the dishes for later.”

Following her mother, Ilona said, “Now I’m a little hesitant. Are you sure it’s okay to tell me? I mean, are you sure Aunt Zizi meant for me to know?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #13

“What do you mean by that?” Ilona countered.

Nadia held up her hands, palms facing Ilona. “Okay, okay, peace. We’ll leave that discussion for another day.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #12

Ilona sighed. “Yeah, I know I always say that, but jeez, if I could see into the future…”

Nadia smiled and her eyes sparkled when she answered Ilona. “I suspect that you hide certain little things in your quest to be normal, too. You’re not so different from Zizi in that respect.”

Chapter 5 – Entry #11

“Mom! It’s not everyday a person finds out that her aunt can see into the future. 20 years is a long time to keep a secret from me. Seeing the future? It’s bizarre even for our family.”

Nadia nodded. “That’s true. But you of all people should understand why Zizi never told anyone. She wanted to be normal. Does that sound familiar to you? Where have I heard that before?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #10

Ilona could barely sit still in her chair. “If Aunt Zizi had this power all her life, why doesn’t anyone know about it? Are you pulling my leg, Mom?”

“Ilona, you know I wouldn’t do that. I’ll answer all your questions, just give me a chance.”

Chapter 5 – Entry 9

“Slow down, Ilona.”

“I can’t,” Ilona said. “You’re telling me Aunt Zizi can see into the future, and you want me to slow down? You must be kidding!”

Chapter 5 – Entry #8

“Yes,” Nadia said.

Ilona laid her fork on her plate. Incredulous, she said, “Not even Gran knew? Or Uncle Vidor?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #7

Dipping a tiny dumpling into gravy, Nadia said, ” No one else knows. The only other person who will ever know during Zizi’s lifetime will be the “child of her heart.”

Ilona’s eyes opened wide. “That’s what she always calls me!”