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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

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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 #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 #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 #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 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 #6

Nadia chewed a piece of chicken, swallowed and said, “No, I’m not kidding. And before you ask, why you never knew, or how could this be, or whatever other question is swimming around in your head, Zizi swore me to secrecy years ago, when we were still children.”

“Who else knows?” Ilona glanced away, concentrating. “Gran had to know. And, of course, Uncle Vidor would know. Obviously, Aunt Magda doesn’t know. Does Dominic know? “

Chapter 5 – Entry #5

Looking down and cutting a piece of chicken, Nadia answered. “Your Aunt Zizi can see into the future.”

Ilona dropped the fork onto her plate. “What? You’re kidding, right?”

Chapter 5 – Entry #3

“Well?” Ilona coaxed.

Nadia pointed to the steps that led to the second floor living area. “C’mon upstairs. We’ll talk over dinner.”

Ilona

Ilona

Zizi

Zizi

[Narrator]

[Several weeks after Meggie’s reading, Ilona, coming home from work,  meets Zizi and Aunt Magda on the front porch. They have been visiting Nadia and are now on their way home.

After kissing both of them, Ilona joins her mother at the front door.  Together they overhear part of a curious conversation, as the two women make their way down the steps.]

Chapter 5 – Entry #1

Zizi grabbed Magda’s arm to help guide her down the stairs. “Tell me again about this ghost you saw last week, Aunt.”

“Well, I think it might have been a ghost; one can never be certain.” Aunt Magda said. “But stop trying to get me off the subject, you sly devil. I insist you tell me how you knew I would be here today. You always say Nadia called you, but she didn’t know I was stopping by today.”

Chapter 4 – Entry #67

“I think not.” Nadia smiled at Meggie. “It’s for you to look into his soul and recognize him.”

Standing, Meggie said, “It’s all so mysterious, but at least you’ve helped me  move forward and become my own boss. Thanks for encouraging me, Miss N. I’ll work hard at it and I’ll be a success. You’ll see.”

“I don’t doubt it,” Nadia said, walking Meggie to the door.

[This reading is over. A new chapter will begin Sunday.]

Chapter 4 – Entry #66

“You will undoubtedly recognize him as the one the next time you see him,” Nadia said, “or maybe not. Sometimes it takes a certain look, or a conversation that hits you. Whatever it is, it will make you tingle.”

“Oh, brother,” Meggie said, running her fingers through her hair. “I don’t believe this. Will you know him the next time you see him?”

Chapter 4 – Entry #60

“It means this person is right under our noses and we have no way to pinpoint who he is.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Meggie turned to Ilona for help. “She’s joking, right? Tell me she’s kidding.”

Chapter 4 – Entry #59

Nadia shook her head from side to side, a baffled expression on her face. “I evidently know him, too.”

Meggie’s eyes widened. “What does that mean?”

Chapter 4 – Entry #56

Nadia took a deep breath. She knew the time had come to tell Meggie about the rest of her reading. “You are going to meet someone special…eventually.”

Meggie’s eyes brightened. “And?”

Chapter 4 – Entry #54

“Oh, it gets a whole lot more exciting,” Nadia said.

Meggie rubbed her hands together. “Okay, spill it!

Chapter 4 – Entry #50

“You must allow yourself time to heal,” Nadia said, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms in front of her. “The debris left behind after a divorce is devastating to the psyche. The weenie,” she chuckled because she used Meggie’s nickname for her ex-husband, but she immediately became serious again. “He was once the love of your life. I remember, because I met you a few months after your marriage.”

“I know,” Meggie said.


Chapter 4 – Entry #42

Meggie smacked one of Ilona’s hands and laughed. “Stop being impatient. I’m coming to that part.” She took a deep breath. “Now that the shop is empty, Mrs. Radcliffe made me an offer I don’t think I can refuse. It’s a little scary but…here it is. She likes my work; thinks I can be a successful businesswoman. She offered to rent me the store for next to nothing for the first three years. If I show a decent profit at the end of that time, my rent will fall in line with the rest of the businesses on the avenue.”

Nadia tilted her head, thinking. “Did she say why she was doing this for you?”

Chapter 4 – Entry #41

“She wanted to see if I was any good, if I had talent,” Meggie said. “Each time she called in an order, she requested a different color scheme, or a theme–like Halloween or Valentine’s Day–stuff like that.”

“I still don’t get it,” Ilona said.