Word Count 500
A Liminal Affair
By G. Ackman
Caroline meandered through the open-air stalls of the Plaka district with neither destination nor purpose. She had been in Athens for over a week and her determination to fulfill her destiny was waning. She arrived here on a whim, one day finding herself unemployed, unattached, and unoccupied.
While driving aimlessly through the country to think about her future, her mind instead reached into the past. Several years earlier, she and her one-time friend Tim spontaneously entered a psychic’s shop in Chicago “just for fun.” The oddly dressed woman gave the usual nondescript, nonspecific “fortunes” to Tim but then turned to Caroline and said something extremely specific – “you will meet your soulmate in Greece.” There was no way this random psychic could have known that one of Caroline’s lifelong dreams was to go to Greece. At the time, Caroline and Tim just laughed and continued their exploration of the Chicago night-life. The psychic’s words faded with time – until now.
Returning to her apartment from the drive, Caroline impulsively logged on to the Internet and weeping credit card in hand, booked a flight and hotel in Athens. The past eight days of strolling along Athen’s historical pathways provided a respite from the turmoil of uncertainty that Caroline knew awaited her back in the States. Thoughts of bills, rent, and job interviews seemed far away while gazing at the Parthenon at night, its golden inner lights shining into mankind’s universal soul. Thoughts of lost love, lost opportunities, and lost dreams seemed inconsequential beside the ruins of Hadrian’s Library and the scholars who once trod the very same steps that Caroline now walked.
All of that aside, Caroline could not help reflecting on the old psychic’s words. But there was not a soulmate in sight. She picked up an olive green scarf emblazoned with a cream meander design signifying infinity. “That fits,” Caroline thought as she handed over thirteen euros. And then she saw him. He was sitting by the fountain at the end of the row of shops. His darkly handsome form caught her attention but his eyes, dark and shining, mesmerized her. Should she go up to him? She sensed the momentousness of the decision, a true liminal moment for her entire life.
She approached him slowly, cautiously, but within minutes, she knew she would never leave him. Within a few short weeks, she had settled all her affairs back in the States and permanently relocated to Athens. She rented a small house and he, now named Rochester, was at her side day and night. Rochester brought other friends who joined them and together they made a wonderfully happy family. Hareton, with his scruffy black fur, Mina, with her delicate little legs and soulful eyes, and Marlow, always up for an adventure. There may be more in the days to come, and that was okay. Caroline loved them all. She looked around at her new life and realized the psychic was right. She did find her soulmate in Greece – she found herself.