Illusions of a Bachelor, Series

Illusions of a Bachelor: King of Hearts

By Aaron Aroriza:

But I think fortune often tests the bold man's resolve before it can even start flirting with him. Does it favor the bold? That, I don't know. What I know for sure is that it will favor the prepared if they are bold enough to attract it and patient enough to let it take its course.

I've always been a bold 'magician'. A few moments ago I was sure I was prepared too. But after walking back into my room and noticing the king of hearts was no-longer in Milly's hair, I realized fortune had decided not to favor me today, at least not yet!

I must have delayed in the washroom. So Milly finished shuffling the cards and decided to check herself out in the mirror. I think that's when she realized a card was stuck in her hair.

I'm almost certain she's going to ask me about the misplaced card, nay, the card that was well placed in her hair. But she doesn't; instead, “she's quite a beauty-the girl in the pic that is stack on your mirror,” she comments, throwing a glance with a sly smile at the almost nude picture of Helga on my mirror.

No it's not my mirror, it's actually Helga's mirror – a full length mirror. She has this weird obsession with mirrors. She even had me fix one on the ceiling; A 1mx2m size mirror just above my bed. You see, she's the kind that wants to watch the action live; a very adventurous girl-my Helga! That's the bit Milly might never know but she is right about her being beautiful.

Helga was suggested to me by Facebook. She and I had ten mutual friends I had never met in real life but Facebook still imagined that Helga and I had to somehow be connected; and it wasn't so wrong. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Helga's profile picture made me speechless – completely wordless. I guess that's what happens when you stumble onto something the English oxford dictionary hasn't had the chance to describe yet. So I sent a friend request which she just ignored for over a month. A month is a long time for one bold bachelor to patiently await a simple friend confirmation. I knew I had to prepare myself if I was to win any credible favors from fortune and prepare myself I did. After one whole hour of studying her profile picture I finally improvised some words to write:

'Hi Helga, I'm Aaron, U don’t know me and neither do I.

I just saw yo profile pic and thought “wow, she is beautiful!!! I should add her to my friends”. And here we are.

Eh, just as a by-the-way, in yo profile pic; Yo leaning backward, opening up on yo left side (the heart happens to be that side), yo right arm closing up to you, head straight up and looking right into the lens with that confident smile (Are u seated cross-legged?!). It says a lot……….& even when I never get to see u, I can tell yo warm-hearted, confident, talk a lot, cheerful, find it easy to make friends, a little bit too straight forward, high self esteem but yo insecure (mostly with people u don’t know) and u might be a little bit egocentric!

Hmmn, I might be wrong of course…but don’t shoot the messenger.'

Her reply?!

'Whoa…what are you? Yes, am cross legged. You are wrong about me being egocentric.
Actually I have heard a little bit about you.'

That she was cross-legged in that picture had just been a wild guess (like most facebook profile pictures, she too had cropped it to leave only the upper part of her body showing). But I had been bold enough to take my chances and it paid off. Two days later we met over coffee and the rest was history!

We've been playing cards for two hours now; Milly and I. She is left with one card and I think I already know what card it is. I snooped the card that was below the one I was picking just a few minutes ago and I confirmed it was the queen of hearts. Milly is now on the last card and the queen of hearts has not yet been played. There's one problem however. The moment I rub ashes on my forearm, two cards are going to be revealed; the king of hearts and the queen of hearts and yet the king of hearts has already left its intended magical place. In fact it is now amongst the pile of cards that have already been played. As I'm still thinking of a magical way out, I espy the exact position of the king of hearts. My magical gumption takes over.

“Would you like a card trick Milly?” I ask looking all resigned.

“You mean like pulling a card out of my hair?!” Milly teasingly asks, almost bursting my bubble.

“Card in your hair…no. Card in your hands!!” I reply, trying to keep my composure.

“Fine. Let's see if you can pull it off again,” she says with the confidence of a Manchester United soccer fan talking to an Arsenal fan.

The drill is always the same. I need some black ashes that will stick on my soapy outlines. But this time round as Milly is busy burning the paper and having all her attention drawn to the task at hand, I manage to pull out the King of hearts from the cards that have been played and place it face up in the middle of the cards that are supposed to be picked.

Now she's done with the burning and I have my ashes but just before I rub them on my forearm I casually ask, “Just out of curiosity. The card you said was in your hair. What card was it?” Milly broadly smiles as she replies “It was the king of hearts”.

I pretend to contemplate something before I say, “Ah, the card in your hands would not be the queen of hearts now, would it?”

She shows me her card – the queen of cards with an expression of disinterest on her face. The magic hasn't sunk in yet, so I add, “How about we locate the King of hearts now?”

She still isn't interested in the proceedings, “Of course it's somewhere among those cards. Aren't we just wasting time on this?” she says with a tinge of frustration but picks the cards and starts looking for it anyways.

After a few seconds she exclaims, “Jeez, how come it's not facing where the rest of the cards are facing? I shuffled these cards myself and I could have sworn they were all well arranged,” I sense a lot of excitement as she says this and I'm sure the magic is beginning to sink in.

Now am sure when I tell her that the king of hearts was hidden in her hair as a sign to show that she is the queen of hearts, she won't find this rather absurd story so unbelievable. But I won't even need to talk. I just pick up the ashes and rub them on my forearm. She looks on, speechless.

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