By Aaron Aroriza:
I'm in my room alright, and now I see the house too. A few seconds ago I was having a dream. I was unconscious and someone was giving me a mouth to mouth resuscitation. I woke up to find Milly leaning over me, a naughty grin slowly forming on her face. Now am not even sure whether the kiss of life was just a dream!
“I found the door open,” Milly says sensing that I'm surprised to see her.
“How could you just leave me in the car you silly boy?”
She still calls me boy. Can you imagine that? Silly I maybe but boy I'm not. Maybe it even served her right spending the night in the car.
“By the way it was damn cold in the car. I was almost freezing by the time I woke up. I then realized the lights in the house were on and the door was open. I found you lying on that carpet-naked.” She teases as she hands me a glass of fresh passion juice.
She's wearing my T-shirt and hasn't bothered to find something else to cover the lower part of her body. It's only Helga who can legally do that around here. Helga is the lady of the house – she would pour acid on her if she were to find Milly here punishing me with temptation! I've always regretted being so nice to temptation. I never let it go un-yielded to; convincing myself it may never present itself again! I think I confuse it with opportunity. It's only opportunity which knocks once; temptation is very patient and persistent. It will even come with its own door bell and Milly seems to be leaning on that door bell switch. I have to play my cards well.
Cards?! That's when I remember that I have a park of playing cards under my bed and cards have a way of keeping the idle mind busy! Perhaps they are the devil himself. I crawl under my bed as Milly looks on, bemused.
“So that's where you keep them?” I'm not sure whether she is asking me or just stating but I answer amid heavy breathing as I lean back on my knees with a park of cards in my hand. “Yep…and we are going to play cards now”.
She looks on, not so amused anymore “Oh, so they are not the ones you were looking for. Now we sit here and play cards when we could have played a better and more pleasing game. Silly boy-very silly boy”. She's definitely disappointed that the pack I was looking for is only but a pack of cards!
She hadn't had any problem suggesting we play cards back then when I had visited and found her fiancé at her hostel. Pastor was very good at playing cards – he even claimed he could tell the cards I had in my hands just by looking in my eyes. I almost believed him since he kept winning all the games we played. He offered me wine suggesting it would loosen me up and perhaps help me win a few games. I went to the washroom to clear my frustration. I also used that chance to investigate a little and find out whether there were any indications that pastor was a resident in this room. There was no clue backing my allegations – at least none that I found in the washroom. But I was still frustrated at the fact that pastor was humiliating me in the game of cards and even claiming he could read my mind! That's when the thought crossed my mind.
I wet a bar of soap, rolled my shirt sleeves, and used it to write A.H on my forearm (I drew out the heart symbol in place of H).
I had noticed that pastor had the habit of winning with aces and I knew it was just a matter of time before he had an ace of hearts as his last card.
Patience is one of my unsung heroic virtues. Fifteen rounds later, with eleven wins to pastor's name, three wins to Milly's name and only one win for me that Milly seemed to have gifted me, to my name, the opportunity to baffle pastor and fiancée with one of the hardest card tricks to figure out, presented itself.
Pastor was on last card. Milly had three cards that I had already snooped and I still had two cards. I had noticed that all the other three aces had already been played and pastor had the same usual confident look he always exuded whenever he was about to win with an ace. Looking very frustrated and resigned (it's all part of the magic act), I casually commented. “You guys think you are better than me at cards. But I've just been letting you win. I can actually use magic to tell which card pastor is about to win with for example.”
Pastor and his fiancé laughed, boy did they laugh. Ok I didn't see them roll on the floor but if I had 'facebooked' my status back then I would have said they 'rotflol.' They could not imagine a guy with such powers losing all these games. “The wine seems to have brought out your true potential my brother. We will give you a chance to show us your magical touch,” Pastor said with stinging sarcasm. Little did he know that he was about to have his brain turned inside out with the simplest card trick!
I told him my brain would choose which medium to use to communicate the card pastor was holding in his hands. “But you could have espied it already,” pastor's fiancée broached. She had a point but pastor had already been convinced of my lack of innovation when it came to the game of cards. He had in fact all along been cheating; playing sixes in place of nines, setting himself up for aces when he shuffled and I had just played along.
I told pastor's fiancée to get us a match box and a piece of paper. I gave the piece of paper to pastor and told him to neatly fold it around his card making sure I didn't see it. I closed my eyes and told him to place it in my hands so my brain could make a connection with it (Aha….the way mediums play on our minds!). I told him to unfold the paper and give it to his fiancée who I then instructed to burn it. I folded my sleeves told both of them to inspect my arms before I performed my magic and when they were both satisfied (the soap had of course already dried. It would still be sticky but the outlines would be invisible – that's where the real magic is), I picked up the ashes rubbed them on my forearm.
You should have seen the look on pastor's face as a black outline of ace of hearts formed on my forearm! Mesmerized, pastor's fiancée couldn't hold back her glee “Whoa…..what are you”? She asked, unable to believe what was just happening. 'The guy that will make you believe in magic and steal your heart away from pastor,' I thought, almost aloud.
We are now on our seventh game and Milly has already won five of them. I've noticed she keeps queens as her last cards. I can't understand why but I'm about to use it for my magic show.
I excuse myself to the washroom just as she shuffles the cards for the next game. With a wet piece of soap I outline on my arm the heart symbol just in front of a Q – queen of hearts!! Below this queen of hearts, I draw out the King of hearts. (The king of hearts is already in her hair, held in place by her cute little hair band. I sneaked it there some fifteen minutes ago when I was complimenting her about her nice hair style. So far, she hasn't noticed that we are only using 53 cards and that the King of hearts is missing). The soap will be active for the next two hours or so and am hoping by that time the opportunity to pull off the greatest heart melting magic trick ever executed by a bachelor will have presented itself.
They say fortune favors the bold. I think fortune falls in love with the bold when they are prepared. And boy am I prepared for the impending magical moment!
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