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The Gift

Putting the pieces together in California

By Denise E LindquistPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 5 min read
From Deb Moses of her son getting scuba instructor certified. School took the photo.

Stephanie, recently divorced, with three grown children decided to take a trip to California. She couldn’t think of anyone she knew in California, and she thought that would be good, as then she wouldn’t be expected to see anyone while there. She had never been to California, and if anyone asked, she would tell them that. And just maybe how she has always been interested in moving to Hollywood to be in the movies. That would about do it for most of her friends and family. They would for sure think she was going crazy, or minimally having a nervous breakdown with her divorce being final just last week. That was as far as she got though with her plans to travel. Even though she had hoped she could talk the kids into going somewhere on vacation with her, she knew that they were all so busy with their lives, that it would be close to impossible for any of them to get away. All she knew was that it may be good for her to get away for a while. No plans about where she would go in California or how she would get there.

Then Stephanie had lunch with Sarah, a friend of hers, who suggested she speak to a travel agent. When she reached out, the agent was extremely helpful, and she realized that it was even less expensive than it would have been if she had scheduled her own travel plans. The travel agent asked what kinds of things she may like to do on her trip, and then recommended a tour guide that others she worked with had used before. She decided the agenda was quite busy and she may like that as then she wouldn’t have to miss the kids or reminisce on what went wrong with her marriage. Yes, she knew they had been struggling for years and it was only after their baby left home that the possibility of a divorce became real. She decided that she was looking forward to beginning her life anew and the trip to California was exactly what she needed.

When Stephanie arrived in California, the tour guide was there to pick her up and their first stop on her tour was a visit to an aquarium with sea life. Stephanie was pleased as when she was a young girl, she loved going to the Mall of America, in Minnesota to see the sharks, and all the beauty in the water. By the time they arrived, Stephanie was so excited, and the aquarium was everything she expected. While visiting the enclosure for the sharks, Stephanie had a feeling like one of the sharks was pregnant. It was a weird kind of feeling and just for the heck of it, she asked the aquarium people if their shark was pregnant. One man said, “I am not sure, but I will ask others.” One person said with a smile, “I think the identified pregnant one, is a male. Another said, “No, she’s not pregnant.” Then by coincidence Stephanie was reading the local paper after being in town just a few short days and was surprised to see that indeed the shark at the aquarium was pregnant. She was right! Then she thought, well wait a minute, when I was pregnant, I knew what each of my babies were. I always thought everyone knew that though. Then when my oldest brother and his wife were pregnant, I somehow knew. And last year when my younger brother was pregnant, I knew before he told anyone. There were others too she thought, as she knew her cousin was pregnant before she told anyone and a few others before that. It had been less often that she knew before they did she thought.

As she was looking through Facebook the next morning, her ex-husbands’ cousin, who lives in California popped up, and she thought, I forgot they moved to California from Alaska. I should call her and if she’s free maybe catch her for lunch. Well, she couldn’t make it for lunch and instead invited Stephanie to her house for dinner that very evening. While talking to her, Stephanie wondered why Emily and her longtime boyfriend Jake hadn’t married, as they had been together really a long time. Then at dinner that night, Emily said, “You are the first to know that we just started to make plans for our wedding. You are the very first person we have told.” Stephanie was excited and happy for Emily and Jake. She couldn’t wait to talk to her daughter that had some similar experiences in her own life. The visit went well, and she was so happy that she had decided to spend her vacation in California. And then she thought, but what is this increase in information that I have going on? Is it California? Or what is it? Can I talk to others about this or what? It does feel like a gift. Maybe I should look for someone who knows how to develop this gift.

When speaking with her friend Sarah, she said, “Thank you, so much for encouraging me to come to California. It has been interesting, and I would tell you about what has happened, except you may think I’m crazy. But maybe when I get home. No promises.” She then proceeded to tell Sarah about her tour guide, who was handsome and single and flirted a little with her. She said, “Of course it is too soon to flirt back, and there is no way, I am going to get involved with anyone so far from home. And it still is comforting to know that someone so handsome would think I’m worth the time.” “Oh nonsense,” Sarah said, “When you are ready, there will be plenty of handsome men flirting with you.” After a week in sunny California, Stephanie went home. When she did tell Sarah about what happened and how she had put together all the different times something similar had happened, Sarah almost screamed, “What a gift. You should develop this ability.” She then told Sarah, “It feels so random and there is almost no rhyme or reason to it. I think it’s kind of spooky. However, if it is a gift, maybe it could be developed. A new adventure and a new life and it may not be boring.”

Short Story

About the Creator

Denise E Lindquist

I am married with 7 children, 27 grands, and 12 great-grandchildren. I am a culture consultant part-time. I write A Poem a Day in February for 8 years now. I wrote 4 - 50,000 word stories in NaNoWriMo. I write on Vocal/Medium weekly.

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