Dennis breathed heavily as he began his fifth lap around the track. The rest of the team was still getting warmed up, but he enjoyed these early morning practices. The laps gave him time to focus, to think without distraction or interruption. More importantly without his mother asking him what was on his mind or if something was bothering him.
He told himself that he didn’t believe what the fortune teller had told him. It had been a joke, that day that he and a couple of teammates had gone into her shop. They were just trying to find out if they were going to win the big game on Saturday and end up going all the way to the playoffs this season. She had done a reading for each of the other guys and told them the typical throw away future predictions that he had expected: long lives, love, success.
She told them that it was going to be their year. And so far it was. The team had suffered only one loss this far into the season, and none of the players had gotten injured. The coach was beside himself, and several of the seniors were being courted by football programs at big name schools.
But it had to be just a coincidence. It couldn’t have been the future. Not HIS future. He had always been polite to fortune teller and her partner in the past, even defended them from a couple of his more narrow minded teammates, but no longer. From that day forward, he publicly mocked them. He ridiculed them with his friends, calling them “hippie dykes” and deriding them as “no better than summer carnies, out to make a dime”.
He was aware that his mother had noticed a change come over him since his visit to the fortune teller. It was something subtle, something she couldn’t put her finger on, but she sensed it growing all the same. Cutting remarks and little digs here and there that hadn’t been a part of his character before were popping up more frequently. So far Marianne hadn’t been a target for any of these, but Dennis could tell that she was waiting for the time when he turned his venom on her. And he was waiting for it too.
But didn’t she deserve it? Especially if what the fortune teller had told him what was true. Because the message she had for Dennis was unlike that she had for his friends. Instead of telling Dennis of his future; she told him of his past. His past and the impact that would have on his future. Who he was, who he really was, and where he had come from. Sure he was Marianne’s son. But he wasn’t just hers. Regardless of how little impact his father had had on his life, how she had kept his father from him, there was still a part of him that was from his father. That was akin to his father. That belonged to his father, the mayor of Angels Fall.
Dennis threw himself completely into the pace of his rhythm of his body, willing his body to keep moving on automatic. Blood pumping, heart beating, lungs expanding and contracting, muscles, tendons and bones working together in a fluidity that kept him flying along the track. It was a kind of meditation in motion, to keep out the anger and the fear.
There was initially going to be a trip to the fortune-teller's entry, but I decided that was going to take too long so I skipped it. The way I have mental restructured these events has led me to make a couple of subtle changes to one of the previous entries.