I hadn’t seen my friend, Jason, since he got laid off from the local newspaper two years earlier. Back then I learned that after being laid off, Jason who was single, had gone to live with his sister in La Jolla. Then today, being Saturday, I’m in one of the newer coffee shops in Carlsbad, where I live, when I run into Jason.
“Haven’t seen you in ages!” I say to him. “You still in La Jolla?”
“So what are you doing in Carlsbad?”
“Just finishing up visiting with an old friend.”
“So, what have you been doing since I last saw you?”
That’s when he tells me about his lottery win. “I won a million dollars with a scratch off ticket.”
“No kidding! Congratulations!”
“So what did you do with your winnings? Buy a house? Take a trip around the world?”
“Neither. I opened up my own little bookshop.”
“You did! Where?”
“Right near my sister’s house in La Jolla.”
“Wasn’t that expensive to do?”
“Not as much as you would think. There was this restored old building from the 1800’s. It had this small space that no one had taken yet, so I leased it. The leasing agent was an old friend from high school who I once saved from drowning. He gave me a huge discount!”
“You were lucky; I’d like to see it sometime.”
“I wish you would.”
I look at him a bit curious. “Why? Is there something wrong?”
Jason hesitates. “Are you still into that Feng Shui stuff?”
“Yeah . . . .”
“Then I might need your help.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
Jason averts his eyes for a moment. “I have this corner in my shop where nothing sells.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can put a rack or shelf of books anywhere else in the shop and everything sells, no problem, except in this one corner. Even plants won’t thrive there. They wither and die within a couple of days.”
Hearing this sends a cold chill running all the way up and down my body. “So what do you need from me?”
“I need for you, if you can, to come to my shop tomorrow—we open late on Sundays—and see if you can figure out what is going on with this one spot.”
I think a moment; I have an appointment to lunch with my sister, but I’m sure she won’t mind if I cancel, as long as I have a good excuse. Of course, I’m not going to tell her about the creepy spot in the book store.
So I tell Jason I will. He gives me the address, and says to try and come around nine in the morning. “Maybe we can have brunch or lunch afterwards.” Then he leaves.
As I drive home later, I smile and think it was nice running into him again, though this whole thing with a non-functioning spot in his bookshop has me wondering—what the heck is going on?
Arriving at his shop just before nine, I find him already standing out front waiting for me. “So this is your shop. Nice spot!” It was situated in the middle of a block of mostly clothing and antique shops.
“Traffic’s been brisk,” he says, as he unlocks the front door and I follow him inside.
After he turns on the lights, I quickly glance around. When he said small space, I pictured something narrow, with just a few shelves on the walls. But his shop is bigger than I had imagined. And because of the two overstuffed lounge chairs, and the small round tables topped with old fashioned lamps occupying the center of the shop, I decide the place has a comfy, homey feel to it.
“So which corner is it?” I ask him.
“That one,” he says, pointing with a definite frightened look at the corner on the opposite side from where there are two doors—one marked restroom, and the other marked employees only.
Putting down my purse, I begin to slowly approach the corner to which he has pointed. Even before I get close, I can feel a coldness wafting off it. This coldness is definitely not due to air conditioning.
Stopping two feet away, I continue to face the corner, my eyes closed, and my arms outstretched. “What are you doing?” I hear Jason ask from behind me.
“Shush!” I tell him. Then I let the coldness engulf me.
I didn’t know I was intuitive until I reached puberty. That’s when I began to feel things. I didn’t know at first what they were. It turned out, I was getting impressions from inanimate objects. Sometimes I’d feel sadness; other times I’d experience happiness. It all depended on how new or old the object was. For instance, if a chair made of wood had recently been constructed, especially if it had been made with great skill and affection, then I might feel a sensation of happiness, almost as if it was happy to be in existence. But if the same chair had been around for a really long time, and was scratched and worn, I might get the feeling it was old and tired, just like an elderly human or animal. It freaked me out for a long time, until I met a psychic who explained to me what was happening.
For a couple of years afterwards, I’d wear a pair of woman’s fashion gloves, until I learned how to control the feelings I was receiving. But what I was experiencing now, standing in the cold coming off that corner, not even gloves could have helped.
The cold was seeping into every pore of my body, carrying with it a sense of extreme sadness and death. That’s because the person from whom these feelings were emanating was dead. What I was feeling was her spirit, deprived of life and having experienced extreme betrayal by someone who should have given her unconditional love.
The visions I begin seeing are telling me that this one spot in the shop had, at one time, been part of a bank back in the 1800’s. The spirit of the woman I was in contact with had worked for the bank as one of its first female accountants. A woman of means, her name was Julie Porter. She was someone who was in constant odds with her rich family members, especially her father, who was against her working, especially in a profession usually occupied by men.
One night after work, she is alone in the bank’s office tending to the books, when her father showed up. They have another one of their many arguments about her work, only this time, their argument gets extra heated. And that’s when he slaps her, causing her to fall backwards and hit her head, killing her instantly.
Her father tries covering up what he has done by using some of his rich contacts to help him hide her body. Because no one ever finds her corpse, the father tells everyone that she has run off with some man. Afterwards, he refuses to even acknowledge her existence.
While experiencing her story, the coldness wafting off her is borrowing deeper and deeper into my soul, threatening to overwhelm me. If I don’t do something quickly, I might find myself becoming as lost as she has been. That’s when I don’t speak, but think directly to her, telling her that she can cross over now. I’m acknowledging her existence. I even offer to have Jason put up a plaque honoring her contribution to society. That’s when I begin to feel the coldness I have been sensing turning to warmth, and the darkness that has been surrounding her spirit, turning to light. It becomes brighter and brighter by the second. Eventually, it becomes so bright, I have to bring one of my hands up to cover my eyes. A moment later, both the light and her spirit are gone, and I’m back in the present world.
“What the hell happened?” Jason asks me, after I turn around to face him. His eyes are practically popping out of his head.
“How long was I out?” I ask him.
He looks at me confused. “How long? I don’t know; maybe about thirty seconds!”
“It was longer than that,” I say to him. Then I tell him about everything I had experienced, and even tell him about the plaque I promised Julie Porter’s spirit I would have him put up.
“And will that free up the bad juju from my corner?” he asks.
“It should,” I acknowledge.
Afterwards, I follow him to a nearby restaurant where we have brunch.
A week later, I hear from Jason. He says everything he puts in that corner now sells like crazy. “In fact, everything I put there sells faster than all the rest of the stuff in my shop.” I feel elated. He continues. “I really want to thank you a lot for what you did.”
“Actually, you should thank Julie Porter.”
“I already have,” he replies. “I put up the plaque last night.”