After a day spent being massaged, steamed, and dipped in things, I was now resting in the most comfortable chair in existence, and it was located inside Raquel’s personal space.
Apparently, she doesn’t like the term office at the spa.
To each their own.
Gwil went to the juice bar, but I promised I’d listen to what Raquel wanted before I joined him. What Gwil did for me today, whatever he’d asked me for, I would have said yes. We had fun, we laughed, and I think it was the first time that had happened since I woke up.
We got our feet massaged, had hot rocks melt into our spines, had hydro cures and steam therapy, and all in all, my entire body was buzzing in a very nice way.
Inside Raquel’s space was the one place in the spa that I heard Christmas music playing. It was all old classics like White Christmas and Jingle Bell Rock.
It would have been nice if I could have been more into Christmas, but I just wasn’t. The media was playing me up as some Christmas Miracle, and every time I heard the term, I turned into the Grinch.
I’m just a woman who woke up from a coma she wasn’t expected to, and it just happened to be Christmas time.
Why didn’t people get that?
“Sabrina, darling, I’ve brought some juice, cold pressed from fruit we grow ourselves. This is a blend of pomegranate and blackberries, with just a touch of Pellegrino to give it some sparkle.” She handed it to me in the most beautiful iridescent champagne flute. “Your spa is the most luxurious thing I’ve ever experienced.” I took a sip of the juice and it lit up my entire mouth.
~ 1 ~
“Thank you. It’s been a dream of mine. Ultimately, I want to create a healing zen retreat in Hawaii, but baby steps.” She took the chair next to me, sipped her own beverage, then sighed delightedly. “This is my personal favorite.”
I smiled, sipped more juice, and oddly enough, relaxed more.
“You seem chill.” Raquel smiled as if she’d achieved something tremendous.
“I suppose I am. As chill as I can be, I guess.” She wasn’t wrong, I was the most relaxed I’d been since I woke up in that hospital, and I didn’t hate it.
“But…” Raquel led and left the rest hanging.
Aw man, I fell for it. I shook my head and looked around her space some more. It was muted purples and gold, a glass desk was poked back in a corner rather than dominating the space, and a circle of chairs took center stage.
“I don’t know.” I chuckled, but it was a cold sound. “I think I say that more than anything. I. Don’t. Know.”
Raquel sighed, rolled her lips and looked at me like I was a puzzle to solve.
“Can I speak honestly, Sabrina?”
I laughed without thinking. This could have been very confrontational, but her energy was so… kind. It was soft and gentle and giving. You could feel it extending from her and embracing you even though she never had to touch you.
“I don’t have the power to stop you.” I closed my eyes as the bite in my tone was like nails on a chalkboard and I embarrassed myself. “I’m sorry.”
I felt tears well. It was constant. I couldn’t stop them. My emotions were out of control, and most of them all bad.
Raquel reached across and put her hand atop mine where it rested on the high armrest of the chair. “I don’t know what you’ve been through. I’ve read your story some. When Gwil told me you were friends, I told him to
~ 2 ~
bring you for anything you wanted, on me. Not because I pity you. Not because my spa needed the press. Because I believe in healing. I believe people can go through exceptionally dark times and find the light again. I wasn’t going to sit by and leave you in the dark, not if I had anything that could be even a candle to you on the journey. That may sound like a sale’s pitch, but it’s honestly just who I am. I felt you, in my soul, when you awakened. I believe I’m supposed to be a part of your healing, so I’m offering myself to you for that.”
The stillness in the room should have been suffocating, but it wasn’t. It was as if I’d stepped out of a dark forest into a clearing, the great waterfall was frozen mid-pour, there was snow and silence everywhere, but the power of God was so present, all I could do was cry.
“Sabrina, it’s really you!”
The energy in the room changed so fast it was painful.
I quickly wiped away the tears that had slipped down my cheek, as a petite woman came rushing into the space, setting the hairs on the back of my neck on edge.
“Kahna, this is my personal space and you are not allowed in here without an invitation.” Raquel stood and moved towards the invader.
“But I wanted to invite Sabrina to be on my show!” She waved at me and tried to move closer, but Raquel wrapped her arm around the woman’s waist, stopping her progress towards me.
This new woman was exotic, gorgeous, with a staged flawless look that seemed overdone for the spa, with heavy make-up and long dark hair laying in perfect straightness halfway down her back.
“I will bar you from this spa, Kahna, if you ever do anything like this again.” Raquel didn’t entertain her plea, despite Kahna’s wild flailing.
“Sabrina, I would love to have you meet my fans!” Her voice was painfully high pitched.
Raquel unceremoniously pushed her back through the door. “But my fans!” Kahna made one more appeal before Raquel closed and locked the door
~ 3 ~
“What, was that?” I witnessed it, but I still wasn’t sure.
Raquel slid her hands down her sides as if brushing off bad juju.
I laughed behind my hands, not sure how upset Raquel actually was.
“Sabrina, I am so sorry.” She turned to face me.
The sincerity of her apology was evident all over her face.
“Please, don’t be. You’ve done nothing wrong.” It was laughable to take responsibility for whatever that was.
“This is my spa, I am responsible.” She looked so sad. She crossed the room and lit an incense stick, sending a rich, intense scent into the room.
“Who was that?” Ordinarily I wouldn’t have cared, but that display was over the top in a manner that made it impossible to refrain from asking.
Raquel sighed and looked at me with forbearance.
“That, was Kahna.”
I sensed, more than saw, the eye roll.
“Kahna B or… wait for it…” Raquel held up her hand and straightened slightly. “Kahna B Tru to her 400 thousand Instagram followers.”
Raquel sighed and sat beside me again.
“The internet is such a powerful tool, I hate seeing it wasted. Kahna is ordinarily vapid and harmless, but entirely over the top. I’m deeply sorry for the intrusion.”
This time I reached across and touched her hand, offering the same comfort she had offered me.
“Seriously, not your fault. No harm. No foul.” I considered her words, but they left me with questions. “I’ve slept through a lot of social media, Instagram is… what exactly?”
Raquel tipped her head and smiled at me.
~ 4 ~
“How refreshing.” She smiled at me, clearly delighted. “It’s a photo sharing app mostly. It’s not that different from Facebook, but more photos, less text in general.”
“Ah, Facebook, that’s where that farm game is?” I cringed a little, wondering what the ramification of my social media ignorance was.
Raquel laughed and shook her head, reaching over to me.
“Honestly, don’t worry about it. You have enough on your plate. You’ll run into it naturally.”
I could get behind that.
Honestly, I’d had enough for one day.
“I should go.” I stood and refused to wobble. “My body feels good, but, exhausted, and I’d really like to get home.”
Raquel stood beside me.
“I was hoping we could discuss therapy options, massage, yoga, supplements, anything that would support whatever the doctors already have you doing to aid your recovery.”
I looked at the floor trying to tamp down anger.
Not at Raquel, she was perfectly lovely.
It was at the situation.
Lately I was so filled with anger, and there was no appropriate outlet for it.
“I’m not… not doing anything. I’m fine. I don’t need help. My body will eventually strengthen back up or it won’t. But I apparently spent four years in a hospital bed and I’m done being treated.”
I snapped at her and she didn’t deserve it, but she was here and so I did. “I can respect that.” Raquel seemed undaunted. “What I offer is different. You know that after today. I think I can help you and so I’m giving you a no time limit offer. Come by and use the spa whenever you want.
If you’d like to come in before or after closing so as not to deal with the other guests—” She reached over to her desk, grabbed a business card and wrote something on the back before handing it to me. “My personal number is on the back, just give me a call. If it’s the middle of the night, just leave a message. I’ll make sure the spa is open for you.”
She handed me the card and I was again blown away by her sincerity.
“Why are you doing this? Why are you like this? Has the world never bitten you so hard that you’ve learned to put your walls up?” I was being unbelievably rude, and there was no excuse other than it eased my pain for a moment.
Raquel laughed softly and stepped closer. She rubbed her hands down my arm like she had when we first met.
“On the contrary, darling. It’s because I’ve been bitten that I’m like this. And I’m not letting you go under.”
~ 5 ~
Additional chapters can be found below.
The Memory of Magic ~ Samantha Lucas
In writing this story, I’m trying to leave it somewhat timeless, because who wants to read about a story in a facemask? 😉 But I was thinking about losing four years of your life, and how much technology would change in that time alone. So I’ll be playing with that a bit more as the story continues.
Also, expect to see Kahna B again, too, as we continue on this year long journey with Sabrina and her friends as they reevaluate the meaning of life, discover true friendship, and soul deep love.
This story is my gift to the world, to remind us all of hope and love and that even crazy dreams come true… if we have the courage to pursue them.
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Thank you once more for all your love and support for me and this story! I’m so pleased to see it touch hearts. ~ Samantha