Speak, Love, Last – A Non-Fiction Short Story – Part 1

I wrote my memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawaii, A True Story to honor Vic, a courageous firefighter whose unconditional love transformed me.

I wrote the nonfiction short story Speak, Love, Last to expand on what I wrote in my memoir about the love that grew between Vic and me after I quit “pussyfooting” around, as he put it.

Since this short story is far too long for one blog entry, I’ll share it in seven consecutive posts.

For a tantalizing taste of my memoir, check out my homepage at https://authorlizbethhartz.com. Just type in your email address, click subscribe, and download the first chapter for free.


  Speak, Love, Last – Part 1

February, 1973

A weekend palmistry class from Aurora the Clairvoyant Palmist, a kind-faced, green-eyed grandmother, introduced me to the main lines of life, head, and heart. She showed us pictures of murderers’ thumbs. “People with club-shaped thumbs like these, when angered, reach for the closest weapon,” she said. She told me my double-jointed thumb meant I had an open mind, a kind heart and a noble spirit.

Amazing. I stole glances at my classmates’ thumbs–none of them murderers’-and signed up for a reading the very next day.

On the following morning, rain splattering my jalousie windows woke me, the pit of my stomach anxiously flipping like an egg in a skillet. Inhaling and exhaling slowly usually calmed me but not this time. I gave up, grabbed my purse, and fled to Aurora.

I searched for her address, my sandals scraping along dirty streets in the old Chinatown section of Honolulu. Brisk trade winds blew flakes of red-paper firecrackers, residues of Chinese New Year the day before, into little whirlwinds that circled my feet. A few minutes before 8 o’clock, I spotted Aurora’s purple-lettered sign tacked to a peeling wood door.

Before I could knock, she flung the door open, said, “Welcome, Goldilocks,” and motioned me to follow her. She seemed to float across the room, her purple muumuu billowing around her. Sandalwood-scented incense wafted over us as I perched on a vinyl chair at her round table.

The instant one of her purple fingernails touched my palm, something inside me broke open, exposing a heavy block of heartache. A secret place I’d forgotten about until now. Sorrow rose up like a tsunami, my heart pounding so hard it hurt. I sobbed convulsively. Oh god. Am I having a nervous breakdown?

“It’s just past-life sorrow, dear.” Aurora patted my shoulder. “Don’t worry.” She offered me a tissue and studied my right palm. “See the cross connecting your lifeline and your heart line? That’s a psychic cross. You absorb feelings like a sponge absorbs water.”  

I nodded, sniffling. “My mom said I was fey like my Aunt Katy.”

Aurora nodded. “You can develop your intuition further if you continue learning palmistry, and practice reading palms. Was your father present when you were growing up?”

“When he wasn’t flying B-52s for the Air Force.”

She pointed to a depression below where my second finger met my palm. “See this? The lack of a mound tells me you lacked a male role model growing up.”

“You’re right.” I fought back tears. “Dad was gone a lot. When he was home, I walked on eggshells to prevent him from exploding in anger. I escaped into fantasies about marrying a kind, faithful man so different from Dad.”

She said softly, “You still carry heartbreak in your aura from longing for, but lacking, a man’s love.” She told me I’d carried sorrow into this life from a prior lifetime.

“You loved a married man who asked you to become his mistress. Terrified of sex outside of marriage, you became a nun, making spiritual gains through prayer and meditation. Hence your psychic ability now.

“But you died pining for that man. You hurt yourself retreating from your deepest desire like that. Such withdrawal is a sort of suicide. In this lifetime, you must not run away and hide.”

But how do I not? “Do you think assertiveness training would help?”

She smiled. “It can’t hurt.”

I couldn’t hold back the question. “Any chance I will find the love I long for?”

She searched my right hand. “Yes, but first you must learn to speak up for yourself. See how your heart line ends below where your forefinger joins the middle finger?”

My eyes followed her finger as it touched my palm. I nodded.

“That indicates you can experience an exalted spiritual relationship with a man in this lifetime. The kind of love that lasts forever.”

I wondered if I could speak my mind more easily if I practiced in front of a mirror at home.

“But be careful not to fall for emotionally distant, angry men like your dad, lest you perpetuate the heartache that has plagued you so long.” Her emerald eyes sparkled. “Do not forget.”


Want to know what happens next? Check out Part 2 of Speak, Love, Last a week from today.


Speak, Love, Last – A Non-Fiction Short Story:  
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7 (Final)

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