“Mom, come quick! There’s something wrong with Dad!” twelve-year-old Michaela Sparks shouted from the dining room.
Her mom, Dahlia, was down in the basement doing laundry when she heard her daughter shout. It took her less than thirty seconds to reach the dining room, but that was long enough for her head to fill with all sorts of thoughts. Oh my God, what if he’s had a heart attack? His own father dropped dead from one at the age of fifty-two so it wouldn’t be impossible for him to have one at forty-nine. What would Michaela and I do? I could sell the house and get a smaller one. We don’t need all of this space. And I could trade in my Lexus for a Ford. But I really love my Lexus. Don’t be so selfish Dahlia! You need to think of Michaela! Poor Michaela, she’ll never know the joy of having her father walk her down the aisle.
“What is it?” she asked upon reaching the dining room.
“Look,” Michaela said while pointing at her father who was sitting at the table, eyes firmly fixed on the newspaper before him. “I found him like this when I came in five minutes ago. He hasn’t moved an inch.”
“Honey, is everything okay?” Dahlia asked her husband, Lester.
“Yup. I mean, no,” he said.
“What do you mean?” his wife then asked.
“Look at the paper and tell me what today’s horoscope for Pisces says.”
“Get ready for a crazy day, fishies. It’s as though the universe doesn’t want anything to go your way. Sit tight, and it will all be over soon.” Dahlia read aloud. “So that’s it? You’re frozen to your chair because of what your horoscope says? You know those things aren’t real, right?”
“Yesterday’s came true,” he said in an attempt to defend himself.
“Michaela, grab me yesterday’s paper from the recycling bin.”
Michaela did as her mother instructed and was back within a couple minutes.
“Here you go, Mom,” she said.
Grabbing hold of it, Dahlia flipped to the entertainment section and read her husband’s horoscope from the previous day.
“Look around, there’s wealth and beauty everywhere,” she read. “So?”
“So yesterday, I found a dime while walking through the park.”
“A dime? That’s all it takes for you to consider yourself wealthy?”
“It’s ten cents more than I had before I walked into the park.”
“Good grief. You’re just going to sit there all day, then?” she asked.
“What about when you have to go to the bathroom?”
“Okay, I’ll move for that, but then it’s right back here to the dining room. Call work and tell them I’m not coming in.”
“What do you want me to say?” an exasperated Dahlia asked.
“Tell them I’m sick,” he said.
“That you are,” she said in return. “That you are. Now, if you’ll excuse us, Dahlia and I are both Aries, so we will be going out into the land of the living.”
“Okay, but look out for people intent on taking advantage of you. That’s your horoscope for today.”
When Dahlia and Michaela returned later that day, Lester was still sitting in the dining room, hoping that tomorrow’s horoscope would bring him better news.