[Now that Maryann is well on her way to straightening out her life, it’s time for you to meet Nadia’s Aunt Magda. Because Magda’s personality is somewhat frenetic, the pace of the story may pick up from time to time to keep up with her because she’s a fast thinker, a fast talker, and a fast mover. Magda admits to being 65, but she’s closer to 70. Last year, she moved to Broadwater Park, an active adult community. Up until then, she drove a car, but nowadays, she prefers to putt putt around the park in her golf cart. Whenever she needs a ride, she usually calls Zizi.

As this new chapter opens, Nadia is plumping up pillows in the front room where she conducts her readings.]

Zizi

Zizi, slightly out of breath after rushing from her car and up the steps to Nadia’s porch, burst through the door. She sees Nadia at the sofa and blurts, “Is Aunt Magda here?”

Continuing to arrange the pillows, Nadia replied, “No, why would she be here? Today’s Friday. They’re having the shuffleboard tournament at the Broadwater and her friend, Beanie, is in the finals. Don’t you remember?”

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Zizi brushed a loose strand of hair off her forehead. “No…yes…well, yes and no, I kind of remembered.”

“What made you think Aunt Magda would be here?” Nadia asked, as she poked at the last pillow. Then she stood up straight and looked at Zizi. “She hasn’t called me or anything.”

Just as the last word drifted out of her mouth, the front door rattled and it began to open. Aunt Magda entered, pulling the arm of a young girl. “Come, come, don’t be shy.”

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As soon as Magda spotted Zizi standing at the end of the sofa, she walked directly over to her. “I thought I recognized your car outside. What are you doing here?” Since Aunt Magda rarely waited for answers, she raised her hand, as if stopping traffic, to prevent Zizi from answering. “No, don’t bother to answer.” She dropped her arm and stepped closer to Zizi until the tips of their noses were almost touching. “We both know what you’re doing here, don’t we?”

Nadia interrupted this familiar confrontation. “Aunt Magda, aren’t you going to introduce us to your young friend?”

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Jackie

“Oh, yes,” Magda said, pulling the girl farther into the reading room. “This here’s Jackie. She’s a new worker at the Park.”

Jackie extended her hand to shake Zizi’s and said, “It’s so nice to meet you.” When she shook Nadia’s hand, she said, ” I feel as if I know you both already. Miss Magda talks about you often.”

“Yes, well,” Magda interrupted impatiently. “Tell them what you do at the Park. The residents call her the Jackie of all Trades. It’s our little joke.”

“I guess you could call me the Park’s go-fer,” Jackie said. “I help make up shopping lists and drive to the supermarket for residents who don’t drive outside the Park anymore. Sometimes I help write letters, and last week I started a computer class for some of the residents who wanted to learn how to use the Park’s computer. Usually the computer just sits in the library unused.” She swallowed and took a deep breath. “I helped Miss Amelia do some gardening last week. Did you know that, Miss Magda?” She looked at Magda, but continued without waiting for her response. “I put in those petunias along the path leading to her front door.”

Zizi and Nadia shared a glance at each other because it appeared that Jackie’s non-stop talking complemented Aunt Magda’s perfectly.

“Anyway,” Jackie continued, “Sometimes I chauffeur people around. Like today, I met Miss Magda at the shuffleboard tournament and she asked if I would drive her over here. I didn’t have any other chores on my list of things to do, so I told her I’d be happy to bring her.”

“See?” Magda piped in, “What did I tell you, Jackie of all Trades. Last week she even partnered with me in the Canasta game. She partners with people whenever they need another player. She does all sorts of crazy things.”

Jackie straightened and stood tall. “What Miss Magda failed to add is she and I won the Canasta game.” She patted Magda on the back.

Magda turned and smiled at Jackie. “Thank you so much for driving me here, dear. Since Zizi is here,” she said, glancing back at Zizi momentarily to give her another quick, irritated look, “I’m sure she won’t mind driving me back to the Park.”

As soon as the door closed behind Jackie, Magda looked intently at Zizi. “I’ll never understand why you continue to insist you have no powers.

“I don’t know why you always say that, Aunt,” Zizi protested.

“Then what are you doing here?” Magda insisted. “I’ll tell you why…because you knew I’d be here.”

Zizi protested. “That’s not true. Uh, Nadia can tell you I stopped by to um.”

“Oh, Nadia, Schmadia, I don’t have time for your drivel,” Magda said, turning and pointing to the tarot cards that Nadia kept on the mantle. “Get the cards. I need a reading, Nadia.”

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