Kelly liked her life calm and unobstructed. She woke, showered, went to work where she sat for seven hours each day and fielded customer service calls. Her wardrobe was drab and unassuming.
She felt stuck. It was how she had been brought up. Her father did not like his daughter to be outgoing; it wasn’t proper.
Amber wasn’t one to wait around, so she slowly let her foot off the brake. As soon as the light turned green,She had her foot on the gas pedal and was off to see Kelly.
“Have I got news for you!” Amber purred, kissing her friend on the cheek. “I’m so excited! Guess where you and I are going?”
“Going?” asked Kelly. “I didn’t think we had plans to go anywhere.”
“My company is sending me to our office in New Orleans during Mardi Gras! I’m allowed to take a guest since it’s Mardi Gras and you’re it! Oh, how I love my job.”
At the sound of Mardi Gras, something clicked inside Kelly’s mind. She felt like someone was pulling at her brain, trying to get through to tell her something; it was so strange!
“Okay!” she replied. “Let’s go!”
Two evenings later, they walked around the streets of the French Quarter and drank large drinks. Kelly felt out of place, dressed in her blue jeans and a grey tee-shirt. Everything around her was so colorful!
They came to a small side street and Kelly felt a strong premonition; something was going to happen! It was as if someone were in her head, pulling her towards the little street. She felt helpless to resist, so she started walking towards that pull.
“Kelly!” Amber shouted. “Where are you going?”
“I need to go this way.” she replied. “There’s a voice inside my head; a man’s voice. He’s calling me!”
Kelly felt as if she were floating down the middle of the street. It was as if the crowd was parting for her. She let the pull of the stranger in her head take her away; always hearing his voice inside her.
Amber ran to catch up, but could not get her friend’s attention, so she followed, her concern for her friend, obvious.
There he is! Kelly knew him immediately. She felt as though this was where her whole life had been going; everything she had ever done was to bring her here. She stood in front of him and shyly looked at the old man sitting on the stoop of a rundown house. He was surrounded by a small crowd of people, some of them playing small hand drums, all of them smiling and greeting her.
He was the Voodoo Man! That was his name! Kelly had always known him! He was there, in her mind, admonishing her each time she said no to a red blouse, whenever she said no to a party, and finally, anytime she felt proud of herself. He had turned away, powerless to help her at those times.
The Voodoo Man saw Kelly and stood up. She went to him, still shy and told him her name. He took her hand, kissed it and told her he had known about her for many years. Suddenly Kelly’s mind was flooded with a language; a speech as old as time itself.
This was a secret tongue only the two of them in the whole crowd could speak. In this language, the Voodoo Man told her of a life she had lived long ago. She was filled with images of herself in the middle of a crowd, dancing barefoot on the hot bare ground; other dancers surrounding her, cheering her on. At that moment, she felt the happiest she ever had in her entire life!
Finally, the images ended and the conversation concluded.
“Go now.” He said to her. “Step out of the life you have burdened yourself with. Take with you this magic! Take laughter and joy! Take with you the tears you have been denying yourself all these years; let them flow. Take with you, life!”
In the middle of the night, Amber woke to see Kelly at the window staring down at the street with a strange smile on her face. Amber was still confused about what she saw that previous afternoon.
Come morning, Kelly was pushing Amber’s shoulder crying, “Wake up sleepyhead! We have so much to do today!”
Amber opened her eyes and was completely surprised. Kelly was glowing; she was wearing one of Amber’s colorful dresses, had on lipstick and blush, and her hair was styled. She looked beautiful! This was nothing like the usual drab Kelly.
“Hurry and get ready.” Kelly said. “I’ll meet you at the cute little café we saw on our way to the hotel. Then I want to go to all the pretty boutiques; my wardrobe needs color!” She leaned down and gave her friend a kiss on the cheek.
Amber laughed. “Kelly, you’re a new person and I love this new person!”
Kelly also laughed. “I feel like I haven’t been living until now. I’ve been hiding behind a mask. Somehow, I got stuck living the life my father made for me, but this is who I really am. I need to live this life with as much joy as I’ve lived other lives before this one. This is not my first life, I don’t know if it’s my last, but I’m going to make it my best!”