"What do you fear," I asked tapping my recorder to guarantee that it had started. "I mean you have the operatic worlds poised to open their theaters and their check books for you."
"Yes. Performing is the act of love, self-love, selfless love, and selfish love. I've wondered often if I would have chosen this profession if my parents hadn't been so self-absorbed with their romance."
"You were destined to be a singer, a great one from what I've heard." I always wanted to sing but my vocal chords only produce rumbling gurgles that sound like I'm hungry.
"Well, I do believe that it was my destiny. As I believe that I was destined to work with Phisto and Luca."
"Yes, what about them? They're both, well, in the words of one of my gay friends, magnificent animals. How can you resist either?"
"Do you believe," Jasmine asked while twirling her long sheathe of coppery blonde hair, "that we have one soul partner? One above all else who completes us?"
I laughed, thinking of Cairn from whom I was separated temporarily while he continued his battle with StormRider. "I think that there is one who is most suited to us but that we can reasonably make our home with several hearts."
"I think," she answered with music lilting in her well-modulated voice, "that there is one who completes us in human form, like God does in a spiritual one. One who was part of our being from the beginning of time. Finding that person can make all of the difference."
"And if you don't find them? We rarely do."
"Then there is music. It's the perfect amalgam of art, spirituality and truth. It's completion. It saved my life."
"Yes, I've heard that. Tell me about it."
"I developed PTSD after my parents were killed and lost my voice. I didn't even know that I'd had a gift then. But I couldn't speak. My grandfather, Grappa I call him, is very wise. He took me too a famous voice teacher when I responded to his attempts to sing to me at night when the blackness fell upon me."
"You know, fear, terror, abandonment. Grappa suffered a heart attack not long after my parents died and I stopped speaking after that. After they'd patched him up and he'd come home, he began singing to me at night. Apparently I responded to that and began to hum. It was, the only way that I'd communicate for a few months."
"And so he took you to a voice teacher? Ingenious."
"Yes, he's a remarkable man."
"You learned then that you had a voice?"
"What frightens you now? You have youth, beauty, talent."
"I'm afraid of making the wrong choices. A misstep in such a young career could finish me before I'm started. I'm afraid that I'll never trust someone enough to love them."
"Do you trust your instincts?"
"Sometimes. I need to become more acquainted with the still soft voice within. I believe that is the voice of the divine."
"And your advisors? Luca? Phisto?"
"Ah, that is a more difficult question to answer."
"Have you met them?" Jasmine asked and took a sip of peppermint iced tea.
"I've not had the pleasure."
"You would be able to understand with greater clarity if you had met them. Phisto is powerful in a way that men aren't. He's visceral, genius and with a raw power. Luca is mesmerizing, spiritual and he makes me want to be a better musician, a better woman."
"Do the two influences need to conflict?"
"You're a gifted journalist. What do you think?"
"I think that one is associated with power and conquering, the other with serving the gift of music and using that almost as a healing tool."
"Oh, but you are perceptive."
"Why did you contact me Jasmine?"
"I need your help. I've never experienced anything like this before. They're more than men and I've wondered if they weren't perhaps supernatural. That is how powerful and compelling that they are."
"Couldn't they just be powerfully gifted men with great sexual magnetism? That's what I've heard."
"Perhaps I can explain it better. Or, I could have you meet me at the theater one day. Maybe then you will understand. You have more experience with this than I."
"What is your truth?" I asked.
"One's truth is as fickle as one's perception." Jasmine answered her luminous eyes alight with
"We all know the truth for ourselves. That is something you have to discover."
"I know that, through my Reiki practice. But I often think that truth should be definitive, like blood. You're one type or another. It's absolute."
"True blood, you mean," I laughed. "If truth were absolute free will would be easier to navigate. It would mitigate the messy gray areas."
"Still, it's something to consider."
"Yes," I agreed. "But our choices define our character and our souls. You wouldn't want someone to take that privilege away from you."
"Privilege comes with great responsibility. Few realize the implications. It's something that I am just learning."
Neither of us knew how much Jasmine had to learn or how she would be tested in the ultimate battle for her soul and her career.