The Mind Reader (2015)
That evening after work, Chara visited with her mom.
“Chara, there’s something bothering you isn’t there?” Chara laughed.
“For someone who doesn’t read minds, you should do a good of deciphering mine.”
“I’m your mother. It’s been my job for as long as you’ve been alive. There’s very few things you can hide from me. So you might as well open up and tell me about it. Are you still upset about Jake and the Omelet Incident?”
Chara loved the way her mother would classify episodes in their lives. Several years ago, she and her mother had a disagreement with the cashier at the local Dunkin’ Donuts. To this day, her mother referred to that as the “Dunkin’ Donuts Fiasco. It was their private shorthand for what had happened. They didn’t need to say anymore. Both mother and daughter knew exactly what she meant and were able to share a laugh over it.
”No, it’s not Jake,” she said, looking into her mother’s blue eyes. It would be so much easier if Mom could just read my mind and I didn’t have to explain it. It’s so difficult to put into words.
“Just start at the beginning,” Chara’s mom said.
Her daughter did just that from the conflicting thoughts – along with those stubborn unreadable French ones – of the doctor to the totally blank slate of Ted Langley.
“Why are you laughing at me?” Chara said after she explained her day. “Am I that pathetic?”
“No sweetheart, but you do realize you’re describing the typical day of most people when you call Ted Langley ‘a blank slate.’” She paused a beat hoping her daughter would sincerely give it some thought. “I can’t read the thoughts of anyone I meet. To me, every person’s mind is a blank slate. I work from scratch.”
“Well, I thought the doctor was total sexy and would have – or how I hate confessing this to my mom – gone out with him on a date in a heartbeat. Then he kept flip-flopping about his true intentions.”
“That didn’t mean he didn’t want a personal relationship,” her mom said.
“Well, I don’t want to be hanging on his every word just to be used.”
Chara knew from her mother’s thoughts that she couldn’t argue with that. She didn’t even attempt to.
“Can I confess one more thing, Mom, and you won’t make fun of me?” Chara, of course, knew she could – and not because she could listen into her thoughts. Rather, she was confident, because she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt her mom loved her and respected her.
“It’s about Ted Langley, actually,” Chara said. “The man gets more attractive – even handsome – the more enthusiastic and excited he gets about life. I would be tempted to go out with him if he would ask me. Of course, he hasn’t asked me.”
“Why would you even hesitate to accept?” Her mother asked.
“I can’t read his thoughts. How would I know what he thought of me? I’d be taking a big chance going out with a man whose only interest in me would be to have sex then drop me.” Since her mom didn’t say anything, Chara continued.
“Think about it. What if I invested my time and poured my feelings into him and he didn’t feel the same way about me? What if I were only a girl he wanted to fill a slot while he waited for his true love?”
Once again, Chara’s mom laughed. “Chara, have you ever heard of the word ‘trust’?”
“Mom, don’t be silly. Of course I have.”
“How long have your father and I been married?”
Chara’s mother moaned. “Not quite that long, but you’ve helped me make my point.”
Her daughter just shook her head so she continued.
“Can you read his mind?” Chara’s mom stared at her as she waited for an answer.
Chara shook her head.
“Can he tell what I’m thinking?”
“Sometimes I think he can, but not quite in the same way I can.”
“Exactly. So if I couldn’t read his thoughts before I went out on a date with him, let alone promised my life to that man, what do you think I worked from?”
“I have no idea,” she said, “I’ve thought about that a lot at times, believe it or not.”
“It all comes down to one word: Trust. I had to trust your father that what he told me were his true feelings. I had to trust him that throughout our marriage that when he left the house every day he wouldn’t cheat on me. I had to trust him that when he told me I was the only one for him, he was telling the truth.”
Chara looked shocked. She had never really given any thought about how dangerous it could be to enter intimate relationships without knowing certain things. Now that she thought about it how did people know that the other even wanted to date them.
“Wow! I never really gave that any thought before, Mom,” was all she could say.
Silence filled the room for a moment. Then her mother spoke again. “For all of the wonderful things you’ve accomplished with your gift it has hindered you in at least one way. It never made you trust another person. It never made you take a step into the unknown and put your heart on the line.”
“What if it gets broken?” Chara asked.
“What did Ted Langley just do? His fortune is gone, his wife left him and the entire world knows all about it.”
“By the end of the day he was starting all over again,” Chara said.
“Exactly. And that’s exactly what every person who can’t tell what people are thinking does. It happens every day to thousands, if not millions of people. They start from scratch.”
“Without knowing what the next person they encounter is thinking?”
“Without knowing, yes. That’s what trust is all about. Sometimes people break your trust. But when you’ve invested your trust in the right person, you’ll discover it was worth putting your love, your heart, your life on the line.”