The room, that was minutes before a spectacular sight of objects flying through the air and wind whipping in every direction, was now eerily quiet. “Oh shit,” Becca said.
The two girls slowly entered, cautiously stepping over broken pots and scattered earth. They inspected the glass that surrounded them. “There’s no way,” Jenny started.
“I forgot to close the spell,” Becca whispered. She remembered when she was a young girl and her aunt had placed similar items on a table. She sat with her glass of grape juice as her aunt went to each corner of the room with a smoking stick of what must have been incense. She spoke words that were rehearsed, she couldn’t remember what they were but she knew they were important. She did this at the beginning and end of each spell and Becca hadn’t done that.
“What?” Jenny said as she watched Becca furiously digging through to find the contents that were once the box.
“I forgot to close the spell,” Becca said again. “If you don’t close, you leave yourself open to all kinds of unwanted things.”
Jenny stood, eyes widened. “Did you just say spell?”
“Yes,” Becca said, knowing just how ridiculous it sounded. She couldn’t believe she had forgotten so much about her time with Aunt Jo. Memories were flooding back. It was overwhelming. She felt the urge in her body to escape, one she was all too familiar with. One that her counselor had warned her against listening to. The feelings that told her to run, to run and never look back. She would run, but not too far. She ran to the kitchen where they had placed the bottle of wine and she tipped it back, guzzling it down. She felt the warmth flow through her body.
Jenny stood in the doorway to the greenhouse with a puzzled and shocked look on her face. “Wanna tell me what’s up?”
Becca tipped the wine bottle up again. “When I was a girl, Aunt Jo taught me how to do spells with her. I was her assistant or something,” she said. “I can’t believe I forgot.”
Jenny walked over and took the bottle from Becca’s hand filling both of their glasses. She handed one to Becca.
“Aunt Jo left me a spell tonight,” Becca said. “I started it, I can’t believe I started it without calling the corners.” She took another drink. “But then you got here and I freaked out. I thought about what I would look like sitting on the floor of the green house with candles and saying incantations.”
Jenny’s facial expressions said it all to Becca. But one thing she noticed is that in them, Jenny looked curious.
“It’s not what you think,’ Becca said. “Or it is. I don’t know.”
“I think Aunt Jo was crazy and it rubbed off on you?” Jenny said. “Or maybe this shit is real because I just experienced something pretty fucked up with absolutely no explanation.”
The room fell silent. They looked at each other.
“I don’t know what to do,” Becca said. “On the one hand, I want to just pack up and leave. I’m afraid all the things that happened to Aunt Jo will happen to me and you and people will think we are crazy too if we decide to stay.”
“But on the other hand,” Jenny finished for her, “if this is real, if what Aunt Jo was doing was something we could also do, there would be a certain amount of power in it.”
“Aunt Jo only had me,” Becca went on. “And I was just a kid. We have each other.”
“Then let’s do this?” Becca asked.
“I think we have to see where it goes,” Jenny said.
“Okay then,” Becca finished her glass. “We have to finish this spell.” Becca walked back into the greenhouse. She began sifting through the debris.
“What am I looking for?” Jenny asked as she began picking up pots and placing them back onto the shelves.
“A black candle and a white candle,” Becca began and then they heard the doorbell. Loud and echoing through the house. They paused and looked up at each other.
Wiping at their hands they headed for the front door. “Who the hell could be here now?” Becca asked, but her question was answered quickly. Bo stood at the other side.
“What are you doing here?” Jenny asked as she opened the door. She was obviously pissed that he had followed her.
“I just wanted to make sure you were alright,” he said. “You never texted me and aren’t answering my calls.”
“Jesus christ,” Jenny began.
“I’m gonna go finish what we were working on,” Becca said as she slowly back out of the space that had become a violent lashing of words.
Upon entering the kitchen again, she did notice both she and Jenny’s phones were sitting with unread messages. Her heart raced at the sight of Andrew’s name.
She lifted to hear his message, “Hey, it’s Andrew, I was hoping I could catch you. No biggie, just wanted to see when you were free again.”
Short and simple. As always. She debated as she stared at his name. She could still hear the arguing from the other room and the alcohol might have skewed her judgement. Even though she promised herself she would take a break from him and re-evaluate, she pushed her finger onto his name and watched the phone light up as it rang on the other end.
“Hey,” she heard Andrew’s voice, deep and smooth on the other end.
“Hey,” she replied.
“You busy this weekend?”
“I am house sitting but I could probably find some time,” she said not knowing another way to explain in.
“Good,” Andrew voice melted her. “Maybe Saturday we can meet up after I go watch my niece play basketball.”
“Sounds good,” she said. Jenny walked into the room. She instantly regretted calling Andrew back. “Call me Saturday when you’re ready and I’ll see where I’m at.”
“Okay,” Andrew said. “Can’t wait to see you.”
She hated when he added that. It made her feel so good but she was pretty sure there was no weight behind those words.
“Who was that?” Jenny asked. She watched the frowned eyebrow line that entered on Jenny’s face turn into excitement at the prospect of Becca’s going out.
“It’s no one,” Becca said.
“Whatever,” Jenny said. “I see the look on your face. That smile tells me it isn’t no one.” She reached for Becca’s phone. They struggled a bit before Jenny finally got a hold of it. Her face dropped as soon as she saw the name. “Andrew?”
“It’s not what you think,” Becca said.
“I’m sure it’s exactly what I think,” Jenny said. “And it’s not a good idea.”
Becca couldn’t be certain if Jenny was trying to protect her or was just jealous. She knew that Jenny had a thing for Andrew when he first started working for their dad. She found all kinds of reasons to go to the office and flirt. Andrew had a girlfriend then and all she ever did was tell Becca how horrible Andrew’s girlfriend treated him.
“It’s not,” Becca said. “It’s not what you think. Dad is buying some more apartments and wants Andrew to manage them for him. I’m just helping him through the process.” It wasn’t a lie. They had talked a lot about that and Becca did offer some solid advice for navigating the world that was her dad. She didn’t tell Jenny about anything else because, well, she didn’t know where it was headed and she didn’t see a reason to upset her over nothing.
Becca’s phone lit up again as a message came through. Jenny turned it over to see Andrew’s name on the screen. “Really?” she said tossing the phone back to Becca.