Becca woke in a startle. She didn’t remember going to bed the night before. She did remember drinking even more wine and listening to her sister complain about Bo.

She scooted her body to the edge of the giant bed and let her legs dangle for a moment before jumping off. The princess bed she remembered as a child did not disappoint. The sheer drapery covering each side made her feel as if she had her own little world and reminded her of being safe, even as an adult.

She pushed her feet into her slippers and made her way into the bathroom. The dream might not have been real, but the headache was. Her sister followed behind her.

“You have your own bathroom, you know,” Becca said as Jenny sat down on the toilet next to her.

“I know, but I wanted to see you,” Jenny said, smiling a big cheesy smile up at Becca. It was her way of testing the water after the argument. “Good morning!”

Becca laughed. It didn’t matter if they didn’t always get along, they always returned to the two of them. They were like the same person.

“I had the weirdest dream last night,” Becca said. “It was scary but not like nightmarey. More scary because it felt so real. You were there. There was a black ghosty thing.” She swallowed two pills and drank the water right from the sink’s faucet.

“Oh my god. I think I had the same dream. I fucking screamed so loud I woke myself up,” Jenny added, which would be strange that they had the same dream but it happened often to them. She flushed the toilet and bumped Becca out of her way to wash her hands. She had carried her toothbrush to the bathroom and began brushing.

“Probably from the spellwork and stuff,” Becca added like it was normal everyday stuff. Like when you drink coffee too late in the afternoon. She reached in her bag for her toothbrush and the two turns at the sink.

Jenny shrugged. “We probably fucked it all up,” she said.

Becca’s phone vibrated on the counter. Andrew’s name appeared. She picked it up, hoping it was before Jenny saw. “What are you doing today?” he sent.

“Housesitting,” she replied, doing her best to keep the look on her face neutral and didn’t reply right away, knowing that too much engagement would make Jenny question who she was talking to.

“Your dad is driving me crazy,” Andrew sent next.

“I’m going to run home and spend some time with Bo for a bit today,” Jenny said. “I’ll bring back stuff for dinner.”

“He does that.” Becca sent to Andrew and then replied to Jenny, “Okay.”

“I don’t know how to respond to some of the shit he says and wants me to do,” Andrew sent.

Becca slowly walked out of the bathroom.

“Where are you house sitting?” Andrew asked.


“I’m going to Harrisburg today. Meet me for lunch?”

Becca’s heart raced at the thought of seeing him. She both hated and loved how her body reacted. It was exhilarating, yet cumbersome. She had held those feelings for a while and they didn’t fade. She wondered if they ever would. Was it because she never got to the stage of normalcy with him, or because she was meant to always have an excitement with him?

“Sure,” she texted back. “What time?”


The river shimmered as the sunlight danced off each wave. She felt his presence before she saw him, the heaviness in the air, the smell from his skin, soft and inviting, but she didn’t turn to look. He walked up behind her. He spoke softly. “Hey there,” he said, placing his hands on her shoulders.

She felt the hair on her neck stand and turned around to see him. Their eyes met. “Hey,” she whispered back.

He didn’t wait and placed a slow kiss on her lips. She breathed in the scent of him as she wrapped her arms around his waist. She had missed the feel of him.

He pushed her hair back and looked into her eyes. “How’s the house sitting going?” he asked.

“Good,” she said. “My sister is staying too.”

“That’s nice,” he responded. “I saw that she was taking a few days off work.”

He slid his hand down her back to grab her hand. He led her to one of the outdoor tables. She sat back and let the warmth of the sun sit on her face. The flowers on the table were bright and happy looking. She reached up to feel the softness of a petal.

“What’s going on at work?” she asked, knowing that the purpose of this meeting was to discuss her father and his eccentricities.

“It’s the same,” he said. “I just needed a break to see you.”

She smiled, warm and inviting and he leaned over the table to place another kiss onto her lips. He slowly sat back in his seat and grabbed his glass of water.

Becca reached for hers. She swept the wetness off the outside that had formed from the heat and ice. “He’s a bit of a talker,” she said of her dad. “He can work hard. He just feels as if he’s done his time.”

“Jenny is next in line now,” he said.

“I figured that,” Becca said.

Jenny had finished up law school the previous year and began working with her dad. There were many at the firm that expected to become partners and eventually take over when John finally bowed out, but with Jenny in the mix, it was evident who would become the next name on the sign.

“It’s probably frustrating,” Becca added.

“You could say that.”

The two sat looking at each other for what felt like an eternity and a split second all the same. Becca could feel the blood rush through her body like a drug.

“Do you want to get out of here?” Andrew asked.

“I do,” Becca said. “We can go back to my house if you want.”

“To the city?”

“The one I’m housesitting,” Becca said. “I’m about to inherit it.”

“What?” Andrew said as he stood from his chair. He reached for Becca’s hand. “That’s cool. How did that happen?”

Becca explained a little about the will, leaving out some of the craziness of the previous night as he opened the passenger door for her. She slid into the seat. He slipped her another kiss before closing the door.

“Your Aunt sounds like she was a pretty cool lady,” he said turning the key and placing the car in reverse. He backed out of the parking as Becca guided him in the direction of Aunt Jo’s house, full knowing what she was getting in to. She only hoped Jenny took enough time to not return while he was there.


10. things get a little hot


One thought on “9. dreams are sometimes deceiving

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