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 slowly.
The two girls slowly walked forward, 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 to herself. She remembered when she was a young girl with Aunt Jo. Aunt Jo had placed similar items on the kitchen table. Becca sat with her glass of grape juice as Aunt Jo went to each corner of the room with a smoking stick of what must have been some sort of incense. She spoke words that were rehearsed, Becca couldn’t remember what they were but she knew they were important. Aunt Jo did this at the beginning and end of each spell and Becca hadn’t done any of it.
“What?” Jenny asked as she watched Becca furiously tossing things aside 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, but not caring at the moment. 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 and slamming the bottle onto the counter. She felt the warmth flow through her body and the anxiety ease.
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 and turned around to face her sister. “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.” She waved her hands around and then grabbed her forehead and leaned against the counter in defeat.
“I think Aunt Jo was crazy and it rubbed off on you?” Jenny said jokingly. “Or maybe this shit is real,” she pointed to the greenhouse, “because I just experienced something pretty fucked up out there with absolutely no explanation.”
The room fell silent. They looked at each other.
“I don’t know what to do,” Becca said shaking her head. “On the one hand, I want to just pack up and leave,” her eyes were wide and full of concern. “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 and all this shit.” She gestured to the greenhouse and the cat rolling around on the kitchen floor next to them.
“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.” The words felt like questions that floated through the air.
“Aunt Jo only had me when she started this,” Becca went on. “I was just a kid,” she added, “We would have each other.”
“We do,” Jenny said. “And I won’t let the world see your crazy, if you don’t let them see mine.”
“Then let’s do this?” Becca asked.
“I think we have to see where it goes,” Jenny said.
“Okay then,” Becca finished her glass of wine and sat the glass on the counter, a little more gently than before. “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. She was turning left and right with no apparent method.
“A black candle and a white candle,” Becca began and then they heard the doorbell. Loud and echoing through the house. They froze 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. On hers, both from Bo and, with a jump in her chest, Andrew’s name with a missed call and voicemail.
She clicked 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 back and forth in her mind as she stared at his name. She could still hear the arguing from the other room. Jenny was obviously going to be busy for a little while.
Even though she promised herself she would take a break from him and re-evaluate, the alcohol skewed her judgement and all she wanted was that high she felt at the sound of his voice. She pushed her finger onto his name and listened to the ringing, half hoping he wouldn’t answer.
“Hey,” she heard Andrew’s voice, deep and smooth on the other end.
“Hey,” she replied.
“You busy this weekend?”
“I am house sitting still, but I could probably find some time,” she said.
“Good,” Andrew’s 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.” She straightened up and instantly got out of her heart and into her head.
“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 was plastered on Jenny’s face turn into excitement at the prospect of Becca’s going out. Her whole body lit up.
“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. “We both know he’s not going to ask you for help with the law when he’s got an office full of other attorneys and I know both law and dad.”
“God, Jenny,” Becca felt like the last comment was a personal jab at the fact that she decided not to go to law school. “Just shut the fuck up.”
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