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Becca didn’t really know how she ended up with Andrew. She woke up next to him and contemplated their existence together. She had met him at one of her dad’s company barbeques. Her dad loved getting people together and especially loved a gathering made up of people, food and beer. With the hours he worked, he couldn’t do them often but when he did, he always insisted his coworkers, family and friends show up. That was why he always hosted them on a weekday. The only other alternative for employees was to be at the office. Some took him up on it, but the smarter ones, the ones who knew that to really make it in John’s office, were at his side, laughing at his jokes. At least his jokes are good, Becca thought as she reminisced.
The day she met Andrew, the sun was hot and the air was heavy. The charcoal smell of the grill filled the park. Her dad was the typical grill man, beer in one hand, tongs in the other. He wore an apron and baseball cap.
The rain that came down was unexpected. It hit them fast and hard. Everyone scattered to find something to stand under. There was a big gazebo that most huddled under, but Becca wasn’t one for cramped spaces with large crowds so she headed for the bathroom’s behind the building. The awning in front of the entrance would do for her. She turned the corner and practically ran right into him.
“Hey,” she said. “Sorry.”
He laughed. They both dripped with water. “I guess it doesn’t even matter now.” He shook the water from his arms.
“Yeah,” she agreed pulling her hair up out of her face. “I’ve never seen you at one of these before,” she said.
“First one,” he said. “I’m usually toiling away at the office but I decided it was time for a little fun.”
“Toiling?” She lifted her eyebrows. She didn’t know why, but she continued, “You know people don’t say that.”
“Well,” he started. Becca couldn’t help but notice how he never looked away from her. His deep brown eyes seemed to look into her soul as she teased him. He took a step closer. “I’m people,” he said smirking, “and I just said it.”
She laughed. “You got me there, I guess.”
Thereafter, Andrew began attributing his successes to the fact that he showed up at every event John threw, just to run into Becca. Becca, at one point, said it was good, because he could have worked his whole life away and never discovered the true way into John’s world, which is through a party.
Becca rolled over and watched Andrew’s chest rise and fall with each breath. She didn’t want to disturb him so she slipped out from under the blanket and slowly stood from the edge of the bed.
She made her way into the kitchen to grab some water. The faucet on, she swore she saw a small child out of the corner of her eye. She turned to find an empty space where the two walls of the room met.
She filled her glass and took a big drink feeling the cold water as entered her body. She leaned back on the counter and the little girl reappeared. She peaked around the corner.
“Who are you?” Becca asked, but the little girl vanished.
Becca followed and saw her running down the hallway. “Wait,” Becca yelled, but the floor fell out from under her and she screamed as she woke up in her empty bed.
Her heart felt as if it might beat out of her chest. Tears fell out of her eyes. She had no control over her emotions.
Her phone rang and she saw Andrew’s name on the screen. She threw it across the room, wrapped her arms around her legs and cried into her knees.
The knock on her door was loud and echoed through her. She looked through the peephole to see Morgan.
“What are you doing here?” Becca asked.
“I wanted to see if you would like to grab some breakfast,” Morgan responded.
Becca wiped at her eyes and looked into the mirror next to the door. Her face was red and puffy. Jesus, you look like hell. She opened the door anyway.
“Just as I suspected,” Morgan said. “I need you to come with me to the house so we can do a protection spell on you,” she bagan.
“I am not going back to that place ever again.”
Morgan ignored her. “Or a binding spell,” she went on. “Yes, that would be better for now.”
Morgan went into Becca’s room and began grabbing clothes and tossing them to Becca in which Becca responded by putting the clothes on. Then Morgan grabbed her by the hand and looked her in the eyes. Becca couldn’t help but feel safe with Morgan there. “We got a long road ahead of us but I will fix it.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“Tune in,” Morgan said. “You do know and I’m going to help you.”
“We have to call Jenny,” Becca said.
“Oh, dear. You do have a ways to go.”
Morgan placed her hands on Becca’s shoulders. “Jenny is the reason you are in this mess to begin with.”
“No,” Becca said. “I talked to her. She said you were helping her with a spell. That it wasn’t her doing it on her own, but that you were going to make sure our plans were going to work out. It was going to be a surprise.”
Morgan took a deep breath. “You know what?” she asked more to herself than to Becca. “She probably was doing the spell as a surprise for you.” Then she turned her head and said under her breath, “Or at least that is what she tells herself to feel better.” She locked eyes with Becca again, “either way, we have to do something because running away from it is not helping. How long have you been feeling this way?”
“I don’t know,” Becca admitted.
“What are you doing here?” Becca asked as they walked up to be greeted by Jenny working inside the house.
Jenny pulled the mask off her face and her work gloves off before giving Becca a big hug. She wrapped her arms around Morgan. “I wanted to get started getting this place back into shape.”
“I thought you never wanted to come here again?” Becca asked. But she was blindsided by more surprises. Andrew pulled into the driveway.