Magic’s Kryptonite

Rikki tugged on a red curl, sitting in the silent car. Her relationship with her cousin wasn’t bad.. they considered each other close friends, sister-like even.. but their parents had despised each other. Growing up around that was difficult to overcome. But now they had to.

They were the last of their families. They had no one else.

“Are you excited?” Viv asked trying to ease the tension, glaceing at her cousin.

“You know I enjoy being the center of attention..”

“Which is ironic since you hate it when people notice you.”

“What life is worth living if it isn’t a little ironic?”

“Like the fact that you’re in a play as Juliet and your mortal enemy is playing Romeo.”

“It’s an easy thing to turn hatred into passion. They’re both raw emotions.”

Vivienne stopped the car at the school and put it in park. They were early.

“Why do you hate Ben?” Vivienne asked.

“Honestly I don’t have the best reason. It started in kindergarten when he tripped me in the classroom. I face planted and forever accused him of doing it on purpose.”

Vivienne sighed. “You need to learn to forgive. Besides, he’s really friggin cute.”

“If you’re into Green Day, maybe..”

Vivienne looked at the palms of her hands and closed her eyes. The car grew colder, and ice started to form right above her right palm.. in the shape of a heart. It was smaller than an quarter.

“How did you…” Vivienne outstretched her hand toward her cousin. The ice wasn’t actually touching anything.

“Magic is held back when we refuse to grow. Our parents hated each other and refused to let their grudge go. They were the best druids according to the community at the time – yet they were the weakest in battle, and as a result.. they were the first to die..”

Rikki tore her eyes from the ice to see the pain in Vivienne’s curiously blue eyes. Normally, her eyes were brown. Rikki picked up the ice, and it turned into sand in her fingers.

“Pain is one thing. Harness it. Hate is another thing.. It’s a useless waste of head space.”

Later, stage right and all dressed up in costume, Rikki paced back and forth. Letting go of years of useless hate felt impossible. And would Ben even accept an apology.. She’d been pretty horrible to him over useless shit throughout the years.

She was staring at her feet, and ended up slamming into another human being causing her to lose balance and fall on her butt.

Ben really did look similar to Green Day, with messy dark hair and eyeliner. But now she didn’t just see the annoying little boy from kindergarten, but she saw a handsome young man around her age. Subtle blue eyes, a strong chin, and a sparkle in his eyes. She felt shock echo through her bones.

He halted, turned around, noticed it was her.. and his face changed from upset to sympathy. “I am so sorry Rikki.. I’m sure I didn’t see where I was going..” He extended his hand.

Rikki just sat there staring at him with her jaw nearly touching the floor. She felt the anger swell and immediately squashed it. Time to grow up and put kindergarten behind her.

She grabbed his hand, and stood while shaking out her dress.

“No, it was my fault.” She cleared her throat and tried not to meet his eyes, but somehow she got caught up in his whirlpool and they just stood there awkwardly, back stage.

“Well this is different.” He smiled, genuinely, and Rikki nearly melted. “Whatever you changed, it looks good on you. See you out there.”

And with that, he was gone. And Rikki, for once, was at a loss of words.

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Jessi: Everyday like clockwork

Jessi stretched, her back weary from standing. She had been working in the kitchen for four hours, only taking a break long enough to scarf down a plate of food.

She stretched her neck, rubbing a sore spot with her hand, still red and wet from the scorching water.

“I sure hate that our dishwasher broke down.” She said into the other room where her husband sat in his lazyboy, his laptop on his lap, with the TV on, and  turtle beechs over his ears. He hadn’t heard a word she said.

He never heard her, and he never would. Sometimes he just didn’t want to listen. But mostly it was his upbringing; how his father treated his mother.

He glanced up at her and noticed she was looking at him. Naturally, this created a signal in his lazy brain that made him pick up his soda in it’s cozy and shake it in her direction, with no emotion anywhere on his face.

Translation: He wasn’t going to get up. And he expected her to do it for him.

She shook her head, half pissed at him for being a lazy ungrateful pea-brain of a man, half pissed at herself for her inability to tell him no. Fear does many things to a person.

She continued to chastise herself on the short jot to the fridge. The cans were cold now, not that he would notice or thank her.. but if she were to bring him a warm soda, she would definitely hear about it.

She took it to the living room, removed the old soda from the can cozy and placed the new one in. She even opened the can for him. When she turned to walk away, he grabbed her wrist. This is how her wrists turn black and blue, she thought with a shudder. All it was to him was a simple silent plea for more babying. With his other hand, he was holding out his plate. Plastered on his face was a huge fake grin.

Translation: He wanted more, he wanted it now, he certainly wasn’t going to do it himself.

She grabbed the plate and rubbed the wrist he had grabbed.. then the small of her back. She ached from working all day. Cleaning, or trying to, while keeping a toddler happy, learning, and well fed wasn’t as easy as he made it out to be.

He didn’t care to see it from her perspective.

She threw away the can on her way back to the fridge. Her famous Meatloaf, made from scratch. It took her an hour and a half to make. Not that he noticed, or appreciated her effort. She had even walked a mile to the store for the last of the ingredients. He had been too ‘busy’ to drive, too stubborn to teach her how to drive.

She noticed the meatloaf was still warm to the touch as she sliced a large-enough helping out of her Tupperware dish. Certainly this would be enough..

She brought it back to him. He didn’t even look at her. He made her stand there as he slowly moved the laptop to the table to his left, eyes glued to the TV the entire while, finally taking the plate.

No thank you. No appreciation. Not even a smile.

Jessi sighed and went back to the kitchen. She put the meatloaf away, took the trash bag out of the house to the can on the curb, and went back to those damn dishes.

After a while, the little hairs on the back of her neck started standing on end. Suddenly she felt him behind her, trying to kiss on her neck.

“Stop, I have work to do.”

“You should have been done with this shit before I got home!”

“I’ve been working on it –”

“Bullshit. It should be done by now. I’m going to bed. You better not stay up!”

“Alright.. I’ll be there there in minute.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

With a grunt, he disappeared down the hall. Jessi wasn’t sure which outcome he wanted more.. the dishes to get finished, or her to come to bed. Either way, she knew she would end up in trouble. 

She organized the sink so it appeared like she had accomplished more than she truly had, and finished cleaning the larger items, also helping her minimize the appearance of dish clutter. Then she started into the darkened hallway, knowing what awaited her at the end of it.

getting the reader to feel…

How could you?

I never uttered a single word! Did you hear me complain? When we met, you told me this was how you are, and I accepted you and we created a relationship based on truth, mutual respect, and love.

I let you date other women. I let you sleep around. I didn’t even bat an eyelash when you flirted with my sister! You knew I don’t care for any of it, but you fucked the boundaries just because you wanted to!

When my ex remarried you definitely called it, you said it wouldn’t last a year and they didn’t even make half of that. But neither of us could have expected her to come knocking on my door asking for a friend. She was the reason my ex kicked me out of my home, but that was also why I found you.. and I was grateful to her for that..

Then you had to go and make friends with her.. then you had to spend hours alone.. and kiss.. and you tried to make a second girlfriend work but with HER? All this time I have given you your freedom but you had to want her too?

Then you had to fuck her. Under my roof. And you promised you would tell me if it ever happened, you promised you would use protection. You were supposed to be honest, if nothing else we have always been honest… but you lied and you didn’t even use a condom.

How could you break my heart? And with her of all people?

I don’t want a new relationship. I don’t want to start over. I can’t face this world alone, and you know it. I’m stuck here with you.. I’m afraid.. I can’t make it on my own, I know nothing of how to handle bills and I don’t even make enough money to try.

I can’t feel the pain anymore and I am settling for what you’ve promised me: a roof, four walls, all bills paid, eating out when I want, romance, affection, sex whenever I am in the mood. You’re giving me comfort in this life and I am throwing away my dignity, and the possibility of true love, a soul mate..

I am too tired to fight for what I want. I am too weak to go out and get it elsewhere. You’re all I have. And all I want to do is lay in the tub with an exactoknife and slip into the next great adventure.

Maybe in the next life I will be homeless, but loved.