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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the coffee experience

I stared at Gilbert as he trailed off in silence. He had just told me an interesting tale about meeting some woman, and I was sitting at the edge of my seat, waiting for more.

The old man smiled wide and goofy, his eyes shining with some memory until I tapped him on the shoulder.

Hmm?” He blinked back the shimmer and came down to Earth. “Where was I?”

Did she ever call you?”

He scoffed. “It took her long enough, that’s for damn sure. My wife and I had broken up, but we were staying together for our baby. If only I knew then what I know now. But when Juliet called I was in a deep emotional hole.. but so was she. She actually tried to hang up saying it was a wrong number, but I managed to keep her on the phone long enough until I recognized her sweet melodic voice.”

The old man started humming to himself, his hands moving with the rhythm in his head.

The train track must have had something on it because there was a big dip in motion. Big enough to get Gilbert back on track.

Anyway, she called and offered to buy me a coffee which I accepted. Something told me I needed to see her and whenever I didn’t follow my instincts, things like my ex-wife happened.” He laughed heartily.

She arrived in a beautiful purple summer dress. Short enough to be flirty, low enough to be coy, with modest cap sleeves. She appeared rather nervous, which I took as a good sign.

She was surprised when I bought our coffees, and I told her that seeing her again was payment enough. Her freckled cheeks turned a lovely shade of red, and the rest of the afternoon was easy. We talked about everything, and nothing. We laughed together. At some point, we even talked about our ex’s. Her ex husband was the male equivalent of my ex-wife, only she had been trying to fix it when he cheated and kicked her and her baby out of their home.

She couldn’t help but cry as she told me about him, and I lent her a shoulder. We became best friends that day. She was always my best friend first.. A month later, I asked her to go steady. She was the love of my life, and I let her slip away.

Gilbert suddenly looked his age, older even.

I thought I was going to die.” His tone was defeated. “I got scared. I wanted to live my life. So I did some things I wasn’t proud of…”