My mind is spinning. Is she considering this? Does she believe him?
That snaps my mind to Gabe Rikkards.
He’s too young.
But he is so hot.
I don’t know, there’s just something about him. The way he carries himself. I don’t know if he felt it or not, but there was some sort of chemistry.
But the way he looked at Holly...
The thought of it sparked a jealousy in me stronger than I’ve ever felt before. It makes no sense because I’ve only just really met him, but I feel almost possessive of him.
He just looked so enamored by her. Like she was the only girl in the world—like he was ready to risk his life for her.
Of course, I have Elliot. Things haven’t been very good with him lately though. He didn’t even come to my brother’s funeral. I mean, sure he had to work, but he’s always working.
I’m always studying. I’m in nursing school. I am always studying, but I make time for him.
“Grace?” Holly asks, nervous.
I snap out of it. Right.
“I don’t know, Hol. It just sounds so unbelievable. How could we have gone all this time and not known something like that? Maybe... maybe y’all are just confused?”
It doesn’t make sense. I mean, sure, weird things have been happening. Holly says that last night I heard something she didn’t actually say out loud. There really was a random storm that lasted about two minutes and suddenly stopped.
She says she has some sort of connection with Gabe. Something where every time he touches her she feels heat and sparks and butterflies.
She also told me about her weird dream.
Holly says that despite the strange things happening when they touch, she doesn’t really know how she feels when his touch is gone. That they’ve only just now ever really spoken to each other.
She has a date with his brother though.
He’s too young, I chide myself. Why am I even entertaining these thoughts? I have a boyfriend. I just need to push him from my mind. This is insane.
Maybe there is something to this stuff Holly is telling me.
“I know it sounds crazy,” Holly quips. “I feel crazy. I mean, I shouldn’t even be considering this as a possibility. But that stuff he said about mom? Spot on. She hasn’t been herself lately and you know it. She’s like a completely different person.”
“I know,” I respond. “But witches, Holly? It’s just too unbelievable. You’re talking about the kinds of things you read in books or see in movies. Are there also vampires, and zombies, and werewolves too?”
Holly sighs. “I think I’m just going to avoid Gabe at all costs. He makes me so uncomfortable and he’s making me question my sanity.”
Sounds good to me. Stay far, far away from him.
“Maybe that’s a good idea,” I say sheepishly. “He seems to have messed with your mind.”
She nods in agreement but seems to be deep in thought.
“Should you go out with his brother though?” I question. He could be just as crazy.
Something passes across her face that I don’t quite understand. She looks sad.
“I don’t know...” she answers slowly. “I think... it should be fine...”
I won’t argue with her on it. It’s better she like him than Gabe.
“I think... I’m going to go home and shower and change,” I tell her. She nods in response. “Do you and Emma want to do dinner tonight?” I ask, unsure. Holly and I seem to have bonded last night, but it’s all still new. I’m unsure how to go about things now.
“Sure,” she smiles. “Takeout and Hallmark movies?”
I unlock my apartment door and push it open.
“Grace?!” Elliot exclaims, pulling his pants up quickly, pushing some blonde’s head out of his lap. “I-I thought you’d be with your sisters all day.”
He jumps up off the couch and walks towards me.
“Do not come anywhere near me!” I yell. He stops in his tracks. “So this is work?”
He doesn’t respond. In fact, he doesn’t move, doesn’t blink. He looks like a statue.
“Elliot Caldwell!” I scream, as the blonde brushes past me and out the door. “What is wrong with you?” I demand. He makes noises without his lips moving, still frozen in place. “This isn’t funny!”
He still doesn’t move. Oh my God. I wave my hand in front of his face—his eyes don’t follow.
I don’t know what else to do—I call 911.
Half an hour later I stand in the parking lot as I watch an ambulance drive away with Elliot in tow. I numbly walk back inside, neighbors peeking through their blinds at me. Dejected, I hop in the shower.
I wonder who all he’s had in this shower, I think, disgusted. How could I not know he was cheating on me?
I want to be angry. I want to be able say that I can push my feelings to the side and not care... but I can’t stop the tears that come next. I’ve never felt so hurt in my life. Six years down the drain.
Coincidentally right after you met Gabe...
Could he have been telling the truth? Could I have done that to Elliot? The same way that Holly supposedly created and dissipated a storm in a matter of minutes, did I freeze my cheating, liar ex-boyfriend?
Will he un-freeze on his own? Will I have to face him again to fix it?
Gabe will have to help me...
I could go to Gabe and ask him for help. He seems so into Holly though.
Or I could leave his lying ass in the hospital for a few days... I mean, he was saying how tired he is from all his work he’s been doing at his daddy’s law firm. He deserves a break.
I step out of the shower with a clear head. I dress in yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt and then shoot Holly a text letting her know I’m picking up Chinese takeout and an assorted box of baked goods from the bakery down the road.
Sounds great :) she texts back.
I’m about to put my phone in my purse when I get another text.
... I think Gabe and his brother will be joining us... she says.
Well this will be interesting.