Between the Lines

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Chapter 24

The next day Keeley went over to It’s Magic as she usually did when it was time for Kira’s break. She saw that Wayne was already there ahead of her, so instead of stopping, she continued on to Claire’s coffee house, and treated herself to a latte. A few moments later, Nikki came in to get a coffee to go. She sat down to talk to Keeley, asking if there was any news on the murder investigation.

“I hope this gets solved soon,” she said. “It’s all everyone can talk about, and it’s really not good for everyone's stress levels. Well, I’d better get to the gym. I’ve got a personal training session and I don’t want to be late. See you later at class.”

Figuring Wayne would be back at his own shop by now, Keeley stopped in at It’s Magic on her way home. Kira looked up from behind the counter as the door opened, and seeing Keeley, held up her hand, palm outward. “I won’t say anything about Detective McDonald if you don’t say anything about Wayne,” she said, grinning and looking happier than she had for quite awhile.

“That’s not fair,” Keeley protested. “You’ve already had the chance to say plenty, and I haven’t been given the same opportunity, so no deal. Talk to me, I want details. It’s obviously true that he likes you, but how do you feel about him?”

Kira frowned and then shrugged. “I don’t know. He is really nice, and it’s flattering to have someone who’s that into me, you know? But we’re so different. He has family dinner with his mom and sister every week. He goes to the Synagogue every Saturday. He’s an insurance agent. He wears suits and ties every day. He has no tattoos or piercings, and would never think of getting anything like that, I would bet. I’d be surprised if he even owns a pair of jeans. Can you see me in a relationship with someone like that?” She sounded doubtful.

“Why not try it and see if it will work? You don’t have to marry the guy, but would it hurt to spend some time with him? They do say opposites attract, right?”

Kira shrugged. “Maybe, but I don’t have the greatest track record with men, as you know very well.”

“Maybe that’s because you’ve been dating the wrong kind of men.”

*********

Kira came into the kitchen, and sank down onto a chair, an expression of doom on her face. “What’s wrong?” Keeley asked. “Did something happen?”

“It’s Wayne, “ Kira answered miserably.

Keeley’s heart sank. Oh no, not again, she thought. She sat down and looked at her friend in sympathy. “What did he do?”

“He wants me to meet his mother.”

Keeley stared at Kira for a few seconds in confustion. “That’s a good thing. Isn’t it?”

“No! His mother is Jewish. She wants him to be with a nice Jewish girl. She’s never going to accept that he’s dating a witch!”

*********

“I need to borrow something to wear,” Kira announced before yoga class. “Can we look through your closet after class? “

Keeley looked at Kira in surprise. Kira was three inches shorter, and at least ten, probably closer to fifteen pounds lighter than she was, not to mention the fact that their clothing styles were widely divergent. “Does this have anything to do with meeting Wayne’s mother?” she asked as a thought occurred to her.

“I don’t want to give the woman a heart attack the first time she sees me,” Kira said. “I thought if I wear something dull and conservative the first time we meet, she might be less likely to take one look and run screaming from the restaurant. Do you think I should dye my hair back to black?”

Keeley decided to ignore the implication that her clothes were dull and boring. “No, I don’t. Look, Kira. You’re welcome to borrow anything of mine that will fit you, but I think you’d be making a mistake. You don’t need to pretend to be anyone different than who you are. Wayne obviously likes you just the way you are, all your friends do, and his mother will too.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Yes, I do. Even if she doesn’t, would you want her to like the person she thinks you are, rather than the person you really are? Okay, that was kind of confusing logic, but you know what I mean. Just be yourself.”

“I guess you’re right. She might as well see what’s she getting into right from the start,” Kira said doubtfully. “Oh, and I didn’t mean that your clothes were dull. It’s just that….”

“I know what you meant. My way of dressing is not your way of dressing. You might not want to wear your most outlandish outfit, though,” Keeley advised, and they both laughed.

Kira had persuaded Keeley to come to the dreaded lunch with Wayne’s mother for moral support. When they met at the restaurant, there were five in the party. It seemed that Wayne’s younger sister Jessica had been eager to meet her brothers new girlfriend, and had asked to be included.

Kira was wearing relatively normal clothes, black leggings with a short dress that if you didn’t look really closely, you wouldn’t notice had tiny skulls as the pattern. Her hair was still streaked with pink, which Keeley thought made her look very young and innocent. She had forgone her nose ring in favour of a tiny diamond stud, and her makeup was slightly more subdued than usual. Even so, Keeley noticed that Roberta Evigan’s eyes widened slightly when she got her first glimpse of Kira, and could only hope that Kira hadn’t noticed the involuntary response. Wayne’s sister, Jessica, was less subtle in her perusal, but she seemed fascinated with Kira’s look.

Everyone was on their best behavior, and after an initial period of awkwardness, they were conversing easily with one another. Keeley was relieved that Kira didn’t bring up her Wiccan practice. She thought Wayne’s mother should get to know how sweet, kind and compassionate Kira was before learning something that may, unless she was more well informed than many of the general population, have caused her some concern. Overall, the lunch seemed set to be a big success, and Keeley was happy for her friend. It turned out her concerns had been unnecessary when it became apparent that Wayne had already told his family about Kira’s spiritual beliefs. The plates had just been cleared and dessert refused, when Jessica broached the subject that had clearly been foremost in her mind. “So, Wayne told us you’re Wiccan. Can you do magic spells?” she asked Kira eagerly. Everyone else at the table held their breath for a moment, not sure how to react.

“Jessica, what a thing to say!” Wayne was clearly exasperated with his younger sister, and Roberta looked like she wished the floor would open and swallow her. “Well, I’m curious,” Jessica said defensively. “I’ve never met a Wiccan person before.”

Kira smiled understandingly at the younger woman. “Yes, I can,” she said calmly. “And so can you,” she added.

Jessica’s eyes got really wide. “I can? How?”

“You learned in school that everything in the universe is made up of energy, including us, right?” Jessica nodded. “Well, energy vibrates at a certain frequency, and is magnetic, so that it attracts whatever is vibrating at the same frequency.” Jessica nodded again, but it was obvious she was starting to lose the thread of the conversation. Roberta and Wayne were both looking at Kira with puzzled expressions, and in Roberta’s case, a hint of alarm. Kira continued. “When you want to attract something, all you have to do is make sure that you are in the same vibrational frequency as whatever it is that you want. It’s called the Law of Attraction, and basically, that’s how to create a magic spell.”

Jessica started to ask another question, but her mother cut her off quickly, saying they had to be going, and putting an end to the lunch. Wayne left to drive his mother and sister home, and Keeley and Kira returned to Keeley’s place. Kira was quiet and pensive as Keeley put the kettle on for tea. “Or would you rather have a glass of wine?” she asked hopefully.

Kira shook her head. “No, tea is fine. How do you think that went?” she asked finally.

“I think it went pretty well. Roberta may need a little time to process that your belief system is so different from hers, but she showed up to meet you, even knowing that in advance. I think she has an open mind, and I’m sure she liked you.”

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