Genie in a Wine Bottle

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Chapter 8

Michael shook his head, “It’s fine. I just hate family events.” He tugged his tie so it was loose, and then unbuttoned his collar.

“Why, don’t you know them all already?”

Michael shrugged, “I just hate crowds. I also dislike small talk and most of my family’s friends. I just had to make an appearance for this one. Oh…sorry.” Michael let go of my hand and I shrugged.

“That’s alright, glad I can help.”

I stretched out my leg raising my hand to take in what little of the sun there was, “I used to hate crowds too.” I told him.

“Really. But you’re like a genie.”

“Yeah I know,” I told him, “But sometimes I always worry someone else in the crowd will know, or realise that I’m not human. Everything from the way you eat, to touch to smell can tell you a lot about a person, or a no person in this case. I almost thought your mum knew inside but I think she was just being curious.”

Michael shrugged, “She wouldn’t know. She’s just very judgemental about everyone and everything. Probably why I never dated anyone cause they would never be good enough for her. I don’t want to put someone through that, well someone human and more sensitive through meeting her.”

Just as I was about to point out that we, genies, were also sensitive someone blocked the sun out of my face and I looked up at a familiar face. She smiled at Michael, flicking her curls over her shoulder.

“Hi Michael. How are you?” Hiedi looked at me, and then at Michael.

Michael got tense again, “Uh hey, how are you?”

“Great. I thought I was going to hear from you after our little date.” she put the emphasis on the word.

“Sorry I got busy and stuff.” Michael ran a hand through his hair casting a look at me, “This is Shana by the way,” he said.

I stuck out my hand, “Nice to meet you” again, I added in my head. Heidi looked at my hand, ignoring it and running her eyes over me. I let my hand drop, I guess she didn’t like me.

“So did you want to get a drink or something after this party back at mine?” Heidi asked.

“Sorry I’m a bit busy I don’t think I can.” Michael politely declined.

“Oh come on, just one drink,” Heidi smiled placing a hand on his shoulder. Was I meant to do something as the fake girlfriend at this point? I looked at Michael for some sort of validation, yet there was none.

He seemed once again unsure what to do. I smiled standing up, “Look honey, thank you but no thank you. Perhaps you should ask one of the other single men around here for a drink.” I reached down grabbing Michael hand and gave him a tug, “Let’s go babe.”

Michael followed me like a lost cat, “Babe?” He asked once we were out of earshot.

“I picked it up from that movie, was it good. Did I do well?”

“Well better than me. I forgot she was going to be here.” Michael ran a hand through his hair, “God I suck at these events.

Realising I was till holding his hand I let go as we walked further into their massive garden. His mother had all type of flowers, some i recognised and some I didn’t.

“That’s alright. Do you want me to get you another drink?”

Michael shook his head sitting down on another bench, “I just wish this party would wrap up already.”

I nodded, “No worri-,” before I could finish my sentence Michael quickly stood up, “No no, that is not a wish.”

Damn it. so close


“I meant figuratively anyway, were you going to send wrapping paper all over the house.”

I smiled mischievously, “Would it matter? Either option would get the party to end.”

* *

Michael wasn’t joking about how long their family parties go for. Even after the cake was cut people were still hanging around. Michael who said he was going to the bathroom still hadn’t returned after thirty minutes and I was getting worried.

Where is he?

I headed up the stairs in the direction I saw him head a while ago, perhaps he got lost in this big house or needed my help. Or worse…what is Heidi ambushed him? Any of these were a concern of my human not finishing his wishes so I rushed up the stairs faster.

More doors leading to rooms greeted me and I slowly walked down the aisle listening out for sounds. I could hear people in some rooms, so I dared not to open those, in others I could hear music or kids screaming.

Where could he have gone? Was he still in the bathroom? Perhaps he finally got the food poisoning without my help.

I walked down to the end, running out of doors and sounds. I leaned in closer to the door to see if I could hear him, but it was pure silence. I placed a hand on this door sensing the aura.

Trying my luck I opened the door and sure enough Michael looked up, like a deer caught in headlights, “Oh it’s you.”

“Yes me.” I let myself in “Are you hiding?” I asked a rhetorical question. This room looked different from the others, perhaps that’s what drew me in, the stickers on the front of it.

It was also dim in here, the curtains being closed, one left half open providing some light from the setting sun. I looked around a the various things on the wall, from music posters to pictures to awards.

“Was this your bedroom?”

Michael nodded, stretching his legs out. He was leaning against the bed frame watching me as I walked around the room. No wonder he was in here, he probably felt safe and calmer in here than out there.

“You love the colour blue.” I pointed out. From the desk to the charts to the ornaments, there was a lot of blue in the room.

Michael chuckled, “Yeah I had a phase growing up.”

I ran my hand over his desk looking at how much dust has gathered, “How come no one’s re-purposed this room?” maybe it was because there were so many other rooms.

“Not sure.” Michael shrugged.

I turned to look at him, a brilliant idea forming in my head. Michael also noticed the look changing on my face and casted me a questioning look, “What?”

I walked towards him, sitting on the bed making him clear his throat and sit up straighter, “Uh what?”

“I have a favour to ask.” I placed my hand on his. Calm Michael was gone replaced by a more nervous one.

He cleared his throat looking at his hand and then at me, “What is it?”

“I’ve never asked anyone else this before so you have to promise me you won’t tell anyone,”

Michael shifted uncomfortably, “Depends what it is…”

“I hope you’re going to say yes.” I grasped his hand.

“I don’t think we sh-,”

“Can you hide me here after your wishes.” I asked


“It’s the perfect hiding spot. See how much dust has gathered in your room and it doesn’t look like your room will be cleaned out soon. Hide my wine bottle in one of these crates you have and stuff. It’s perfect.” I smiled.

Michael moved his hand from under mine, running it through his hair, “You want me to hide you here? Why?’

I shrugged, “I don’t know. Eternal piece it looks like people don’t come here often.” I raised my finger, blowing softly on the dust that gathered there. “It’s quiet, not too warm and not too cold and a bit of sunlight. I can rest.”

“Um you want to be hidden?”

I nodded.

“But why?”

“I can’t tell you. But can you, please?”

The door opened and we both jumped looking behind us.

Margaret looked between us “Look where you two cheeky monkeys went off.”

Michael rushed to stand from the bed, knocking over his bedside lamp, “Not like that granny.”

I stood up confused, “Sure sure you can’t trick me. Your grandfather and I did the same tricks.”

“Gross.” Michael looked a me nodding for me to follow him. Perhaps his room wasn’t that quiet.

We headed downstairs back into the crowd, “Where did you go?” His mother asked him as soon as she spotted us.

“They were being making babies in the bedroom.” Margaret said.

Michael and I looked horrified “What no. Granny shut up.”

“Respect your elders Michael.”

Maybe it was time for me to wish to leave.

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