Heal Me

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Chapter Nine

By 6:10, I’d learned how to punch out, even though I’d never learned how to punch in. Jen assured me she’d fix the books. She was a master at ‘the books’. I found my way through the white-washed streets. The wind was so strong, it whipped at my coat hard enough to make me lose my balance a couple of times. It even stole my breath and tossed burning snow into my eye. By the time I got home, I was holding a cardboard tray of lattes, and a copy of Serendipity.

“Have you seen this?” I asked anyone who would listen.

Sarah yawned. “Oh, thank you!” she said to the tray in my hands before relieving me of its weight.

“How was work?” Cat inquired, a sparkle of malice showing through the humor in her eyes. She was certainly getting a kick out the fact that I’d joined their brain-washed masses in securing a position directly under someone else.

“Fine.” I tossed my coat into the corner where Catrina picked it up and hung it neatly on the rack. I was too busy examining the back of the dvd to care much that I was being ridiculed, or that I was being a slob. Getting my hands on this film had been a cinch, surprisingly. It had taken the kid at the video store a flat twenty seconds to know which one I was describing.

Yeah, it’s the one about the book – no writing his name-′


It was like being on a game show. Very exciting stuff.

“Oh, man.” Cat took the movie and made me follow her to the family room. “A romance? Are you gonna make me watch this?”

“I watch all those war documentaries with you,” I bartered. “I even cheer when people get shot.”

“She does,” Sarah added helpfully from her spot on the couch. “We both do.”

“And I got you a mocha…” I sang.

“Fine,” she grumbled.

We all gathered around the television with our overpriced coffee. Sarah in her bunny slippers and pajamas, Cat wearing another of my outfits, and me in my apron. Well, I was wearing more than the apron – don’t be dirty.

Partway into the movie, I was hooked. First of all, Kate Beckinsale? Need I say more? And love prevailing through every possible odd? I mean, I’m a self-proclaimed cynic, but a romantic one! So, I sipped my caramel macchiato and watched with not-so-humble eyes as John and Kate each sought to find the other. Halfway in, I was less convinced it was a sweet-filled sentiment that Mason thought of me in this context, because that’s when I started to realize why I found this particular production so easy to relate to…

Kate was stalking John.

By the end, I was furious. What had Mason told his buddy for him to think I was a stalker? Did I just give off a weird vibe?

“See,” Cat stood as the credits rolled. “I told you it would suck.” She watched me carefully as I ground the movie into its case, nearly cracking it in the process. “Okay, it was bad, but if you break it, you pay for it.”

I glared.

Her hands went up. “But hey, it’ll spare someone else the agony of having to watch it.”


Time to game.

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