“What were you thinking? I can’t believe you told her that!”
“He proposed to me, Seymour! What the hell was I supposed to do, just accept it?”
“I almost lost my entire family, Toni.”
“Yeah, yeah I know. There’s only so many times I can apologize.”
Seymour grunted, turning away.
“You wouldn’t have lost everything, you know…”
“I know, but my kids mean the world to me, you understand that.”
“But I texted her, and fixed everything. You can smile now, I know you want to…” She said.
Toni approached Seymour, making just a little space between them.
“Admit it…” She said.
“Admit what?” Seymour asked, avoiding eye contact, as a small grin formed on his lips.
“You’re addicted to me.”
A small chuckle escaped his lips as he slowly put his arms around her, taking his time to feel her body close to him.
“I wouldn’t be risking my entire world for you if I wasn’t.” He whispered.
“We always get away with it, it was just close this time.”
“Yeah, too close. I’ll have to find a way to quit you if you can’t keep this a secret. You almost gave it all away today.”
“We wouldn’t be able to keep this little secret up if I married him you know…”
“I know.” Seymour whispered.
Toni lightly caressed Seymour’s cheek. “This is so wrong.” She whispered back.
“I don’t want to be right…”
“Kirsten, honey wake up! You’re having a bad dream!”
Everything was blurry as I attempted to open my eyes. The images in my head were difficult to separate what was real from what was a dream. My chest felt heavy and my skin was sweaty.
I sat up quickly, trying to catch my breath. Seymour tried to comfort me, but I pushed him away angrily.
“Don’t touch me!” I snarled.
“What the hell did I do?” He rebutted.
“You… you… ” I stumbled my words until I finally realized I was angry with my husband because of a dream I had.
“My dream… You cheated on me… With her…” I cried.
“Kirsten! It was just a dream, relax!” He said, as the tears poured down my face.
He gently swooped me up in his arms, and rocked me back and forth, in an attempt to calm me down.
Every since that day, the insidious thought of Seymour sneaking around with Toni has been manifesting in my subconscious, violating my dreams. I should know better. He has too much to lose, as we’re bound together by magic and love. Still, I can’t shake the thought. It doesn’t make it any easier that Erik’s wise words are no longer here to comfort me, and I haven’t seen my children in weeks.
Luckily, there was a lot to keep me distracted, as Winter crept in, our family owned business was really starting to come together.
We decided to name it ‘Darling Treasures‘ where we would sell Seymour’s sculptures, as well as my elixirs.
Most of the time, we used our magic to make the building easier, and more durable.
The inside had yet to be finished, but we were making great progress, nonetheless!
We spent a lot of time there as a family, and Erik’s name was always mentioned during the building process. We really wanted to make this about him, as I’m sure he’d be so proud!
Although our marriage had been rocky lately, we always got along great at Darling Treasures, and it served as a great way to spend quality time.
Not much has happened in Appaloosa Plains since Erik’s death, or the Toni scandal, and although people went out of their way to avoid the subject, it was always the white elephant in the room.
When Jocelyn Parrott had her second baby, she invited me over to meet baby Jaden Parrott.
Apparently, Jocelyn took it upon herself to be the one to break the silence.
“Kirsten… I’m so sorry about what happened at Dorothy’s party, I didn’t know-“
“Don’t be,” I interrupted. “It was just a big misunderstanding.”
“He’s adorable Jocelyn! Can I hold him?” I asked, desperate to change the subject.
“Oh, sure!” She beamed.
I snuggled him close, as a wave of memories flushed over me. Jaden reminded me of how it felt to hold a baby, since it had been so long!
Every once in a while, baby fever hits me, and I miss my children being babies. However, I know it would not be a good idea to have another baby. With my current doubts about my marriage, paired with all the bumps I’ve been faced with lately, I know I’m not emotionally stable enough to bring another child into the world. I’d just have to wait for it to pass.
When the day finally arrived for the children to come home, I was beyond ecstatic.
They had been gone so long! I couldn’t handle them being around when Erik died. I didn’t want them to see me so broken. But after giving myself time to regain my strength, they returned home just in time for Christmas.
Seymour and I scooped them up in our arms and held them tightly. It was a very bittersweet and emotional reunion, and after seeing them again, it was obvious that they were the piece of the puzzle in which I was missing.
I didn’t want to let go of them, as I was afraid it was another dream I’d soon have to wake up from.
After spending some time as a family, catching up and talking about their school and the adventures they found themselves in, I decided to drag them along with me to the convenient store to fill up on gas.
Some tears were shed as we reminisced about Grandpa Erik on the drive to the gas station.
After filling the tank, I had the kids come with me to go inside and pay.
We were stopped by an old classmate of mine, Kaitlin.
After some small talk about the weather and the kids, of course she had to bring it up…
“So, I heard about what happened with your husband and Toni… I’m so sorry.” She whispered, so that the children didn’t hear, although I’m fairly certain she failed.
I sighed. “I appreciate it Kaitlin, but there’s no need. It was all a huge misunderstanding.” I forced a half smile, as I softly moved Yellow’s hair out of his eyes.
“…Oh. Well then!” She said, sounding almost disappointed. “I mean are you sure, because a lot of people saw it coming… There has been some, well… talk…” She continued.
“Do you really believe this is an appropriate conversation to have with someone who is only a mere acquaintance, little alone in front of my children?” I snapped.
“Mom, don’t yell please?” Yellow pleaded.
“Tell her off, Mom!” Encouraged Salem.
“You two, car. NOW.” I demanded.
“But I don’t want to miss the fight!” Salem said.
“We’ll just be going now..” Yellow smiled nervously.
Before the kids even made it to the car, I summoned my wand, and began shouting a spell.
A deep cough emerged from Kaitlin’s lips, as the cough quickly transformed into a croak.
Without paying for my gas, I quickly made my way to the car.
“That can be our little secret…” I said, driving off.
“You didn’t hurt her did you mommy?” Yellow asked.
“That was just a toadification curse, dummy. It’ll ware off in a couple weeks.” Salem interjected.
“It is not okay to call him names, sister.” I demanded sternly, although I was very impressed with her knowledge of spells!
Our next stop was the park, right after I picked up Birdie along the way.
I had a little niece-auntie chat with Birdie while the twins were playing on the playground. Although Birdie was about three years too young, there was something I thought she deserved to learn.
“Thank you so much for teaching me how to drive! It’ll just be one more thing for all the kids at school to be jealous of me for!” Birdie beamed.
“See, you’re getting the hang of it! Whatever you do, do not tell your mom about this!” I said.
“It will be our little secret!” Birdie laughed, slamming her foot on the brakes.
Later that night, the kids, Seymour, and I changed into our coziest pjs and talked about all the good times we shared with Grandpa Erik, then Yellow started going on about his new friends at school.
“I hope grandpa’s ghost comes out tonight with Grandma’s. I want to tell him all about my new friend Flynn!”
Seymour and I were definitely caught off guard, as our eyes widened.
“You’re sleeping with us tonight, kiddo!” Seymour laughed.
As we got ready for bed, Seymour and I cuddled up with our children closely.
“So tell me more about Grandma’s ghost!” I urged.