Quite some time has passed, and Darling Treasures is finally ready for the grand opening!
As I carefully scope myself out in the mirror, I begin to feel self-conscious. I can’t help but feel like I’m just not the confident little girl I used to be, walking around campus, showing lots of skin, comfortable enough with myself to ask other people for money, or whatever I wanted at that given moment.
Toni has been gone for a little over a year now, but I still can’t help but compare myself to her. I’m always wondering if Seymour thinks about her. I’ll never admit it out loud, but I know I’ll just never measure up.
“It’s time to go, are you ready?” Seymour rushed.
Distracted by self-nitpicking, I quickly snapped out of it. “Huh? Oh! Yeah, almost.”
He stood there and watched me, so I figured I should just open up about how I feel.
“Honey? Do ever think I’ve lost my sex appeal?”
Seymour rolled his eyes. “No.” He said, hastily.
“Hm. I don’t feel like I’m as sexy as I used to be.” I confided.
“Ugh, Kirsten, you’re gorgeous. Can we go now? There are people already arriving. What if they get mad and leave?” He complained.
His insensitivity started to anger me.
“What if I get mad and leave?” I grumbled.
He sighed heavily. “You know I mean it honey, I shouldn’t have to tell you. You’re stunning.”
“Whatever, you have to say that because you’re my husband.” I said.
Trying to cheer me up, he nudged my shoulder and smiled. “Brandt isn’t your husband, and he thinks you’re hot.”
I looked at Seymour in the mirror, trying to figure out if what he was saying was true, or if he was just trying to make me feel better.
“I don’t believe you!”
“Kirs… You know how our guy talks can be. Sure, it’s nothing sappy or anything, but he does find you attractive. I’m sure all my friends do.”
I really didn’t know what to think about that, I wasn’t really even sure how to react, so I went with uncomfortable.
“Ha, gross.” I said, as nonchalantly as possible.
“Haha, yeah.” Seymour laughed. “He says I’m a lucky guy, and I am.”
“Aww.” I smiled, suddenly seeing myself in a different way.
“See, it’s not just me.” Seymour said. “Now, let’s go.” He rushed once more.
“Okay, okay!” I smiled.
As we walked away, Seymour suddenly stopped, “OH MY GOD.” He shouted.
I jumped, “What? What is it?”
“The kids… Did they brush their teeth this morning?”
“Do you remember? Did you forget? Also, do you think I should change?”
“..Umm… I think I had them brush their teeth this morning, and you look fine…” I said.
“I should change.”
“Kids! Brush your teeth, it’s time to go!” Seymour called.
Upon arriving, the place wasn’t busy at all. Jocelyn and Dorothy were the only two there, and they were waiting patiently.
I took my spot at the register while Seymour greeted customers with his sisters. Our grand opening night of Darling Treasures went fairly smooth.
When everyone left and the place was about to close, Kizzie and her girlfriend Mel approached Seymour and I. Kizzie gave me a huge hug and congratulated me.
“This place looks great, Erik would be so proud.” She said. “I was wondering if Mel and I could speak with you two, alone? It’s pretty darn important.” She said.
We took them to the upstairs office, as they sat down on the bench in front of us nervously.
“So what’s up?” I asked.
Kizzie cleared her throat. “Uh, well… We haven’t told anyone this, but Mel and I, we’re ready to add on to our family…”
“Oh my god!” I squealed. “That’s awesome, congrats!”
“Thank you.” She said calmly.
“Obviously we’re both women, and we can’t naturally have kids. And adoption isn’t an option right now.”
“Why is adoption not an option right now?” Seymour asked.
“We had spoken to an adoption agent. Our situation isn’t necessarily ideal for adoption. We’re not married like my parents were, and we live with my sister, her husband, and Mel’s parents. They believe that our situation isn’t the best place to bring in a child, meaning we could end up waiting years. So, we decided to come to you two for help.”
“Okay! What can we do to help? Do you need a surrogate or something?”
“Uh… Well not exactly. We know that you had fertility issues, and I remember what you did to have your children. We were looking for something a little more…”
“Magical.” Seymour finished her sentence.
Mel nodded in agreement, looking at Kizzie.
“…Exactly.” Kizzie said.
I was a bit surprised, as Kizzie never seemed very interested in magic. She was my roommate back in university, and she didn’t like when I’d practice alchemy.
“That would be very advanced magic…” I said.
“But I know it’s possible. I remember reading about it some when looking up the procreation elixir. Possible, but not easy. Let’s see… Do either of you have a male relative, with your DNA, that would be willing to help?” I asked.
They thought about it for a moment. “No, no blood relatives.” Kizzie said.
“Hmm. Well I can’t promise anything, but I’ll try my best to do some research and get back to you when I know more.”
Their faces lit up, “That would be amazing, thank you, so much!”
They hugged one another tightly, rocking side to side. It really warmed my heart, and I knew I’d have to find a way to help them, even if it meant reaching out to the Crumplebottom sisters.
After thanking us, Kizzie and Mel said their goodbyes.
“Do you really think you can find a way?” Seymour asked, wrapping his arms around me.
“Of course I can! I can do anything I set my mind to.”
“I’ll help out as much as possible, but I’m exhausted right now.” Seymour said.
“Do you want to come to bed with me?” Seymour whispered.
Every once in a while, Seymour had a way of making me feel like I was in high school again!
I don’t remember the last time I giggled like that. With all the bumps we’ve encountered lately, it was a nice feeling.
“I’ll meet you there a little bit later,” I said, “I want to clean up a bit around here.”
Seymour laughed. “Are you feeling okay?” He joked, putting his hand on my forehead.
As I finished putting everything in it’s rightful place, I thought about my eventful day. We had sold fourteen items, which I guess was pretty good!
Suddenly I heard the door open..
“There you are!”
The sound of Brandt voice made me jump, and my heart skipped a beat. “Oh my god, you scared me!”
“I was looking all over for you!”
“I tried the house, the mean one said Sy’s sleeping, and you weren’t there, so I checked here. She also called me a douchebag…”
I tried and failed to hold in a laugh, as Clementine laughed along with me. “I’m sorry about that.” I said.
“So I need you to take Clementine tonight. I have court tomorrow, and Toni’s side will be there too.”
“Okay, sure!” I blurted, without hesitating.
“She’s been talking about you all day.” Brandt said.
“Aww! Did you have fun today, Clem?” I asked.
Clementine was excited to talk about her day, in which she spent with all the other kids here at the shop, in the kids corner. Brandt and I sat down on the trunks and listened, as she talked about her day. She mentioned my kids quite a bit, especially Yellow.
“Come here, butthole! I’ll carry you to the house!” He said, holding his arms out, as Clementine squealed with laughter.
“She can borrow some of Salem’s old PJs, they should fit her pretty well!” I enthused, as we made our way to the house.
As I waited for Brandt to help Clementine change, I checked my phone to see if I had gotten any missed messages or calls.
I had one text, from Persephone, sent about 2 hours ago.
“So I found out you taught my daughter how to drive…Thanks for asking ahead of time, it’s not like I was looking forward to having that moment with her myself, WHEN SHE’S OLD ENOUGH, anyway. That’s a job for her PARENTS, not you. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll take initiative to teach your kids how to drive when the time comes, see how you like it!! You have no respect, and stop asking my kid for money.”
“Are you kidding me? Way to overreact, Persephone.” I said to myself.
“Alright baby, go get those little shits up and tell them you’re here.”
“Okay daddy!” Clementine giggled, hugging Brandt goodnight, before squirming away.
“You know, I can help you change into your pajamas too, if you want…” Brandt joked suggestively.
I knew he was joking, but that didn’t stop my face from turning bright red, and my stomach filling with butterflies.
I tried to play it cool, and rolled my eyes. “Go home, Brandt!” I laughed.
“Haha okay, it was just a suggestion!” He laughed.
“Night Kirs…” He said, making his way up the stairs.
“Night.” I grinned, rereading Persephone’s text to distract myself.
I then made my way to bed.
“Honey? I’m home now…” I said, trying to wake him up. He didn’t wake up, and continued to snore.
I kissed him on the forehead, and fell asleep, smiling.
When morning came, I jumped out of bed, realizing I had slept in just a bit.
I ran upstairs to the kitchen, knowing the best way to get the kids ready in time for school.
“Kids! Snow-cones for breakfast if you get up here in five minutes!” I shouted.
Although there was no sign of Salem yet, Yellow and Clementine were upstairs almost immediately, and having a conversation. Apparently Yellow let her sleep in his bed while he slept on the floor!
“Okay! Who’s first?” I asked, interrupting their chat.
“Ladies, first!” Yellow said politely, ushering Clementine to go in front of him.
“And what flavor do you want, Clem?”
“I want Yellow!” She giggled.
I sighed heavily. “You mean Lemon? Sorry fresh out of lemon.”
“How about grape? Grape’s a lovely flavor!” I suggested hastily.
“I like grape, too!” She smiled.
“Grape it is!”
Clementine sat down to enjoy her snow-cone, as Salem grudgingly sat down on the bench next to her.
“What a stupid breakfast idea.” She grumbled. I ignored her as I helped Yellow with his snow-cone.
Clementine had her snow-cone finished, and ran over to stand next Yellow before he even started. She began fixing her hair, and smiling at him bashfully.
I knew that one day I’d have to face it, but this was too early. I had come to the realization that something I always feared was now happening; Yellow has someone’s heart!