Momo’s note: I had originally planned to make this chapter a lot longer, but my game has been giving me one technical difficulty after another. So I have decided to break this chapter into two chapters. Nothing about the following events will be changed, but it’ll just take me longer to accomplish. So if you kind of feel like this chapter has a wonky ending, it’s because it wasn’t supposed to end yet. Thanks for understanding!
“Dad!! What are you doing?! Parent-teacher conferences started like ten minutes ago, we’re late!!” Clementine whined.
Brandt grudgingly sat up and yawned loudly after sleeping on the couch for several hours.
When Clementine’s words finally registered in Brandt’s mind, he quickly jumped off the couch.
“What, that’s today? Shit! Get your shoes on, let’s go!” He said.
“Just forget it, Dad. We’re already late.” Clementine sighed, “I can just catch a ride with the twins and their aunts tomorrow, I don’t want to be a burden on you.”
“Brandt rushed over to Clementine and grabbed her by the arms firmly.
“Honey, is that what you really think? You will never be a burden on me okay? We can still go tonight, who cares if we’re late? Your teacher will just have stop being a tight-ass and deal with it.”
Clementine grinned and nodded.
The ride to the school was awkward and silent. Brandt could tell that Clementine was still a bit upset that he forgot about her conference.
Finally, Clementine spoke up. “Do you think Mom would be doing these things with me if she was still around?”
“Baby girl, your momma wouldn’t do anything unless there was something in it for her.” Said Brandt. “But your old man has everything under control, even if it seems like I don’t sometimes.”
“Dad.. You better behave!”
“What are you talking about, I’ll behave.” Brandt said, approaching the classroom with Clementine.
Brandt followed Clementine’s lead as she opened the classroom door.
“Sorry we’re late Ms. Loveland!” She said.
“Well there you are, Clementine! I was just about to head out for the night.” Answered the pretty blonde, standing by her desk.
“Mr. Clinton!” She greeted.
“Actually, it’s Martin, Brandt Martin. She’s named after her mother, unfortunately.”
“I see. Gracie Loveland.” She said, holding her hand out for a handshake.
Brandt casually clutched her hand with the wrong hand as he examined her ring finger. “No ring, I see..” Brandt smirked.
Ms. Loveland confidently made eye contact with Brandt and bit her lip. “Yeah, I’m not very fond of commitment.” She winked.
The conference went smoothly. Brandt was very vocal, and asked several questions regarding Clementine and her grades.
As the meeting wrapped up, Brandt had a plan.
“Hey honey, what do you say you be a good girl and let me and Ms. Loveland talk in private? I’ll get you whatever dress you want for that little dance of yours, no budget!” He offered.
Clementine’s face lit up as she grabbed her notebook.
“I’ll just be in the car doing my homework!” She squealed, leaving the room excitedly.
Brandt Martin and Gracie Loveland were just two adults, who knew exactly what they wanted, and they luckily both willing to help each other out…
Brandt approached Gracie, whispering unmentionables in her ear. It was clear that they were both very attracted to one another, and both were looking for a no-strings-attached encounter.
A couple weeks had passed and my sister, Clementine, as well as another student were in class working on a group assignment. Well, it was mostly just Chuck and I, Clementine and Salem talked throughout the entire thing.
“So I was thinking when class is done we should hit up Raquel’s stupid yard sale.” Salem said.
She was referring to the yard sale that the Parrott family was hosting today. They decided to get rid of some things since they were set to move to Sunlit Tides with some relatives after Salem set their treehouse on fire and got away with it a few weeks ago.
“And where do you think we’ll get money for that?! My dad isn’t giving me anymore money after how much I spent on my prom dress yesterday!” Clementine said.
“It’s called the five-finger discount, dummy!” Salem grinned, waving her fingers.
Between the thoughts of my sister stealing and Clementine laying on the table right in front of me, focusing was impossible. So since the bell was about to ring anyway, I shut my notebook and waited.
Clementine turned over to me and smiled, “What about you, you coming with us?” She asked.
“Nah, you two go ahead, I think I’ll just hang out in the graveyard again.”
Salem rolled her eyes. “See that’s why you have no friends.” She scoffed.
She was probably right. But I spent most of my free time at the local cemetery. It was perfect for so many reasons. Not only was no one going to follow me here, but my magic was much stronger here. I wasn’t anywhere near as skilled as my aunts or even my sister, but I was finally able to accomplish small charms and spells.
Now nothing could stop me from being the heir that my parents intended for me to be! Now that I have some knowledge of magic, all that was left for me was to marry my reanimated soul mate. You might think it’d be difficult for someone as socially awkward as me, but I had nothing to worry about, I’m engaged to be engaged!
Yep, that’s right! You see, to ensure the future of my family’s magic, my aunts were very persistent, and went to great lengths to assure the legacy rules are fulfilled.
They traveled far and wide, and attended several meetings with strange and rather shady people.
And after all that hard work, They’ve narrowed it down to three or four spirits my age, who were more than willing to marry me in an exchange for a second change at living a full life.
Pretty soon, I would officially be in an arranged marriage.
Sure, it’s a bit unorthodox for a kid this day an age to be betrothed, but I trust that my aunts will find my perfect match, and I’ll get my happily ever after. Besides, I took a lot of comfort in skipping the whole dating mess.
I’m truly excited to meet her. I imagine her personality, and what she’ll look like all the time!
Just another day goes by, and I find myself at the cemetery once again. This time I don’t feel so alone. It was as if the entire time, someone was watching me…
Unfortunately, it was just Salem, who angrily plopped down next to me.
“What’s up with you?” I asked.
“More like what’s up with you, jackass.” She sneered.
I sighed. “What did I do wrong this time?”
“Why won’t you ask Clem to prom? She keeps asking me to ask you.”
“Salem, I don’t even think I’m going to prom.”
“She’s been turning down boys left and right, waiting for you, you know…”
“Tell her to go with the next person that asks her.”
“I’ve never seen anyone so in denial…. You know you want her. I know you want her. How could you not?” Salem nagged.
“Salem, would you just stop!” I snapped.
“What the hell is your deal? You two are a match made in hell!”
“Look, I know what you’re trying to do! You want me to fall for Clementine, so that you can be heir. It’s obvious, Salem, you’re not as slick as you think.” I shouted.
She chuckled softly, “You’re just clueless, Yellow.”
“Trust me, seeing you end up with the wrong girl and being stuck with someone you’re unhappy with would be far more entertaining than being heir!” She said.
“But it’s my best friend who I have to watch get heartbroken time and time again! Hopefully one day she’ll see that she’s far too good for you, because there’s nothing I hate more than having to comfort a crybaby!”
And with that, Salem stormed off into the bushes, before hopping on her broom and riding home.
Funny, I came here to think things through, but now I’m more confused than when I got here in the first place. I didn’t want to break Clementine’s heart, but I didn’t want to give up my place as heir, it was the most important gift my parents have ever given me. I was born to be the heir.
As time went by, prom was getting closer and closer each day, and there was news of proposals every single day.
Of course Birdie’s boyfriend Callan went with the most extravagant, expensive proposal imaginable. I’m sure it isn’t easy affording a girl like her.
Salem got asked by Irving Wright, rather casually. She said probably/maybe/I dunno, but I think that means yes.
As for me, I decided that I’d go to prom, but the thought of asking a girl made me sweat buckets, so I decided that skipping the awkwardness and just going stag would spare me the trouble.
One night, Salem, Clementine and I, as well as Birdie and Callan all went on a camping trip to the little pond my grandpa used to take us fishing at.
As Salem poked at the fire with a stick, I attempted engaging in small talk with Clementine. Things were a little weird between us though. After all, she had Salem talk to me about prom, and I haven’t asked her, so obviously it’s the white elephant in the room.
So of course, I had to be super awkward and address it.
“So Clem, do you have a date for prom yet?” Immediately realizing I stuck my foot in my mouth.
“Mhm. Matt asked me, so I said yes.” She said.
“Matt King? Like football player, mr. popularity, Matt King?” I asked.
“Yeah, she pretty much had to blow him for him to ask! And it’s all your fault Lo.” Salem added.
“Okay Salem, that’s not true…” Clementine belted.
“….Whatever happened between me and Matt, I wanted to do. And we didn’t go that far!”
That far? So how far did she go? I didn’t really want to know, I continued roasting a marshmallow from my pocket as if everything was fine, but inside I wanted to scream.
“Don’t listen to her, Lo. It wasn’t your fault. I actually like Matt a lot.” She reassured.
I stared blankly into the fire. I know she was trying to reassure me, but I still felt crummy. I still felt like it was my fault, and I wasn’t as thrilled about her liking Matt as I should be. I know that Clementine isn’t the one, she can’t be, but why did it hurt so bad to hear about her and Matt? Seems like no matter how special your family is, no one can avoid teenage strife.
Matt King is such a prick.
Eventually, the three of us crammed into the tent we had pitched earlier, across from Birdie and Callan’s.
“Clem….I hope you’re not mad at me for not asking you to prom. It’s just I-“
“You don’t need to drag it out Lo, I get it. The whole heir thing. I respect it and understand it, k? No need to explain.” She smiled slightly.
I took a deep breath in through my nose and exhaled slowly through my mouth, before laying down. It’s going to be a long night…