Surprise on Main Street
It's always a joy when you find out something new about your best friend.
Except for today.
Today I am slowly figuring out that Shay is totally incompetent at picking a pie. No matter how many times I tell her that I want the pumpkin one she won't listen to me.
"That one! No, the one over there! On the other side!" I shriek while wrinkling my nose and shaking my finger violently in the direction where the pie is sitting.
Shay makes a face and crosses her arms. She crinkles her nose and looks at me. "Your mom told me not to let you get pumpkin pie."
What? Mom knows pumpkin is my favourite! Why in the world would she deny me of my scrumptiousness? "Why can't we get pumpkin pie?" I whine loudly and a mother pushing a stroller past us glares at me and walks faster; probably trying to get her kid away from the bad influence. I bite my tongue so I don't scream at her to mind her own business and put my attention back onto Shay. Who, evidently, is very annoying at this moment.
"Your mom says that you always get too excited and always eat it too quickly." She explains while shrugging and I just give her an "uhh, what?" look. A hair flip and a hip twist later I plant my blue eyes on the pie and feel like I'm going to go crazy if I don't get my hands on it soon.
I bite my lip and shuffle forwards slightly and feel my fingers twitch at my sides. It's been over three months since I have had pumpkin pie. The cravings are kind of creeping in, "Besides," Shay says while stepping in front of me and I narrow my eyes on her shoulder, where I know the pie is behind, "it's your dad's birthday. Shouldn't you get his favourite pie?"
She's got a point.
I sigh and shake my head, "But Shay, why can't we get apple and pumpkin?" I offer reasonably.
Shay groans and throws her arms up in the air in exasperation, "Fine! Get pumpkin and apple." She says while shaking her head at me. I let out a noise of triumph and rush forwards, grabbing a pumpkin pie and an apple. I turn around and smile at her.
"Thanks Shay!" I say gleefully.
She just rolls her eyes, "Whatever, come on. We've got to go help Nadine with the decorations. You know that if we let her choose them we're going to end up having some Halloween party thing with big black puffs of smoke everywhere and lightning bolts."
I throw my head back and laugh but try not to show her how close to home she just was with the puffs of black smoke, "Yeah, I don't think dad would appreciate that very much."
She shakes her head and starts walking through the aisles of the grocery store and I trail behind her, my mind wondering. It's been two weeks since what happened at the hotel and I haven't seen or talked to Stayton, Kent, Nick, or Clyde since. Every time I hear the doorbell ring I think it might be one of them but it never is. And the most depressing part, I should be happy that they're gone, right? Because now I can just go back to how I was before but with them gone it feels like a piece of me is missing. Though, I knew they were going to leave after everything was done anyways but after what happened with José I just thought that maybe they'd stick around.
Guess I was wrong.
And I never even got to patch things up with Nick or Stayton. They just disappeared. And I know that Shay is a little torn up over Kent being gone and I don't blame her. She was crushing on him so hard and I thought that at least Kent would have the decency to stick around or at least say bye. Or Clyde, but to be honest, I don't miss him as much. I barely knew Clyde.
The thing that stings the most though is knowing that Stayton probably hates me. And there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. Unless I decide to hunt him down and force him to not hate me except I don't think he'd take to that very lightly.
He'd probably fix one of his steely looks on me and close the door in my face.
"Heelloo! Earth to Bethany!" Shay says while swinging her hand in front of my face. I blink a couple times and look at her, "What?"
She groans at me, "I swear! If you keep daydreaming I will have to smack you."
I laugh and push her shoulder lightly, "Don't plan on it. Plus, it's not daydreaming," I say while making a face at her, "It's wallowing in self pity."
"Oh God Bethany!" Shay says while glaring at me, "Forget about them! They left. Plus, you've got Isaac. He's one hundred times better then Stayton."
I smile at her. "I know. But I can't help it. There's this little piece of me that still wishes Stayton would come back."
She frowns and leans against an aisle that has shampoo and stuff, "Seriously, Beth. You've got to forget about him. Forget about all of them. In fact," she straightens up and grins at me, "Screw 'em all!"
I shake my head and stick my tongue out at her, "It's kind of hard to forget about them, Shay. They helped me."
"Yeah, and so did Isaac. And he actually stayed put afterwards," she gives me a worried look, "Is this about that black mist stuff? Are you worried it'll come back for you?"
I bite my lip. Shay is the only other person besides Isaac and Angie that know that the mist stuff came after me, and I also told her about Angie's theory that it couldn't take me because of Isaac. "Yeah, I'm always worried about that, Shay. And I'm worried about Isaac. If he really is the reason it can't take me then what's going to stop it from killing him?"
Shay gives me a look, "Because it's mist and it doesn't have any arms?"
I glare at her, "Not helping. Besides, I have a feeling that even though it doesn't have arms it's still equipped to kill."
Shay looks me in the eyes and grabs my shoulders, "Bethany, listen to me, I want you to forget about that mist. Forget about the guys. Forget about that hotel. Just for now and I want you to enjoy your dads birthday. Okay? Then we'll worry about all this demon stuff later."
I sigh and force a smile, "Okay. Fine. But I'm holding you to your word. As soon as dad's birthday's over next week we're going to hit the libraries and figure out everything we can about this black mist."
She nods and holds her hand out to me, "Okay, it's a deal."
I take her hand and shake it then peer over her shoulder and almost burst out into laughter when I see Nadine holding up two different colours of plastic cups while looking at them like they could blow up any second. "Hey, Shay. I think we should go help Nadine."
Shay glances over her shoulder and laughs. She skips over and I follow behind. Nadine looks up as we approach, her orange eyes wide with confusion. "Bethany! I don't know which ones to get! Red or blue? What's the difference anyways?"
I laugh and shake my head. "There's absolutely no difference besides the colours. But get blue. Dad likes blue better."
Nadine nods and puts the blue cups in her buggy and throws the red ones back on the shelf. She looks at me, "Okay, so, I've got the decorations-"
"They're not like, witches and stuff are they?" Shay asks while scrunching up her nose and peering into the cart.
Nadine makes a face at her and rolls her eyes, "No, Shay. They are not witches. Just because I'm a witch doesn't mean I'll get everything witch related. I hate those little witches with the green skin and warts on their noses," she shivers and looks at me, "Do I have warts on my nose? No. I didn't think so."
I laugh and shake my head at her. Ever since the stores have brought out all the Halloween decorations and costumes Nadine has been going on and on about how wrong the witches are. Every time she sees one she complains they don't have the purple specks in their eyes and whenever Isaac see's one he knocks it over. One time he ripped one off a window and tore it in half. I guess warlocks are just as sensitive to witches as witches are.
"Nadine," Shay says while laughing, "It's October twenty eighth. Halloween is in three days and then all these horrible decorations will be gone and you'll have nothing to worry about."
Nadine crosses her arms and glares at a witch riding a broom hanging from the ceiling and I see why Nadine hates it. It's got long black hair, green skin, a long pointed nose and warts all over it. She looks at me, "Why can't your dads birthday be in December or something?"
I roll my eyes at her, "So, if his birthday was in December what would you do in October? Just lock yourself in your room and wait until Halloween ends?"
She huffs at me, "I've done it before."
Shay bursts out into laughter and slings an arm over Nadine's shoulder, "Oh, Naddy, it's such a pleasure having you around."
Nadine rolls her eyes and looks at me, "Can we leave now? Are we all done?"
I bite my lip, "Do we have everything? Cake! Did we get the cake? Mom would kill me if I came back without a cake."
Nadine points to a big brown box in the buggy, "Yep. Cake is all set. It's cheese too, your dads favourite, right?"
I beam at her. "Yes! Perfect, okay," I place the two pies I've been holding into the cart, "we can leave now."
Nadine beams at me and pushes the buggy towards the counter and Shay and I follow behind her and I shiver when we walk past the witch. Its beady black eyes seem to follow me as I walk and I fight the urge to laugh when I remember when Isaac and I were walking downtown, looking for banners for dads birthday. We walked past a window shop and Isaac stopped and looked at the witch in the window then he looked at me, his golden eyes wide and said: "That bloody thing is watching me!"
I laughed at him and rolled my eyes but that didn't stop him from going inside the store and tearing the thing off the window. And get this, then he stomped on it like it was a bug. When he came back out he smiled and said, "And that's what happens when you mess with a warlock."
I smile at the memory. After that the store clerk chased us away. We ran home laughing and gasping.
"Bethany! Let's go!" Nadine says from outside the door, holding two bags in each hand. I blink once and hurry out of the store and get greeted by the cold winter air. I shiver once and pull my coat tighter around me. I'm so done with winter.
"Back to your house, right?" Shay says while looking at me; her hazel eyes questioning.
I nod. "Yep, back home we go."
Shay just nods and starts walking down the street, Nadine by her side and I smile. Those two make such an odd pair. Shay with her shoulder length brown ringlets and Nadine with her chest length purple hair and Shay's taller then her too. Which I guess makes sense considering Nadine's seventeen and Shay's eighteen; like me.
I slowly start walking behind them again but something in the corner of my eye makes me stop short and I stare across the street. I watch as cars go by and people walk down the sidewalk but I could have sworn I just saw Angie. My eyes narrow and I lean forwards and scan the street for bright red hair.
"I think I'm losing it." I mutter to myself while shaking my head and continue to follow Nadine and Shay back to my house again. Angie is not here. She probably ran as far away as she could when that hotel went up into flames. No, she probably ran as far as she could after she fixed Isaac.
Images flash through my mind. José almost killing Isaac. Angie saving him then kissing him.
Oh, she better not be here or she's in for a major butt whooping.
I mean, who is she to think that she could kiss Isaac right in front of me? Just because she used to work with him doesn't mean she needs to kiss him. After all, he left her for me and she went to work with José. So, that kiss was completely unneeded.
Okay, yes, I am seriously grateful to her for saving him and letting me go but that doesn't mean I trust her. She's about the last person in the world I will trust right now. She's flipped sides a couple times from what I know. First she was working with Isaac then José and now she seems to be back on the good guys side. But you never know with her. She would probably gain your trust then stab you in the back just to get a piece of bread.
Yeah, she's like that.
A feeling that someone's watching me takes me out of my reverie and I stop dead in my tracks. I glance around me and narrow my eyes across the street. Did I just see red hair?
I watch closely but when I don't see anyone matching Angie's description come barrelling at me from across the street I shake my head, "Get a grip, Bethany!" I mutter to myself and take a step forwards just to have someone grab me from behind and yank me into an alleyway.