I thought I had cried my saddest tears over Steve, but compared to now, that pain paled in comparison. My body ached with each long sob, I felt bolts of torture shoot through my muscles in response to each agonizing grimace on my face.
I looked up momentarily, trying to stem the flow of tears, to see Mary once again confused. She was looking at the table in shock. I looked down to see fractals of ice scattered on the table. Each tear that fell from the warmth of my skin instantly crystallized causing a very beautiful and horrifying scene.
The room wasn't cold, I reached out my hands and blew out my breath in haste. It definitely wasn't cold, plus this had never happened to me before, even during my winter break to Prague to see the christmas markets. That was possibly the coldest I had ever been. My eyes had teared up from the bitter wind, but they definitely didn't do this.
Mary picked a few up, but they dissipated in her hand. They didn't melt, just vanish. I had no idea what to say to her. How could I explain something that had no explanation, at least from me.
Suddenly an old lady appeared in the chair next to us, her arm still draped around my shoulders.
I looked from her to Mary and back again. I felt responsible for doing something, I was afraid of breaking any rules and I was warned that I couldn't talk about recent events with anyone, even Mary. As if she could read my thoughts, the sweet old lady smiled, and took the ownership off me.
“It’s ok Annabelle, I can ensure Mary is compelled to forget all of this. But for now, I think it is important you confide in your friend, the only person who has ever ignited magic in your heart.”
She said the second half of her sentence with such passion and delight. Her eyes sparkled and she looked excited by what had occurred.
“I’m Alberts wife Moya. He had to go and oversee the renovations on our new house, so I said I would stay and watch over you. I’m not your only watcher, but I like to think I’m one of the better ones.” She giggled.
“Can’t you get into trouble for revealing yourself to a human?”
“Oh dear, when you get to my age, breaking the rules is a little bit of fun. I can just throw a bout of amnesia into my excuses and all is forgiven. I always said they should take magic off wizards once they reach a certain age, because we just become very mischievous. I bet Albert is over at the house now, compelling the builders to work faster. What’s the point of magic if you cant have some fun with it eh!”
I smiled fondly. I liked this woman. Knowing she was a watcher on the human side, it was unlikely she could come with me wherever I was going. But I hoped to spend more time with her in future.
“I will give you girls some time,” and with those parting words she was gone.
Mary looked a little whiter than I think I have ever seen, and was stunned into silence. I grabbed her hand and squeezed it.
“Mary, I have so much to tell you. Don't worry, I promise this story is better than the last one!”
Mary attempted a smile. I hoped she would be full of intrigue and a million questions, but she was fairly subdued. Perhaps compelling humans was strictly prohibited for a reason. I hoped whatever magic they had used on her, would not have any lasting effects.
Me and Mary talked and talked for hours. Her phone kept ringing, but she just ignored it. Her boyfriend Joe had wondered what had happened to her, but she couldn't drag herself away from the story. She seemed to take things better than I did when I first found out about this other world. She asked questions I wish I’d had, and she literally rolled on the floor laughing at Karaleen’s suggestion of killing Steve. The thing that touched me most was, despite all the crazy talk, when I told her about seeing Steve with his girlfriend, she moved to sit next to me and was genuinely concerned.
“Wow, I cant imagine how that must have felt. You got to see the other side, the part were not meant to see. It must have crushed you.”
“Yeah it was pretty awful.” I conceded. “Maybe I can ask Moya to compel, compound, conceal, or whatever it is she does to my memory of Steve. I really wish I could just erase him from my life.”
Suddenly Mary looked really concerned.
“She won’t erase my memory of you all together will she?” Mary burst into tears, hoping to find fractals falling from her eyes so she could have a reason to come along with me.
“I don’t think she will do that. And I don’t think this is going to be a last goodbye. I’m going to go and find out who I am, then I’m going to figure out why I spent so much time on earth, and find a way to come home. I promise you Mary.”
“I’m going to miss you so much Annabelle”
We cried and hugged and talked into the early hours. We demolished the huge tub of ice cream that had a yellow sticky on it with the instructions: For EMERGENCY use only.
No matter what I was, I knew my bond with Mary was real. In my eyes this girl was special and would forever be a part of my life.