“What are you doing?” I shouted over the thud of the hammer. Clearly, I startled Drew who brought the hammer straight down on the hand he was using to balance himself.
“Trying,” He started, clutching his hand and grimacing. “To fix your floor.”
“Oh. Sorry.” I apologized and scurried over to the kitchen to fix a cold compress for his swelling hand.
“Thanks.” He said, taking the towel and gesturing toward the apartment door. “You really ought to lock that.”
“I know.” Smelling the waffles again, I turned to the stove and found nothing.
“Other way,” Drew instructed, taking my shoulders and turning me toward the two-seater kitchen table.
I had been wrong. It wasn’t just the smell of blueberry waffles that woke me. It was the smell of waffles, muffins, French toast, eggs, and bacon all spread out in a beautiful display on my rickety little table. It looked like a juxtaposition painting done by some cynical artist. I felt like crying. Again.
“I’m going to lose, aren’t I?” I guessed.
“What?” Drew asked baffled.
“With Sikal, I’m going to lose. Why else would you fix me such a nice breakfast and try to fix my pathetic little hovel?” The tears were already flowing from my eyes and I couldn’t even try to stop them. I sank down in one of the kitchen chairs and slumped over its back. I took a large bite out of one of the muffins, causing the tears to gush out even more rapidly from the sheer delicacy of a simple muffin.
“If you were going to lose, I wouldn’t bother trying to fix your apartment because you wouldn’t be coming back to it.” Drew explained rationally.
“Oh.” I said and realized that I must look like a complete wreck, sitting there eating a muffin in my oversized shirt, crying with my disheveled hair. I swallowed hard and stood up. “I’m going to go get dressed and brush my hair and, maybe, shower and…”
“Don’t.” Drew said, pointing toward the chair with the hammer. “Sit and eat. You look adorable. Except for the tears. I could do without those seeing how they’re unnecessary, but if you insist on crying, then go ahead. Just make sure you eat too.”
“But…” I started and Drew shook his head, informing me that I had no excuse that he would accept. “Okay.” I sat down and started eating.
Drew poured us each a glass of orange juice and sat down across from me, carefully balancing himself on the broken chair.
“Sorry about that.” I apologized. “I don’t get company often.”
“I noticed.” He observed. “Why do you live like this?”
“I don’t know.” I told him, honestly. I really didn’t know. I made enough money that I could’ve afforded a better place; I had just never put in the effort to find somewhere nicer.
“You should move.” He pointed out the obvious while I munched on some French toast. “I should.” I agreed.
“But you won’t?”
“I didn’t say that.” I corrected.
“Looks like it’s something I’ll have to get you to work on.” He proposed.
“Maybe.” I grinned.
For the next few hours, Drew and I just hung out, relaxed and talked about how I was going to approach Sikal and how I would lay out the plan. Each minute brought me closer to my task at hand and made me feel that much sicker. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started using magic three years ago.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.