WARNING: This chapter contains strong language and sexual innuendos.
Two days later, I’m overcome with an unwelcome sense of guilt. I know that I did the right thing by asking Ebony to leave. She has a job now, so she can easily support herself.
I think the hardest thing is the knowledge of how hard I worked to bring her back, only to discover that the person I brought back wasn’t who I truly thought she was.
I traipse into the living room to find Dominic working on redecorating it, considering it still has the gaudy decor of ancient residents. A few new curtains are placed, the sofas have been reupholstered (I can’t wait until he does the same to those hideous chairs), the rug has been replaced with a more masculine one, the windows are in the process of being repainted, and half of the room is covered in the new wallpaper. A TV has even been added above the fireplace so there’s somewhere besides the third floor to watch one. Dominic waves in greeting upon hearing my approach, but his face contorts into a frown as he takes in my face.
“What’s wrong, sheila?” he asks me. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
No, not a ghost. Just a witch. A witch who is my sister. And also a bitch.
But obviously I can’t tell Dominic this. So I vaguely elaborate, “Nothing”
Dominic walks over to me and encloses me in his arms. I welcome the embrace, struggling to control my anguish.
I stand there for a while, shrouded in Dominic’s muscular arms, and I enjoy the feeling. I really need to tell him how I feel. Funny, as I’m thinking this, Dominic leans in to kiss me. I’m about to return the kiss, when I suddenly turn away.
I can’t. I just can’t. Not after Ebony’s tarnished mouth sucked face with him. And God knows what else. I realize that Dominic isn’t aware of his inadvertent betrayal, but knowing that my sister had him...and in his bed, where I myself haven’t even been...it’s just too much to bear right now.
“There’s something more serious here,” Dominic observes as he cups my face between his hands and rubs his thumb along my aching lips. “What happened?”
This is becoming more and more difficult. Every time something’s wrong, I have to lie to my boyfriend. It’s for his own protection, but still.
Obviously I can’t tell him the full truth, so I just summarize, “I just feel a little guilty about Ebony.”
“What were you two fighting about, anyway?”
“Stupid stuff. Trust me, you don’t want to know.”
“Maybe I can make you feel better,” he says seductively as he reaches for me again.
“I can’t,” I say quickly, trying to appear coy. “I’ve got my period.”
I told Dominic a while back that I refuse to have sex while on the rag. Some women find it appealing. I find it messy and unattractive, and to be another uninvited load of laundry depending on where the coitus happens.
Dominic seems to accept this, as it would also explain my current emotional stupor. Damn PMS.
So we leave it at that, and I hike up the stairs to my room. Once there, I lay down on the couch and let the tears fall as the realization that my magic is starting to consume me hits me like a wrecking ball.
Things have been a little better these past few weeks. Dominic and I are still a happy couple, growing closer every day, and Ebony hasn’t even tried to contact me. It’s becoming much easier to bear.
But still, I can’t shake the feeling that permeates the house daily that something is amiss. Something sinister, and something that I don’t want to endure.
That something comes on a Sunday, as I’m watching the local news in the newly, almost completed, living room (though some aspects seem a little too tacky for my taste, like the surfboard coffee table and skateboard end table).
At first, I don’t pay much attention to the news on the TV. I’m curled up on the couch, genuinely suffering from PMS this time (damn these cramps) and not feeling completely like myself either (I’m probably catching some virus, as stress has likely made me susceptible to germs in the air), dressed in my not-so-Sunday best.
Dominic is out shopping for more supplies for the house, so when I hear the door open behind me, I assume it’s him returning.
When the announcer on TV turns to focus on criminal reports, I yawn slightly.
Until the words that come out of his mouth make me sit straight up, more petrified than before.
“The disheveled body of Abel Penrod was found this morning downtown. Investigators are saying that it appears to be a homicide.”
I can only stare at the television. They don’t show the pictures of the crime scene, obviously, but the reporter says it’s because the images are grotesque and ghastly, completely unfit for an audience.
A photo flashes across the screen showing Abel on one of his better days. I guess I despised him so much that I never paid much attention to his last name. Penrod. How appropriate, considering his dick was about the size of a pen. Yes, I hated the guy’s guts, but to murder him in cold blood?
I don’t know where Ebony has been, but it just strikes me with blunt probability. When I first brought Ebony back, I told her about Abel and how he’d hurt me. And how he basically raped me to get rent (which he later denied).
I slouch down on the couch, feeling sick to my stomach. But I can’t tell if that’s from the flu I might be catching, or from denial. My little sister, my best friend, can not be evil!
Still, I remember telling Ebony all about Abel and what he did to me. She replied that she couldn’t believe I didn’t use my magic to save myself.
Apparently, she did that for me. I know she’s the one responsible for Abel’s death. I can’t prove it, but I know she is. There’s no other explanation.
I hate to even think it, but given the facts, plus the whole corrupted magic thing, it’s no longer an unanswered question – my little sister is evil.
I didn’t just bring back my sister. I brought back evil that was better left dead.