He was leaving her.
“You don’t seem very upset,” he fumed, desperately trying to force five pairs of limited edition sneakers into a leather gym bag.
“Of course I’m upset,” she said quietly. She resisted the urge to pick up the mess of clothes he was making on the floor of their walk-in closet.
“You should be freaking out right now. They’ve got you on insider trading. Do you know what that is? You could go to jail.”
“I’ll be okay,” she said quietly, confidently.
It was time to let him go, and this part always made her sad. But there was no use in making it difficult for him to leave. It’s not like he could come with her.
“Why don’t you take this?” She motioned at the Armani suit hanging in the corner.
“I hate that suit. I hate everything you bought me.”
“You sure? It looks good on you. You might need it tonight, for your big tell-all interview.”
He looked up at her from the floor of the closet, immersed in discarded shoes and designer clothes.
“Yes, I know all about your betrayal,” she said. “You should have held out for a bigger network, my story is worth way more than that.”
“Betrayal? How about you? You’re a witch? All this time? When were you going to tell me? I have to find out on Twitter?”
“There’s nothing bad about being a witch.”
It’s true. There were no bad witches, just angry ones, she always said.
And she was hardly angered by his hostility. If anything, it made breaking up easier to do.
“You’re a liar!” He was so angry. “For how long? How old are you, anyway?”
Funny how they always land on that question.
“What difference does it make? I thought you liked older women.”
He was going through the watches and jewelry now. Such pretty things. He looked over the watch she’d given to him for his birthday a few years back. “So…” he asked, suddenly looking quite sick, “how did you get me? Some kind of spell? Was it mind control?”
“No. That was all you.”
Like she would need anything else.
And yet, here she was, guilty until proven innocent. Just like that morning in the company boardroom, with the unflinching attention of every boring old man in charge. “We believe,” they sputtered, “we have reason to suspect that you being a… a witch… could present an unlawful advantage. Our lawyers suggest we grant you leave until we decide what’s in the best interests of the company.”
She had the right to remain silent. Accused of having unlawful advantage by a room full of the richest executives in the city, the irony gently wafting over their hair plugs like cheap, knock-off perfume.
And now the irony continued to float above, in a flirty pink cloud throughout her 6,500 square foot penthouse, as her most recent soul mate rolled out the door with his things (that she bought) packed in as much matching luggage as he could take with him in one trip.
She unwrapped the Bulgari bracelet from her wrist as a final offering, “Take this. It will help you with rent.”
He refused and slammed the door behind him.
Idiot. He must think he’ll see her again.
But he won’t.
Because she’ll be gone. For good. It will be hard for him to believe.
She’ll have a new name and a new life far away from this noisy city. She was drawn to its energy at first, but now she was craving something more quiet.
Perhaps by the ocean this time, she thought, glancing at the painting hanging on the wall in her sitting room. It was a very old painting and she’d recently won it at auction. It showed a woman holding a sunflower, her long braided hair unfurling in a breeze. The mysterious woman was looking out into the distant ocean. Birds gathering overhead, signalling an oncoming storm.
She had loved this painting since the first time she’d seen it, when it was freshly painted. So many lifetimes ago. The artist was long gone. The art remains.
She’ll miss this life, she thought wistfully, strolling through the halls and rooms, running her long, black painted nails across the pretty treasures she’d collected over the last few years.
Who was she kidding? She’ll miss the Idiot too.
It was never easy, leaving a life behind. No matter how many times she did it.
She remembered every crumbling arena, every burning temple, and every village under siege she’d escaped, only to reinvent herself and start over and over again.
We only move forward, she reminded herself.
There was no magic in resurrection, she was just any woman surviving the best way she knew how.
How old was she, anyway?
As she headed for the balcony one last time, she caught her reflection in a mirror and noticed a new line in her forehead that wasn’t there before.
“Well, that has to go,” she thought.
Image from Canva