“So, I have a question.”
She counted my change under her breath, tongue clapping the silver hoop in her bottom lip.
I looked past her, trying to see into the corridor behind her. Then I looked to the seat beside me just in case someone had silently slipped into the car.
“So, I have a question,” she said again. The three quarters were warm and a bit damp as they passed from her hand into mine.
“Ok…,” I finally said, still not certain she was talking to me.
“My sister is a witch.” She leaned forward against the window ledged, resting her full breasts in her crossed arms.
I waited. I did not know what else to do.
“I mean really a witch.” She lowered her voice. “A REAL one.” She was almost whispering now. “And I’m wondering how would I know if she casts a spell — a spell on my husband.”
I glanced in the rear view mirror. Both lanes were backed up to the hotel parking lot. Ahead to the next window, the path was clear, waiting for me.
“Because my husband just got home from prison, and well, he’s just different. I mean hes just not the same guy at all.”
Tears floated in her pale eyes. She checked over her shoulder then looked back down at me.
“He’s totally different and I’m afraid maybe she cast a spell on him. She always said she would if he ever dared come back. Well, now he’s back and he’s just not the same, and I was just wonderin’, is there any way to tell?”
“How long was he in prison?” I asked with no idea where the question came from.
“Two years,” she said, tongue fidgeting with the lip ring. There was a plea in her voice, a longing, a need to hear someone say Everything Will Be Alright.
“Two years is a long time,” I heard myself say. “And prison is a hard place. It’s far more likely that those two years have changed him than that your sister has him under any sort of spell.”
“Really?” she begged. “You really think so?”
“Yes,” I said. “Yes, I’m sure.” Then taking off my sunglasses so that she could see I meant it, I said, “Everything will be alright.”
She tried to smile, stood back up and turned away, fingering something onto the screen in front of her.
I pulled forward to the next window.
©sdrogers 12 may 2013