I open White Magic Love Potions by Prunella R. Brown tentatively. A tasseled bookmark with five orange tabby kittens marks Love Potion Number Nine. Above the chapter’s title is written, “I cast a wish out to the universe, with all good intentions, and it came back to me as you, Linda. I’ll always believe in what we shared. I’ll always believe in love. I’ll always believe in you. Yours in love and light, Casie.”
I drop the book and run downstairs. I’m afraid the sobbing that wracks my body will wake the girls. I don’t stop until I’m outside, and throw myself to the ground and scream into the moist grass until my throat is raw. I roll onto my back, heedless of the cool air turning my skin to a landscape of goose flesh, and blink up at the stars through my tears. Slowly, I calm down. I stand, holding my arms as if I were holding someone and begin to slow dance on the grass. “I’m sorry,” I say quietly to Casie’s ghost, and then whisper the words I could never say when she was alive. “I love you, too.”
Speaking the words does something inside. I feel a little bit like I did the night this all began, when we brandished our pens like swords. Something good will come from this.
I sit by the garden, waiting, listening for what that good will be. The answer comes with the rising of the sun and my realization that denying the fact that I loved Casie has kept me from completely loving Marty.
When I get up to go inside it’s not because I’m cold or tired, though both are true, it’s because I need to call Marty and tell him I don’t want a divorce. I need to tell him I love him. It’s not the same kind of love I had for Casie, but it’s a good, solid love. The kind that can last a life time. I hope.