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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wish - Chapter 9

IX

I hear you grant wishes,” a girl told Sarita nervously.
Sarita shrugged, smiling at the girl mysteriously. “What's your wish?”
A friend of mine is going through a really hard time, and I just wish I could do something to make her feel better.”
Sarita smiled again, putting a hand on the girl's arm. “I know that if you think hard enough, you'll figure out the perfect thing to do for her.”
The girl looked down, tempted to sigh in disappointment. Suddenly, she gasped in excitement. “I could bring her to the spa! I forgot, but I won vouchers on the radio a couple of months ago.”
Hey!” A girl called out as she ran closer. “I saw this fall out of your purse earlier!” The girl pressed an envelope into the wisher's hands, and then ran off.
I didn't drop this,” the wisher murmured with a frown, looking around to see if she could give it back to the unknown girl, but that one had disappeared.
Sarita patted her comfortingly. “I'm sure it was meant for you after all. Good luck with your friend.”
As Sarita walked away, the girl opened the envelope and gasped. “Whoa, there's 40 dollars in here! That's enough to get our nails done too!”
Sarita laughed softly. “I love my job!”
Indigo rubbed his head against her neck and whispered. “And you do it so well.”
She sighed wistfully. “In a couple of days, school will be over for the year and summer vacation will start. I just wish I could do something fun...”
Indigo snorted. “Normally I'd advise you not to grant that wish, but go ahead. You've been mopey for far too long!”
Here goes...” Sarita whispered, closing her eyes and letting just a touch of her power flow.
Talya came up behind her and covered her eyes. “Guess who!”
Sarita laughed. “Hi Talya!”
In the school yard, she saw Liam talking to Ianto. Thomas came up to them, and then the couple waved goodbye to Liam as they walked out to the school parking lot. Sarita slipped her hand into Talya's and pulled her over to Liam.
I really wish I knew why he makes me feel so funny!” Liam blurted aloud to himself.
Do you want me to grant that wish?” Sarita asked.
Sarita!” Liam exclaimed, flustered. “Er, well... I don't know...”
At least you can talk to him now,” Sarita pointed out.
That may be true, but it's small sentences, and I tend to blurt out things that sound stupid!” Liam confessed.
Talya smirked at him. “Take it from a girl who is, you aren't!”
Aren't what?” Liam wondered in confusion.
Gay,” Talya stated.
Well I could have told you that!” Liam practically roared. “I keep telling you, I don't think that's it, but I don't know what is!”
Sarita smiled softly. “Well... what do you think about when you look at him?”
I want to bake him cookies and make him happy!” Liam blurted, looking a bit dreamy, and then blushed and looked away from them.
Maybe you're bi,” Talya suggested.
Maybe,” Liam admitted with a sigh. He checked his phone when a vibration let him know he got a text. “Just my uncle reminding me that I have to pack up soon.”
Pack?” Sarita asked in dismay.
Liam shrugged. “Well yeah, I am going home for summer vacation.”
So... I'll never see you again?” Sarita wondered, trying not to sound horrified by the prospect.
Liam chuckled. “I'll be coming back! I haven't figured out what I'm supposed to be doing here yet, but me mam wants to see me.”
Oh...” Sarita murmured in relief. She found it sweet that Liam tried his best to sound like an American most of the time, but never failed to slip back into his brogue when talking about his mother.
I just had a great idea!” Talya burst out. “But I'm not going to tell you about it until I know if I can do it!”
Sarita cast her a curious look.
So, do you guys want to come over for a photoshoot today?” Talya asked expectantly.
I can't,” Sarita declined. “My dad is coming home today and I promised that I'd make dinner to celebrate.”
And I have a ton of homework I have to finish up,” Liam stated with a sigh.
Fine...” Talya grumbled in disappointment. “I guess I can do something else today.” She pointed to her limo. “My ride's here.”
Sarita gave into the impulse to hug her friend. “Cheer up! I'll come over tomorrow.”
Talya kissed her on the cheek. “Perfect!” She exclaimed, and then ran off to her limo.
I've been meaning to ask, but are you and Talya together now?” Liam wondered. Since the two of them lived within walking distance of the school – and in the relatively same direction – they had gotten used to walking home together until their paths split.
No,” Sarita answered with a smile. “I'm sure she'd love that, but I'm not interested in her like that.”
But you two are always holding hands and kissing each other on the cheek,” Liam pointed out.
That's because I do love her. I'm just not in love with her,” Sarita explained. “You know, in France, everyone kisses everyone on the cheek.”
I know,” Liam murmured.
I don't think it's weird for friends to do that,” Sarita added.
Liam shrugged. “Maybe not, but I've noticed that even your other friends seem to wonder what is going on between you two.”
Oh well!” Sarita exclaimed with an uncaring shrug. “That's their problem!”
Liam pointed out his turn. “That's me.”
Sarita waved at him as he walked away. “Good luck on your homework!” Her power flared just a tiny bit.
You just granted a wish!” Indigo stated from her shoulder. He had been visible for some time now. “He must have been praying for divine help or something!”
So... I don't actually have to hear a wish to grant it?” Sarita wondered.
Apparently not!” Indigo replied with a laugh. “Though I haven't noticed it happen before. Maybe you need to know a person really well. Well enough to sense an unspoken wish.”
That kind of makes sense,” Sarita murmured.
When she got home, she busied herself making dinner. Step one: fry up a package of bacon and set aside. Step two: set a large pot to boil. Step three: open the container that she'd bought at the grocery store last night holding two live lobsters and plunge them into the boiling water.
Sorry!” She cried out to them. “I wish there was another way to do that!” This wasn't the type of wish that needed granting, so she moved on.
Step four: using some of the bacon grease and some garlic lemon butter, sauté onions, garlic, scallions, rosemary, and thyme seasoned with salt and pepper. Step five: to the sauté add corn and zucchini seasoned with a bit more salt and cook until browned. Step six: Remove from pan and set aside.
Sarita checked on the lobsters while her veggies were browning – and determining that they were done – removed them from the pot so they could cool down a little. After setting the sautéed blend aside, she grabbed a large butcher knife and attacked the lobsters with a loud roar.
AAHH HIYAH!” She knew she had to be both forceful and careful in order to successfully chop the lobsters in half lengthwise.
Thomas came running from his room because it was near unheard of for her to shout like that. Ianto was a step behind him. Both arrived in time to see her chop open the second lobster.
I did it!” She squealed happily, and then talked to the two split creatures. “Aren't you glad you were already dead for that part?!”
That smells amazing!” Thomas admitted, smirking at her because she was so adorable at the moment.
Sarita looked up to see them watching her and blushed. “Thanks...” She glanced at the clock. “Dad will be home soon...” She reminded him before resuming her cooking.
Step seven: Using a bit more of the bacon grease and garlic lemon butter, sauté cherry tomato halves and chunks of lobster until the tomatoes were wilted. Step eight: pour the tomato lobster mix over the veggie mix and top with the reserved bacon – chopped up.
Thomas and Ianto had both come much closer so that they could see what she was doing. Thomas laughed and pinched her cheek. The chain around his neck glinted, calling her attention to the charm of Ianto's name that she'd used to wear.
You always spoil dad!” He accused.
So what if I do?” Sarita challenged with a shrug. She pushed the tiny bit of lingering jealousy to the back of her mind.
I notice that you made up four plates,” Ianto murmured.
Sarita shrugged again. “Well... it would almost be weird if you didn't stay for dinner.”
Just then, the door opened and their dad called out: “I'm home!”
Can you set the table?” Sarita asked Ianto before she rushed off to greet her dad.
Thomas followed her. He was a little bit less enthusiastic, but he still wanted to let his dad know that he had missed him. Their dad gathered them both into his arms for a messy group hug.
I missed you two so much!” He informed them, although they knew it already.
We missed you too!” They assured him, returning his hug.
I brought you each a present,” he announced.
We'll open them after dinner,” Sarita insisted, pulling her dad toward the kitchen.
Hi Ianto.”
Welcome home, Mr. Zanatos,” Ianto murmured.
I think you can call me Ken by now.”
Ianto simply shrugged and didn't say anything.
Ken sat down and smelled his food. “Ah! This smells amazing!” He took out his cellphone and took a picture of his plate. Then he uploaded it to his Facebook with the caption: A welcome home dinner from my daughter!
Finally, he was ready to dig in. “Thank you for the food!” He called out habitually, which was their version of grace.
They all chatted about this and that as they ate. Eventually, they noticed that Ken had fallen silent. He looked deeply troubled by something.
Dad?” Sarita asked in concern.
He sighed heavily. “I know I promised that we would go on vacation this summer, but my company wants to send me on business for two months!”
Sarita and Thomas looked at each other for a moment.
That's okay, dad,” Sarita murmured. “We'll be fine.”
Yeah dad,” Thomas agreed. “It's not like we had any definite plans.”
Ken grabbed a hand from each of them and bowed his head like he was praying. In actuality, he was hiding the fact that he was trying hard not to cry. “I am so blessed by you two! But it's not fair. I shouldn't have to be gone so much!”
His phone rang and he answered under the assumption that it was his work calling. “Kenneth Zanatos speaking.”
Hi Mr. Zanatos,” Talya greeted him. “I'm calling to ask a favor.”
Ken listened to Talya in astonishment, both because she had never called him directly before, and because she made an utterly perfect suggestion. Sort of. It made him squeamish even as he recognized how happy it would make his daughter.
With a sigh, he replied to his daughter's best friend. “I'll think it over and get back to you.”
Hanging up his phone, he turned his attention to Sarita. “So... if I can't be home all summer, I'd really prefer it if you two weren't all by yourselves. How would you like to stay with Talya this summer?”
Wait, was that her?” Sarita asked with a puzzled frown.
Maybe,” Ken replied with a mischievous smirk.
Thomas lit up happily. “Wait, does this mean that I can spend the summer with Ianto?”
My parents are going to take me to the ocean,” Ianto added. “They said I could bring Thomas if I wanted.”
Ken smiled at Thomas. “I guess it would only be fair.”
Thank you!” Thomas gushed, throwing his arms around his dad and hugging him the best he could considering that they were still sitting at the table.
Oh man!” Sarita blurted out with a wry laugh. “If I spend an entire summer at Talya's house, I'm going to be so spoiled by the time you get home! She has maids and assistants who love to cater to her. Just going over there to model her costumes is an exercise in being pampered like a princess!”
Her dad smirked at her. “Well, every girl deserves to be treated like a princess from time to time.”
He pulled out his phone and returned Talya's call. She answered it with clear hope in her voice. “That's a go,” he stated. “Have fun!”
Talya squealed so loudly that he had to hold the phone away from his ear. When she was done doing what must have been a happy dance, she gushed. “Thank you so much Mr. Zanatos!”
When he realized a moment later that she had hung up on him, he put his phone in his pocket. “I guess even Talya can act like a 13 year old girl at times.”
Sarita giggled. “She acts like one all the time! She just reserves her squealing for when she's taking my picture.”
Sarita pulled out her tablet – which was in her bag slung over the back of her chair. Scrolling through a several files of photos, she selected a bunch to play in a slideshow. Then she handed the tablet to her dad.
He had mixed feelings as he watched the photos change every two seconds. Foremost was a feeling of pride that his daughter was so beautiful. Next was a wistful nostalgia that she looked so much like her mother. Lastly, he was uncomfortable with how fast she was growing up. It didn't help that she seemed to want to be a model like her mother.
One picture in particular nearly made his heart stop. Not because it showed her wearing anything risque, but because she was dancing with a boy. He paused the slideshow and held the tablet out for her to see.
Who's this?” He wondered.
Sarita blushed. “I didn't mean to add that one to the slideshow!” She shrugged indifferently. “He's just a friend. His name is Liam.”
The boy from Ireland?” Ken asked with interest. He stared at his daughter suspiciously as she tried to decide how to respond to that.
Yes,” she finally answered, trying to act like nothing was out of the ordinary. The way he was looking at her made her very nervous, even over a simple question!
If he's just a friend, then why are you blushing and trying to hide pictures of you dancing with him?” Ken pressed.
Sarita looked away from him and took another few seconds to decide how to respond. “I guess because I didn't want you to assume we were together or anything like that.”
Hmm...” Ken remarked, then took a few moments to look through the other pictures that she hadn't included in the slideshow. Sarita squirmed uncomfortably as she tried to decide whether or not she should protest the invasion of her privacy and snatch her tablet back.
Ianto and Thomas exchanged glances since they hadn't suspected that Sarita might like another boy until now. On the one hand, Thomas was glad that she had gotten over Ianto, but on the other, he didn't like the fact that he didn't know Liam well enough to trust him. As for Ianto, he did know Liam a little bit – since Liam tended to seek out Ianto at least once a day – but he was concerned that Liam had a raging crush on him.
That would make it very awkward and difficult for Sarita... Ianto thought. Having two guys who prefer other guys to her...
Okay, that's just adorable!” Ken blurted out. He held up the tablet to show Sarita that he'd found a video of them dancing. Liam was a cowboy and Sarita was wearing pink and white gingham.
Talya has one assistant whose sole job – other than being a bodyguard – is to research and know everything there is to know about the time periods her costumes are in. That there is some form of square dance – I think,” Sarita explained. “Talya told me that she plans to do Roman Togas next, and then I think she wants to dress me up as a fairy.”
Is that the Charleston?” Ken asked, holding up the tablet so that she could see the video he was playing now.
Sarita grinned as she watched herself and Liam wearing 20s style clothing and dancing the Charleston. “Actually yes! You have no idea how fun that is to do!”
You look pretty cute in that flapper dress,” Ken remarked, liking the white with cream colored fringe dress that was so iconic from the era. Even the pearls looked perfect on her.
Sarita chuckled. “Now you know exactly what I'll be doing all summer... except that Liam is going back to Ireland.”
Yes...” Ken murmured vaguely. “What does Talya do with the costumes after you've finished with them?”
This made Sarita laugh even more. “She stores them in either her closet or in protective bags in a room devoted to storing her costumes. She makes various sizes in a bunch of colors. I'm telling you that the moment she graduates high school, she's going to open up her own shop with me as a model. I'll probably be like a sales clerk or something too.”
Why does she plan to wait that long?” Ianto wondered. “You already told me that the two of you don't really need to study or anything, and I wondered then why you don't just find a more challenging school. It seems to me that if she already knows what she is going to do when she grows up, she should just do it.”
Sarita sighed and looked down sadly for a moment. “She's waiting for me. She doesn't want to do it without me, although her mother tends to agree with you. Ms. Black started her own business when she was just 16, you know? It was just a toy company at first, but then it branched out into clothes and a kids show and video games and other technology.”
Wow...” Ianto exhaled in awe. “Then she must be pretty rich!”
Yep,” Sarita confirmed with a smile. “Talya probably wouldn't have to work a day in her life if she didn't want to, but she has big plans.”
Like what?” Thomas asked, curious himself.
Sarita blushed even as she laughed. “Well... even before she opens up her shop, she wants to film a movie starring me. She's hired a team of writers to come up with a script based on her ideas, and she already started work on the costumes. She's contacted a couple of directors who have worked for her mother in the past, and has looked around for the perfect location. The only thing that really holds her back is the fact that she wants to be the boss, and some of the people she wants to hire are hesitant about working for a 13 year old girl.”
Sarita then looked down, sad again. “Well, that and me. I don't think I'd be the right girl to star in her movie.”
Ken chuckled and shook his head. “Ah... so that form asking for consent she sent me a while back was real. I wish I had thought about it a bit more before I signed it and sent it back to her. I just thought she was talking about filming something like a school play.”
Whoa, really?” Sarita demanded in astonishment. “You gave her permission to have me star in her movie?!”
Yep, I sure did,” Ken admitted.
Hmm...” Sarita hummed, biting her lip in thought. “I didn't think you would agree even if I wanted to.”
Ken stroked his chin as he looked to the ceiling. “You know... If she can really hire a professional crew to film it, and has a good script and everything... I think you should do it.”
Really???” Sarita questioned, having leapt to her feet to gape at him incredulously.
Ken shrugged. “Well... why not? The only thing you have ever said you wanted to do when you grow up is model like your mom. But then you tell yourself that you can't because you aren't as beautiful as she was – or something along those lines. I think doing this movie would prove to you that you really can do whatever you want.”
Sarita was floored and nearly fell over as she slumped back into her chair. “But... but...”
And as for Talya's shop...” Ken added softly. “If you really want to help her with that, then I think you should go for it, but try not to limit yourself to only doing the things she wants to do.”
But I don't!” Sarita protested. “I do what makes me happy every day!”
You do?” Ken asked in surprise.
Yes!!!” Sarita cried out insistently. “I – !” She nearly blurted out that she granted wishes with her magic power, but the fear that none of them would believe her stopped her. She looked around the table, shook her head, and then ran from the room.
Indigo had been eating the last little bit of food on her plate, and stared at her running away. He wondered whether he should go after her or wait for her to come looking for him. The hope that someone would give him a bit more lobster – aside from the parts that were left in the carcasses that she had already given to him – prompted him to stay on the table.
You should try telling her that you promise not to laugh,” Ianto murmured. “I always found that to help when she was too embarrassed to tell me something.”
Ken sighed and rested his head in his hands. “Oh God! I just remembered that I planned to rehearse a speech to reassure her and then never did.”
I still haven't figured out what her magic does,” Thomas murmured.
Wait, magic?” Ianto asked in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
She honestly never told you?” Thomas asked, returning the look of confusion. “I was so sure she would.”
Nadia never really told me exactly what her magic did. Just that it made people happy,” Ken admitted. “I never saw her use it, so I completely forgot that she said that Sarita might have inherited it.”
He grabbed hold of Thomas' hand. “I just always assumed that she could see spirits and things like you do.”
Thomas felt a shiver run up his spine and turned his head to look at Indigo. Indigo was gaping at them in astonishment, his food completely forgotten.
What?” Thomas asked the cat, not truly expecting an answer.
Indigo was far too astonished to say anything. His mouth continued to hang open in shock. Ken looked at Indigo with a frown.
It really looks like he understands what we are talking about and is in shock,” Ken murmured. Ianto nodded, also frowning in confusion at the cat.
You knew?!?!” Indigo finally blurted out. He turned and flew toward the hall. “Sarita!”
Sarita heard him shouting her name and ran flat out to see what was wrong. “Indigo?!”
They know!!!” Indigo shouted, landing on her shoulder just as she reappeared in the kitchen again.
Ianto looked like he was going to faint and lightly clutched his heart. He recognized the voice from when he once accused her of having someone else in her room. This possibility had never occurred to him!
Thomas and Ken both stared at Sarita and Indigo in surprise. Aside from knowing that she had magic and suspecting that the cat could talk, neither had truly expected to hear him. Plus, he could fly!
You know?!” Sarita demanded, feeling strangely angry. “How can you just know?!”
Well you know that I can see things!” Thomas roared defensively. “How could you think that I wouldn't know?! You glow like the sun!”
Sarita held her hands to her face as she felt the blood drain from it. “Oh... That makes sense...” she whispered softly.
The cat talks!” Ianto finally managed to blurt out. He slowly slid out of his chair, almost fainting, but Thomas caught him and patted his cheek.
Are you okay?” Thomas asked urgently.
The cat talks...” Ianto mumbled, clinging to Thomas.
I noticed,” Thomas remarked dryly. No one said anything for a full minute.

Go To Chapter 10 

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