The Magic Touch(4)

By: Dara England

By the time they had made their circuit of the small apartment and were back in the living room, he had at least managed to stop gaping like a fish. “I uh, think maybe I’m ready to hear that explanation now about what you are and why you’re here.”

She had to give him credit for a reasonably steady voice. His legs must have been weaker than he was letting on, however, because he dropped heavily to the couch.

She took pity on him. “Poor baby, you’re having a hard time with this, aren’t you?” She sank into the armchair opposite him. “Maybe I should have introduced myself and my magic in a less shocking way.”

He just shook his head. “You’re not even as old as I am,” he said disbelievingly. “How can you be my godmother?”

She smiled sympathetically. “Now you’re talking silly. I’m hundreds of years older than you. We godmothers just age slowly, that’s all.”

“So you can live forever?”

“Of course not, nobody lives forever. But I do have an extended life span, as a side effect from so many years spent working with magic.”

“And you use your magic for what?”

“To look out for you, naturally. You might say you’re the whole purpose of my existence. But don’t go and get a big head over it. Disappoint me too much and I can always abandon you to handle your own troubles.”

“My troubles?”

“Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean. Anyone can see you need help managing your life. I’ve let you do it your way for nearly thirty years and look how far it’s gotten you. You’re unhappily single and you have a terrible job.”

“Actually, I have a very good job.”

“A very good paying job that you hate,” she amended. “That’s hardly indicative of a bright future. Then there’s Charlotte.”

For the first time since learning her identity, he showed signs of annoyance again. “Don’t worry about Charlotte. I’ll get her back and I don’t need your help to do it.”

She didn’t allow herself to be ruffled. “That just shows how little you know your own abilities. Charming the ladies has never been one of your talents. It didn’t win you Hottie Haley Hart, did it?”

“That’s none of your business.”

“On the contrary. Anything that affects you is completely my business. I’ve told you, I exist for no other purpose but to guide your life.”

Apparently he didn’t like the sound of that, because he became suddenly abrupt. “This is crazy. This is not happening to me.”

He rushed to his feet but as soon as he got there he appeared uncertain as to what to do with himself. He began pacing around the coffee table. “I know you’re real,” he said, as if working things out in his mind. “I’ve seen your magic and I’m surrounded by the results, so there’s no use denying it.”

“I’m glad we agree on that.”

“But there’s something else I know, too, and that is that there’s only so much a man can take in a single day. I’ve lost my girlfriend, as you’ve already pointed out, and as you no doubt also know, my job is just hanging by a thread. Any day now I expect to be the next victim of the downsizing. They’ve already taken out half the department. And now, on top of everything else, there’s… well, you. I just don’t think I can handle all this right now. I’m sorry.”

Chapter Three

She frowned. “What are you getting at? This sounds like your break-up speech from two girlfriends ago.”

He glared, probably unhappy to discover yet another personal event in his life she’d been an invisible witness to. “I’m saying I’m going to have to let you go. Or however it is that you fire a fairy godmother. I release you from your ties to me and I set you free. Whatever. Just don’t be hovering around in the sky watching me anymore. It’s enough to give a guy the creeps.”

She straightened in her chair to fix him with an evil look. “Is this the thanks I get for going out of my way help you? I have other things to do with my time, you know. Do you think I don’t have other charges to look after? That’s right, believe it or not, baby-sitting you isn’t my idea of a great way to spend the next twenty-four hours, either.”