Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Zoe Bleak #3

Zoe opened the store about half an hour after Vanessa went upstairs. Only a few customers came in so Zoe spent the next couple of hours behind the counter reading. Even though she was turning pages and looking at the words, she wasn’t really reading. She used her magic to turn the pages and kept chastising herself for it.

When one o’clock came around, Zoe’s stomach gurgled but she didn’t know if she should go upstairs. She hadn’t even heard Vanessa walk around.

“Zoe?” She suddenly heard from the stairs.

Zoe quickly answered. “Yeah?”

“Can you come up here? We need to talk,” Vanessa said solemnly.

Zoe quickly walked upstairs and saw that Vanessa was in the bedroom. “Vanessa, I…” Zoe began talking but Vanessa stopped her.

“Wait. I’ve been thinking about what I learned about you but I’ve also been thinking about you and me and us. I was nervous about dating someone with powers because you can never be sure about how they will use them. Even without powers, you never think that someone could essentially drug and rape another person,” Vanessa sighed. The words cut into Zoe and she started to cry again. “The Zoe that I know never uses her powers maliciously. You could’ve continued misusing your powers, been a criminal, created an army of sex slaves but you didn’t. You settled down, started a business and became a mediocre nightclub magician. Why did you do that?”

Zoe hesitated. There were so many probable answers and Zoe didn’t know which one Vanessa wanted to hear. “I don’t…” Zoe began but Vanessa, again, interrupted.

“You’re a good person,” Vanessa took Zoe’s hands. “You’ve grown so much since you were a teenager and I fell in love with you because you are a good person. Despite your detours, you are just as good as your father and grandfather and you are also loving and caring and I am so happy that you are my girlfriend.”

The two of them kissed then got into bed together. They went back downstairs nearly thirty minutes later and saw a tall, Middle Eastern-looking woman and brown, curly-haired, freckled teenage girl browsing the store. Both Zoe and Vanessa blushed as they walked from the stairs to the counter.

“I must have left the front door unlocked,” Zoe whispered.

Vanessa smiled. “Do you need any help, ma’am?”

“No, thank you,” the woman smiled back. “We’re just looking.”

“Now that we’re back together, what about this adoption thing?” Zoe asked.

“I don’t know. I kind of want to do it but why after 14 years? Why not as a baby or a kindergartner?”

“Grandpa wasn’t clear on that. I don’t even know where we’d pick her up if we wanted her or even how to get ahold of Grandpa again,” Zoe sighed. “We don’t have to do this. He said it was no big deal.”

“Eh, people always say that it’s no big deal even though it is really a big deal,” Vanessa said and turned toward the teenager sitting on one of the couches. “Where’s the woman?”

Zoe looked around the store but only saw the girl. “I don’t know. She’s got to be here, why can’t we see her? She was eight feet tall,” Zoe exagerrated. Zoe walked over to the girl. She was reading one of the Harry Potter book, a beat-up old paperback edition. “Excuse me, little girl? Where’d your mother go?”

“She wasn’t my mom,” the girl answered. “She was Rhona and she told me that I live here now.”

Zoe looked back at Vanessa then back to the girl. “Winnette?”

“Winnie,” she smiled. Her face lit up with her closed-mouth smile, her eyebrows raised and the whites around her dark brown eyes disappeared as they partly closed.

“Winnie,” Zoe became nervous. “We weren’t expecting you so soon.”

Winnie put the book on the couch and stood up. “Rhona and Silas said that you were my parents or foster parents or adoptive parents,” she chuckled. “This is weird.”

Winnie was short, only coming up to just under Zoe’s breasts, her hair was brown but highlighted blonde, parted just off center of her scalp. She was wearing a green shirt, a dark blue bra strap was poking out from underneath. Freckles dotted Winnie’s forehead, nose and chest. Zoe thought she was the cutest and was relieved that Winnie seemed well-adjusted and that she didn’t resemble Candice at all.

“Uh, I guess foster parents for right now. I’m Zoe and behind the counter is Vanessa.”

Winnie giggled. “So cool that I have gay moms,” she said.

Zoe turned to Vanessa and mouthed ‘Mom’ to her. Vanessa nodded. “Let’s go upstairs and we can talk about what’s going on. Vanessa, can you lock the door?”

The three of them talked for a couple of hours in order to get to know each other. Zoe told Winnie that she was a magician and did a couple of tricks for her but Winnie was more embarrassed than anything. Zoe and Vanessa talked about their relationship and learned that Winnie was a huge Michael Jackson fan and a fan of an a cappela group that neither of them had heard of.

“I love music,” Winnie said. “Music is life. I want to audition for one of those TV shows and be a singer.”
“Sounds like we’re getting a little diva,” Vanessa said while her and Zoe were making dinner--an easy chicken, broccoli, and rice thing that just simmers. Winnie was attempting to find something to watch on TV but Zoe and Vanessa only had an antenna so the selection was limited. She was also laying on the floor, drawing on a piece of paper while sucking on a lollipop.

“I like her,” Zoe smiled and looked up at her from the kitchen. “She kind of looks like you.”

“What?” Vanessa sneered.

“I’m serious. Same hair, almost the same color. Your noses even look similar,” Zoe lovingly flicked Vanessa’s nose.

“Stop it,” Vanessa slapped at her hand. “I guess. It’s like she’s the daughter I never knew I had and she killed her father so she could hunt me down.”

“I’d pay to see that movie,” Zoe said. “We need to find out when enrollment is for Hyde Park and get her enrolled.”

“Should we enroll her into public school? Maybe we could look into private or Catholic schools,” Vanessa pointed out. “It might be safer.”

“I think being in a public school with 800 students from the south side of Chicago is also safe,” Zoe said.

From the front room, Winnie belched loudly and giggled like an idiot.

“And somehow I don’t think she’d fit in at a private or Catholic school.”