Wallflower Girl (Chapter 7, page 3 of 3)

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"Now, I have to run. I have a booth rented at the swap meet today. Took me months to save up the fee and make all the jewellery, and I want to be there for it." She pecked her friend on the cheek and hurried out, flashing a peace sign as she turned to climb into her car. Anne grinned. Ethel was quite a character. Hazy memories that she was sure did not belong to her flashed across the back of her mind, of jumping rope with a frizzy haired little girl, and sitting under a tree, chatting. They'd talked about so many things; childish nonsense really. Ethel had always been the strange one, who'd believed there were ghosts in her closet, fairies under the trees at the park, and mermaids in the creek. As a teen, she'd become more of a New Age guru, holding séances and terrifying her more traditional friend out of her mind. And all along, she'd been in love with Reginald Glover, but she didn't want to succumb to the typical middle class life, preferring her free-wheeling hippie ways. Reg was happy to have her any way he could get her, though the part of Anne that was Patricia knew he would like to settle down some day.

After work, Anne returned to the house to find her freshly washed husband waiting for her. He gave her a long sweet kiss.

"What's this?" he asked, touching the necklace.

"A gift from Ethel."

Nick rolled his eyes. "Why are you taking stuff from the town witch?"

Anne hit him on the arm. "She's not a witch, she's my friend."

"Then she should know you don't like pink. I even know that."

"She didn't make it because it's pink," Anne protested. "It's rose quartz, for fertility."

Nick frowned. "I don't like you talking about our private business like that."

"I haven't told her a thing. I swear. She says the spirits tell her."

"Spirits," Nick scoffed.

"I know, but there's something… different about Ethel. Always has been. There's no harm in her, though. I'm sure about that."

"Well I'm sure you don't need a pink necklace for fertility. That's not how babies are made, sweet thing." He licked her ear and she squeaked in surprise.

"Hey, I know you've been working hard today. How about instead of you cooking, we go out to dinner and catch a movie. There's one showing that I want to see."

Anne smirked. She'd known him two days and could already guess what he was going to do.

"That sounds great."

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