“So, Vivi, am I finally going to get to see some cool magical objects?” Wyatt asked as we stepped into my childhood bedroom, each of us carrying a big empty moving box.
“Chances are good,” I assured him. “Unless Mom took them to the retirement community, they’re all still here.”
“I don’t understand why you didn’t bring them with you to college. I would have.”
“Spoken like a man whose family doesn’t have any magical heirlooms. Whatever we find, it’s not coming to the new apartment with me. I’d rather throw it out. ”
We tossed the boxes onto my old bed, then headed for the bookcase to begin sorting. College textbooks, boy band biographies, and paperback young adult series went into the discard pile. A few photo albums and a collection of poetry went in a stack to keep.
“Oh, here we go,” I said, holding up a silver cylinder that had been serving as a bookend. “A perfect example of a bad magical idea. It’s like a kaleidoscope, but it replays the last dream you had.” I tossed it onto the bed for Wyatt to retrieve. “Not the last dream you can remember,” I emphasized. “But the last one you had. So, if you’ve forgotten a nightmare, you get to relive it.”
“Well, that’s disturbing,” Wyatt said, holding the tube away from his body. After a moment, though, he acquiesced to his curiosity and looked inside.
“Whoa!” he said. “This is that dream I told you about, the flying one!”
He shifted his body from side to side and I knew he was experiencing the sensation of being lifted off the ground just as he’d felt in his sleep. If only all encounters with enchanted items were so pleasant.
Finished with the books, I stepped over to the dresser and began to remove the random items stored in the drawers.
“Here’s another one for you,” I told Wyatt, handing over a pair of sunglasses. “I’ll let you put them on before I tell you what they do.”
Wyatt eagerly wedged the glasses onto his nose, then let out a surprised yelp. “It’s like I’m walking on the ceiling!”
“Yet another highly practical item.” I sighed. “You just never know when you’ll need to see the world turned upside down.”
Wyatt removed the glasses and coming around the side of the bed, handed them back to me. “Well, I think they’re cool.” He moved closer and began rifling through the drawers along with me.
“Are the hair ties magic?” he asked, holding up a handful of colorful rubber bands.
I shook my head. “Nope, and neither is the half-used lip gloss or the leaking bottle of lotion.”
I turned to find a garbage bag for those, and when I looked back at Wyatt he was just picking up a small turquoise compact with pink edges. As I recognized the mirror, all the air rushed out of my lungs.
A series of moments flashed in my memory. First, I was dancing at the Prom with my handsome blue-eyed date. Then I was floating through the front door at two o’clock in the morning, certain I had found my soulmate. Then my fingers were prying open the mirror, eager to have my deepest feelings confirmed, and instead I was looking into a stranger’s brown eyes, and everything was ruined.
Panic rose in my chest and I leapt toward Wyatt, but he just laughed as though I were playing. I loved his laugh, but I couldn’t let it distract me. No matter what, I wouldn’t look inside that compact. Never again. That had been my vow. I absolutely did not want to know who that brown-eyed teen boy had grown up to be. Yes, Wyatt had brown eyes, but so did millions of other people.
“Relax,” he said. “I’m sure I can handle whatever this little mirror does. Does it show me my most embarrassing moment or something?”
“Worse,” I breathed, sweating now, more worried by the second. I couldn’t bear Wyatt opening that compact and seeing another woman’s face. I would not go through this again.
Time seemed to slow to a crawl. Wyatt, who had the advantage of several extra pounds and inches, got the mirror well away from me. His big, thick fingers opened the plastic case and his eyes fell on the glass. Tears were already threatening when Wyatt lifted his gaze to meet mine.
He was quiet for a moment, looking at me, then back down at the mirror, and then back to me again. “I don’t understand,” he said, finally. “It’s just showing me your face.”
Overwhelmed, I let out a sob, then launched myself full force at Wyatt. I wrapped my arms around his neck, held as tightly as I could and kissed him. When we came up for air, he said, “Wow. That is some magic.”
“You have no idea,” I said, and leaned in once more to kiss the man who was, after all, meant for me.