Friday, November 13, 2009
A friend who believed that magic would bind Auntie’s husband and stop him from straying.
Gina was living in Argentina with her paternal relatives for a year. Her family wanted her to learn Spanish and to travel before she began high school, or so they said. But Gina believed that her mother’s new marriage to a much younger man was closer to the familial truth of the matter.
While Buenos Aires was a very beautiful capital city with many areas of old worldly charm and new sections of posterity and modernity, Gina felt lost. Everything was strange. Wonderfully strange. But at that time, she was a girl who preferred the familiar. At her home away from home she liked to stay in her room reading or playing online games. Her aunt, however, would open Gina’s bedroom door with a “This is not a hotel. We do not stay hidden away from each other. We share la vida!”
Because Auntie had many friends, there was always an event to attend, a dinner to eat, afternoon teas to consume. It was at one of these teas where the plot was hatched.
After the other guests left, Auntie’s best friend Mirta stayed to talk. Gina’s Spanish was still rudimentary but she understood that Auntie worried her husband might be swayed to have an affair with his secretary. Mirta said she knew a very good love spell.
Gina was clearing the table and caught a teacup before it fell from her hands, her shoulders shaking, not with shock, but mirth. Her uncle? Never. She may not be experienced in la vida de amor but she knew that her uncle’s little everyday courtesies and the happiness carved on his face when he came home and kissed her aunt hello showed he was besotted with her.
Oh, he was tall and trim with salty peppered hair and he did have a beautiful smile and mesmerizing green eyes. He was very rich, and very charming – maybe too charming for his own good. But cheating? Love spell?
She made a mental note to ask her aunt to stop watching those silly telenovelas.
Mirta walked over to Gina and grabbed her arm and her attention. “I need your help tonight.”
“Mine? Don’t you mean Auntie?”
“No.” She let go of Gina’s sweater. “I have everything I need from her.” Mirta looked at the comb that Auntie gave her earlier. “And from him.”
A few dark hours later, they were in the cold countryside.
It only took a flash of movement before the spell was cast. When they reached the car, Gina’s uncle stepped out from the driver’s seat and opened the back door for them. He put his hand out, palm up, and smiled. “Adventure over? Let us go home.”
Later, when Gina thought about her year with her paternal relatives, she would remember the waxing moon, Mirta, and her uncle who cared for Auntie so much he would join in whatever nonsense she desired. So wonderfully strange.
They are still married after many years. Gina calls it love.
Mirta says it’s magic.