After splitting up to the numerous showers in the Smith’s mansion, we met up for dinner. Each time I had eaten at Regina’s, we used the dining room which was every bit as grandiose as the rest of the house. The ornate table didn’t truly seem much larger than my family’s, but the amount of extra space, mirrors, and tables along the walls left me feeling that the room was far too grand for two people to eat alone, which was generally the case. The only times Regina’s father ate with us was on special occasions, such as when my family had joined them for Thanksgiving. Normally, Mr. Smith was far too busy to even come home for dinner. Regina once told me that she spent more time in her father’s office than at home when she was little, but at least she saw the man more regularly. Even with Ai, Mai, Emma, and Jarod joining us this time, the room seemed far too grand, though the twins seemed quite at ease when I glanced at them. The one truly exceptional change in here today was Regina. Whether due to extra company or her recent discovery of magic, Regina was truly vibrant as she chatted away. I felt a tad guilty over once claiming she could probably compete with the devil for his claim on hell. She did have her faults, but I had at least as many.
Not being the best of guests at times when I visited was one of many. I wasn’t ever rude precisely, but I didn’t really act like I wanted to be over. How many junior high boys would feel comfortable in such an extravagant home with a girl who simply wouldn’t leave him alone? I was so grateful when Regina stopped getting mother to force me to practice there that I worked hard at convincing myself I didn’t miss spending as much time with her. I really should have volunteered to help her more in high school instead of waiting for her to come ask me every time she started a new project. I didn’t understand how she could look so happy every time she looked my way. Why did such a wonderful person, the girl who was forever looking out for others, enjoy my company so much that she left her private school to attend a noisy public school? Why did I never just date her? I knew I still could. Despite everything, I was certain Regina would gladly accept if I asked, but would I truly be good for her in my current situation? There it was, teasing me yet again. How could I faithfully date Regina though when I was also interested in other girls?
I knew that other people did such things all the time, dating one while having feelings for another. From what I saw, such circumstances even worked occasionally, but there were also many, many times they didn’t. I wasn’t going to give up my job now that I had it going so well, and I knew the twins would be hiring me again. Even if they didn’t, I wouldn’t want to give up their friendship. I also wouldn’t want to feel guilty about spending time with them if I were dating Regina. Though they treated me as a servant part of the time, Ai and Mai both could be very flirtatious. Emma was probably the most flirtatious I knew. She flirted with Regina, Ai, Mai, and myself without even taking a second breath. I was fairly certain that Emma even flirted with Jarod at times, and he was in a relationship! When an impish grin possessed her lips, how was I supposed to avoid making a snappy comeback. Then there were feelings for Alma, the serial killer, as well. What type of person was I to have countless daydreams about a girl I met only once, especially when I was certain she went around burning people alive!? Perhaps circumstances like this drove some people to be dedicated bachelors. I might well be better off if I could get such an idea through my head, especially if I get hired as a date again.
Even though Regina and I weren’t dating, mother had seemed to think that Regina would be jealous about my date with Michelle before it took place even though that was business. I suppose Michelle did kiss me at the end. Regina had been jealous when she first found out that I was going on a date with Emma, but that wasn’t remotely business. I was curious how she felt about that now that she knew Emma and had been hit on by Emma herself. I can’t imagine the other girls would be pleased if I was actually dating one of them and was hired to be another girl’s date for some event. Actually, I just couldn’t imagine any of these girls happy if I started dating anyone. Jarod had things so much easier. Well, maybe not. How did Laura really seem to Jarod now that he was friends with Ai, Mai, and Emma. Laura wasn’t dumb, but I never had the impression she kept up with Regina or Jarod. She surely had her talents, but she mainly followed Regina’s lead. As far as any of us knew, Laura had no magic or even the slightest idea that magic existed. That last part could seem like a boon to Jarod, who couldn’t do any magic either. Still… Perhaps Jarod was growing less attached to her. If he was, what was I going to say? “Hey, Jarod. Sorry that Laura doesn’t fit in with our new group, but she’s still great.” didn’t seem appropriate or helpful.
When Regina told everyone that she planned on having me work with her at magic for a few hours after dinner, the twins were quick to offer their assistance as well. Not knowing anyone in an area had to be a bit rough, especially with how those two often mentioned their family. That line of thought got me feeling guilty over not making more time to spend with them without being paid. There had to be things other than constant training which they enjoyed. All that came to mind was visiting the aquarium and shopping. Surely there was something beyond clothing and fish which the two of them enjoyed though. They didn’t seem nearly as into video games Aaliyah, Jarod, Emma, or I. Going to the movies with them was an experience I didn’t truly want to repeat, simply due to the trouble it seemed to cause. I’d have to plot with Emma sometime and take a day off to spend time doing something more normal with them. She would surely be able to figure out something Ai and Mai would be interested in doing, and I’d likely be much safer plotting with her than I would be if the twins were in on the idea themselves. Plus, I didn’t really spend time with Emma outside of training either. Yes, I wanted to be able to protect myself and others from the supernatural forces in the world, but I wanted to have more out of life than a constant battle. Would I remember the good things in life if all I saw were the bad?
Jarod stuck around to watch and listen, as well as ask the twins questions about monsters, after we finished eating. He was disheartened to find that the twins didn’t believe Medusa ever existed, but Emma gave him a wink and assured him that Ai and Mai didn’t know everything, which brought back his smile instantly. I realized after a while that Regina would never catch up with me on using residual energy as I had initially feared. She was learning the patterns to spells as quickly as I did, and she did have an advantage in being able to draw residual energy into the world. However, she couldn’t seem to manipulate the energy in the quantities I could, probably for the same reason that Emma had trouble: the fey blood. As we were all practicing passing off control of a light spell, even taking turns letting Jarod pretend to intercept it, I pondered once more over being an anomaly, a pure human that could use magic. There had to be some explanation for it, but I had no clue what that explanation was. How would I find out when Emma, who had actually found references about others like me, didn’t figure it out in her research? Not two seconds later I was texting Aaliyah. If the girl could learn enough to have multiple doctorates by the age of twelve, she surely could figure out why I was different if doing so was possible. I frowned when I read her reply: “Can’t tell you now, boss-man, sir. Maybe when you bring me the right cake! ;)” When asked what was wrong, I simply said, “I need cake.”