I Wish Book 4: Chapter 17

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Shannon O'Reilly was bullied and everything his older sister wasn't. When his sister Sarah gives him a chance to change things through a single wish things don't go as planned.

 
 

I Wish: Book 4
Chapter 17
Relationships

By
Amethyst
"I… thanks, I guess I’m just not used to having friends who actually give a shit,” Michelle replied awkwardly.

 


 
Author's note: Here's chapter seventeen of book four of I Wish. Thanks once again to my readers for their support and to the Big Closet staff.

 

I didn’t have any modeling gigs that weekend but because I was out all night on Friday I dedicated most of Saturday morning and early afternoon to doing my homework. Over breakfast, Sarah and Annie had confirmed that neither they nor Mason and Jennifer had found any Demon activity the night before either. In fact, things seemed to have been eerily quiet on the Demon front since the night at the sorority. It made me concerned about what Khinara might be up to, especially since she had said she wanted to make a game of hunting me and my friends down.

Once my homework was done I had magic practice with Sarah. I wasn’t the only one with magic lessons that afternoon either since Talisha and Elsaishe, who had the day off, went over to Ziralin/Beth’s house so that Talisha could continue both of her apprentices’ training and give Ziralin’s mother, Meredith, further training with her new Faery abilities. Meredith had gotten a good grasp on casting glamours and a few other things after having her Faery blood awakened but she still had a lot to learn and Ziralin didn’t feel confident enough in her own abilities yet to teach her.

Sarah also gave me another driving lesson late in the afternoon to try and get me used to driving in winter conditions. We had to use her car since mine was at Beth’s, but once we were done she seemed pretty pleased and figured that I could probably go for my license in the next few weeks. Annie couldn’t really come with us since I could only have one person in the car with me while learning, but that didn’t stop her from doing her job and watching over us. She followed us by air in her Celestial form, hidden from mortal sight and keeping her eyes out for danger. She did try to give us our privacy during the lesson, and afterward when Sarah had me drive us to a nearby flower shop to address an important and personal matter.

At the flower shop, we bought two bouquets, one a mixed bouquet and the other a dozen pink tiger lilies. Pink tiger lilies had always been our mother’s favorite flowers and it was as we bought the flowers that I realized just what day it was. It was the third anniversary of our parents’ deaths and I felt immediately guilty for forgetting. Sure, life had been crazy with all the Demon stuff, learning magic, and modeling but I hadn’t really thought of our parents in months unless something came up to remind me. I was deeply conflicted about that because while it was nice not having that constant hurt inside me it also felt like I should keep that pain, that it was wrong of me to be happy without them in my life.

As we drove to the cemetery Sarah realized what was bothering me. “You’re not disrespecting their memory by having a good life, Shannon. They would want us to be happy and I think they would be as proud of you as I am. They would be happy that we’ve found new family and friends and I think Mom would be proud of the work we’re doing together. She always told me that, while we couldn’t let the existence of magick become common knowledge, it was our responsibility to help others where we could.”

I was quiet and deep in thought for the rest of the drive to the cemetery. When we finally approached the tombstones my chest tightened and I could feel the tears coming as Sarah and I placed the flowers on our parents’ graves. It was cold and the tears seemed to freeze upon my cheeks, but I didn’t care as Sarah and I held one another, both too choked up to say anything for a time.

Finally, Sarah was able to speak. “Mom, Dad, sorry we haven’t come to visit you more often but it’s been a crazy few months. I think you’d be proud of us though, especially Shannon. She’s been through so much but she still works hard, tries to help others, and every day she makes me proud to be her sister. I’m seeing someone now, her name is Annie. She used to be a cop and she’s keeping me and Shannon safe. I care for her a lot. She’s beautiful, tough, smart, and she’s watching over us even now, but she’s trying to let us have our privacy today.”

“M… mom, Dad,” I managed to blubber out between sniffles before collecting myself somewhat. “I know that for the past few years I’ve been having trouble letting go and I’ve been miserable and weak and that’s probably made you worry. You don’t need to worry about us anymore though. Sarah has been taking good care of me, I couldn’t ask for a better sister. I’m following in her footsteps, and yours too, Mom. We’ve found out a lot about the family history and you wouldn’t believe some of the things we’ve seen and done. We have Faery cousins and two of them are living with us, I think you would have liked Talisha and Elsaishe, Ellie is like a little sister to me. I’ve got friends, a good life, and I’m sort of engaged now to a girl that I’m totally in love with. It may have taken becoming a girl and a Witch to get here, but I’m finally happy.”

After a few moments of silence, we said our farewells and left the cemetery, wiping at our teary eyes as we made our way back to Sarah’s car. Then Sarah drove us to Tim Horton’s for hot cocoa and a boston cream donut. It was something that our parents used to do with us when we were kids after a really important day and it had become a tradition for us on the anniversary of their deaths. We talked about a few of our really good memories of Mom and Dad as we sat there until we were finished our hot chocolates and then we headed home.

~o~O~o~

Sunday afternoon saw Beth, Ellie, and me driving to Michelle’s place to pick her up for the Rainbow Group meeting. Since Michelle, Ellie, and Lisa were all going to be there for the first time Beth and I had decided to go to the meeting as well to support them. I was a little leery about spending another whole meeting with Rebecca alternating between ignoring and glaring at me but I reasoned that this wasn’t about me, my friends needed my support. I knew all too well how nerve-wracking it was to go to a support group meeting for the first time.

Michelle seemed to be in slightly better spirits than on Thursday and as we drove from her house to the restaurant for the meeting she let us in on what had been happening with her. On Friday she had arrived at school in the morning to find anti-gay slurs on her locker again and hadn’t even bothered opening it before calling Sgt. Williams from the school office. She was still getting dirty looks from the popular crowd as she went to her first two classes of the day but people were strangely giving her a wide berth rather than the shoving and ‘accidental’ bumps and stuff she usually got. Between second and third period she had found out why.

She had been about to leave the special needs washroom, the only place she felt safe enough to go to the bathroom without being jumped or something since it was for a single occupant and had a locking door. That was when she overheard Ginny and her boyfriend Dale telling some of their friends that Michelle and a gang of ‘bull-dyke bikers’ had jumped them and his two buddies. Apparently, there were close to a dozen of us and Beth was now some sort of six-foot-five amazon in leather with tattoos all over her. She had been hoping that those jerks would have all learned their lesson after our encounter in the mall, but now they were all trying to save face and look like the victims.

Halfway through the third period, she had been called to the office, where Sgt. Williams and her partner were waiting for her with someone else in regular clothes who was carrying a large briefcase. Michelle showed them to her locker and told them the combination so Sgt. Williams could open it with gloved hands. Once again it had been filled with hateful messages, graphic photos, and the like. The other two officers had put on latex gloves as well and they all put all of the offensive materials in evidence bags. Once they were done gathering evidence the plain-clothes officer started checking for fingerprints or possible DNA evidence, both on the outside and inside of her locker. Sgt. Williams and her partner had then given Michelle a ride home where she turned over her phone so they could see the text messages and hear the voicemail messages that were on it.

After that, they had helped Michelle talk to her mother about what had been happening at school. Her parents had been furious, especially her dad when he was informed later that evening, and they were now working on getting her into a new school and planned on suing both the school and the district for gross negligence. They would also be taking legal action against any of the students who could be positively connected to her bullying through the voicemails, texts, and any fingerprints found on the notes and photos left in her locker.

“Mom and Dad kind of want me to see a therapist about all of this too, but I don’t know if I can do that. It was hard enough talking to them about it, even with the police backing me up. Sgt. Williams is nice though, thanks for getting her involved,” Michelle said as she finished her story.

“Markus can probably help you find a good one,” Beth offered as she stopped at a red light. “He runs the Rainbow Group and he’s got a lot of contacts for people like that. You really should think about it, it would be good for you to have someone non-judgmental to talk to about what you’ve been through and the cutting and stuff.”

I turned to see Michelle blushing in the back seat. She quickly looked away and muttered, “I’m okay now. You don’t need to worry about me.”

“Of course we do,” Ellie quickly countered. “We’re your friends, it’s kinda part of the job description.”

“I… thanks, I guess I’m just not used to having friends who actually give a shit,” Michelle replied awkwardly.

“They weren’t friends then,” I said, trying to give her an encouraging smile. “We may have pretty busy lives with work and sports and all that but we will do our best to try and be there when you need us because real friends care and make time for one another.”

~o~O~o~

The first half of the support group meeting went mostly like I had thought it would. Markus explained how the group worked for those who were new and then we all introduced ourselves in turn and explained what had brought us there. Elsaishe, Lisa, and Michelle each had their turns of course and both Michelle and Lisa were pretty open and frank about things. Michelle talked about her suicide attempt and her cutting that had resulted from the bullying, and Lisa talked about what led up to her coming out and changing her life, even the whole stalking me thing and then waking in the hospital with a day missing from her memory.

Once we had ordered our dinners during the break I took the opportunity to go and use the ladies' room. I really needed a break from Rebecca, who had been glaring at me most of the time except when I looked directly at her, then she would look away and completely ignore me. When I returned I found that Rebecca was talking with Michelle while Ellie, Lisa, and Beth talked amongst themselves. I was actually relieved to see Rebecca talking to someone close to her own age and it wasn’t too surprising given how much she and Michelle had in common with both the terrible bullying by the popular kids in their schools and each had a failed suicide attempt because of it.

I was actually pretty happy with that turn of events. Michelle and Rebecca both needed friends who could understand them and if Rebecca wouldn’t let me help her, maybe she’d let Michelle. The pair talked until their meals arrived and then Rebecca jotted something down on a piece of paper and handed it to Michelle before giving me a hateful glare and returning to her seat to eat her meal. I just sighed, tried not to take it personally, and started eating my dinner.

It was after the meeting as Michelle, Ellie, Beth, and I climbed into my car that Michelle looked at me cautiously and spoke uncertainly. “So, that Rebecca girl gave me her phone number in case I want to hang out and talk about things. I dunno if I want to do that though. I mean, I haven’t known the three of you and Lisa for long, but you’re kind of my friends. She doesn’t trust any of you and she really hates you, Shannon. What the hell did you do to her? She’s convinced that you’re some kind of evil bitch and that you, Beth, Lisa, and Ellie are just toying with me and will turn on me eventually.”

“I did the same thing that I did with you and Lisa, I tried to be supportive and offered to be a friend,” I said with a sigh as we all got settled in the car and Beth started the engine to let it warm up a bit. Then I gave Michelle a weak smile and added, “I’m not going to tell you who you can or can’t hang out with, Michelle, friends don’t do that to one another. For what it’s worth though, I think that you should try hanging out with her. It could help you both to have a friend who understands some of what you’re going through. You both have trust issues but she reached out to you. I don’t care if it’s because she hates me so much, she has reached out to somebody and maybe you can help her where I can’t.”

“But she’s wrong, you’re not like that. You could have bailed on me or turned on me at the mall but none of you did. I can totally get being cautious and suspicious, I was the same way with all of you at first, and I still am a little. Maybe I can convince her that you’re not as bad as she thinks,” Michelle replied after a moment.

“You could try,” Beth agreed,” but if her mind is really set on thinking of Shannon that way then you may just make her believe it more. She may just think that we’re trying to manipulate both of you, so don’t be surprised if that happens.”

I nodded and turned again to give Michelle a shrug and the best smile that I could manage. “Look, I don’t really care what she thinks of me so long as she has a friend and the support that she needs. I’m willing to take one for the team, even if Rebecca doesn’t realize that it’s her team. If it took her believing that I’m the wicked witch of the east to reach out and get that friendship and support, well, then I have a very nice pair of striped socks and some red shoes that I’m perfectly willing to wear while she tries to land a house on me. Just don’t be surprised if she doesn’t believe you, and try to be the friend she needs because I think that it will help you both.”

“But I couldn’t let her talk about you that way,” Michelle argued.

“Don’t talk about me at all then, I shouldn’t be the focus of your friendship with her. Talk about the things you have in common and be there for one another through the hard times. And we’ll still be here to talk and hang around with too when we’re not busy with work and stuff. We’re not going to stop being your friend because you’re her friend too, true friendship doesn’t work that way. You don’t need to choose one friend over another, and maybe in time she’ll trust you enough to believe you when you tell her that we’re not so bad.”

Beth put the car in gear and there wasn’t much conversation as we drove Michelle home. She was doing a lot of thinking and I don’t think that any of us wanted to pressure her one way or another. As we watched her open the door to her house and step inside though I hoped that she would reach out to Rebecca, for both of their sakes.

© 2013-2021 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved
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Comments

Rebecca

It looks like Rebecca is developing a phobia about beautiful people. Damn, this calls for the big guns. What are the big guns, here? O.O
Dressing as the wicked witch of the east in a fun way might help, but since it's not known how Rebecca will react to a witch, yet, let alone Shannon dressed as witch, that might do more damage than good.

Thx for another great chapter^^

Sort of

Amethyst's picture

Rebecca has a lot of trust issues, especially where it involves pretty and popular people and it's not really surprising given what she's been through and who her tormentors have been. With Shannon though there's the added factor that she's insanely jealous and that further clouds her thinking.

As Shannon observed, Rebecca has a lot in common with Michelle and they may be able to help one another. Shannon was mostly speaking figuratively and joking about the wicked witch thing, she just meant that if it took Rebecca seeing her as a villain then she was okay with that as long as Rebecca can make a friend and get some support. Shannon doesn't need to be the one who does the helping as long as Rebecca does get help and she's hoping that time and a good friend will help toward healing some of the wounds that both Michelle and Rebecca have.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Shannon

I got from her the "What ever it takes." vibes (no professional relation to a well known US parcel service implied) to cheer up (or help) a friend in need and serious cases, like Rebecca, too. So if that means dressing up as the wicked witch of the east, then so be it. :-) And it would be interesting to see Rebecca's reaction to that. ;-)

Lol

Amethyst's picture

Shannon would totally do it if she thought it would help, but I doubt that Rebecca would get the inside joke. Rebecca would likely be all like, WTF?

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Rebeca reaching out

I guess that's good

DogSig.png

reaching out

Amethyst's picture

It certainly is a step in the right direction. She really needs to socialize with kids her own age who aren't going to bully her.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Rebecca and Michelle

It's good to see that Michelle can develop another friendship with Rebecca, even though Rebecca has major issues with Shannon and the rest of the group. Hopefully Michelle can help Rebecca feel better about herself, and Rebecca can do the same for Michelle. And with support from Shannon, Beth et al, I feel Michelle at least will turn out OK.

>----(^_^)----<

Rach

quis custodiet ipsos custodes

It's nice that Rebecca felt

Amethyst's picture

It's nice that Rebecca felt she could reach out to someone, even if it was only because she doesn't like or trust Shannon and her friends. Michelle and Rebecca both need friends and they can both understand what the other has been through to some degree. Hopefully they'll both turn out okay in the end.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Shannon

Wendy Jean's picture

May be able to get both of them in a good place working in the background, I hope so.

That is what Shannon is

Amethyst's picture

That is what Shannon is hoping for. She doesn't really care about being the one to help them or getting credit for it, she just wants to help them and see them both happy and encouraging Michelle to form a friendship with Rebecca may just help with that. She knows far too well what it's like being that miserable and she doesn't want to see anyone else feel that way.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3