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-Why must I be different? - Becky thought as she walked down the lane, dejectedly heading home. She was coming home from another disaster date.
Becky was a Cabarin, a reincarnation of a past life. Not many people knew about it, but nearly all of them sensed it. Even though being Cabarin had definite benefits, such as an ability to see her past life/lives, and a great circle of friends, it also made her an outcast from normal society. There was a small contingent of Cabarin in any city, but Becky’s group in Philadelphia was one of the largest. Cabarin tended to group in the cities where they once lived.
When she arrived home, she carefully avoided her family and locked the door to her room. She sat on her bed and tried to see if this had ever happened before. It hadn’t. Phyllis Wheatly, Annie Oakley, and Marie LaVeau had never been rejected so many times, or in exactly this manner.
Before she could dwell on it for too long, the phone rang. Becky slowly picked up.
“Another one?” asked her best friend Amy, another Cabarin.
“Try a Cabarin next time. I could set you up.” Amy, though happily attached, had a lot of connections to male Cabarin.
“I don’t want a Cabarin! I want to be normal. I want to marry a normal human and have normal children. I hate this!”
“Calm down,” Amy soothed. “Come to the meeting tomorrow. I have a surprise.”
“Okay.” Becky hung up. She unlocked her door and went to prepare for bed. She curled up under the covers and tried to forget about boys, Cabarin, and magic. She slowly sank into dreams of magic and time.
The next day, Becky walked into the building that served as the Cabarin’s (and other supernatural’s) safe house, meeting room, and recreation center. Amy saw her and waved her over. She was surrounded by a group of Cabarin of all ages and genders.
“So what was the surprise you were talking about?” Becky queried, standing in front of Amy. Amy brought forward a young man. He was tall, with black hair and light skin. His eyes had the look of a cat.
“I thought I told you, no Cabarin!” Becky said angrily.
“He’s not Cabarin,” Amy assured her. “This is Dan. He’s a shape changer. A cat shape changer, to be exact.”
Becky studied him. Now that she looked closer, he did have the air of a cat, with his eyes and his long, lean form. He even had a cat’s grace. She smiled, and held out her hand
She smiled again. Becky and Dan wandered away, talking about any- and everything.
-I like him. - She thought, -I really like him. And he’s not bothered by me at all. - She came out of her reverie and realized that he had said something.
“What was that?” she asked.
“I said, would you like to go out with me sometime?” Dan repeated for her.
“Sure, anytime.” Becky smiled.
“Great, how about tomorrow at 3?” He asked. “I’ll pick you up and everything. There’s a really cool place I want to show you.”
“Okay. Here’s my address so you know where to find me.”
Becky walked home slowly, almost reeling from shock. She had a date with a non-Cabarin, and it looked like it was going to go well.
The next day, Becky hardly knew where the day had gone, but soon it was 3 o’clock and Dan was there in a shiny Chevy, waiting. Becky ran outside and jumped in through the open door.
“So, where are we going?” Becky asked excitedly.
“We are going to a little place where no one goes.” Dan answered, grinning. The ride took nearly an hour. When they arrived, Dan made her close her eyes and follow him. She grinningly obliged. After a long walk, they finally stopped and Dan allowed her to open her eyes. She gasped. They were in a small glade that was shaped so that the light hit a set of crystal prisms perfectly, throwing off millions of little rainbows. There was an astounding variety of flowers ringing the small meadow.
“This place is amazing!” Becky exclaimed. She looked around. “Dan?” He was nowhere to be found. Suddenly she heard a low growling sound. She turned around. Behind her, there was a glorious black panther. And he had Dan’s eyes.
“Dan?” Becky whispered. The panther made the growling sound and trotted over. Becky sat down with a plop. The cat came up and nuzzled her cheek. Becky smiled and hugged it. A bright light flashed. Becky blinked furiously until her sight returned. Sitting there, instead of a panther, was Dan.
“That was so cool!” Becky said excitedly. “How did you do that?”
“Simple. I just concentrate on the type of cat I want to become, and I am.” Dan beamed at her. “You did it, Becky!”
“You broke my curse. A few years ago, I dated a sorceress. When I broke up with her, she cursed me. She said that away from civilization, I would be a cat permanently until I found my true love.” And he leaned over and kissed her on the mouth.