The Wish Girl
Author's note: I wrote this as a short story but it ended up being long. It's really not a novel, only 3 small... Show full author's note »
PART III: WISHES STILL COME TRUEThe devil and the angel refused to let up. I saw them in my dreams; I heard them in my head. (I want to know how God deals with all that constant squabbling!) Sandry, who now believed me without a shred of doubt tried to get me to wish all sorts of things for her, like new clothes and jewelry. When I refused she accused me of being a cheater. The saddest thing was that I’d lowered my morals so much that I couldn’t honestly deny it. I did, of course. Because lying wasn’t against my new morals.
One day before school started, there was a usual line of kids with their fees, ready for their wishes to come true. When I entered, they all crowded around me. They wouldn’t leave me alone. Today’s crowd was especially loud, rowdy, obnoxious- like a thousand Rico’s I didn’t know what to do with. “I wish” I yelled as loud as I could, not even realizing what I was saying. I vaguely saw a very panicked Sandry trying to reach me through all the kids. “I wish everyone would just leave me alone!”
Immediately kids began talking among themselves. It was like I wasn’t even there, invisible again. They ignored me but never ran into me. They hadn’t forgotten me; I heard them discussing what they were going to wish for. Naomi was talking to a Greek girl called Alethea. “I’m wishing for my parents to stop fighting,” she said.
“I’m wishing for my dad to get a job,” Alethea replied softly, a tear fighting its way out of her eye.
“I wonder where Caitlynn is.” Naomi mused.
“Yeah, she’s usually here by this time,” Alethea said. “I hope she’ll grant my wish. My dad’s been laid off for almost a year.”
“I’m right here!” I said, panicked, realizing what I’d done. “I wish you’d hear me! I’m right here!” The two girls moved on. My wish had not come true. How could I be so BLIND?!?! People were having huge issues and I’m wishing for slackers to get A’s in Chemistry! I can’t believe I’d ignored all this before. And Sandry. What did she want? I followed her, like a ghost in the chaotic halls.
I made all sorts of wishes that morning. Not a single one of them came true. I wished that Alethea’s dad would get a job, that Naomi’s parents would stop fighting, for world peace, for everything I could possibly imagine. “Is this punishment for taking advantage of my talents?” I screamed at no one in particular, slamming my fist against someone’s locker during passing time. No one noticed me, not even the animals in the science room. They all left me alone. “I wish everyone would stop leaving me alone!” Nothing happened.
As the bell rang and the hall emptied, I sank down in one of the chairs lining the hallway. I took inventory of all the wishes I’d made since discovering this “gift” of mine. Stupid, worthless rubbish, temporary crap that wouldn’t mean anything to anyone in a year. The only wish I didn’t regret was that Peter would ask Sandry out. I’d never wished he’d keep dating her, or that he’d fall in love with Sandry. That was all them; I just gave them the boost they needed. Sandry wasn’t overly popular and if I’d never wished Peter would ask her out, he never would have met her. Now that I thought about, I realized that might just be what my wishes were for in the first place. Not to do things and cheat for you, but just give you a little boost. A little hope, a little encouragement. A little fantasy that somewhere in the world, wishes still came true.
I needed to find Sandry. I knew how I could break my wish. With hers. I ran to her class- Geography this hour. I caught our teacher writing her a pass to go to the bathroom. She looked sick. As soon as the door closed to the classroom behind us, she ran down the hall towards the bathroom, and I followed. She entered the first stall, the handicapped one. I didn’t follow her in there, obviously. She threw up. When she had finished, she began to cry. “Caity, I need a wish. Where are you when I really need a wish? I wish you were here. I wish I knew where you were. I wish I were you.”
“No you don’t,” I mumbled. I crawled under the bathroom door. “As for your other wishes, consider them granted. I’m right here.” I didn’t wish once.
Sandry seemed to feel that there was someone there. “Are you there Caity? Are you pulling another invisible stunt? I wish you’d snap out of it.”
I immediately, involuntarily, shook my head. Was this how Rico felt when I wished him to put a sock in it? Like you couldn’t do a thing about it? When my head stopped shaking, Sandry was staring at me. She was speechless, staring right into my hazel eyes, soaking up my image- two miniature braids framing a small face and shoulder-length light brown hair. I smiled. “No, but people were leaving me alone. I didn’t like it. These wishes really take things literally, I guess.”
“Couldn’t you just un-wish it?” Poor Sandry, having such a freak of a friend as me.
“Nope, I found my limits. It was too powerful a wish for me to break.”
“Yet I could…” Sandry seemed lost in thought. “Does that mean I’m a wish girl, too?”
“I don’t know,” I said honestly. She ignored me and tried her very first wish.
“I wish I weren’t pregnant,” she said. My eyes bugged out. I might have pulled an Ashley and fainted right then and there if I were a weaker girl. Sandry took out a few home pregnancy tests from her fashionable book bag and did one. “It didn’t work,” she said, looking hurt and confused. “Wish it for me, Caitlynn!” Sandry pleaded. “Say 'I wish Sandry wasn’t pregnant!' Say it, Caity, say it!” She was near hysterics.
“No,” I said stubbornly. I was getting my morals back. I could almost feel the angel beaming on my shoulder. “Is it Peter’s?” She nodded. “Have you told him?” She shook her head.
“Wish it,” she sobbed weakly. I shook my head. “I’m just going to get rid of it,” she said stubbornly, as if a new strength had infused itself into her defiant blue eyes. I opened my mouth to begin. “No! Don’t even think it!” Sandry wailed, sensing what I was about to do.
“I wish you wouldn’t kill your child, Sandry,” I said anyway, sweetly, but with an iron undertone. “And I wish you’d tell Peter. He’s a good guy- he’ll help you. I know he will. He loves you, you know.”
“But does he love me enough?” Sandry wisely realized that there was no persuading me.
“But how do you know?”
“You don’t notice how he just can’t make you happy enough? How he spoils you? How you both get all giddy in each other’s company. Sandry, it’s painfully obvious. The most popular guy in school is in love with you. And I don’t know how, but I know it’s real. It’s just a feeling, but it’s as real as wishes.”
“But…” Sandry began, tears drying.
“Sandry, wishes can’t fix everything. I know that now. I had to learn the hard way, but you don’t.”
“But you’ll never have any problems, Caitlynn! You’ll never have to work hard at anything like the rest of us! All you have to do is wish it!” Sandry accused. “You’ll always have it easier than the rest of us!”
“I know. And I’m not going to take an advantage of it anymore, I promise. Didn’t you just hear my last wish?”
We hugged, and after a moment, I made her another promise. “When the baby’s born, I’ll wish anything you’ll ever need. Like diapers. Lots of them.”
Sandry smiled and she couldn’t resist laughing, her hand on her belly. I laughed with her.
And you know what? I wish everyone could feel the way I do right now.