Junto Magazine Vol2_Issue2 - Page 49

Junto Magazine, Volume 2 Issue 2 hors d’oeurves ready to be served. And leaning on the table, as if resting from a violent battle, were Rick and Suzie Edel- man. The room was filled with a heavy aroma—the perfumes of liquor and the greasy smell of uneaten food—but the heaviness felt more personal than that, like a dead body had been discovered and hastily moved into the corner where no one would notice. But the only thing on the floor was a spray of shattered glass, shards of crystal that glinted like gems, piling around the Edelmans like a boun- tiful fortune. Neither looked directly at the other, instead they looked at me. They had not bothered to cover their bat- tle wounds—a reddened face, a streak of mascara—but rather they laughed off the mess with an excuse while both used their feet to sweep the shards underneath the table. Rick hurriedly searched for a bottle and Suzie fixed a plate of food pre- senting it to me as if it was an offering or a bribe to join them in their party. The only sound I remembered hearing was the glass crunching beneath my feet. “So you will be a part of the team, right?” said Rick. “What?” His words sounded muffled as if formed in a thick haze as my brain worked through these memories, trying to sift away the perceptions and conclu- sions that had been drawn out. “You’ll be a part of my team.” Rick stood steadfast across from me. No longer leaning, he looked unshakable in his stance. Looking up to meet his gaze, I hadn’t realized how tall he was. There was knowingness in his eyes that made me feel vulnerable again, as if he held the encryption key to my mind. “Yes.” “Great,” he said patting my shoulder, for me to follow. I found myself scanning through the crowds, searching through the thick fog of partygoers trying to catch sight of the lighthouse that would guide me safely through the rest of the night. I spotted Laura across the room, stand- ing under the beam of the living room doorway. She was talking with Dan. Her face was glowing, luminous with a gloss of sweat from the overheated room, as she and Dan bowed their heads together, speaking under the noise of the crowd. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I saw Dan reach up to brush away a lock of hair that had stuck to Laura’s damp brow. It made me think of our sign. I love you. She made some movement that might have been a reply, but with the crowds filtering in from the kitchen, it was lost from the horizon of my sight as they dis- V&VBFFRfrऒ7FWVB&6v7BFRvא6VFW"FvW&W6ǒ'VrFRg&rЦRfbVFVB7Vf62VP7VVWVB'Rvrגf&VV@vFFR7Vfbbג6VWfRG&VBא&Fג6FRVffVB6VBVBWFגV'2Bf"VBFVv@B6VBFRV7F&fg&FPFFW&גf6GW&VB&VB6V&6Цrf"FRFvRVFV&BFR6P6VBv6֖rg&6WvW&P&VBRF&VvFRvBv2V@VVvFBFRFW"VRFR&Ч6VBfRV&BBW7V6ǒPB&VGVvvVB6fW'6F'W@&G6V62GW&VBFV"VB@v22bFWvW&R7GVFW6ǒv&pFR6VG2v6vW&Rr6֖r@&WVFVBFW'f2WfW'fWr6V6G2 6WFF6BFVƖ&W&FR6ƗrFFRFr&fV@FR6RbFR'Gv6VB266V@FRF"&VBRFRrF&Rv06fW&VBvFVFVB&GFW2BG&2`