Winter has hit Asteria like a freight train slamming into a glacier. After spending my teen years in Michigan, you’d think I’d have gotten used to this kind of weather. But the chill creeps into my bones and ices over, until I can barely even remember those hot, dry days on the savannah.
It hasn’t all been bad, I guess. The guys and I sometimes get into some wild snowball fights. One time, D.J. and I crept up to the roof and lay in wait until Keith left the house. Then we pelted him with a dozen snowballs, sniper-style, haha. Sometimes, when we managed to save enough money, we head up to the slopes for the day and ski or snowboard.
And when my teeth are chattering and my fingertips are blue from the cold, I call up Caroline. Just being near her is like standing in the sunshine.
Well, it was, anyway. Until D.J. ruined it all.
Caroline and I had grown pretty close. I cared for her more than I had any other girl before. Not just because she was pretty, but because she was so kind and warm and honest. I was even starting to think of telling her those three little words. Yes, those. But one day, I was driving home from work (I know, it’s pretty ridiculous to drive around an ice-cream truck in the middle of winter. But a job’s a job, right?). Exhausted, I turned my key in the lock, thinking of hopping in the shower, then maybe calling to see if Caroline wanted to go grab a bite to eat. But when I pushed open the front door, I froze.
There stood my so-called friend D.J. and my Caroline, locked in an embrace.
The blood drained from my head. D.J. leaned down and kissed Caroline, who kissed him right back. I don’t know what happened next – I was gaping like a fish and making these weird choking sounds. Then D.J. and Caroline noticed me and broke apart.
“I’ll see you later, baby,” Caroline murmured to D.J. She barely even glanced my way as she breezed through the front door. I was still gaping as D.J. started to walk away, a goofy smile plastered on his face.
I exploded. “Baby? She calls you baby?” Caroline had never called me baby. Not once. Not only had D.J. stolen my girlfriend right in front of me, but here she was, gazing into his eyes and calling him pet names. “How long has this been going on?” I demanded.
D.J. shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said, giving me a wary look. “I met Catherine a few months ago, but..”
“Caroline,” I said. “God, you can’t even get her name right? What does she see in you?”
D.J.’s face reddened. By the slow way his chest was heaving, I knew that he was taking deep breaths and counting to keep his temper under control. Too bad for him, my own temper was out of control. “How dare you!” My voice echoed through the room. “She was my girlfriend. You knew that I was dating Caroline, and you moved in anyway.”
D.J. held up his palms. “Hey man, Catherine told me she wasn’t seeing anyone. I swear to God, I didn’t know.” Seething, I turned and stalked up to my room. Was he telling the truth? Did Caroline lie to him? Come to think of it, I had never even introduced him to Caroline, so he couldn’t have known who she was. Had my best friend betrayed me, or had my girlfriend?
When I learned the truth, I felt like an idiot. It turns out that Caroline had an identical twin sister. Catherine. They looked so alike, it was impossible to tell them apart.
“Sorry for all the confusion,” said Caroline. “I guess I should have mentioned my sister.”
That wasn’t the only thing Caroline should have mentioned. It wasn’t long before both D.J. and I learned that Caroline and Catherine were also witches. Real, live, broomstick-riding, would’ve-been-burned-at-the-stake-three-hundred-years-ago witches.
When D.J. found out, he was so turned off that he broke up with Catherine on the spot. This made Catherine so mad, then she laid some kind of evil magic hex on D.J. Then, just to be even more cold-hearted, she made her sister break up with me, too.
And that was the end of that. Well, except that we still don’t know what Catherine’s magic hex will do.
“I just hope I don’t turn into a frog,” said D.J. with a sigh. “I really hate frogs.”
Your frozen friend,