“You spent how much on plants?” asked Diana.
“I think the plants will add a LOT to the shop and clean the air at the same time,” said Joey. “They’re being delivered tomorrow afternoon, at one-thirty. Lacy, the woman who owns the place, is going to check on them once a month, to make sure they’re healthy. She’s also going to set them in place so they look their best. And there’s a Jade plant…”
“…to put by the register so it attracts money,” sighed Diana, shaking her head. “Fine. You’re probably right. It will brighten up the place and make it more…”
“Okay,” laughed Diana. “That too.”
“Did you talk Cormick out of going back in time?”
“What do you think?”
“Once he makes up his mind…”
“He’s dedicated and passionate,” said Joey. “He feels that way about you as well.”
“Ack,” she said.
“It’s obvious to all of us that you two love each other. Why don’t you just admit it and go with it?”
“It’s not that simple,” she said. “We need a new window display. Something more fallish.”
“Okay, but you’re wasting valuable time by not being together.”
“Just do the window,” she groaned, and leave my love life alone.
“I’m just saying…”
“I’ve been swamped with orders for potions and spells, lately. I finished quite a few from last week. They’re all under the counter and on the shelf. I’ve called the customers, so they’ll be in to pick them up over the next few days. I made one for Ms. Western’s dog Mabel. She’s been off her food and the vet said that he’s not sure what’s wrong with her. I think she’s depressed and grieving, since her poodle friend, Cooper passed away. I’m hoping the potion will cheer Mabel up a bit.”
Joey put his hand on Diana’s shoulder. “I can see how much your heart hurts, when it comes to the animals.”
“They’re so innocent,” she muttered.
“I know,” he said, hugging her. “I’m sure she’ll feel better.”
Diana nodded and started walkking back to the lab when Cormick burst through the front door again.
Joey said, “What happened?” and rushed to his side.
“I…I…don’t know,” he said, looking down at his hands. “I’m in black and white.”
“I can see that. Did you go back in time?”
“Oh, Cormick,” said Diana. “You…”
“Now’s not the time for name calling,” he said. “Help me.”
“What did you do?”
“Just a practice run,” he said, “but I found out something, important.”
Joey started at him. “Well, don’t just stand there looking like a photo from the thirties, tell us what you found out.”
“I found out that people from the future are here…changing our reality. Beings have been going back in time and changing things since the beginning, and it’s not always done to make things better.”
Diana shook her head and continued to cast a spell over him to bring back his color. “Drink this,” she said, handing him a tiny blue bottle.”
He didn’t ask what it was, he just downed it in one. “Thank you. Diana, you wouldn’t believe how many beings are here from different time periods, trying to manipulate what happens right now.”
“Well, the good news is that YOUR STILL ALIVE YOU IDIOT.”
“Name calling,” said Joey. “Not helpful.”
“It’s helpful TO ME,” she snapped.
“She gets like this when she thinks I almost killed myself again. But I don’t have to go into the past now. I’d just be one of thousands, maybe millions, so thee’s no real point in doing it.”
Color was crawling up his arms and his ears, working it’s way over his body.
“Is the past in black and white?” asked Joey.
“No. Not really,” said Cormick, grinning. “It’s a wild ride though. Whatever time you’re actually from, you can’t recognize the beings who don’t belong there, but if you’re a time traveller, you can see the others, those who don’t belong there, because they stand out like neon lights.”
“Cool,” said Joey.
“It’s not cool,” said Diana, “but that is valuable information.”
“Will you PLEASE just marry me,” asked Cormick. “I’m so tired of pretending that we aren’t meant to be together.”
“Fine,” she said. “When?”
“What?” said Joey and Cormick.
“I said, yes.”
“We’ve already lived together for years, then been apart, and together is better than apart, so we might as well get married and get it over with.”
“Not very romantic,” said Joey.
“How about this?” she asked, jumping into Cormick’s arms and wrapping her legs around his waist as she kissed him.”
“Yeah,” laughed Joey. “That’s a lot better.”
The next day, around one-fifteen the flower van pulled up out in front. The owner hopped out and started pulling plants out of the back. Joey rushed to help her.
When all the pants were inside, Lacy started putting them around the shop, by windows, in corners and on the counter. When she was finished, Diana and Joey just stared.
“It’s gorgeous,” said Diana. “Absolutely gorgeous. It makes all the difference in the world.”
“People don’t realize how much plants add to their space and to their lives.”
“It’s wonderful,” said Joey, walking around.
Diana thanked Lacy and wrote out a check.
“I’ll be back to look in on them at the end of the month. Thank you for your business and, if you have any trouble with them, call me immediately. If you decide you want more, you know my number.”
“Thank you,” said Diana, walking her to the door. “I’m so very happy with what you’ve done.”
Chester sidled up to Lacy for a few pets. Then he went back to his bed and Midnight joined him.
“I like the huge fern,” said Joey. “I didn’t see that onwyesterday.”
“The whole shop feels happy,” said Diana. “Sometimes we don’t realize what’s lacking until we get it.”
“You mean like Cormick?” he asked.
Taylor stopped by at closing time and said the same things everything everyone else had been saying all day. “The store looks and feels great.”
“I’m going to do the window,” said Joey, climbing over the counter. “I have a couple of ideas.”
“I’m sure you do,” laughed Diana.
“What did you ever do without him?” asked Taylor.
“Truthfully, I don’t know. I can barely remember a time when he wasn’t here. And, by the way. Cormick and I are getting married this in two days. I hope you’ll be my fairy of honor.”