Everything has been prepared for a peaceful Friday night at home when the doorbell rings. A look in the mirror - everything okay? Yes, perfect - and I open the door. I half know what to expect.
Andrew. Obviously in despair, and possibly drunk. My best friend since kindergarten. He looks at me with puffy eyes and says, "Nataly left me."
"What??!" I am surprised. I didn't think it would come this fast. His highschool sweetheart, beautiful Nataly. It always seemed they were meant to be together. But we all know that destiny can be a mean bitch, sometimes. I gather my thoughts, "Come inside, tell me what happened."
In the cupboard there are several bottles of wine, and I grab two glasses. "Sit down, have some of this. And now tell me."
Andrew, it seems, isn't listening. He has taken his wallet out of his jacket and looks at an old picture. The woman is beautiful, curly blond hair, radiant smile, violet-coloured eyes. I've only met Nataly a few weeks ago, and she is still as gorgeous. No surprise Andrew fell for her. It hurts me to see him in this stage.
At first I don't understand what he says.
"She has been sleeping with the guy who sold our old house."
"I am so sorry to hear it! What are you going to do now?"
"Don't know. I was hoping I could crush on your sofa."
"You get the bed. And tomorrow we'll figure everything out. Come here", and I lean in to embrace him, but my elbow connects with the wine glass in his hand, and a gush of the good red one spills down his white shirt.
He puts the glass down and grabs for some napkins, "Shit, that's my best shirt!"
"Don't worry, I'll get a towel and some salt", I assure him and hurry out of the living room. "Get off that shirt, we'll get the stain out in no time."
I grab a clean towel from the kitchen and go into my reading room. That's the last place where I used salt. It's a tiny room, more a closet with a window, and the walls can't be seen because of the book shelves. I had them made especially for this room, and they touch the ceiling. In the middle of the room, there is a small coffee table, covered with a piece of vibrant red cloth. Two red candles are sitting in the middle, on the left and right side of a heart-shaped piece of glass. The table is covered in fresh rose leaves, which perfume the air with a sweet scent.
There's the salt, as I remembered. I used it to draw a circle on the ground. It's surprisingly easy to clean salt out of a carpet, easier than sand, and I like the idea of a purifying circle for my rituals.
Standing in the door frame, salt in hand, I look at the table once more. In front of the candles, there are two pictures lying on the cloth. One is of Nataly, the same Andrew has in his wallet, the other one is ripped out of a newspaper. The headline said, "Real Estate Manager Wins Hay Lottery".
I put the salt down and light some more incense. Would be a shame to let everything go to waste now. Then I return to help the now shirtless Andrew with the wine stain.
He is thoroughly shaken. "I always thought, the... the only thing that could come between Nataly and... me would be an evil spell or sssomething." His words are becoming slurry.
I put my arm around him and snuggle closer. Just good friends comforting each other on a Friday night, with two bottles of wine. It's completely innocent. After all, everybody knows that witches don't exist, right?