– Hey Sacha. What are you doing?
– Playing chess.
– You can play chess? Online chess?
– Yes, shut up please. I’m playing against this South-Korean champion something, and he’s really good.
“A champion?” Looking closer, José Luis realized this was a competition. An international, high-level kind of competition.
“Oooookay… So that guy may act like a retard but he’s actually a friggin’ genius. Great. That makes our life so much easier.”
The next day, they were all having a snowball fight at the festival. “Wait, I’m not ready!”
– I’m not ready, I sai…
– You know, I think he doesn’t like you because you like me.
“Jealous, is he?”
“Oww man… Seriously?”
José Luis’ life seemed very close to the one of a daycare specialist. Evelyne and Sacha drove him up the wall with their whims and constant requests. Like when they decided they wanted to decorate the house for Christmas. Which consisted on José Luis standing up on a ladder in the cold, hanging light bulbs all around the house and dangerously close to breaking his neck on multiple occasions.
– YAAAAAY!! Christmas lights!!
– *sneezing* Well you guys’d better be happy, because I just spent the last three hours freezing my butt to hang them up.
And one day, as he was going to the karaoke bar to prepare a show he was having there, he ran across Holly.
– Hey, your little guy is a cutie, Holly.
– So you’re married now? Well, believe or not, but me too. I’ve met my match. Sort of.
– Really? You… are married?
– And I’m a much better magician than in the old days! Come and watch me!
– Do you… have some time for a talk?
It wasn’t like Holly to look so lost and dispirited. José took her to a corner of the bar.
– What do you want to talk about? Is there something wrong?
– Yeah, well… basically, everything is wrong in my life.
Then she began to cry and threw herself in his arms. “There, there…”
– You know what? I’m going to change into my magician outfit and I’ll show you one of my tricks, ok?
– How is that going to help me?
– You’ll see.
“I’m going to make a celebrity disappear. Say goodbye to Holly Huey!”
– So what do I do now?
– Just get in there and I’ll make all your worries disappear.
– It’s… it’s narrow in here…
– I’m sorry for the inconvenience, my lady. Please bear with me.
When José Luis opened the lid again, Holly had disappeared. A few onlookers cheered and applauded.
“And she’s back!!”
– So how do you feel?
– It didn’t work one bit, but thanks for trying.
“I… I can’t do much for you. But when it gets too hard, I’ll hide you in the box again. Until you feel better.”
“That must be the sweetest thing I’ve heard in a long time.”
“Thank you Merlin.”
She left him standing there, his heart in a turmoil of guilt, regret and sadness.