Chapter 47:

sCene 47 - sᴛaʏ ʟiᴋe ᴛʜis

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN / Kracked Moon

Before Nai-bu drove home with me, we agreed she should explore Mama’s study for anything that could help. Jason seemed pretty confident that scars that were gone stayed gone, so maybe something was wrong about using the potion without Mama there. I didn’t feel comfortable looking into it myself, since Mama never taught me about magic. And with Nai-bu coming back over, I could get back to focusing on finding an editor.

I didn’t really know the first thing about hiring anyone, especially for video editing. Should I look people up on business websites? Or try to look up portfolios? How do I even approach someone about it? A bit of research helped clarify my options, but it still felt awkward to think about reaching out to people, especially when I wanted them to edit my videos like I would. You can’t just find someone like that.

The biggest problem when even looking at people I might ask was that Dale could reject them over the slightest suspicion. While it didn’t happen often, I was capable of transforming on stream, and if someone had a clean recording of that, they could have some solid proof that I wasn’t fully human. I was surprised that Dale didn’t just try to hire someone to be my editor, but I also knew this wasn’t within his skillset or wheelhouse either. For him, streaming might as well have been a magic act.

“Why not just announce it like a contest?” Jason suggested, visiting with me before mowing the lawn. “If they’re already a fan of your work, they could probably imitate it to your liking.”

I sighed. “Because then someone like Kyle might apply and be the only good candidate. He’s obsessive enough to figure that stuff out.”

“What about gig sites? That’s how I got help with my website for Silver Justice.”

“I need someone willing to be long-term, maybe even forever. I can’t imagine I would find anyone there.” I also felt like those sites felt shady, especially when they try to privatize your interactions, so as to forever middleman your connection to an artist.

While my search was going nowhere, Nai-bu was eagerly coming over after work, but covering up again. It seemed like for her that the risk of seeing her scars again was high enough to keep her down, but I had to look at the silver lining. Mainly that she wasn’t going to accidentally expose herself to Kyle. She was still willing to wear clothes that were a little looser, like t-shirts instead of just long sleeves, but it still worried me when I saw her.

She had actually been working on cleaning up the upstairs bathroom before even looking for magical solutions. Did you know that spiders and other bugs might move in when you stop using a room? Given that I had refused to mess with anything upstairs for about seven years, there were plenty of creepy crawlies to keep Nai-bu company. And maybe some minor plumbing issues.

“You’re lucky I got up there when I did.” Nai-bu said, preparing dinner. “Leaky hookup lines for the faucet, and the toilet was always running? How did you not notice?”

“Isn’t the toilet always supposed to make noise? Like when the fridge hums?” I genuinely was surprised, but also never really thought about it.

“Well I’ll have it fixed so we will have two working bathrooms. Not sure if the shower will work up there, but I mainly didn’t want to have to come all the way downstairs if I was up there already.”

It was weird talking about it so casually. As a kid, Mama never let either of us up there. Or so I thought. Nai-bu had been up there before, but only to prepare to be eaten. She could barely remember any of it, but she knew otherwise we were not supposed to even ask. I still wasn’t ready to accept that Mama might not be coming back.

“You’re still working on job applications too, right?” I asked, making sure Nai-bu wasn’t more worried about me or even magic.

“I am! But it will be easier to focus once I can fix my body, right?” She sounded so confident. I missed hearing her talk like that. “Plus, I don’t hate my job, so I want to make sure I can find a good fit.”

The way she made it sound like it was no big deal really helped me. I felt bad that her progress was delayed, but it was inspiring to see her like this. I could tell she was exhausted more than she would admit, but at least she had something to focus on. I’m sure she will find the answers she is looking for.

After dinner, we sat out on the new couch, just enjoying each other’s company while scrolling on our phones. We weren’t really doing anything, but it was nice to just be together. Being apart felt weird now. As I became bored looking at my phone, I put it down and leaned over to rest my head on Nai-bu’s lap. She didn’t seem to really react at first, and just let me lay there, before putting her phone down too.

“You could have asked first.” She said, playing with my hair.

“And you should have known I missed you.” I said, smirking.

Nai-bu tussled my hair more, almost like she was giving me a noogie. By the time I cleared my hair to be able to see again, she had propped me up to kiss me.

“You say that like I didn’t miss you.” She whispered.

We spent the rest of the night wrapped in each other’s arms. It was so nice to have Nai-bu back.

I hope I can keep her happy like this.