Fairy godmother seemed like the perfect costume to wear while volunteering, until she met Derek who was anything but a child.
Shannon has always made time in her nondescript life for volunteering, even if it interferes with her paying job. Children and books are two of her favorite things. Put them together and you'll find her at the local children's hospital, dressed as a fairy godmother, handing out books and making youngsters smile. She never dreamed she'd meet someone her own age there, or that she'd offend him so quickly. It's hard to apologize when you don't know what you've done, but she's determined to friend Derek in his time of need.
“Would you like a book or magazine?” I started the conversation out easily enough, but then froze, uncertain what to say.
“Got any comics?” He walked toward me, hand out. Gold flecks surrounded the dark brown in his amazing eyes. Sad but hopeful described his expression.
“Comics?” I couldn’t stop staring. He wore slippers that matched his robe and carried a granny square afghan under his arm. Some family member probably brought him those. A silent prayer formed in my mind. I sent it out to that unknown person for taking care of him.
“Um, yeah. Those little cartoon magazines with bubbles above the heads. I prefer the superhero or Jughead and Archie.” He didn’t smile or laugh like he was joking. I scrambled around, looking through my inventory.
His hand stayed out, waiting. “Oh, yes, of course.” I rifled through the box of comics and pulled one from the bottom. “Here you go.” I smiled.
“This really isn’t what I had in mind.” He handed the comic back and I gasped when I saw the title. Soap Opera Graphics, Special Edition.
“I am so sorry. Let me try again.” My face grew hot. I caught him staring when I rose after digging through the box again. “This should be better.” I checked the cover before handing it over. He accepted the hulk comic, flipping through the pages before placing it with the blanket.
“Thanks, fairy godmother.” He smiled then, dimples showing on each side of his cheeks. They highlighted the blazing white teeth that made up his gorgeous mouth. I’d always been a sucker for dimples. That smile dazzled me. I drew my breath in, spurting it out slowly.
“You’re welcome. So, you already heard about my nickname? How is that possible? I’ve only been here a few hours.” My body shifted to lean against the cart. I smoothed out my pink taffeta skirt and adjusted my tiara, wondering how old he was.
“Word travels fast around here. Not much else to do.” He looked down at the floor for a few seconds, but then lifted his chin and looked me straight in the eye. “My name’s Derek.” He held out his right hand.
“Nice to meet you, Derek.” I slipped my much smaller hand into his. A firm but cold handshake ensued. Even with the cold Goosebumps covered my forearm.
“You’re so cold. Can I get you something?” Expectantly I waited, hoping to ease whatever discomfort he might be in. I threw in an extra big smile to let him know I cared. “I could grab an extra blanket or pillow or…”
The golden flecks in his eyes turned dark. His eyelids closed partway. “No, thanks. See you later.” Derek strode to the exit. I wasn’t sure what I’d done, but I’d done something.
“Don’t you want to know my name?” It came out as a plea and kind of childish, but it seemed important.
“I’d rather think of you as a magical fairy godmother.” Derek disappeared through the doorway. He didn’t look back.
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