Big Witch Energy by Kelly Jamieson



1





Romy





“Ooh, more family drama.” My friend Hannah settles in on my comfortable sectional with her margarita. “Spill.”

“Well. You know my cousin who just got married?” My other friend, Kesha, arches a dark eyebrow.

It’s our girls’ night in, and we’re sitting in my living room with the fireplace on. We do this all the time, taking turns hosting, and we have sleepovers so there are no worries about drinking and driving, which is why we’re in pajamas. But tonight is a big night. I have important information to share with my best friends.

But first I settle in to hear Kesha’s latest drama. With no family of my own, her wild tales are hugely entertaining to me.

“Lissa? About three months ago, right?” Nodding, I lean forward.

“Right. And I told you the day after the wedding that she announced she was pregnant.”

“Oh yeah.” I snitch another jalapeño to add to my nacho.

“How can you eat two of those?” Hannah tosses one blond braid over her shoulder. “Your mouth is going to incinerate.”

“I like them.” I shrug.

“Hannah’s mouth is very delicate.” Kesha smirks.

Hannah huffs, her pale cheeks coloring up. “Here we go again. I have reasons I don’t like blow jobs.”

“Reasons that are ridiculous.”

“Yeah,” I say. “I may never be able to get that image of wriggling little sperm stuck between teeth out of my head. Why did you have to tell us that?”

“Oh, thanks a lot.” Kesha wrinkles her nose. “I’d managed to forget it.”

“I’m sorry,” Hannah says, not sounding apologetic. “We all have different tastes.”

“Right. Back to the jalapeños,” Kesha says.

“No, back to the story about your cousin.” I point at Kesha.

“Yes!” She tosses her head, her dark, natural curls bouncing. “Okay. She found out she’s pregnant the day after the wedding. Well… now it turns out that she cheated on Mike just before the wedding, and she doesn’t know whose baby it is.”

“Oh my god!” I stare at her.

“That is nuts,” Hannah says. “Wow.”

“And she told the whole family, because of course she did. She loves drama.”

“But… are they staying together?”

“Yeah. Mike says he doesn’t want to know. He’ll just raise the baby as if it’s his.”

“Wow.” I shake my head. “That’s… Wow.”

“You’re right,” Hannah says. “Crazy as a soup sandwich.”

There’s a pause while we all picture a soup sandwich.

“At least you have a family,” I say with a sigh.

My mom died just over a year ago. She was the only family I had since I never knew my father. Which brings me back to the reason for our get-together. “And speaking of family… I got the results of the DNA testing.”

Their eyes pop open wide, and they both lean forward.

“What?” Kesha exclaims. “What does it say?”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Hannah demands.

“I’m saying so now.” My stomach quivers with nerves. “I got it on Wednesday, but I haven’t opened it yet. I wanted you two to be with me.”

“Oh my god!” Hannah says. “Do it! Do it now!”

I grimace and stand. “Be right back.” I move into my spare-bedroom-slash-office and grab the envelope from my desk. I carry it back into the living room and set it on the coffee table.

“How could you wait?” Hannah asks. “I’d be dying to know the results.”

“You two are the ones who encouraged me to do this. I wanted you to be here.” I eye the envelope from Who’s Your Daddy DNA Testing. At one of our girls’ nights in, we’d gotten talking about how I’d never known my father and how I felt something was missing from my life with my mom gone. Hannah had suggested DNA testing to try to find my father. “Also, I’m terrified.”

“I didn’t encourage you.” Kesha corrects me. “I told you those DNA-testing companies sell your data to big pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.”

“Right.” I bite my lip. I’m not really worried about that. I’m worried about other things. “What are the chances I’ll actually find my father? Or anyone who’s related to me.” I wave a hand, staring at the red candle sitting on my coffee table, a new one I picked up because it smells like raspberries. Would any long-lost relatives of mine take a DNA test? Why would they?