Chapter 19: Spiders

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Kim was lounging in bed the following morning when she got the inevitable call from Kris.

"I know!" Kim said as she put the phone to her ear. "I'm on my way to the Hamptons!"

"Are you lying down? It sounds like you're still in bed," Kris said skeptically.

"I am literally dressed and walking out the door," Kim said. "I'll probably be there before you."

"OK good, see you there," Kris said, hanging up.

Kim dropped her phone and burrowed her face into Tiny Monkey, who'd been dozing next to her pillow. "Tiny Monkeyyyy can you kill a certain person for me please?"

Tiny Monkey lifted his head all alert and got a very serious look on his face like I'm ready are we doing this?

"No, no, I'm kidding. Kiiind of," Kim said, patting Tiny Monkey's head and settling him back down. "You go back to...whatever it is you do."

Tiny Monkey closed his eyes and pulled his tiny banana up close and snuggled back down, sighing under Kim's petting. Tiny Monkey wasn't always around every time she came home, but she generally found him sleeping in her bed when she woke up each morning. She wasn't totally sure what he did with the rest of his time. "You're the laziest ghost demon I ever met, I swear," Kim said, kissing him on the head.

"OK LET'S MOVE IT KEEKS!" Kim shouted to herself, clapping her hands and trying to psych herself up for the day.

A short while later she was dressed and riding the Metro to The Hamptons. She checked her social media, reviewing the memories and emotions from the casino opening at the Miraggio, both in her head and on her phone. Like what even had happened. She'd had this really intense connection with Willow in the hall. All this time Kim had been thinking Willow didn't remember her, or did but totally hated her, but it turned out Willow thought she was somehow protecting Kim? Or something? What was that about? All she could think about was the touch of Willow's fingers, caressing her hand, stroking her fingers. How Willow's dress had hugged her (OK, admittedly minimal) curves. How they'd been standing so close that a stray lock of Willow's blonde hair had delicately brushed against Kim's cheek, sending bursting heart emojis all through her body.

Willow had insisted that Kim stay away from her, but whatever. It was clear that Willow still had feelings for Kim, even if she was married to Cassio. Married, ugh. Kim's mind immediately circled back to Kanye. She was married too, let's not forget that. Why did she have these feelings for Willow? She loved Kanye so much, she couldn't even believe that her mind was so preoccupied with Willow. She felt so far away from him and every day away was going to make it more impossible to return. But she couldn't just leave, this world needed her. For just a little while longer. Now that she was a powerful celebrity again, everything would fall back into place. The world would get healthy again, probably any day now, and she could return back to Kanye and North.

But just that idea gave her a pang of regret, a tug in her chest about Willow. Could Kim leave Willow behind a second time? Why did she feel so stuck, like she belonged in two places and nowhere, all at once? But she couldn't help it, the feelings were not her own. Just because you're married do you suddenly stop being attracted to other people? Kim was rapidly became overwhelmed with guilt and decided to stop thinking about it altogether. Just in time because the Metro was pulling into The Hamptons.

~~~

Kim walked up to the front of the store to find...literally no one waiting for her. Maybe they got here early and went inside already?

"Hello?" Kim called, stepping through the door. "Who's here? Who we got?"

Her heels clicked through the foyer and into the open space of the store. Somehow it was even dirtier and more decrepit than it had been the last time she'd been here. The spider webs that hung from the rafters seemed to have multiplied and it was like an ancient, forgotten crypt in there now.

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