Chapter 28: Power, Part Four: Night On The Beach

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Kim decided to throw a surprise party for Other Kim. She had called Other Kim and invited her to hang out at her condo in Miami, under a hazy mixture of pretenses like “needing life advice” and “girl time”, both of which always seemed to get Other Kim’s motor running. 

When Other Kim arrived she found Kim’s condo full of her favorite friends and business acquaintances. Simon, Maria, Luther, Michelle, The Sisters, and a bunch of other people Kim didn’t even know had all gathered to surprise Other Kim. 

Other Kim had gotten all touched and teary and then shot straight into a mild panic attack about not being properly dressed for a party, but Kim had shown her a brand new gown designed especially for her, courtesy of Christian Sriracha. When he heard Other Kim would be wearing one of his fashions he was only too happy to help. Even that guy from Dubai that Kim had been supposed to go on a date with was here, chatting intimately in the corner with that woman whose kid needed a kidney. 

And for entertainment, the secret reason for the entire party, they were treated to an intimate performance by DJ Kay Games and Azalea Grande, thus fulfilling the challenge Sister Ash had set before Kim. 

In the end it had all been much simpler than she’d been making it. She just had to make things happen on her own terms, and not let then be dictated by other people. The pieces of the puzzle wanted to be connected, it was up to her to decide how they fit. 

After Azalea finished singing, a bunch of promoters began crowding around her, asking who her manager was, offering her record deals. Kim had wielded her Power to set someone’s career in motion without ever even speaking to them. 

Other Kim came over and gave Kim a squeezy hand hug. 

“I can’t believe you put all this together for me? You didn’t have to do this!” Other Kim said. 

“Yes I did,” Kim said. “I needed to thank you. You have done so much for me. If I hadn’t run into you that first day I would be living on the street, punching fire hydrants for spare change.” 

“Oh, I’m sure you would have found your way just fine.”

“I realize now how connected everything is. I’ll be on the B-list now, and before long I’ll be on the A-list. After that anything is possible. And it’s all because of you!”

“Awww,” Other Kim said, and went in for an actual hug. One of her rings got caught in Kim’s hair, causing a sharp pain when she yanked her hand away. 

“Ouch!”

“Sorry!” Other Kim said. “That’s why I love hand hugs!”

“Me too!” Kim said, and they both laughed. 

“We should talk tomorrow,” Other Kim said. “There’s a role in a movie coming up that would be really great for you. We could be in the movie together! In India!” 

“Sounds awesome! Love you!”

“Love you!”

After another hand hug Kim made the rounds, thanking people for coming. She played the good hostess to make sure everyone was having a good time. She Socialized and Mingled and Charmed Guests and Told A Joke.

When she needed to reenergize a bit she went to stand outside on the veranda. It was a warm night and the breeze sweeping in off the beach felt amazing. 

She turned around and leaned on the porch and watched the party through the patio doors, like it was happening inside an aquarium. The house was full of music and friends, laughing and dancing. Maria was talking with the Sisters, showing each other new spells. Simon was trying to charge his phone on her espresso machine. Other Kim was sitting on the couch, playing with Callum Woof. 

There was some guy in an extremely tight vest sitting right next to her. He looked vaguely familiar but Kim couldn’t quite place him. Maria or Simon must have invited him. She watched as his hand brushed Other Kim’s arm--a quick, tender gesture that no one was supposed to see. Other Kim leaned into him slightly. Something was definitely going on there. His hair was a little overly swooshy for Kim’s taste, but good for Other Kim, whoever he was. She’d ask about him later, maybe. 

Kim thought she heard a distant storm approaching and turned to look out over the water. There was someone standing in the shadows not too far down the beach. She saw the outline of a body and head with a storm cloud over it. A suddenly flash of lightning illuminated the face of Willow Pape, glaring back at her.

Kim felt something odd and misshapen in her heart, seeing Willow standing all alone in the dark: pity, maybe? 

It had been Kim’s focus on destroying Willow that had led her so far in this world. Would she have found the same drive, the same passion, in a world without Willow Pape? 

With her newfound understanding of Power and the interconnectedness of things, Kim wondered if maybe she didn’t need to be locked in an eternal death battle with Willow. How are our needs aligned, she wondered. They were two rising starlets trying to make it as witches and celebrities in this crazy world. There had to be common ground, a way they would work together? Or at least co-exist? 

Kim reached out to wave to Willow, to invite her up to the party, but just as she did a spotlight illuminated over Kim’s head and confetti rained down as she leveled up to the B-list. When Kim finished her groovy little success dance she looked back out, but Willow was gone.

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