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Against all Odds

  • 12

Toby, Eleanor and Henry stood in front of the “Haunted House of Willowcreek”, each with mixed feelings.

Toby was the first to walk towards the house that had given him so much in such a short time. It had taught him how to be brave and to always believe in himself, but most importantly, it had given him his best friend back and for that he would always be grateful.

Eleanor followed right behind Toby. The initial jealousy that she had felt towards Casimir, had quickly turned into utter bliss and thankfulness. Because of Casimir and his persistence, she had also gotten her best friend back and that after only a fraction of the time that he had spent alone. She couldn't wait to return the favor.

At last, Henry approached the house. Memories of the past, of his beloved family came to the surface and escaped his eyes in the form of tears. He allowed it to happen and after a while, the painful memories were replaced by less painful ones. He remembered what the front yard had looked like each year around Halloween. His parent's favorite holiday. An image of his baby sister wearing a pumpkin costume, flashed before his eyes. His parents had always gone all out with spooky decorations. They wanted to make sure their house would be the scariest in the whole town. He bet they loved the fact that for all these years their house had been referred to as “The Haunted House of Willowcreek”. But of course, they would not have loved the reasons behind that name. An image of young Casimir appeared in front of his sight. He was almost at the door now. The next thing he felt was someone hugging him. He looked down and realized that his last memory hadn't been a memory at all. It really was Casimir. His best friend in the whole world.

“Oh Casimir, please forgive me," Henry said, sobbing. With every second the two remained in their hug, Casimir grew a little more, until finally, the scene Toby and Eleanor were taking in from the yard, had changed from a teenager hugging a man, to two grown men, best friends, hugging each other.

Finally, they broke free from their embrace and started taking the last few steps towards their home, catching up on all the years they had missed. Casimir turned around right before they entered the house, saying thank you.

The last thing Toby and Eleanor heard before the door was shut, was laughter.

“Well,” Toby said, “I guess that’s our cue, isn’t it?”

“Why yes my dear,” Eleanor responded with a devilish smile on her face. “My feet are waiting to be graveled at. You have yet to earn my forgiveness.” She winked at Toby and suddenly he was sure that everything was right in the world and nothing could change that. No matter how many Marcs, Miguels or Jasons came along.

© Marie-Christine Castelazo Hidalgo 2022-08-31

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