I folded one small black linen napkin after another. A decent sized pile accumulated in the center of the table. Deborah and Jessica sat across from me, bickering about Jessica's world religions class she was taking at the community college that held classes at the high school down the road.
Deborah looked like she could be Jessica's mom, or perhaps future semblance: they both had curly blond hair and Deborah's eyes were bit more sunken than Jessica's, but given enough time, Jessica would catch up. The only difference was that Deborah talked like she didn't know anything about anything, Jessica was the exact opposite.
"Well, first God made the Jews," Deborah said without certainty.
"What!? Are you kidding me? I don't believe in that stuff," Jessica burst.
"You know, I worked for a lawyer once and I used to be atheist then," Deborah said and raised her eyebrows. "That was when I was into witchcraft," she whispered.
"You were into witchcraft?" Jessica asked mockingly but with intrigue.
"Oh my gosh, yes, okay, can I tell you guys this story?" she asked the both of us.
"Sure," I said.
"Oh my God, so I used to be really into witchcraft. Like... seriously you guys."
"Where do you learn witchcraft?" I asked, a bit curious and mostly entertained.
"From books. Like, I'd get them from the library," she retorted. She continued with her story.
"So, I moved back in with this ex-boyfriend of mine. This was back, like, twenty-five years a go. And so I show up. He wasn't there, so I moved my stuff in and wait for him. He gets home and says 'Hey, what are you doing here?' and I say 'Well, I'm moving back in.' but he's seeing this other girl and I tell him, 'Well, tell her its over. I'm here now.' He calls her and she's, you know, pretty pissed." She laughed. "So, I start talking to her and well, things don't go well after that. Anyways, one night I had a bunch of my girlfriends over and we all sat in this circle like this," she illustrated a circle with her hands. "And so I do this binding spell and I start saying all this nasty stuff you guys." Her tone became sober. "Like really bad stuff you guys. Awful."
She lifted her hands up. "My palms get so sweaty when I tell this story. Look." She showed her hands to Jessica.
"Oh my God," Jessica said, clearly impressed.
"And I have goosebumps, like, all over. Okay, so, I take this picture of her and I take a candle and burn a hole in her face. Then, a couple days later, this black guy comes to her work at this gas station, and shoots her in the head, you guys. I swear. To. God."
"Woah." It was silent.
"Do you blame yourself?" Jessica broke in.
"Well, yea," she said half-heartedly. "All my friends are scared of me now. Oh, hold on, I've got to take care of this table." She gave a nervous laugh and left to tend to her customers.
I continued to fold the small black linen napkins.
"So, like, I dunno if I believe in that stuff," Jessica commented.
"Yea, well I've never seen it and I have no reason to believe in all that."
"Yea, that stuff's pretty dumb," she said.
"Besides all those beliefs are just novelty: Bigfoot, witchcraft, ghosts, UFOs. I just don't hold beliefs like that."
She cocked her head and raised her left eyebrow, "What? You don't believe in UFOs?"