The pizza was ordered, delivered, and consumed before Robert finished his account, mostly due to the fact that Rebbecca interrupted often with questions or requests for clarification. Far from being annoyed, Robert found himself enjoying her quick and inquisitive wit. Indeed, he found himself enjoying every aspect of being in her company.
When Robert had finished, Rebbecca leaned back in her armchair and regarded Robert thoughtfully. After a time, she said, “There’s still something about all this that bothers me.”
“Oh? What’s that?”
“Where the hell were the rest of the people? Are you seriously telling me that eleven go-carts engaged an animated refrigerator in the middle of the street on Saturday in the late afternoon, and nobody raised a fuss?”
“I had wondered about that, too,” said Robert. “But from what I saw, people just seemed to ignore them for some reason. And they ignored me, too, when I was with them.”
Rebbecca shrugged. “Perhaps it’s something to do with the magic that surrounds them,” she said.
A silence fell, one which lasted for a while. It was not a loaded silence; it was simply that neither Robert nor Rebbecca felt the need to put words into the air. They sat together in the house of Rebbecca Smith. Robert would have been perfectly content if it hadn’t been for his injuries. Comfortable silences aren’t nearly so pleasant when you’ve got a freshly broken nose.
Suddenly, Rebbecca sat up in her chair. “I just thought of something,” she said. “Do you still have the heart of Crutchford?”
“Yeah.” Robert dug it out and handed it to her.
“Now, you say you just touched it to the ice and I was free, right? The work of the monster was undone?”
Rebbecca took the heart over to the front door and touched it to her broken window. There was a poof and some mist which, when dispersed, revealed Rebbecca’s front door completely mended. It was as though it had never been broken.
“Sweet,” said Robert. “I’ll use that on my window at home.”
“I’ve got a better idea,” said Rebbecca, moving to sit next to Robert on the couch. “Don’t move,” she said, and touched the heart to the tip of Robert’s nose. Again there was a poof and some mist, and Robert’s face was healed.
Robert smiled, quite pleased that the pressure and pain in his nose was gone. Then he noticed Rebbecca.
She was sitting close to him, with her face somewhat close to his. He could feel the warmth of her body. He could smell her. Her left knee was touching his right knee.
Their eyes met, and it was that kind of eye-meeting, the kind with electricity that passes back and forth until both parties are emotionally and physically alert.
Rebbecca didn’t break the connection when she spoke. “You know,” she said, “it’s well documented that when people are thrust into dangerous or exciting circumstances, they’re more inclined to become romantically involved than they otherwise might be.”
Robert moved a little closer, and so did Rebbecca. “Oh?” he said.
“Yes. Most relationships that form under such circumstances disintegrate when those circumstances are removed from the equation.”
Closer. “Mm,” said Robert.
“So it would be unwise of us to become romantically involved with one another, what with the day’s adventures. We should get to know each other better first.”
“You think so?” said Robert. Now they were very close indeed. Robert put his arms around Rebbecca’s waist. She put her arms around his shoulders.
“And it hardly needs to be said that just jumping into bed could simply be disastrous,” whispered Rebbecca. Robert could feel the play of her breath on his lips as she spoke.
“But we’re totally going to, aren’t we?” he whispered.
“Yep,” whispered Rebbecca.
That night, Robert Wilson and Rebbecca Smith had hesitant, first-time-with-a-new-person sex in Rebbecca’s queen-size bed. That isn’t to say it wasn’t pleasant, but the sex they had the next morning was much better.
That day was Sunday, and they went out to breakfast together early enough to beat the church crowds. Later that same day, Rebbecca accompanied Robert when he went shopping for a new refrigerator.
As the days and months wore on, their relationship blossomed, and did not fall victim to the scenario that Rebbecca had warned of on that fateful Saturday evening.
A few years down the line, they decided to get married. However, the question of whose house to live in was never settled. Each house had its own merits and flaws. In the end, they decided to keep their separate houses, reasoning that the strength of their relationship was not contingent on their degree of proximity.
Each year on the anniversary of Crutchford’s death, they would get out the monster’s heart from its box in the closet, and take a moment to remember the evil being whose actions had brought them together.