Alan and Janine were best friends. As long as they could remember they had been together. They went to the same university, and when they graduated they shared a house in the city. Though Alan was out of work, Janine made enough at her new job to support them both. They shared everything, and considered themselves lucky to have such a wonderful friendship. Everything seemed perfect...
Except for one thing. Even though their relationship was purely platonic, it did cause problems for Janine when it came to meeting men. They often couldn't accept her having a male friend to whom she was so close. And Alan, well he just didn't date much. There was a short time in university where they had sort of blurred the line between friendship and lovers, and even though he wouldn't tell Janine, Alan held on to this. Janine sensed this, and though she loved Alan dearly, and was closer to him than anyone else in the world, that part of her life was over. She hated hurting him, and even though he would never say so, she knew she did. Her attempts to set him up with women had been received coldly, and she didn't know what to do...
Janine and her new boyfriend Kevin were sitting in the front room of her and Alan's place. Alan was out tonight with a friend from school, and she knew that he wouldn't be home until late. After their movie ended Janine and Kevin began to engage in some heavy petting. Soon they were on the couch, half in and half out of their clothes, and they didn't hear the back door unlock. Alan staggered in.
"Hello... oops", muttered Alan, who smelled quite like a brewery. He hadn't drank this much since college.
"What... Alan! I thought you were going out tonight!", Janine was visibly flustered as she pulled her clothes on.
"Alan... hey, who the hell is he?", Kevin did not seem very pleased.
Alan held out his hand, "Alan's my name... puleezed to meet you."
"Kevin, don't get the wrong idea... this is my roommate, Alan," Janine was trying to control the situation.
"Roommate? Oh, I get it..." Kevin rose, pulling up his jeans and grabbing his jacket. "Sorry, Janine... I'm not into that sorta stuff..."
"No, wait, you see... were only friends", Janine was close to sobbing.
"Sorry you've got to go, Kevin-boy, I was about to ask you for a drink..." Kevin was teetering back and forth dangerously.
"Good-bye Janine", said Kevin as he slammed the front door behind him.
"Damn!", screamed Janine, "You said you'd be out tonight!"
"Sorry", replied Alan, "I guess I had too much to drink and I came home. C'mon, you're better without that jerk anyway."
"I happen to like 'that jerk' very much... Damn it Alan, why won't you let me have a life?"
"Ohh... sorry... I didn't realize you were planning on fucking that steroid creep."
"I'll ignore that comment... No, I won't. Yes, maybe, I was planning to have sex with him..."
Alan looked suddenly very sad. "How the hell can you fuck these creeps? I thought we were close..."
"Alan, don't you see that we are? But I still need to be able to have relationships with other men. I'm sorry, I don't mean to hurt you, but I can't go on living this way. You have to accept us as friends and let me live my life. And you need to live yours..."
Alan was close to tears. "I just thought... aw fuck it." He staggered up to his room, and slammed the door.
"Alan... wait...", called Janine, but she thought the better of it. He was drunk. Probably best to let him sleep it off.
The next morning Alan was very cold. Janine tried to talk a number of times over breakfast, but Alan only muttered monosyllabic answers. He eventually picked up his coffee, took the paper, and sat in the front room. When Janine called 'goodbye' as she left for work she got no response.
Janine could not keep her mind on work that day. She sat at her desk, but her mind was elsewhere. She loved Alan so much... but that didn't seem enough for him. If only there was some way things could be okay. She knew in her heart that to be his girlfriend would be wrong... for she didn't feel that way for him, and would grow to resent him, destroying their friendship. Before she knew it, it was five o'clock, and she got up and left the office.
Instead of driving straight home (as she didn't really want to see Alan right now) she went to the market section of the city. She hoped that browsing through the small shops and stands would take her mind off the problem at hand. She was looking over some street vendor's jewlery when she noticed a new shop, 'The Occultist'. Piqueing her interest, she walked in.
The shop was very dark, and crammed to the point of overflowing with odd curios and books. She was browsing around, and didn't notice the old man behind the counter.
"Hello, mam, may I be of service?" cackled the white-haired old man.
Janine was startled, "What? Oh... no thanks, I'm just browsing."
"Very well. You seem to have something on your mind."
"What? Oh, yeah... a friend and I had a fight."
"Oh... looking for something to help?"
"Not really, it's not like I could buy a magic potion and Poof! everything is better."
"You'd be surprised...", the old man said coyly.
"What do you mean?" asked Janine.
"There are things in this world that work beyond the realm of what we know. Do you want me to help you?"
What have I got to lose, thought Janine. "Sure... I guess"
"Tell me a little of the problem..."
Janine explained her and Alan's story. The old man listened intently, scratching his chin and nodding his head. When he finished his thought for a second, and went into the back room. He came back with a rather ugly little wood carving of a Leprauchan.
"How is that supposed to help?" asked Janine.
"I grants wishes... not big ones, of course. You won't get a million dollars out of this little fellow. But he can help the harmony of a situation... if you wish for it."
Janine felt rather stupid for being taken in by the old man. Expecting a ridiculous sum, she asked "How much?"
"Take it home, try it, and if it works pay me how much you think it is worth. Let me wrap it for you."
Before she knew it, Janine was driving home with this little Leprauchan, and, truth be known, feeling a little silly.
When she got home, Janine found Alan packing. "Alan, what are you doing?" she asked.
Alan stopped and looked at her. "Janine, I love you more than anything on this earth... but I feel we have an impossible situation. I've made arrangements to stay with someone else until I can get a place of my own. I'm sorry..."
Janine was crying now, "Alan, you're my best friend in the whole world. I don't want to lose you, please stay. Just a little while longer... we can try to work things through."
"I don't know", Alan looked at his friend, "I don't mean to make you cry, but it is very hard on me sometimes. Okay, I'll stay a while longer... I don't want to lose you either."
The two ate dinner, and joked around like old times. Even though they sat up and watched a movie and talked like they usually did, Janine could feel a distance between them. Alan excused himself for bed, and Janine sat and thought. The package from the old man's store was on the coffee table, she had forgotten about it. She opened it up and looked at the carving.
"Well, little guy, if you can help, please do. I do wish there was some way my friendship with Alan could survive..." She retired for the night. From her bedroom she did not notice the green glow coming from under Alan's door...
Alan woke up early, around seven, planning to go for a run. Never a great morning person, he fumbled around his room, pulled a pair of track shorts and a t-shirt out of his drawer. Man I feel odd, he thought, I must be coming down with something. He staggered into the bathroom and turned on the water for a shower. He turned to look at himself in the mirror, but the steam had clouded it up. Just as well, thought Alan, If I look anything like I feel I probably don't want to see. He walked over to the toilet, flipped up the seat, and slipped down the boxer shorts that he had worn to bed...
Janine was awakened by a woman's scream. That came from the bathroom, she thought, and jumped up to see what was the matter. She was shocked by what she found.
Standing in the bathroom, wearing only a pair of men's boxer shorts, was a blond woman. She had the looks of a model, an hourglass figure Janine guessed at 36-24-35, C cup breasts, and stood about 5'9". She couldn't weigh more than 125 lbs., Janine thought. Long blond hair reached down her back, and framed her almost Nordic features. Wow, thought Janine, if Alan scored with this woman things might be getting better.
The mystery woman in the bathroom was close to hyperventilating, "Oh my god... oh my god... Janine! What the hell is happening?"
How does she know my name?, thought Janine. "Sit down... and relax" The girl did so. Janine saw a t-shirt of Alan's on the counter and gave it to the girl to put on. Janine got her a cup of water... and when she was calm asked her a question. "Okay, you're alright now... Now, where is Alan? And what is you're name?"
The blond girl stared at Janine for a moment, and then spoke... "Janine, don't you get it? It's me... I'M Alan..."
.... There is more of this story ...