Willow wrenched open her window and heaped the burnt chocolate dishes on the windowsill.
By the time she washed the acrid smoke from the kitchen, she was weeping. At everything. Her stupid parents, her ridiculous hopes for a relationship, for the ugly kitchen—and the chocolate-covered strawberries were supposed to be the start of her recovery, but the bars burned and splattered the inside of her microwave.
She scrolled down the post on her phone, reading about how to clean the char-caked dishes. “Lather, rinse, repeat,” she read sarcastically, her lips trembling.
Willow burst into tears again and turned back to the window.
A green-kissed faerie boy sat on her windowsill, his feet planted in her sink as he scraped at the burnt chocolate with his fingers. Willow hurled the towel at the floor.
“Out!” she screeched. “Out! Out!”
Two years of amateur softball practice coalesced with two weeks of cooking classes as she threw her butter-dish and saucepan—one in each hand—sending the faerie toppling into her shriveled flowerbed.
“The King sends his regards,” gasped the faerie boy, “and begs you to re-consider your decision to remain in the human realm while his offer still stands.”
Willow shoved the chocolate dishes into the sink and leaned over the windowsill, her face flushed with fury. “It is all his fault,” she raged at the hapless messenger. “He needs to stop hexing my restaurants, tearing my skirts, and sending wolves after my dates! He’s an immortal wanker!”
She jerked back, banging her head on the window so hard the panes cracked. As she rubbed the swelling lump, she saw her ex standing on the sidewalk with flowers in his hands.
Willow stared back.
Willow glanced down at her empty flowerbed, and when she looked up, her ex was hurrying for his car.
“Wait,” she cried out, “Oh goodness, not again!”
The car screeched away from the curb, and with a moan, Willow slammed the window shut and filled the sink with soapy water. “Lather, rinse, repeat,” she ground out as she began to scrub. “Lather, rinse, repeat…”