“Did you find one?”
Chaz chuckled. “Yeah, I did. And it was important, so I trained hard. And I did get better. But I still felt like I didn’t deserve to be so powerful. Like the power wasn’t even mine, and was only given to me to fulfill a purpose that could have easily been someone else’s. That’s why I get so – obsessed, I guess – with running Magic Inc. sometimes. It was something I had to learn to do on my own. I mean, through my Dad’s help, but… I really had to work at it. It may give me a lot of stress, especially now, but when I do make something happen, I know I did it on my own. I earned it.”
I smiled, then thought for a moment. “It’s good that you love your work. And that you want to work hard. I know that’s admirable. I just don’t think you should feel bad about being powerful. About having something so special come naturally to you. Because isn’t magic, like, a part of your soul? Even if you didn’t have to work at it so much, you should be proud that it’s a part of you. It’s your strength of soul, the connection to who you are, that makes you powerful. It does belong to you.”
Chaz looked surprised. “I… well, never thought of it that way.”
“Maybe you were meant to fulfill a role, but that doesn’t mean that’s why you’re powerful. Maybe you were chosen because you are powerful already,” I continued. “And I don’t think having a destiny means that we don’t have any say in it. That we don’t get to decide what it is. It’s only that some part of us has decided already.”
“You are incredibly insightful, Jane,” Chaz said, shaking his head. “I’m not sure if you’re right – no one can really know how this works – but when you say it with such certainty, I believe you.”
I wasn’t really sure why I was so certain. Just that I still believed we were meant to be together, and that I would have chosen that life no matter what options were in front of me. But I wasn’t sure he would feel the same.
“Would you choose this life?” I asked, quietly. “If you could just be normal. Free from your responsibilities. Just a college student, studying game design?”
“There are things I would change if I could,” Chaz replied, sadly. And I knew he was thinking of his father again. “But yes,” he said, looking into my eyes with sincerity, “I would choose this life.”
My favorite part of writing Magic Inc. has never been the magic. As fun and whimsical as writing fantasy can be, I've always been drawn to conversations between characters over anything else. Maybe it's part of being a classic introvert, but I love deep conversations in both life and writing. And what is writing if not life? Especially, for me and Magic Inc.
Jane and Chaz's deep conversations have been my favorite thing to write over the course of Book One and Two. They relate to and balance each other so well. Jane, with her passion and emotion and the pain of someone beyond her age. And Chaz, with shared experiences of feeling different and his introspective deep thinking of someone a little older. Jane inspires Chaz to dream and believe in himself, and Chaz comforts her when she's in pain with his understanding and empathy. He sees her in a way that no one else does, and for Jane, who is so mistreated and misunderstood by her classmates, that's everything.
This is one of those moments where Jane is able to connect with her own soul and speak words beyond her years. Chaz doesn't talk down to her. He respects her thoughts and beliefs. Children are not just children, they are humans, too. With their own passions and pains, "positive" and "negative" traits, and unique experiences.
As Taylor Swift would say, "When you are young, they assume you know nothing." But Jane's innocence of spirit, in spite of her trauma, allows her to connect to something I think we (as adults) have to relearn our connection to: intuition.
Chaz shows Jane the compassion and understanding I wish I'd had as a child. In a small, strange way, his words are often me reaching back to comfort my younger self.
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