“How are eggs okay?” she asked for the third time, arms folded.
I could tell Jack didn’t want to answer. His bright red ears signaled his fluster. He looked at me for help.
Frankly, I too was intrigued. Jack Frost, my healer, followed a strict vegan lifestyle. The cooks in our house (oh, yes, two of ‘em) took his preferences seriously, making creative and sumptuous vegan dishes for him while the rest of us ate our veggies the way we do in New Orleans–flavored with pork products! (Rumor has it that a certain chef never realized you could serve vegetables without meat until he joined the Army.) Jack snubbed meats (clearly), seafood, and any kind of dairy. His acceptance of eggs stunned me too.
Reading my gaze, and realizing he was on his own, Jack cleared his throat. “You have to understand why I don’t eat meat in the first place.”
Immediately, a revolting image flooded my mind. I clasped my hand to my mouth, then managed, “Please don’t tell me meat comes back to life when you chew it.” I grimaced, dreading the answer.
The instigator of this now wholly unsavory topic, Saffron Jolly, took an alarmed step back. “Oh, dear god!”
“No, no,” Jack calmed us. “Nothing like that.”
Thank goodness. ‘Cause the idea totally grossed me out.
Jack’s healing abilities far surpassed your typical doctor. He could heal with a touch, as in well-and-truly heal. No pain, no scar, and in no time at all. He can even bring back the dead. Well, dead-ish. That might make my horrible vision a little less insane, cold comfort that may seem…
“In fact, I’m not sure vegetarianism is something all healers adopt. We didn’t eat together.” At “healer school,” I assumed. “Others may very well eat meat.”
Jack has always been and remains an extremely private person. I know little about him, even though we spend a great deal of time together. As my healer, he’s attached to me, for lack of a better term. Wherever I go, he goes. Whatever I do, he does. All a precaution; should something happen to me, he’ll be there.
Truth be told, a fair number of things happen to me. Long story, that.
“When I eat … certain foods, I’m aware of the consciousness of the animal. It’s last few moments of life become a part of me. And typically, that features tremendous amounts of fear.”
I hung my head. “I had no idea.”
“Even in dairy. While most cows aren’t in pain or afraid, the circumstances of their existence become mine. Usually boredom, but sometimes aggravation or, in some cases, horrible depression.” He stuffed his gloved hands in his pockets. “So, I avoid those foods.”
“Okay,” Saffron nodded. “But eggs don’t give you any of that?”
She nodded in understanding. “I’ll go fix you some eggs.”
“I’m sorry we pried,” I said.
“To be honest, I’m surprised no one has asked sooner.” He gave a small nod. “No need for apology, ma’am.”
“There you are,” Nathan Marble, my brother-in-law said as he joined us. “Hey, there’s a new place that just opened, In The Raw.”
“Like vegetables?” Jack perked.
“No. Like sushi, steak tartar, stuff like that. I hear they serve some bloody burgers. Wanna go?” He asked me.
The revolting image of reanimated meat still loomed. I clutched my abdomen. “Um. No thanks.”