They walked over to the bar where Kinsey was pretending to work. Ghost then did something totally unexpected. He broke free from Steve, came to Kinsey and said softly...
"I know Steve told you everything. It's ok. I'm glad you know. You've been here for both of us all this time and, and...thank you."
Coming closer, he brushed a feather light kiss on Kinsey's lips and smiled as he looked up at Kinsey through strands of blond hair. Kinsey was astonished at all he'd witnessed, and at the crazy emotions that had been brought out that afternoon.
He cleared his throat and said huskily, "Aw, Ghost, you know I love you guys. I'll have your back any time."
Ghost grinned mischievously and said in a happy voice, "Kin I buy somethin' for me at the store?"
This made Steve and Kinsey both laugh, as the tension was broken and things felt normal again.
"Sure, Ghost, you and Steve can get something for yourselves, just try to hurry back," said Kinsey, as he handed Steve his credit card and the list of things he needed.
Steve pushed Ghost out the door toward the car, while looking back, rolling his eyes and crossing his fingers. Kinsey shrugged and mouthed the word, "Hurry!"
Steve slid into the driver's seat and started the old T-Bird. "Hope we have enough gas," he thought. Ghost was already humming a song and hanging his head out the window.
"You remember what songs we're doing tonight?" Steve asked.
"Yeah, I think so, but you can remind me if I forget," said Ghost.
They rode in silence for awhile on the long drive to Raleigh. Steve was tired already, and he wondered if Ghost was feeling well enough to sing for two hours tonight. "Maybe we should just cancel the gig," he was thinking.
"We can't do that. I'll be fine and you won't be tired when you start playing," Ghost muttered. "Besides, Kinsey is counting on us, and the kids are excited to see us."
Steve looked over at Ghost and knew he'd just had his mind read again. Such a weird feeling to know that Ghost could do that...even when he sometimes had thoughts he'd rather Ghost not hear.
As they arrived at the store, Steve lectured Ghost about not getting distracted, and that they needed to hurry. Of course Ghost agreed, but knew it was impossible. So did Steve. As they entered the store, Steve headed for the shopping carts, while Ghost stood transfixed by the array of goods, colors, and lights. The smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls from the bakery department bombarded his senses. He knew he wanted to obey Steve and not get distracted, but he was helpless not to notice things like this. He couldn't even take a step forward, because he knew for a fact he would off and running from one display to another.
So, he just closed his eyes and tried to ignore his ADD. At least he tried. He held out his arms in front of him, hoping Steve would notice his effort and come lead him around like a blind person. He could feel other customers passing by him and staring.
He could hear their thoughts and whispered comments, "Damn hippie", "I think he's blind", "Who let that weirdo in here?","Somebody should call the manager." But Ghost didn't care if he was attracting attention.
He hoped Steve would come rescue him soon. Steve thought Ghost was following him into the store's aisles, so when he looked around and didn't see him, he growled under his breath, "Shit, here we go." Then he got worried. Ghost could be anywhere. He started backtracking to the front of the store again.
"What the hell?" he said when he saw Ghost standing there still, with his eyes closed and his arms stretched out in front of him. "Why me?" he thought. "I've gotta go over there and get him," he sighed.
People were still milling around making wisecracks, and Steve could see a manager type heading in their direction.He walked over as quickly as he could, head down, hoping to not cause any more of a scene. As he reached Ghost, he grabbed his wrist and jerked him toward him. Ghost squeaked in surprise.
"Get over here right now. You look like a damn zombie. What the hell are you doing?" Steve pulled Ghost along with him.
"I was trying to not get distracted like you asked. It worked so far." Ghost seemed proud of himself.
Steve rolled his eyes and put Ghost's hands on the cart handle. "Now just hold on to this and follow me. Don't let go. Can you do that, huh?" Steve asked.
Ghost nodded and whispered, "Yeah."
The rest of the shopping went on with any major incidents. They packed up the T-Bird, then walked down the sidewalk to a fast food place. On the way, Ghost wondered aloud what they could get for themselves.
"Hey, Steve, what'cha gonna get?" Steve shrugged as Ghost went on about possibilities. "We could get a video game, or new clothes, or I could get some new markers. Mine are almost empty...oh, hey Steve, we could get a tattoo! We could get the same one that says Lost Souls? How 'bout that?" His eyes were shining with the thought, even though he wasn't sure he'd even be brave enough to go through with it. He'd never seriously considered it before. Steve just gave him a look that dismissed the idea.
Stay tuned for next installment!
Peace, Love, & Writing