TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Tears from them both mingled together as they kissed. Then Ghost pulled back a little and said,
"I'm not ready to see anyone from town yet, ok? I just need some time, time to think about stuff, ya know. I don't want to have to explain things, and see the looks they'll have. You know, like feeling sorry for me, wondering why I came back, how we could work things out between us after...after..."
Steve nodded. "Ok, Ghost, when you're ready, not before."
Ghost turned back to looking out the window. "I need to go to the graveyard. I have to talk to my grandmother, and well...I can't be here when you...uh..."
Steve knew. Ghost couldn't be here when he cleaned out the bedroom. He wished he didn't have to he here to do it either, but he nodded and said, "Ok, Ghost. I'll fix it up before you get back. I'm so sorry. Please forgive..."
He didn't finish his words, because Ghost whirled back around, and snapped at him.
"Stop saying you're sorry, Steve! I get it, already. You're sorry you raped me, you're sorry you beat me almost to death, you're sorry the room is a mess, with my blood still all over it. You did it all, Steve. You did it all...and I came back, and I forgive you, and I love you, but it's over now...over and done with. I can't, I won't go on reliving it every time you say you're sorry!"
Ghost was breathing hard. Steve had never seen him so angry, his eyes darkening with emotion. He didn't have a comeback for Ghost's outburst. Then Ghost continued.
"I'm going now. I'm going the back way through the woods. I don't know how long I'll be there, but I need to be alone for awhile. I will be back, Steve. So, now that I've accounted for my every move to you..."
Grabbing his backpack, he left out the back door, letting the screen slam behind him, as he started walking down the path through the trees, without another word, or looking back.
Steve just stood there in shock. "What the hell was that?" he asked himself. "Fine, he can just be alone for awhile, if that's what he wants."
He stomped around looking for cleaning supplies. He dreaded the job before him, but it had to be done, and done now. He grabbed some garbage bags and the broom. He ran a bucket of hot, soapy water, and took them all into the hallway. Opening the bedroom door, the feelings and remembered actions of that night enveloped him.
"This room is always going to he haunted with bad memories," he thought. He shook his head to clear it, and with more confidence, said aloud,
"Ok, room, that's all you are...you have no power over me and Ghost!" Then he thought, "Listen to me, talking to a damn room like a crazy person." But, that didn't stop him from hoping Ghost still had some sage brooms to burn and wave the smoke around, to help cleanse the bad juju away.
He didn't even know where to start. There was stuff everywhere. He picked up a blanket from the floor, stuffing it into the garbage bag.
Trying not to think about it, he stripped the bed of it's sheets and blankets. Trying to ignore the bloodstains that had soaked all the way down into the mattress, he steeled himself against the tears that were stinging his eyes, threatening to fall. He kept on picking up things. He'd have to take all this to the laundry someday, he thought, as he put the full bag into the back room, where the old, dusty potions were, that Miz Deliverance had stored. They almost never went in there, so this would hold the soiled sheets, until he could, one...find a way to get it to the laundromat in town, without a car, and two...get some money to put in the machines.
He began sweeping the floor, cleaning out dried leaves, rose petals, dried up markers, a few beer cans that had rolled under the bed, and two years worth of dust and cobwebs. With old rags, he began to wipe down the walls and the mattress, but this almost made him lose it. The soapy water turned Ghost's long dried blood into red liquid again, running in streaks down the wall, mingling with marker ink. The mattress was impossible, so he turned it over to the cleaner side.
Finally, he'd done as much as he could. He put clean sheets and blankets on the bed, then looked around. In the closet he'd found some sage bundles, so he lit a wad of it. It smelled good, as he waved it around. He felt a bit silly doing it, but knew that this is what Ghost would do, would want him to do. As he waved the smoke around, he said whatever came to mind, to banish bad spirits. He'd heard Ghost many times, so he figured it couldn't hurt.
"Be gone! Bad spirits, get the hell outta here. Don't ever come back. You have no power over me and Ghost. Leave us alone, or I'll bust your ass! Oogga-boogga...abracadabra...hocus-pocus...and all that shit!"
He burst out laughing like a madman, at hearing himself say all this mumbo-jumbo. He didn't believe half of any of it, but he knew Ghost took it seriously. And he trusted Ghost with his life, so maybe there was something to it.
Finally done, he grabbed the lone beer from the fridge, and went out to the front porch to sit in the old swing. He let his mind go blank, and just sat.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing