TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost made his way through the woods to the graveyard. It was several miles by the main road, but seemed to be a shorter distance going this back way. He didn't know why he blew up at Steve, back at the house. It was just this whole business of coming back was complicated.
"Why can't anything be easy?" he thought.
Then an unbidden voice came into his mind. "Death is easy," it whispered.
And he knew it to be true...now. He pushed the morbid thought from his mind, as he reached the back of the graveyard. His grandmother's grave was right near, in a secluded, tree shaded area. He stood for a moment, just trying to focus his thoughts. A sudden soft breeze filtered through the pine trees, making a whispering sound. He knew his grandmother was near, and waiting for him to tell her all his troubles, just like she used to do when he was a kid.
Sitting cross-legged on top of her grave, he traced his fingers over the headstone that told her name, and the days of her life, etched there, softly timeworn after so many years. But, Ghost knew she'd never really left him alone. Her spirit would always be with him, would always be his guardian angel, his spirit guide. He spoke to her as if she was there, right in front of him. He remembered the last time he'd been here. His soul in pain, his body torn and bleeding.
"I had to come back," he started. "You knew it before I did, and now felt like the time was right...but, is it...is it? I'm so confused. Everything seems so hard. I messed up so bad. I saw you...I knew you were there when I crossed over for a little while. You told me to come back, to make things right, it wasn't time for me over there. But, I wanted to stay," he sobbed, "I wanted to stay."
Wiping his eyes, he began again. "I met someone else, and I thought he could make me forget about Steve. But, he was too greedy. He took everything he could from me, and then hurt me in the end. Now I'm back here, and I've forgiven Steve, and I love him...but, I'm still afraid, so afraid," he knelt against the gravestone, letting his tears run down the cold granite and into the soft earth below.
"Ghost Child," he heard her voice, a soft whisper in his mind. "You are right where you are supposed to be. I've seen all your pain. I've felt your turmoil. I can see you are troubled, but I know you must go through tough times, go through the fire, to test your love for Steve, to continue to evolve into the true soul spirit you were born to be. I can only guide you so far, Ghost Child. the rest is up to you. You and only you can decide which path you follow.
I will never forsake you. You will always be here in my heart. Come and talk to me often. I will try to ease some of the confusion and pain you feel. Try not to be afraid of life, Ghost Child...embrace it, learn from the hard parts, and live joyously in the good parts. Your ability to empathize with all creation is only to help you. You can't take on everyone's pain and sorrow. It would ultimately destroy you.
You must go to your love, enjoy this lifetime with him, as you have in the past, and which you will in the future. Do not despair, do not let your depression take over and cloud your emotions. Give everything of yourself to this life, and do not regret anything."
Ghost had fallen into an exhausted sleep. He heard his grandmother's voice while awake, and continued to heed her advice, as he drifed off. He had no idea how long he'd been out there in the graveyard, but as he came slowly awake, it was getting on toward twilight. A few stars were beginning to shine in the idigo sky.
He was tired, so tired still...of trying so hard, of not knowing what to do, of being afraid. He sighed. He did feel the beginnings of a new outlook on things. Maybe he could figure it out. He pulled on his old Army jacket, and as he did, he noticed his left wrist... and the tattoo he'd gotten there. He smiled to himself, as he remembered the day it had happened. It was up in the mountains. There was a guy who practiced the art of tattooing there, one of his kinfolk, he supposed. Being curious, he watched the man at his craft several times, then decided he wanted one. He'd always been scared to before, but he'd seen Steve's silly one, and figured he'd get one to match. So, he gathered his courage and had the guy write the word 'Steve' on the inside of his left wrist in sky blue ink. It hurt like hell, but he managed to get through it. He looked at it now, and kissed it, as he said,
"Help me get through the rest of my life, Steve. I don't think I can do it without you by my side."
He knew he needed to go back to his house and see Steve. He hoped Steve had finished cleaning. Shaking the pine needles from his hair and clothes, he began the walk back. He tried to think of what to say to Steve, when he returned home. He didn't know what mood Steve would be in, but figured he would take his cue and hope for the best.
As he walked up behind the house, he noticed the porch light on out front, and could hear Steve playing a few chords on his guitar. Coming closer, he saw Steve there, sitting on the old swing and looking calm.
Hesitating a bit, Ghost walked over and sat in the swing, next to Steve.
"Hey," Ghost said, softly.
Steve looked over, "Hey."
Steve continued to strum his guitar, and as he did, he asked Ghost, "You ok?"
There were no more words needed. Ghost began humming along to the song, an old ballad he'd written long ago, and they just enjoyed being there together in the quiet, country night.
After awhile, Ghost, who'd been yawning and could hardly keep his eyes open, got up, saying he was going to bed. Steve looked up at him, and just nodded. They knew each other's thoughts at that moment.
"Is it ok for me to go in there, now?"
"It's ok for you to go back in there. Call out for me if you need to...I'll be there."
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing