TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Then they were alone...just the two of them, and the rebuilt house. It looked almost the same. The covered porch was back, and another porch swing, new paint, new 'old' furniture scrounged from attics and thrift stores, and their salvaged things had been cleaned and put away. There was food in the kitchen, and sheets and blankets on the beds. Someone had even painted Ghost's warding off sign back onto the porch in front of the screen door.
When Ghost looked in his bedroom, there were even glow-in-the-dark stars painted on the ceiling. The walls were freshly painted, but now blank, and a new package of markers was on the table beside the bed. Only one sentence was written on the wall, now. It said, 'For you, Ghost and Steve, because we love you.' and had hearts drawn around it. It was signed by everyone who'd worked to make it their home again.
Steve heard Ghost crying, and went to see what was the matter. He was sitting in the middle of his bed, with tears falling through strands of his golden hair, that hung in front of his face.
"Ghost, what is it? Why are you crying?"
Ghost pointed to the wall. "Look what they wrote, Steve. I'm crying because everyone is so nice to us, and they really do love us."
Steve read the wall, then came to sit by Ghost, on the bed. He hugged him, and let a few of his own tears fall, to join Ghost's.
"Yeah, I guess they do."
As they got back into a routine, and settled in to the house again, they talked more about taking a long road trip.
"We'll always come back here. This is our home, Ghost. We can go see other places for a while, then come back here, then go again. It'll be fun."
"Yeah, and maybe we can play some places, too. But, you know what? I want to do another show here before we go, to say thank you to everybody," said Ghost.
"Ok, we'll set it up, then," Steve said.
Kinsey was all too happy to have them play at the club, before they left. He knew it would be a big deal for them, and for the rest of the kids, and even the others who'd helped rebuild the house...some who'd never come to see them play before. He began preparing for it, for the next weekend.
Steve and Ghost practiced their songs every day, and even in the nights - some were new ones, some were old favorites.
On the way to the sacred Yew that evening, Steve was thinking of their journey together, so far. He could see how they'd changed since they were kids, and also how they had not. He himself, a punk with an attitude and a cynical chip on his shoulder - mad at a world, that was quickly beating him down to a hard-hearted bastard, that hated everyone and everything.
And Ghost, who was never born, and was this pale lost soul, being bullied and hurt so much already at such a young age, but still had an open, loving heart to everything...and the magic that always surrounded him. That he saw fit to befriend himself, Steve, and share that magic with him...to basically love him and ultimately save him from himself.
Ghost nudged open Steve's dark side, and poured his golden smile and lightness into him...and his sky blue eyes promised his love, loyalty, and faithfulness...forevermore...forevermore...
He looked over at Ghost, who was hanging his head out the car window, letting the moon shine turn his hair sparkly silver. Steve shook his head and smiled. Ghost was still such a little hippie...tie-dyed t-shirt, baggy old Army jacket, with sewn on patches, raggedy jeans with marker writing on them...happy-go-lucky, no matter what. Then he looked at himself...still trying to be the badass rocker - dressed in black, boots with chains, leather jacket, and dark brooding eyes. How on Earth did the two of them ever get together?
"It was fate, Steve," Ghost said. "It was always meant to be. I knew you a long, long time ago, in another time and place. We loved each other then, too. And when I saw you, that first day I came here from the mountains, I recognized your soul. But, I didn't know how to make you see it, too. I'm happy you finally did." He sighed.
Steve was amazed, as usual, that without even trying, Ghost had heard all his prior thoughts. He pulled up into the parking lot of the club, and took Ghost's hand, pulling him to himself. "I love you, Ghost. you are my life." He kissed Ghost tenderly, at first, then fiercely, and didn't want to stop. But, it was time to put on their show.
Now they were energized, and both knew they'd have all the long night together. It was still a bit early to open the doors to the club, so they went in the back door, saying hi to Kinsey, as they passed by his office. He noticed their flushed appearance, and smiled...they never get enough of each other, he thought.
Steve went up on the stage and began to ready his equipment. It was just the two of them tonight. They had taped music from Terry and R.J., and they would do their own parts live. Of course Ghost always sang live. Ghost was at the writing wall, putting in today's thoughts. He wrote a long one, thanking everyone for their help, and that he'd miss everyone while they were gone, but that they'd be back before too long.
Ghost thought about the new songs they'd do tonight...what they meant to him and Steve, what the people would think of them...even though, they wouldn't get the same meaning from the words. Maybe, they would take from them some meaning of their own. They'd both written some parts of each song, and that was mostly how they'd sing them - in turn - on the songs, *"Killing Me Softly With His Song", and *"Need You Now". Ghost would sing *"If I Die Young" by himself, just to Steve playing on his acoustic guitar, and of course, as always, the last one would be *"World".
Kinsey opened the door, letting in the crowd that had gathered. Everyone was in a good mood, ready for the songs, and to show Ghost and Steve they loved them, by their presence here this night.
Back stage, Ghost was sipping a mug of hot tea, with lemon and honey, to ease his throat. He'd had Steve put a few tiny braids in his hair, with a blue bird's feather on the end of one. He wasn't sure, but it may have been the feather from the blue bird he'd seen at the old gravestone, that day long ago. At any rate, he considered it good luck.
Steve was doing last minute tuning on his guitars. Kinsey poked his head in and said, "Y'all ready? It's time." He went out to announce them. Ghost got a shiver of excitement, that ran like electricity through him. As they reached the door, Steve kissed Ghost one more time. Their shared thought was that their shows were to entertain everyone, but mostly it was for themselves...their love and their heartbreak, their hopes and dreams for each other. They knew Kinsey had figured it out, too, and that was fine with them, after all he was like family. Their lives played out on stage - a soundtrack of their journey so far.
As they walked on stage, the crowd of club kids erupted in happy applause. Even the older crowd at the back of the club, were clapping for them. Those who'd never heard their music before, were clapping right along, too, but were a little anxious about what they'd hear tonight. The kids had changed back into their usual club clothes. For this send-off, they were going to go all out.
*"Killing Me Softly With His Song", sung by Roberta Flack, released January 21, 1973, label - Atlantic, Composed by Charles Fox, with lyrics by Norman Gimble in collaboration with Lori Lieberman
*"Need You Now", sung by Lady Antebellum , from the album "Need You Now", released August 24, 2009, label - Capitol Nashville, written by Hillary Scott, Charles Kelly, Dave Haywood, and Josh Kear
*"If I Die Young", sung by The Band Perry, released on self titled album, October 12, 2010, label - Republic Nashville, written by Kimberly Perry
*"Hole in the World", sung by The Eagles, written by Don Henley, and Glenn Frey, released July 15, 2003, label - The Eagles Recording Company II, on the album "The Very Best Of"
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing