TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"I'm an open book to you. I tell you everything about me, and show you all I feel and dream...and how I love you. And, you can't read my mind or anything, and yes, you know me inside out...past, present, and future. And, I can read your mind, and know things about you, but you won't let me in any farther. You have a brick wall around some part of you that won't reveal itself, that you won't let out in the open." Ghost took Steve's hands in his own.
"I want in, Steve...I want in. I want to know why...why you won't let me in, why you keep it a secret, why you're mean to me sometimes, why you love me...and then hurt me so bad. It's in there, Steve...the why. The layer I can't find. It's killing me, you're killing me. My soul needs an answer. What happened that makes you do that?" Ghost asked.
Steve's heart was pounding. He thought he might know finally what Ghost was getting at, and he was scared. When Ghost put it that way, he realized there was a part of him that no one knew. He had blocked it off from anyone ever seeing, even himself. Maybe I need to see a shrink...maybe that would be the breakthrough I need, Steve thought.
Ghost was pretty amazing at seeing through all his bullshit, and putting it in words he could understand..but, he still couldn't voice his feeling about it...and, did he even want to, to himself, or to Ghost? It had been hidden, like someone else's secret, not his own. But, if he and Ghost were ever going to get past this...this that Ghost knew was there, and kept digging at...then he had to start chipping away at it, too.
Ghost squeezed Steve's hands, pulling him closer. He laid his head onto Steve's, and said softly, "It's ok, Steve, it's just me that wants in. It's gonna be hard to face whatever demons are in there, but I want to help you face them. You're not alone. You'll never be alone."
Steve sobbed in Ghost's arms. There was so much, so many flashes of memory flooding his mind right now. He didn't know if Ghost could see it or not, but knew he had to try and let them out...out loud.
"What's in there, Steve? It must have been something awful for you to hide it for so long. Do you even remember? It's still there, holding you back. I can tell. I only met you when you were like, what...eleven or so? You were already pretty much who you are now. Did something happen before then?"
Ghost kept trying to pry open Steve's memory.
"I can't...I can't go back there, Ghost," Steve cried out. "Not right now; please don't make me remember."
Ghost knew he was getting close to hearing a painful truth from Steve. He just needed to push a little more, but not so much to destroy Steve's trust...to destroy Steve in the process. He knew it would help, but Steve didn't feel like it would. Maybe he'd already asked for too much. Maybe Steve would hate him for it, but he had to keep going. Leaving it like this would make it worse - half done, and would cause the memories to come out in destructive ways. It needed to be resolved now...tonight...right here when the door was cracking open.
Ghost smoothed Steve's hair back and wiped his tears. "Look at me, Steve. It's time. Time to face it, now, before it's too late, and it eats you alive from the inside. It will hurt to remember, but it'll be better if you go on and do it now. I'm right here to help you through. I won't leave, and I won't stop loving you, no matter what."
Steve shook himself, and nodded.
"Do you know what it is? Do you remember?" Ghost asked.
"I think so, but I'm afraid, Ghost. I don't want to remember. It...the feelings I have...they hurt me," Steve whispered, as he looked into Ghost's eyes.
"I know, Steve, but...well, maybe you think I'm being too nosey, that I should mind my own business...leave it alone. After all, I'm not a psychiatrist, and I can't promise you this will put an end to the pain you feel, but it's a start. Every day of life is a struggle, but at least you'll have a better understanding of why you do things...why you hurt yourself with too much drinking, why you have to hurt me. And, why you have to always be the bad guy, when I know you are more than that...can be more than that."
Ghost was quiet, then, waiting for Steve to think over what he wanted to say...to remember.
After a minute, Steve nodded. "I do remember something, maybe the start of it, anyway, but I don't know how to say it. I just don't have the words, like you."
"Ok," Ghost said, "just think of it, and let whatever is in your head come out. It doesn't matter how...we can figure it out together."
"Ok, I'll try," Steve said. "You know my family lived out on Violin Road, right?"
"Well, you know how it is out there. Just shacks and poverty, and no hope for anyone to better themselves. We hadn't been there very long, before you came to town, but it's the only place I remember...nothing before that.
My old man was so mean to us, my mother, and sisters, and me."
"You have a sister?" Ghost asked. He'd never heard Steve mention them.
"Yeah, an older one and a younger one. I don't know what happened to them. Maybe they made it out alive, or maybe not. Anyway, he'd get drunk and beat us all. The last time I saw my little sister, they were taking her away in an ambulance. She never came back. Maybe she died, or maybe they gave her to somebody else. They acted like they didn't care." Steve closed his eyes, over his tears that began to fall again. He sighed and sniffed.
"The next thing I remember, I was in school, probably third or fourth grade. Nobody'd have anything to do with me. I had crappy clothes and never had enough to eat. They'd make fun of me. Then I finally figured out how to fit in a little bit. That was by acting tough, even though I didn't think I was. I got in fights, and won some. I talked a good game, I guess. But, at home, I was still just a punching bag.
One drunk night, he told me my mother wasn't my mother. He said my older sister was...that he'd raped her, and her kid was me. That didn't make any sense then, and it still doesn't...she was only a couple of years older than me." Steve shook his head.
"Fuck him, fuck him for telling me that lie, and me, for being so stupid as to believe it. I mean, he never let me forget it, either, kept on telling me that, and that I was just a bastard, and didn't deserve to live." Steve pounded his fist on the table.
"Next I remember, mom had already left by then, and so had my sister...or mother... or...I was so confused. The only half way good thing, was going to school. So, I was always hanging out late over there, and that's when you came in...the new kid.
They started bullying you, then. I felt they sort of accepted me by now - not completely - but, it took some of the attention off of me, and I still tried to fit in with the guys. But, I couldn't stand to see them come after you. I knew how it felt. I didn't know you yet, but when they almost killed you, I had to try and save you. Well, you know the rest." Steve stopped, looking into Ghost's eyes, before going on.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing