TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Out at the car, Steve did yank Ghost's hair to turn him around. He saw himself as he did it, and it felt like he was watching someone else's hand do it. Ghost yelped at the sudden pain, and reached up to knock Steve's hand away. Steve grabbed hold of Ghost and shoved him up against the side of the car.
"Ow, Steve! What's the matter with you? Let me go."
"I saw you flirting with that guy in there," Steve said. "You know how that makes me feel, Ghost...huh? It makes me feel like shit, that's what's the matter. What'cha got to say about it?" Steve kept pushing hard, up against Ghost.
"I got nothing to say...I don't even know what you're talking about," Ghost said.
"I saw you, you little whore...making eyes, and smiling, and saying stuff...and...and...forgetting the words you were supposed to be singing. That proves it. You were so much into that guy, that you couldn't even keep your mind on the songs."
Ghost was getting scared, now...Steve was going ballistic on him, for no reason. He had to calm him down, but how?
"Steve, stop! You got it all wrong."
"Oh, I do, do I?" Steve was getting louder. "So, you didn't see that blond guy right in front of you...the one you said something to? Don't you dare lie to me, Ghost."
"You mean that guy that..."
"Yeah, that one. What'd you say to him?"
"Uh, uh...I think he asked me if I wanted to go somewhere with him after the show. I said no! That's it. I can't help it if people stare at me and ask me to do stuff. I don't control their thoughts."
"Yeah? But, I bet you're thinking it'd be fun to go off with some of them...like this guy. I swear, Ghost, I'd kill him before he could take you anywhere."
"Steve, that's never gonna happen," Ghost said. "Never! Now stop being mean to me and let me go, ok?" Ghost begged.
"Fine, Ghost, this time...and I don't want to see another time - got it?"
"Yeah, I got it, Steve," Ghost said as he rubbed his wrist's where Steve had been crushing them. "Can we get out of here?"
"Get in the car," Steve ordered, shoving Ghost in, and slamming the door. He got in the dirver's side, and sped out of the parking lot. He didn't see the guy from the coffee shop watching them, from around the corner of the building.
Steve drove fast, out of the town, and down the highway...no idea where he was going. He just wanted to drive away from the ugliness, that he'd brought upon them, back there. He needed to calm down, needed to apologise to Ghost, needed to get his temper under control, before he really hurt Ghost again.
Ghost just sat there looking out at the stars, as they drove off into the night. He couldn't bring himself to say anything, right now. Tears welled up in his eyes and fell silently down his face. He didn't want Steve to see or hear him sobbing. But, eventually he couldn't stop, and Steve did hear.
Steve could not apologise right now, though. The hurt he felt, was still too raw. He hated that he'd hurt Ghost, even a little. This would blow over, he knew, but it would take time.
As the miles put distance from the argument, Steve slowly calmed down. Ghost had stopped crying, but was still awake. Neither had said a word, and both felt an awkwardness in their silence. Finally, Steve pulled over at a rest stop, there on the side of the road. It was a dark and lonely looking place...just the tall trees shrouded in the fog that was forming.
"We need to talk," Steve said, and sighed.
Ghost didn't say anything, or look at Steve.
"Did ya hear me, Ghost?"
When Ghost still wouldn't say anything, Steve leaned over and yelled, "Answer me, damnit!"
At that, Ghost got out of the car, and walked away. Steve narrowed his eyes, and yelled, "Fine, go over there and pout like a baby...see if I care." He regretted it as soon as he said it, though. He got out and walked toward Ghost, who was sitting at the small table, with his arms crossed on top, and his head down.
Steve came up beside him and knelt down. "I'm sorry, Ghost. I didn't mean anything I said, or did tonight. I do care. I don't mean to hurt you, hurt your feelings, say awful things. I don't know why I do it. Just please talk to me."
Tell me how horrible I am, tell me to go fuck myself, kick me to the curb, hit me, knock me out...whatever...just don't hate me...don't give up on me...please, Ghost?"
Ghost sighed, then said, "Did you ever wonder about layers, Steve? That's a word that has a lot of meanings, lots of layers...layers." He stopped then, and looked at Steve, like he was searching for something in Steve's face, his eyes, his expression, even his mind...his inner self.
Steve felt uncomfortable with this close scrutiny. He didn't know what Ghost was getting at. Maybe he'd finally gone bonkers. But, he kept his mouth shut for once, and let Ghost continue.
"Lots of things have layers, Steve. Like an onion, or a cake, the Earth...even people. You see on the outside, one layer. Then you look closer, and you find another layer." He sighed again, and said, "I can see your layers, Steve. Some of them, but not all, yet. I want to see all your layers, but you hide them from me. Why? Why do you hide them from me?" He hung his head and cried.
Steve still had no idea what Ghost was talking about, but if he said that, it would be the wrong thing to say. But, what was the right thing? "Ghost, what is making you so sad? I said I was sorry. I know I say it all the time, because I keep doing stupid stuff, saying stupid stuff..." he trailed off, at a loss of words.
"You don't get it, do ya Steve?" Ghost asked.
"Do you see me?" asked Ghost.
"Yeah," Steve said.
"Do I keep secrets from you? Do you know all about me? Am I hiding who I am from you?"
"No, I think I know you, Ghost. I see you, and I've known you a long time."
Ghost looked at Steve, knowing he still didn't understand.
"Oh, my God, Steve, how can I explain it to you?"