TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve tried to ease Ghost's mind about what would happen if his sister did come into town...to the show tomorrow night. "Yeah, Ghost, things happen all the time that change people, but not so much that we can't deal with it. We'll learn to go with the little changes. Try not to worry, ok?" He took Ghost's hands into his own, warming them.
Ghost closed his eyes, and tears ran down his cheeks. "I know, Steve, I know we will, but I can't help worrying how much..."
Steve reached up to brush away Ghost's tears. Leaning his forehead against Ghost's, he said, "Nothing will ever change how we feel about each other...nothing. It doesn't matter what she thinks, or says, or anybody else. We are together...we love each other...and people can accept that, or not. Yeah, there may be some adjustments if she moves back in town, but we'll be fine. She'll have to make changes, too. Well, it'll be different, but good to get to know her again. Do you see what I mean?"
Ghost sniffled, taking a moment to think about what Steve was saying...to believe it. "Yeah, I guess so, Steve. It's just I don't like it changing all the time."
"I know, and it will take some getting used to, but I'm getting kind of excited about it, now. I want to see her, to find out what happened to her..." he paused a minute, thinking of how it would be to actually see her face to face. "So, are we good? Are you cool with it? Are we gonna put on a kick-ass show tomorrow night?"
He jumped up from the bed, and did a little air guitar. "Hell yeah we are, Ghost." he said, trying to get Ghost to smile. It worked...Ghost couldn't help but laugh. The air was cleared, now, and everything felt normal again...at least for now.
And now, they were hungry. It had been a long time since the big breakfast, so they prowled around the kitchen, finding something to eat.
"So, did ya find something to wear in all that mess of clothes?" Steve asked.
Ghost smiled. "No...I wasn't really looking."
"Oh? Then why the big mess?"
"So it would look like I was looking," Ghost said. "Besides, I already know what I'm wearing to the show. You'll see it then."
Steve shrugged. "Ok, it's up to you, but I'm not getting fancy, myself."
"It will be something black, won't it?" Ghost smirked.
"Yep, sure will," Steve said.
After eating, Ghost went to pick up all the thrown about clothes in his bedroom. Steve turned on the tv, but couldn't really concentrate on it. He kept thinking of his sister, and what he would say to her, and what she would say to him...and would he even recognize her when he saw her. It had been so long, and he'd only glanced at the picture Kinsey had shown them.
And, something else Ghost had said...about her kids, and maybe moving in here, or here in town. Now he started to worry about that. He knew he was getting worried about it for nothing, especially after the talk he and Ghost just got through with, but still, he couldn't help it. To distract himself, he picked up his guitar and just played random chords, as loud as he could.
Ghost, in the bedroom, heard Steve banging the notes out. He froze for a moment, feeling...sensing Steve's emotions. I shouldn't have told him...but he made me... He stayed in his room, until he heard Steve's music get quieter and slower. Reaching for the little vial of calming oil, he'd bought, he took a whiff of the orangey, lavender potion. It made him feel better, and wondered if it would help Steve, too. He headed for the living room.
"Here, Steve, inhale this...it helps," Ghost said, as he knelt in front of Steve. Steve took it, with no questions asked, and took a deep breath of it...and another...
"Ahh, that's wonderful..." Steve said, his eyes closed.
Ghost put his hands on Steve's thighs. "Don't be worried...don't be afraid. It's just your sister...your real family. She had to leave, back then...you know she did. If things had been better, she would have stayed," Ghost said, hoping he was helping Steve get through the anxiety, now, just as he'd been comforted by Steve, earlier.
"She had a hard time, too, Steve...all these years. Now, she's coming to see you. She probably didn't even know what happened to you, either. Then she saw Kinsey, and well, her life changed right then, too. Do you see? She's trying, Steve...reaching out to you. It'll be ok...just talk to her...just love her..."
Steve looked into Ghost's eyes...here was his best friend, his lover, somehow knowing and saying all the right words to make him feel better about it all, to calm his jitters. Even when Ghost was himself hurting to his very core, he could still feel other's pain, and take it into himself to ease their suffering.
He knew Ghost had this gift of empathy...he'd witnessed it, and been the recipient of it, over and over. He didn't understand how anyone could do this, but was grateful for it, just the same.
He began sobbing...a release of sorts, from his worries. "Thank you, Ghost," he said, hugging Ghost to him. "Thank you for being you, and for being with me through this, and through everything."
Ghost held Steve close, stroking his hair, and they rocked back and forth, there on the couch, the guitar forgotten on the floor. They never made it back to the bedroom, that night.
The morning sun, beaming through the living room window, woke them early, still snuggled together on the old, worn-out couch. Sometime during the night, they'd pulled the crocheted afghan over them, that Ghost's grandmother had made.
Somehow, they woke with a renewed energy, and outlook for the day and night ahead. After a light breakfast, Ghost announced he was going down to the graveyard, to talk to the spirits for awhile. Steve gathered his equipment for the show, then joined Ghost out back. The air was crisp, but warming, in the patches of sunlight that filtered through the trees.
"Hey, you contact anybody, today?" Steve asked, as he approached where Ghost was sitting, on a square-shaped headstone. Steve sat down, too, trying his best to hear spirit voices. He'd never heard anything, though.
Ghost nodded. "Yeah, the old guys are here. They wish they could come to the club to see the show." He smiled, looking out over the small cemetery.
Steve watched, and looked, too, but saw nothing. "What is it you hear, Ghost? What do you see?"
"Huh, what do ya mean?"
"You're always listening and talking out here. I never hear or see anyone. Tell me what it's like," Steve said.
Ghost thought about it, about how to explain to Steve. He'd tried to, before, but it was hard to describe it so Steve could understand. "Well...it's just like this. Like me and you talking out here, right now. The spirits are real, Steve. They're here, too, and they talk to me, and to each other."
"But, what do they say?" Steve asked.
"Oh, they talk about their families, and tell their war stories, and make jokes, and well, everything, just like when they were alive. I hear them just fine, and I know they hear me, too. Only sometimes it's not said out loud. It's just thoughts in my head, that I hear them. I know it's not me, so I know it's them. Oh, they look like when they were alive, too, only I can kinda see through them," Ghost said, laughing. "It looks weird, but I'm used to it. They're nice guys, Steve." He grinned, and looked out across the graveyard, and listened for a minute.
"They're saying hi to you, Steve, and they're waving. Say something back to 'em," Ghost said.
Steve looked skeptical, and shook his head. "Like what?"
"Just anything, Steve...they're waiting..."
"Ok," Steve said, taking a breath, blowing it out slowly, while he thought of something. "Hi, guys...how's it going?" He felt self-conscious.
"That's good, just say stuff like you say to me," Ghost urged.
"How do I know when it's my turn?" Steve asked.
"Well, I'll tell ya when to talk to them, but first, try to listen. I'll help ya learn how."
"Ok, I'll try." He talked out into the air, to nothing he could see, about their plans for the day, and for the show. He didn't hear anyone talking back to him.
"I feel silly, Ghost," Steve said. "I think I will leave the spirit talking to you."
"Well, ok, but they're all talking at once, wanting to talk some more to you."
Steve gazed out across the headstones and crosses, now dappled in shade and sun. He knew he'd come a long way. He was comfortable sitting there, and living next to a cemetery...never would have imagined it in his wildest dreams, that all this would be completely normal to him.
"So, you think this is normal?" Ghost asked, having heard Steve's thoughts.
Steve nodded. "Yeah, for me and you...at least now. At first it was pretty strange, but I got used to it."
"You kinda had to, Steve...'cause I wanted you to stay around...to be my friend."
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing