TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Linda got quiet, as she and Steve continued their conversation. "Steve, there's one more thing I have to tell you. It's about our mom."
"Mom? Did she find you?" Steve asked.
Linda shook her head. "No, she passed away, before she could."
Steve took in a sharp breath. "No...how...when?"
"It was a few months before Lisa began teaching. Lisa told me, and it was sad, really. She said they'd done the same as I had, tried to make it however they could. She'd gotten a pretty good job, and everything seemed ok, but she was still a broken woman, Steve. After all the abuse here, and not having me and you...it took it's toll. She got sick, Lisa said, and just never recovered. It was a year past, when I found Lisa."
"God, that's awful, Linda. I had no idea what happened to any of y'all," Steve said. Shaking his head, he said, "It wasn't any better here...he hated me, ya know. He blamed everything on me, but it was all his drinking. I mean, I was just a kid... I didn't know anything different, just I knew it was wrong. Half the time he wasn't even at home, and the rest of the time, he was beating me up." He stopped for a minute, remembering the bad times.
"It was so hard, Linda...and staying in school, that's all I had going for me, and that wasn't much better, but it kept me out of Dad's way for awhile. He did do one thing, though. I don't know why, unless it was to buy me off so I wouldn't turn him in, ya know. Anyway, he got me a car, when I was fourteen. I didn't have a liscense, but I drove it anyway." He rubbed his forehead, thinking back.
"He was worse than ever after that, though...when he was home. I'd had it, Linda. I wanted out of there. But, then I met Ghost." He smiled, and his frown went away. "Ghost saved me, and I saved him."
Steve told his sister the whole story of him and Ghost, leaving nothing out...even the bad parts. "I'm so in love with Ghost, Linda...and I don't deserve to have him. I don't know why he stays...why he still loves me, but he does." He closed his eyes for a moment. "Oh, God, Linda, I'm so afraid, every day, that it will be over...that he will leave me again, or disappear, or something." He said a silent prayer, that that day would never come.
Linda took his hands, again. "Steve, look at me. You do deserve Ghost's love for you. Don't say you don't. Y'all have had a hard road, but managed to work it out, the way that's best for both of you." She sighed. "That young man out there...I can tell he is so, so special. He can see into people's hearts, and he knows you are a good person. From what you've told me, he has some problems, but then, we all do, in one way or another. Just keep loving each other as best you can. I love Ghost already, too."
"Thank you, Linda...and thank you for loving Ghost," Steve said. He hesitated before speaking again. "Um, there's something else that's been worrying me," he said, looking down. "I was scared you'd not like us...me...because I'm gay." Clearing his throat, he continued. "I had a hard time admitting it to myself. I tried not to be...I had lots of girlfriends...one I was going to marry. Her name was Ann, and my God, Linda, she was murdered. It messed me up for a long time, trying...trying to figure out why...you know. Why did things go so wrong? And then, later on, I began to realize, it was Ghost that I loved...was in love with. Somehow, I sort of knew, way back in the early days, but I couldn't understand my feelings, then.
Ghost knew before I did. He stayed through it all...all the running around I did...all the pain I must have cause him, to see that. Argggh...why did it take me so long?"
Linda made him look at her. "Steve, I love you ...it doesn't matter that you're gay...that you love Ghost. I'm just happy for you, and that you have someone that loves you unconditionally." She sighed. "It didn't last for me, and maybe I'll find someone like that some day. So don't worry about it any more, ok?"
Steve nodded. "Ok, and thank you, Linda, I needed to hear that." He reached out to hug his sister. "So what now?" he asked. I don't want us to just find each other, and that's all. You live so far away."
"I know," Linda said. "And, I have to get back there. I'm leaving tomorrow night."
"Oh, no...not yet," Steve said.
She nodded. "Yes, I've got to get back to my kids, and it'll be Christmas and all. But, I don't want this to end here, either. Somehow we'll work it out...visits...phone calls, pictures, I don't know."
"Y'all can all move back here," Steve said.
She was shaking her head.
"Sure ya can. It's really a great town...not much to do, but close to a big city. Think about it. Please?"
"I'll think about it," Linda said. "But, on the other hand, y'all could come to us. I'd love that."
Now, Steve was shaking his head. "No, Linda, we couldn't. This is home, and we'd never like a big city like L. A."
"Well, you think about it, too," Linda said.
They took a minute, just thinking how to work it out.
"Hey, I have an idea," Steve said. "Go have Christmas with the family, then all of y'all come back here...just for a visit. I really want to see Lisa and the kids, so bad."
"Ok, I'll see if we can, for a short visit," Linda said, and laughed.
The meeting had cleared up a lot of questions, and both felt much better, now. "Let's go find Ghost and Kinsey," Linda said, as she opened the office door.
Hearing jukebox music playing, they went down the hallway, curious as to what was going on. At the kitchen door, they saw Kinsey, stirring his stew on the stove, and bouncing along to the music.
"Hey, Kinsey, what's up?" Steve asked.
Kinsey jumped at hearing them come in. "Hey, you two...just cooking for tonight's kids. Y'all done talking for awhile?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's all good. We had a lot of catching up to do," Steve said. "Where's Ghost?"
Kinsey shrugged. "Aw, I don't know...he's out there somewhere, I guess. He was helping me in here, then wandered off, like usual."
"Ok, I'll go find him," Steve said, and went out into the club area. Linda stayed in the kitchen, tasting Kinsey's stew.
Steve walked over to the bar, and paused, as his eyes adjusted to the dimly lit room. Scanning the stage, and dance floor, he finally spotted Ghost, way off in the far corner of the club...a pale figure, dancing and swaying fluidly to the emotions the music made him feel.
Smiling, Steve wished he could be so free and uninhibited. He was thinking how beautiful Ghost was...dancing in the dark, when Linda came up beside him. She put her arm around his waist, as she watched Ghost dance. Her heart swelled with love for Ghost...for him loving her brother.
She whispered to Steve, "Go to him...go to your love..."
Steve caught his breath, and nodded. "Yes.." he whispered, and moved off into the darkness, to join Ghost in the dance. As he reached him, Ghost turned, then stopped dancing. He moved close to Steve, putting his arms around his neck, and kissing him long and deep. Then he started a swaying dance, and Steve didn't feel awkward, at all.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing