TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost reached for his jacket, then handed Steve the phone. He called in their take-out order from the diner, then noticed that Zach had called, a little earlier.
"Did you talk to Zach, yet?" Steve asked. "Looks like he called." He handed the phone to Ghost, who frowned at it.
"Oh, yeah...I gotta talk to him...but private. I'm going out there," Ghost said, as he went out into the club area.
"It's a madhouse around here sometimes, Linda, as you can see," Steve said.
"Yes, and I'm loving every minute of it," Linda said. "I'll get a few things from upstairs, then I'll be ready to go."
"Ok...hey, Kinsey, we're fixin' to leave. Guess we'll catch up with ya tomorrow," Steve said.
"Oh, sure, Steve. You feeling ok, now? Sorry, for hitting ya," Kinsey said.
"I'm fine, Kinsey, it's no big deal," Steve said, then went out to find Ghost.
He saw him still talking on the phone, so just motioned to come out to the car, when he was finished. Linda came downstairs, and she and Steve walked out the back door.
Ghost finally got Zach back on the phone. "Hey, Zach, it's me. I gotta know something."
"Hi, Ghost...what's up?"
"Um, you know that thing we got, that's a secret from Steve?"
"Yep, it's still a secret, isn't it?"
"Uh-huh, but when is it gonna not be anymore...like I don't know when...'cause I don't, and you need to tell me, so I can get things ready," Ghost said.
Zach took a second to figure out what Ghost was asking. "Oh, you need to know when the car will be delivered, right?"
"Yeah, that's right."
"Ok, it's going to be tomorrow afternoon, at least that's what they said." He was still not sure how to talk to Ghost, when things of time and numbers came up...how to get him to understand. "You know what tomorrow afternoon is, don't you, Ghost?" Zach asked.
"Kinda, but...but, when is that?" Ghost sounded like he had no idea.
Zach sighed. "Ok, tonight is when it gets dark, and you go to sleep. Tomorrow is when it gets light and you wake up. Then you eat breakfast, then you eat lunch, then afternoon is then...between lunch and supper. So the car should be delivered before supper tomorrow."
"Oh, ok...I think I got it," Ghost said. "So we have to be home all day?"
"Yeah, pretty much, 'cause you gotta sign the papers that say you got the car,when they bring it," Zach explained.
"Ok, cool...I'll plan something for when Steve sees it," Ghost said. "Thanks, Zach."
"Good luck...I'm sure Steve will love his surprise," Zach said.
Ghost smiled, thinking about the Christmas surprise for Steve, then went down the hall. "Bye, Kinsey, see ya later."
"Bye, Ghost..." Kinsey said.
As Ghost walked outside, he saw that it was beginning to snow. He tried to catch snowflakes in his mouth. Steve and Linda watched him, as they sat in the car.
"Steve, you amaze me," Linda said. "Just from the last couple of days, I can say I am proud of you, and proud to be your sister." She hugged him close.
"Thanks, Sis, but I don't do anything special. I just try to make it through each day as best I can," Steve said. "Just like everybody else."
"No, not everybody. Not everybody has the thing inside them that makes them overcome trouble in their lives...to keep on, in the face of hard knocks...to face their worst fears, and to have patience and love enough inside them to keep on, Steve." She smiled, and looked out at Ghost, again.
"Look at Ghost...he has it, too. In spite of everything, both of you keep on, never giving up, no matter what. That's what I see. I see that you two belong together," Linda said. "You both hold the other up, when it gets tough. It's inspiring, Steve." She shrugged, and said, "And, sorry if I'm getting all sappy about it, but I just love you...and now, I love Ghost, too."
Steve sighed. "Thank you, Linda. It does get hard, sometimes." He closed his eyes for a moment. "For awhile, when I didn't have Ghost, when he left me...I really thought I'd die. I was dead inside already...and he saved me by coming back to me...forgiving me..." Steve caught his breath. "And, I'll never take that for granted, again...never." He looked out the car window, at Ghost. "Linda...I got him a ring...for Christmas. I know we can probably never really be married...not officially, but I feel we are, already."
"Oh, Steve," Linda said. "I can see that, too...and a ring...well, that's going to mean so much to him."
"Yeah," Steve nodded, smiling. "I had it engraved on the inside. It says 'forever more', 'cause that's us...and our names, too. That word has been one of Ghost's favorite things to describe us, even since the first," Steve said.
"So it's a surprise?" Linda asked.
"Yeah, I'm giving it to him tomorrow. We already planned to do our gifts on Christmas Eve," Steve said. "I don't have any idea what he's got for me, but even if it was nothing, it would be everything...just him."
"Aww, Steve, you're going to have me crying any second," Linda said, wiping away a tear.
"I wish I'd have known you were coming here sooner. I'd have gotten you something," Steve said.
Linda shook her head. "No, I have everything I need, right here, Steve...being here with you." She took his hand and kissed it.
Just then, Ghost ran over and jumped in the back seat. "Hey, y'all, it's freaking cold out there. Can we go, huh? And, I'm hungry, and Steeeve, you promised we'd get a tree today, and we haven't yet. Today is the day, isn't it, or is it tomorrow? I'm learning day words, I think. Zach was explaining it to me on the phone, 'cause I needed to know when is tomorrow, 'cause...well just 'cause...so let's get one, ok? And I got all those things to put on it. Linda can help now, too." He stopped to take a breath. "Did ya hear me?" Ghost asked, looking at Steve and Linda.
They started laughing. "Yes, we heard you, loud and clear, Ghost," Steve said.
"I say we go get our food, and a tree, and go to y'all's house, right now," Linda said.
"Ok, then...the mission is...get food, and find a tree, and go home," Steve said, as he backed the car out, and headed for the diner.
On the way, they passed by the little grocery store. "Hey, look..." Steve said, slowing down. "They have some trees for sale. You want to get one of these, Ghost?"
"Yes, yes, yes...stop," Ghost said, and as soon as Steve parked the car, he jumped out. There were only a few trees left...none of them perfect, but Ghost hugged them all, and he did find the one he wanted. He told the other trees, he was sorry, but he could only take one of them home.
"This here tree is it," he told Steve.
"Ok, then," Steve said, and went inside to pay for it. Then finding a length of rope in the trunk of the car, he and Ghost tied it to the roof. Then they went on down to the diner. Linda and Steve went in to get their food order.
"Hey, how's it going?" Steve asked the waitress.
"Steve, hi...well, I'm about finished with my shift. Everything's been good. Are you and Ghost ready for Christmas?" she asked.
"Yeah, we just got our tree. Ghost is out in the car. Oh, this is my sister, Linda. She's here to visit, all the way from California."
"Hope you enjoy our little town, Linda," the waitress said. "You're welcome in here, anytime."
With their food ready to go, Steve and Linda went back to the car. The waitress asked the manager, "I didn't know Steve had a sister, did you?"
"I think I heard of one that ran away, years ago. Guess she'd be the one," he said.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing