TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve came back outside, jingling the car keys. "Ready, Linda?" he asked.
"Yes, and Ghost, are you sure you'll be ok, here for awhile?"
"Um-hmm, I'll be ok, and you remember our plan, don't you?" Ghost asked.
She smiled and nodded. "I do...see ya later." She and Steve got in the car, heading down the highway to the club. They rode in silence for a few minutes. Finally, Linda said what was on her mind.
"Steve...that episode with Ghost? Does that happen very often?"
Steve sighed. "Sometimes it's a lot, then nothing for a long time. We don't know what triggers it. Even the doctors don't really know. They just tell him to keep taking his medicine, and try not to get stressed out, but he forgets his meds half the time. I think on purpose, actually, because he doesn't trust it. He was brought up by his grandmother, and she only used herbs and potions. But, she's gone now, so..." he trailed off.
"Damn it!" He hit the steering wheel, hard, making Linda jump. "I hate that Ghost has so many problems, and I hate that I caused the worst one to him," Steve yelled. "And, he's never going to be any better...only worse."
Linda reached out, putting her hand on his arm. "But, Steve, he loves you, and has forgiven you for all of that."
"Yeah, but I think it's because he's forgotten what happened. He can't remember things for very long, anymore...just his songs, and sometimes he's forgotten even them. He'll swear something didn't happen, when I know it did...and the other way around, too. Mostly, I just agree with him." He shook his head.
Linda was quiet for a bit, but then said, "You are so patient, Steve. I know you love him." She took a deep breath, before speaking again. "Now, what I'm about to say...please don't get mad, but...have you ever...I mean...would you ever consider...going your own way...not being his caretaker? Do you ever feel trapped into this out of pity?"
Steve slammed on the brakes. "Don't EVER say that again, Linda. EVER! You're my sister, and I love you, but Ghost is my life, my best friend...my lover, and there is no way in hell I'd ever leave him. I am not his caretaker. That has never crossed my mind. Shit..." He rubbed his hands over his face and into his hair. "Would you get rid of your kids if they had a problem...to make it easier? No...you'd still love them, right?" He was angry, and glared at Linda.
"Oh, Steve...I'm sorry. I didn't mean I think you should...God no...please, just forget what I said."
Steve slowly calmed his emotions down. After a deep breath, he said, "It's ok. I know you were just wondering...and I didn't mean to yell at you. I'm still working on my temper, so yeah...I forgive you."
She reached out, and they hugged. Steve started driving again, until they reached town, but neither said anything more. Linda went straight up to her room, to begin packing. Steve found Kinsey in the office, and he went in, sitting on the couch.
"Hey, how's it going, Steve," Kinsey asked.
"It's good. Linda has to go back home tonight, so she's upstairs packing her things. She did say she plans on moving back here, though."
"Is that right? That's wonderful, Steve," Kinsey said.
Steve nodded. "Yeah, but we had an argument on the way over here. It's ok now. We're fine."
Kinsey didn't ask for details. "Well, siblings disagree sometimes," he said.
Steve smiled. "Yeah, I'm finding that out."
Kinsey looked closer at him. "What's bothering you? You look unsettled, or something."
"It's Ghost...he had a bad one, today. He's ok, now...he's at home, but Kinsey, it scared me so bad. I didn't think he'd come out of it." He looked up at Kinsey, and Kinsey could see the anguish in Steve's eyes.
"Damn, that's scary, all right. You say he's ok now?"
"Yeah, it took awhile, but he was back to normal, when we left." Steve said.
"I don't know, Steve. It's hard to sit back and let it happen, when we want to help so bad, but sometimes that's all we can do. Try not to let it get you down."
Steve nodded. "I know...I try."
Linda came into the office, just then. "I'm all done, but we can't leave just yet."
"I know," Steve said. "We have to wait for the phone call, right?" He laughed.
"What call?" Kinsey asked. They explained the 'plan' to him, which got him laughing, too.
"Guess, it'll be something good, Steve...if Ghost made up a plan and all."
They all walked out into the club. "Oh, look...you put up a Christmas tree over there," Linda said. She walked over to the side of the stage.
"Yeah, I figured I would," Kinsey said. "Here, I'll plug in the lights. The kids liked it last night, I think."
It was a nicely decorated tree, about six feet tall, with lots of lights and ornaments on it, that Kinsey had collected over the years. "I'm not opening up tonight, and I guess everyone will be busy tomorrow night, too, so we might as well enjoy it, now." he said. "What time are y'all coming back tonight?"
"Well, maybe about seven," Steve said. He looked over at Linda. "Your bus to Raleigh is coming at ten, isn't it?"
"Yes, at ten...so we'll have a little time to visit, before I leave," Linda said.
"Ok, then," Kinsey said. "I'll fix us all some supper and we'll have a small party."
The three of them continued talking, but suddenly, Steve said he needed to make a fast run over to the drugstore, before they closed. "I'll be back in a few minutes," he said, as he left.
"I wonder what came up?" Kinsey asked.
"I have no idea," Linda said. "Anyway, do you need any help in the kitchen?"
"Sure, come on, we'll see what's in there we can use for tonight's supper," Kinsey said.
Steve had gone over to the drugstore, but wasn't too happy at their selection of gifts. He'd wanted to get a gift for his sister, but being that it was all at the last minute, it seemed cheap to grab just any old thing. He knew he didn't have time to drive to Raleigh, and Missing Mile really didn't have any big stores. He loved living here, but sometimes it was a disadvantage...like now.
He walked up and down the aisles, rejecting everything he saw. "Well, she said she didn't expect a Christmas present," he muttered, but he still felt bad. He needed to get back over to the club. As he passed by the hardware store, he thought for a second he would go in, but shook his head. They wouldn't have anything good there, either. Giving up, he went back to the Yew.
When he found Linda and Kinsey again, over in the kitchen, Linda asked, "Did you find what you needed?"
"Naw, they didn't have it," Steve said. "Did Ghost call, yet?"
"Not yet. We were just finishing stuff for later on, to eat," Linda said.
"Ok, well, I'm gonna shoot some pool, while we wait," Steve said, and headed off to the game room.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing