TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Back at the house, Ghost was trying to be patient, waiting for Steve's car to be delivered. Finally, he called Zach to find out any news.
"I'm waiting and waiting, Zach," Ghost said, as soon as Zach answered his phone.
"Hey, Ghost...everything is going as planned...don't worry. Is Steve gone somewhere?" Zach asked.
"Yeah, him and Linda are at the club. I'm supposed to call when it's here, but when is it coming?"
Zach thought a minute. "Ok, let me give them a call to find out, then I'll call you back."
"Ok, but hurry," Ghost said, ending the call. "Now I'm waiting on everybody," he said to the cat. He paced around the house from room to room. Every few minutes he'd go outside, to look down the road. He fixed a snack for himself, and Spirit, and tried to read, but felt too agitated to keep his eyes on the page. Even his journal held no interest for him. He couldn't sit still.
"C'mon somebody," he said, then startled, when the phone rang. "Did you find out?" he asked Zach.
"Yeah, I did. The guy is on his way, right now. He has Steve's car on a small car carrier, and should be at your house real soon. Just watch for them, and then sign for it. Call me first, to let me know it went ok," Zach said.
"Ok, I will," Ghost said.
He ran out the front door, to stare at the dirt road. Then he sat on the swing, rocking it back and forth so fast, he almost felt sea sick. "Spirit, he's almost here," he shouted, and jumped up.
Sure enough, down the long dirt road came the truck. Steve's car was on the back. Ghost smiled and stared at it...it was exactly as he remembered it...but better, fresher, newly painted, and polished. The truck driver came up the porch steps.
"Hey, how's it going? This the right place?" he asked.
Ghost nodded. "Yes, and I was waiting."
"I'm supposed to get you to sign these papers," the man said, as he handed Ghost a clipboard and pen. "You're Ghost?"
"Yes, that's me...and that's Steve's car."
"Ok, sign here," the man showed Ghost which line to sign on. Ghost did, and then watched as he went to off load the car. Then handing Ghost the keys, he said, "That there is a fine car...a classic. It was a pleasure to work on it." He smiled, as he admired the T-bird. "Y'all have a merry Christmas," he said, turning to leave.
"Thank you for fixing Steve's car...and you have a merry Christmas, too," Ghost said. He watched, as the man in the truck, drove off. Then, he walked all the way around the car, looking inside, and running his hands on the fenders.
"Welcome home, car...Steve still loves you," he said. Thinking for a minute, he asked Spirit, "What am I supposed to do, now? Oh yeah, call Zach," he said, and got the phone, he'd left up on the swing.
"Zach...it's here, and it's beautiful...and Steve's gonna be so surprised."
Zach laughed, "Yeah, he sure will, Ghost."
"I signed the papers, and now it's here. I'm so excited, Zach," Ghost said, as he jumped around. "Now I gotta get Steve back here."
"I know, and I'll see y'all tonight, too, over at the club." Zach said, catching some of Ghost's excitement.
Yeah, and you'll see the car, too," Ghost said. "Bye, Zach." He made his phone call to Kinsey's club, now. "Kinsey, it's me. Is Steve still there?" he asked.
"Yes, he and Linda are right here, Ghost," Kinsey said.
"Ok, tell them to come home, now."
"Sure thing...and I'll see you tonight," Kinsey said. "Hey, Steve...that was Ghost...he's ready for y'all to come back home. I guess your surprise is ready. He sounded pretty excited."
On the drive back down the highway, Steve and Linda were trying to guess what Ghost's surprise for Steve was. "
"He's been real secretive about it, for awhile now," Steve said. "I guess it's too big to wrap and put under the tree."
"And, it has had to be delivered, too," Linda said.
"I know, that must have taken some planning. Oh, he had Zach helping him," Steve said.
"Did you figure out how you're gonna give Ghost his present, yet?" Linda asked.
Steve shook his head. "I still don't know, Linda, and I've only got a few minutes left, now. What do I do? Help me think." He started driving slower, to give himself more time to think.
Linda thought for a minute. "Ok, at this point it will have to be something simple. Did you even wrap it?" she asked.
"No, it's in a pretty velvet box. Isn't that enough?" Steve said.
Linda smiled. "Yes, Steve it will be enough, I'm sure. But, please say some nice words, when you give it to him. At least do that."
Nodding, Steve said, "Ok, I can do that, but this other stuff, I'm just not good at." He turned into a small dirt road, barely visible, but he knew it well. "This road goes for a little way, but for some reason it never got finished very good. There was a house back behind the graveyard a ways, but the people didn't stay long, and now it's just a falling down, abandoned shack." He steered the car around ruts and weeds, then came to a stop.
"We'll have to walk the rest of the way up to our back yard. You up for it?" Steve asked.
"Sure, it'll be nice to take a walk through the woods with you, Steve," she said, as they got out of the car and began walking the path.
Ghost had wanted to put a big bow on the car, but didn't have one. He tried several small, stick-on ones, but though it looked dumb, so he took them off. He kept looking out the back door, hoping to see Steve and Linda coming. He thought he should maybe get dressed a little nicer for the presentation, because his old, gray, sweatpants were grungy from being on the damp ground this morning, and his shirt was coffee stained. He felt sloppy.
Looking in his closet, he found his better jeans, that only had a couple of frayed spots, in the well worn denim, and a soft, striped hoodie. Putting them on, he looked in the mirror, then grabbed a washcloth to scrub his face. He ran the damp cloth over his hair, smoothing it down some, and then felt better.
Spirit, meowed and ran into the kitchen. "They're here, they're here," Ghost said, running to the back door. Linda and Steve were walking across the back yard, on their way into the house. Flinging open the back screen door, Ghost hollered, "Steve...it's here."
Steve pretended not to know. "What's here? What are you going on about, Ghost?"
"Steeeve, you know ...your Christmas present...from me." He was bounding around the kitchen, opening cabinet drawers. Pulling out a dish towel, he said, "Here, you have to put this on...put it on like a blindfold."
"Now?" Steve asked. "Let me get in, first."
"Just here in the kitchen," Ghost said, handing the towel to Steve.
"Ok, ok...here Linda, you can have the honor of blindfolding me," Steve said.
Linda took it, and tied it around Steve's face, covering his eyes. "Ok, now I can't see a thing...lead the way, Ghost."
Ghost took Steve's hand, and led him to the living room. Looking at Linda, he put his finger to his mouth. "Shhh," he said, and smiled. He opened the front door, then the screen, and they stepped out onto the porch. Ghost guided Steve carefully down the steps. Linda hung back, there on the porch, letting them have this moment by themselves, but was staring at the car, out there in the driveway.
"Where is it, Ghost? I want to see," Steve said.
"We're almost there, Steve...ok, stop," Ghost said. Then, as he slowly untied the blindfold, he said, "Steve, this is my present to you. I hope you like it." He was anxious to see Steve's reaction.
Steve blinked a couple of times to clear his vision...then he saw it. "Oh, my God...is it...is that...Ghost? I can't believe it. It's my T-bird. It is, isn't it?" He was holding tight, onto Ghost's arm, and just stood there, staring at the car, afraid if he moved, it would disappear.
"Steve...it's yours...it's the very one. I got it all fixed up for you," Ghost said. "Go on...go look at it." He pushed Steve forward.
Steve haltingly took steps toward the powder blue and white Thunderbird. He reached out his hands, running them along the smooth shape. Reaching the drivers' side, he opened the door.
"It's my car, Ghost...it's here in front of me. I thought I'd never see it again. How did you get this here? How...oh, my God..." he looked up over the top of the car, to see Ghost, his blue eyes shining. "Thank you...this...this is the best present..."
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing