TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"Sit in your car, Steve," Ghost said, "the keys are in there...start it up and let's all go for a ride. Come on, Linda." He opened the passenger side door.
"Yes, let's take a ride in this beautiful car of yours, Steve," Linda said, as she climbed into the back seat. Ghost got in the front, and closed the door.
Suddenly, Ghost had flashes of memories coming to him. The car felt exactly the same as it always had, and he remembered all the rides he and Steve used to take...all the times he'd fallen asleep in here, all the music they'd listened to, and played...and...all the times they'd made love in the back seat. He glanced back at Linda, and blushed a bit, thankful she couldn't read his mind.
Steve started the engine. "Listen to that...perfect," he said, and they began to move down the driveway. They drove around for awhile, up and down the highway. "I'm driving this baby into town, tonight," Steve said, laughing. "I love it, Ghost. You brought her home to me." He leaned over and kissed Ghost, as soon as they got back to the house. "I don't even want to get out, now."
Ghost and Linda got out, though. "Wait...I'm gonna take your picture, Steve...hang on a minute." He ran into the house to get his camera. Then, after taking several pictures of Steve and the car, and Steve taking pictures of Ghost and Linda with the car, they decided to go in for a cold drink.
Linda motioned to Steve to come with her into the kitchen, while she got glasses of soda ready for them. Ghost had flopped down on the couch.
"Steve," she whispered. "It's time to give Ghost his present."
"Oh, yeah...I'll go get it," Steve said.
"I'm going on out front," Linda said. "Y'all need to be alone for this one." She gave Steve a hug. "Take your time, hon." She smiled, then went on outside.
As she passed by Ghost, he said, "Hey, where's my drink?" He started to get up from the couch, but Steve stopped him.
"Ghost, wait a minute. I've got something for you to open, too. Stay there, I'll be right back," Steve said. He went into his bedroom and got the dark blue, velvet box out of his closet. Opening it, he smiled. He hoped Ghost would like it. He came back to the living room...Ghost was wide-eyed, waiting in anticipation.
Kneeling down, Steve clasped his hands with Ghost's. He cleared his throat, then said, "Ghost, I love you so much. You're everything to me. I've loved you since the day we met...probably before that even...and I'd die if you ever didn't love me back. Well, I'm not real good with this, but I feel it...inside. I hope you feel it, too."
Ghost nodded, and Steve continued. "So, this is something I want you to have. Please know I give it to you with all the love in my heart." He reached into his pocket, bringing out the box. "For you, from me...open it." He smiled, even as his heart was pounding.
Ghost carefully took it. "Steve..." he whispered, looking into Steve's eyes. Steve nodded, "Go on..."
Slowly cracking open the box's top lid, he saw the beautiful, silver ring inside. It was polished until it shined, and there were two small diamonds set into the top, with tiny engravings of their names...one on each side of the diamonds.
"It's beautiful, and so shiny, Steve," Ghost said, in awe.
"Look inside the band," Steve urged.
Taking the ring from the box, Ghost read the inscription. It said 'forevermore' and had a heart on either side of the word. "It says...it says..." Ghost closed his eyes, and began to cry, he was so overwhelmed with emotion.
Steve reached up, caressing Ghost's face, and kissing him. "Do you like it, babe?" Steve asked, brushing the tears away.
Ghost looked up, with water soaked eyes, and nodded. "Yes, Steve. I love it, and I love you...forevermore."
"Put it on...I think it's the right size."
Ghost held out his hand, and Steve placed the ring on his finger. It fit perfectly. "I'm never taking it off," Ghost said. "Come on...let's go show Linda."
Steve helped Ghost up, and they went out on the front porch. Linda looked at them, knowing they were so happy to be together. "Look, Linda," Ghost said, holding out his hand.
She took his hand, admiring the ring. "Oh, Ghost, this is so beautiful," she said, looking up into his shining eyes.
"I know, and it's from Steve, and I love him so much, Linda," he said.
She gave him a hug, and held out her arm to include Steve, too. "I love you both, so much."
Then Ghost remembered something. "Oh, wait here," he said, then ran back inside.
Linda sat down on the swing, while Steve leaned on the porch rail, looking out at his car. Ghost came back, holding a gift, wrapped in foil paper. He handed it to Linda. "This here present is for you. It's from me and Steve. Open it."
Steve had no idea of what it could be...he'd not found anything at the drug store, earlier, even though he'd really tried to find something. He looked at Ghost, who just smiled a sneaky kind of smile, and Steve knew Ghost had read his mind, or his feelings, of wanting to give something to Linda...and had done something about it. "Ohh..." he thought, and Ghost gave him a nod.
"You guys shouldn't have," Linda said, as she carefully unwrapped the box. Inside she pushed aside the tissue paper, then caught her breath. "Oh...oh...it's so pretty...and look...oh, I love this. Thank you both, so much."
She first drew out a necklace. It was a pink Quartz crystal, on a silver chain. Ghost had drilled a small hole through it, with an ice pick, and had taken one of his grandmother's silver chains, to make it. Putting it around her neck, Linda listened, as Ghost explained.
"It's a pink Quartz crystal, Linda. It means love...so you'll always have our love."
"Yes, I will, and strangely enough, it feels warm...I can feel the love it brings," she said, smiling up at Ghost and Steve. Then she looked in the box at the other gift, and picked it up. It was an antique, silver picture frame, that had been Ghost's grandmother's...newly polished, so it gleamed. Inside, Ghost had put a picture of himself and Steve, taken not too long ago. There was also Ghost's hand lettered poem/song lyric, written on parchment, at the bottom of the picture. It said...'Beautiful Love...Lost and Now Found... Linda means beautiful, and Love is in the hearts of these two Lost Souls...to have found our sister...at long last...Love...Beautiful Love'. She read it, and then Ghost sang the simple tune, in a pure, clear voice to her. By the end, she was in tears, for such a heartfelt, personal gift.
She grabbed them both in a hug, and said, "This is the best thing y'all could have given me. I love you both."
They sat in silence for a minute, with their own thoughts and feelings. Then Ghost got up. "I'm getting my drink...y'all want one?" They did, so he went inside to fix them. Steve went to look at his car, but Linda stopped him.
"Steve, you have the love of a very special young man."
"I know, Linda, I know. And, something else...I wanted to get you something, really bad, and I just wasn't finding any old thing this afternoon at the drug store. Ghost must have felt it all the way out here, and made this stuff for you while we were gone. I hope you know I feel exactly as he wrote. It's from me, too." he said.
Linda stroked his cheek. "I know it is, Steve. You are both so attuned to each other, there's part of both of you in these."
Steve nodded. "Yes..."
Ghost came back out. "Here ya go," he said, handing out the sodas. "When do we go to the party at Kinsey's," he asked.
Steve laughed. "Pretty soon, Ghost, pretty soon."