TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost went out of the bedroom, with Steve following him into the kitchen. Lisa was just finished cooking, and had to look twice at Ghost as he came in. She started to say something, but thought better of it, and just said good morning.
"Can I have more?" Ghost asked, holding out his coffee cup.
"Of course you can," Lisa said, and refilled his cup.
He took it, and sat down at the table. Lisa gave Steve a questioning look. He just shook his head. "Don't ask," he seemed to say.
Ghost looked at them both, with a frown. "You don't have to secret talk about me. Just say it out loud. I hear it anyway." He got up and stomped out the back door.
"Ooh, does he get like this a lot?" Lisa asked.
Steve breathed deep, letting the air out slow. "Just sometimes, Lisa. He said he don't feel good, and he forgot to take his meds, yesterday. It effects him if he misses. I made him take them already this morning, so we'll see...should be kicking in."
They looked up, as Stevie and Mandy came running into the kitchen, with Linda close behind.
"Kids, settle down...we're about to have breakfast." She looked over at Lisa. "Oh, Bill is on his way. He said to tell you about five more minutes."
The kids saw that the back door was open, and that Ghost was out there, sitting on the porch steps. They went barreling out to see him.
"Wait...wait..." Lisa and Steve hollered, but they'd already gone out and jumped all over Ghost. Lisa and Steve were worried about how Ghost would react, being he was in a mood.
"Ghost, Ghost...good morning..." the kids were hollering...happy and energetic.
Ghost hugged them, and laughed. "You silly kids...come here..." he said as they ran out into the yard.
"You can't catch us," Stevie yelled. Mandy just ran around shrieking. Ghost leapt off the porch and chased them around.
"Got'cha," he said, as he tagged one, then the other.
"Look at that," Lisa said. Linda and Steve were looking...and smiling.
"Looks like he's in a good mood, now," Steve said.
"Yeah, with the kids, anyway," Lisa said.
"What did I miss?" Linda asked.
Lisa filled her in. "Oh, Ghost got up not feeling good, and was all grumpy with us."
"He forgot to take his meds, yesterday," Steve said.
Linda frowned. "Is he going to be ok?"
"We'll see..." Steve said.
Bill came into the kitchen, just then, and Linda and Lisa finished putting the food on the table. Steve yelled out the door, "Y'all get in here...time to eat."
Ghost grabbed his cup from the porch step, and held the door open for Stevie and Mandy. "Go wash your hands," he told them. They ran off to the sink.
"You're really good with them," Lisa said. "You ever think of working with kids?"
Ghost shook his head. "No, I never worked anywhere, before...just gigs with Steve."
Lisa smiled. "Well, schools can always use volunteers. You might check it out back home."
Shrugging a shoulder, Ghost said, "Um, ok...well, maybe...but I never seen any kids before. I mean, sure I seen kids, but never talked to any...just these ones."
Lisa laughed. "Well, think about it."
They all sat down at the table, each filling a plate with the breakfast eggs, bacon, and toast, that Lisa had made. Linda was going over her plans for the day. Steve sat next to Ghost, but he hadn't said a word. He was a little afraid to get on Ghost's moody side again.
After a few minutes, he noticed that Ghost had only taken a couple of bites of his food, and was now just staring off into space. No one else had noticed. Steve turned more toward Ghost, and saw that his left eyes was twitching.
"Ghost?" he asked.
Ghost didn't respond, his mouth slack, and drool beginning to fall out of his mouth.
"Ghost..." Steve put his arm around Ghost, leaning him over onto him. "Get the kids out of here...now..." he said to Linda.
"What? What is it, Steve?" she started, then saw what was going on. "Mandy, Steve, we're all done. Let's go in the bedroom." She quickly helped the kids out of their chairs, ushering them out to the bedroom.
Lisa had ran to get a cold rag, as Bill just sat there, not knowing what was going on, or what to do. Steve put the cold cloth on Ghost's face, and neck, hoping it would bring him out of it.
"What's wrong?" Bill asked, getting up, alarmed.
"He's having a seizure," Lisa said. "He'll be ok in a few minutes. There's a boy in my class that has them. They don't last long."
Steve was trying to get Ghost in a better position, but mostly just hung on to him, while Ghost was shaking. "C'mon, Ghost...hang in there...it'll be over in a minute...we're right here," he said.
Linda came back into the kitchen. "How is he, Steve?" she asked, but could see for herself.
"A little longer... I think it's almost over..." Steve said. Ghost had stopped shaking, so much, and then they stopped. He was still dazed, and not in control, yet.
"Bill, you never seen anyone have a seizure, before?" Lisa asked.
"No, never..." he said. "That was pretty intense. Does he need to see a doctor, or something?"
"No, he has them off and on," Steve said. "He has meds for them but he forgot to take them, yesterday. It gets worse with stress, too, or changes in routine." He was still dabbing the rag on Ghost's face. "Ghost, can you see me, yet? Can you sit up...or maybe you should go lay down."
Ghost was trying to sit up, but was dizzy, still, and his words were slurred, as he tried to talk.
"Do you want to go lay down? Do you know where you are?" Steve kept talking to him.
Ghost began sobbing, and they made out he was saying, "Can't see...words hurt...head hurts so bad..."
Steve managed to get up, and carried Ghost into the bedroom. He lay beside him, comforting him, and would, for as long as Ghost needed him to.
Lisa, Linda, and Bill were still in a bit of shock, there at the table. "That wasn't as bad as the one before...when I was at their house," Linda said. "That time, Steve and I thought he was going to die."
"Well, it was bad enough," Lisa said.
"Man, I feel like an idiot. I had no idea what to do," Bill said.
"There really isn't anything you can do, Bill," Linda said. She and Lisa explained. "In the end, just keep them comfortable, and from getting hurt. That's all."
"Well, I need to go see about the kids. They might have been scared to see Ghost like that," Linda said. She started off, but Lisa stopped her.
"Linda, wait...they're bound to see this some other time. You need to prepare them. They're not too young to understand."
"You're right," Linda said. She thought for a minute. "I'll think of something to say to them."
Lisa and Bill were left alone, there at the table. They were quiet for a bit, lost in their own thoughts. Then, Bill began.
"Lisa, I heard what you and Linda have told me about your brother...the things he's done in the past...to Ghost. Now, don't get me wrong...I just met him, and he seems like a nice guy. It's hard to imagine...you know...and Ghost...man..." He shook his head. "It seems like he was just stopped in his tracks, when all that happened, you know. It's like he never progressed mentally from that time. He's so sweet...and Lisa, how does he forgive Steve for something like that, and stay, and still love your brother? I don't know...I'm confused, and shouldn't be saying any of this...just thinking out loud."
Lisa had listened to Bill's words, and now she said, "Bill, it's confusing to me, too. I know Steve is my brother, and I love him. I have no defense for what he did. Linda said he told her he was drunk at the time...just like our dad was, when he beat up on my mom...and sometimes us kids, when he was drunk like that. And, Steve...well, he had to stay and take it for years after we left. I don't know...it's inexcusable, but it's over and in the past. Steve and Ghost have worked it out, somehow, but I can't help but wonder if Ghost really even knows what happened to him. I mean he does, but well, you're right...he's still a kid, and probably always will be. Linda said his problems started way before that night with Steve. So, you know what I told you about that." She stopped, sighing. "Well, I hope Linda knows what she's getting into. It sounds all nice and sweet, and I hope it is, but yeah, it's fun to visit and meet up again, but she and the kids will be living there...dealing...every single day."
Bill gave her a hug. "I know, but she's a big girl, she can handle it. And, if it gets too intense, she can come back here. I'm thinking we probably won't be moving there. This is our home, and well...I know you'll miss them, but we can always visit," he said.
Lisa nodded, and wiped away a few tears. "It's gonna be hard to say good-bye, tomorrow. But, we'll get through it...we will." She got up to clear the dishes, while Bill helped.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing