TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Linda sat down by Ghost, and hugged him close. "Oh, Ghost...I don't know what to say. I wish my brother wouldn't act like that." She could feel Ghost still crying, so she rubbed his back, and kissed his head. "Go ahead and let it out, Ghost. It's ok..." She rocked back and forth, humming a soft song...one she sang to the kids at night. She could tell that Ghost was calming down, the tension easing from him.
She wasn't thinking consciously about anything, but some thoughts didn't have to be taken out and examined. Ghost innately heard them. He whispered just barely loud enough for Linda to hear... "I love him...that's why I stay."
She was surprised he'd picked up on her unvoiced thoughts, but only said, "I know you do, and I know he loves you...it's just, why...?" She shook her head. "Why does he get so angry, so fast?"
Ghost sat up and looked into her eyes. "Because that's all he knew. It happened to him the same way, and...and he's better, now. He tries so hard to learn another way. I show him all the time...love...that's all...all these years. Some of the old ways are still in there...it's like a scar...it heals, but it's still remembered...maybe forever." He sighed.
Linda had never heard anything like that before. It made sense, now. "Ghost, I know he's better, but you shouldn't have to live in fear of him losing control at any moment. It's not right," she said. "Is he still seeing that counselor?"
"No, I don't ever see him go anymore," Ghost said, shaking his head.
"Ok, well...I'm going to suggest that he does. Therapy isn't a one time deal. It takes work, and I believe it will benefit him, and you...well, all of us, if he continues to go."
"I know..." Ghost said.
They sat there in the shade of the truck, for awhile, waiting for Steve to return. "I'm getting us a bottle of water from the cooler," Linda said, getting up. Ghost got up to help.
"When he gets back, he'll probably apologize to you, and he'll be sorry he acted the way he did. I'm sure it's a pattern, right?" Linda asked.
"Um-hmm, all the time," Ghost said.
"Do you know what you'll say to him?"
"No, I never know what I'm gonna say ahead of time...it just comes out when I say it...and that gets him mad sometimes, too."
"That's what I thought," Linda said. "Here, go give this water to the kids, and make them sit in the shade awhile." She looked off down the highway. "I think I see him coming down the road. I want to talk to him first, ok?"
"Ok," Ghost said, as he took the water bottles from her.
Steve pulled the car up into the parking area. He could see Ghost over by the kids, and saw Linda waiting on him, by the U-Haul. He knew she was going to give him another lecture. Shutting the car's engine off, he just sat there for a minute. He'd tried to figure out what he was going to say to Ghost, and now Linda was waiting to hear what he had to say. He rubbed his hands over his face...wishing this day was done, already. Getting out, he walked over to face Linda.
"Well, did you get it?" she asked.
"Yeah, the clerk had it behind the counter," he said. "Look, Linda, I'm sorry I blew up earlier. I know I shouldn't have...I just wasn't thinking straight."
Linda was just looking at him. Then she said, "Steve, I was going to yell at you, and probably give you what for, but...well, something Ghost said hit home. I'm still not ok with you talking like that to Ghost, but I can see why you did. Not because Ghost messes up...we all do...but because of what our dad put us through...you especially. He yelled, and threatened, and beat us. That's what you learned, that it was how you dealt with things. It was wrong then, and it's wrong now, and it's up to you to break the pattern of abuse. Steve...you love Ghost. You don't want to hurt him, and he loves you, but there's only so much a person can take." She sighed, hoping she was getting through to him.
"I'm giving you this advice, Steve. Do something about it. I know you're trying, but I suggest you continue to see your counselor, to keep working on it, before it's too late." She stopped for a minute, giving her words time to sink in. Steve was nodding his head, like he understood what she was saying.
"Do you really understand how serious and important it is?"
"Yes, I do, Linda, and I promise I'll try harder. I have to." He looked down at the ground. " I know I shouldn't, but I do sometimes take for granted that Ghost will always be here with me...now...except at the same time, I'm so afraid he'll leave me, again...and Linda, I'd die if he ever does. I mean that." He brushed away tears.
"I know, I know..." Linda said, hugging him tight. "Now, go to him...make it right. You've hurt him so many times already...you can never be sure when it will be the one time too many."
Steve took a deep breath, and looked over toward Ghost. He was standing in the sunshine, eyes closed, and his head thrown back. The breeze was blowing his long strands of hair around, and he was smiling. the kids were doing the same, and they all turned slowly around and around, with their arms stretched out.
Steve caught his breath. This was Ghost...as one with the elements...and he wanted him... He whispered, "Ghost..." and as he watched, Ghost stopped turning, and looked at him...those sky blue eyes, seeing into his heart...knowing his love and lust. He walked slowly over to Steve, took his hand, and led him to the far side of the truck.
Steve started to make his apologies, but Ghost silenced him with a long, deep kiss. There was no need for words...all was right, again. They spent a few more minutes with each other, vowing to continue, when they got to the motel, later on. They heard Linda corralling the kids, getting them ready to get in the car, so they came back around to see if she needed help.
She looked over at the both of them, and could tell they would be alright. "Everything ok?" she asked.
Steve smiled, "Yeah, we're good," he said. Ghost just looked dreamy eyed.
"Ok, then, let's get going," Linda said, as she settled Stevie and Mandy into the car.
"We've got about two-hundred miles to go, before we can find a motel for the night. It's pretty much a straight line down the road, so it shouldn't be a problem." They pulled back out onto the highway.
In Linda's car, she had put on a kid's movie for them to watch on the little DVD player, and they did watch for a little while, but soon both were asleep. She followed the U-Haul at a steady pace, and wondered what Steve and Ghost were talking about.
They weren't discussing deep thoughts, just commenting on the passing scenery. Then, Steve remembered what started the whole mess back there, in the first place. He'd wanted Ghost to call Kinsey.
"Hey, you still want to call Kinsey," he asked.
"Oh, yeah, I could I guess," Ghost said. He reached for the phone. Steve had put it on the seat between them. Thinking for a minute, to remember how to dial Kinsey's number, he then punched it in. After a few rings, Kinsey answered.
"Steve...Ghost...what's up? Where are y'all?" Kinsey asked.
Ghost was smiling. "Hey, Kinsey, it's me. We're driving in a U-Haul," he said.
"Oh, where are you...are you on your way home?"
"Yep, and we're staying at a motel tonight, and ...hey, Steve, did we do the border thing yet?"
"Yeah, about fifty miles ago," Steve said.
"Ok, Kinsey, we did the border thing...huh? What border? Um...California, and what was next, Steve? Oh, Arizona. What? Oh, yeah, everything is going ok. We stopped a few times, and I lost the phone, but Steve found it at that little store. Did you see my cat? Is he ok?" Ghost asked.
"Yes, Spirit is having a good time with Zach and Trevor. Don't worry about him," Kinsey said.
"Ok, good, well, we'll be home soon, I think," Ghost said. "Oh...Steve said three days."
"Ok, I'll see y'all then," Kinsey said. They disconnected.
Everything sounds good at home, then?" Steve asked.
"Yeah, all good."
Steve turned on the radio, found a station that faded in and out a bit, but sang along to whatever song they played. So did Ghost, at least for a few minutes, but his eyes kept shutting, and soon he nodded off. Steve kept singing along for awhile, seeing the desert scenery go by. He liked it ok, but missed the woods of home. As it began to turn into twilight, he was more than ready to get to their stopping place, find a motel, and fall into bed with Ghost. Only about fifty more miles, he thought.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing