TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
When Ghost got back to the motel room, he climbed into bed, feeling sleepy and satisfied, now. It was not long before he was asleep.
The next morning, Steve woke first. He lay there trying to remember the dream he'd had. He knew it was about Ghost...then he remembered.
"Hey, Ghost, wake up," he said, shaking Ghost until he did wake up. "I had a dream about you."
Ghost was barely waking up, as Steve was talking, but he knew this dream of Steve's was different.
Steve continued, "I dreamed you were walking in the desert, in the dark...and these...well...this is the silly part...these UFOs were up in the dark sky. They kinda glowed, and they were beaming a light down on you. It was kinda cool, but scary, too. I thought you were gonna get abducted, so I tried to warn you, but you just smiled, and kept walking. Well, that's all I remember. What do ya think of it...pretty weird, huh?"
Trying not to scare Steve, Ghost kept his voice low when he said, "Steve, that wasn't a dream. It happened just like that."
"Huh? What do ya mean?" Steve asked, frowning.
"Well, I did go outside, and I did talk to the UFO people," Ghost said. "I didn't see them, but I knew they were there. They even said they'd be waiting for me."
Steve was quiet for a minute, thinking about it. "You went out...last night...when I was asleep?"
Ghost nodded. "For a little while. It was just like your dream."
"I don't know...your subconscious must have followed me, and sent the images to you, 'cause it was the same...except I didn't see anything. I just sensed they were there," Ghost said.
"But, how can I be seeing something I don't even believe is real?" Steve asked. "I don't get it."
Ghost shrugged. "Dreams are dreams, I guess. They don't have to make sense."
"Yeah, you're right, but wait...you heard them say they'll be waiting for you...where?"
"In New Mexico, I think. That's their UFO Base." Ghost said. He sat up in bed, leaning on the headboard. "They go all over, but always come back to base."
"Come on...you're just making shit up, now," Steve said, skeptical, as usual.
Ghost shrugged. "Well, it's as good an explanation as anything else. See, we don't know if it's real or not, yet. Nobody does. So, that's just what I think." He smiled. "Are we getting up, now?" He stretched, and yawned. "If we are, I need coffee."
Steve didn't answer. He moved closer to Ghost, slowly reaching his hand up under his t-shirt, which tickled Ghost's stomach, and gave him goose-bumps. Then, leaning over, he kissed where he'd just touched. Ghost drew in his breath, enjoying the sensation. He reached out his hands to clasp Steve's unruly hair. They didn't get out of bed for a long time.
Afterwards, as they dozed, there was a knock at the door. "Steve, Ghost...are y'all awake?" It was Linda. She kept knocking.
"You think I should let her in?" Steve asked.
"Mmm-hmm, but put something on, first," Ghost said.
Steve laughed. "Oh, yeah...uh, just a minute, Linda," he hollered toward the door. He got up, and scrabbled around, looking for his clothes. Finally, pulling on some jeans and a t-shirt, he opened the door. "Hey, Linda," he said.
"You know what time it is, Steve?" she asked.
Linda pushed past her brother and into the room. She came face to face with a mostly naked Ghost, who'd only managed to quickly pull the sheet over his private parts, as he was getting up to find clothes. She stopped immediately, seeing his frightened face.
In that second, before she murmured 'sorry' and turned away, the image of Ghost's scars was seared into her brain. She grabbed hold of Steve's arm, to steady herself, as silent tears sprang from her eyes. She stumbled to the door, and out. She knew now, why Ghost always wore clothes that covered him...from his funky cool socks, to his long sleeved, soft hoodies.
Steve was frozen to the spot he stood on for a minute. Should he go after a distraught Linda, or comfort Ghost, who was sobbing into his pillow. He went to Ghost.
"I didn't ever want her to see," cried Ghost.
"I know, I know, Babe, but she did...it'll be ok...she already knew...she understands..." Steve said into Ghost's ear, as he held him close.
"But knowing and seeing is different...now, when she sees me, she'll know," Ghost said, trying to control his crying. "She was scared of me, Steve."
'No, no, of course not...she loves you."
"But, she ran away...and now she won't be the same to me. She'll see this when she sees me...it'll be weird, now..."
"Look at me, Ghost," Steve said, pulling him up, and wiping his face. "We're all family. It's better that she saw how hurt you've been. It brings family closer together...it binds us like nothing else does. Sharing our lives...the good and the bad...you understand?"
"Now, y'all need to face each other, and get past this, right now, or it will get awkward. So, get dressed, and come on out. I'm going to go see about her and the kids, then we need to get something to eat and get on the road, ok?"
"Yeah, I know. I'll be ok, just go and...and tell her not to be scared of me," Ghost sobbed, one last time.
Steve took Ghost's face in his hands, and kissed him. "I love you so much," he said. Then he turned and left to go to Linda.
When Steve left, Ghost got up and went to the bathroom to take a quick shower. He looked at himself in the mirror...really looked. He hated what he saw. He ran his hands over his scarred body...remembering...the many burn scars, from the long ago torturing from those boys at school...the places they'd kicked him, and cut him, and left him bleeding...his missing toe...the one on his head, that still showed a little, where they'd bashed his skull with the baseball bat...and...and the worst of all, the ones that didn't show...the ones Steve had put on him...the one under his hair, that was indented from Steve smashing his fist into his head over and over until his skull cracked again...and the ones on his heart...the most painful of all...from Steve. He still couldn't grasp why Steve loved him...why...after all this ugliness.
He could feel his mind taking a wrong turn somehow. He knew it was not the way to be thinking, but was unable to push the thoughts away. Maybe Steve was lying to him all this time...not loving him...just staying out of pity... "No! No! Please No!" Ghost cried out, and in that moment he lost control.
He drew back his fist and slammed it into the mirror, as hard as he could, to erase the image of himself. Shattered glass sparkled, even as it cut his hands, his arms, and flew up, striking his face, as he watched the shards coming at him, as if in slow motion. He didn't even flinch as they penetrated his skin. He was too far into his psychosis, his seizure, to notice any pain.
As it continued, he sank to the floor, bleeding. Eventually, the convulsions stopped, but he did not get up. As he slowly came to awareness again, his head was pounding, and his vision was gone.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing