TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"That's enough, Steve," Linda said. "Calm down. Nobody's up in y'all's business. Melody was just concerned, that's all. I asked her to find y'all, and she hasn't been around us long enough to know how you and Ghost deal with things. She didn't mean to tick you off, but you jumped on her pretty hard, there."
"Bullshit..." Steve said. "She called me a liar, and she had to be put in her place. I guess she'd call what we're doing now a fight, too. Ya think? I wouldn't call this a fight, and neither was that out yonder."
"Well, I think you should apologize to her," Linda said.
"Oh, hell no," Steve said.
Steve and Linda had been arguing so loud, they hadn't noticed that Ghost had gone to the van to see about Melody. She hadn't gotten in and disturbed the kids, but was standing on the far side. Ghost could see she was crying. He went to her and gave her a hug.
"How can you stand him?" Melody cried into Ghost's shoulder. "He's the crazy one around here, not you. He's so loud, and rude, and domineering." She sniffled, and wiped her eyes.
Ghost started to say something to ease her distress, but before he could, she said, "Don't try to defend him. You know it's true. I don't know why you let him treat you bad, and then forgive him. I don't know y'all's whole story, but I can imagine it hasn't been all lovey-dovey all these years. Am I right? Huh?" She stared into Ghost's eyes, waiting for confirmation.
Ghost nodded. "No, it hasn't been, but nobody can be perfect. Everyone has arguments and misunderstandings. It's best to talk and clear the air. That's what we do, and it's not having a fight."
"So what do you call it, then, when he hurts you...like now. I can see you're holding your arm funny. He hurt you, didn't he?" Melody asked.
Ghost looked down at his swollen wrist. It was stiff and throbbing, now. "Yes...it hurts...it might be broken, but he didn't..."
"Stop...just stop making excuses for him. He's an abuser, and he's hurt you, and will again. You know that, don't you? Don't you?"
Ghost nodded. "But, I can't stop loving him," he said, as tears ran down his face.
"Oh, Ghost," Melody said, softly, as she drew him to her. "I know, I know you love him. I'm sorry I'm in such a mood tonight. I don't mean to upset you." They were quiet for a minute.
"He's had help for it...his anger...and, it's better now, a lot better," Ghost said.
"That's good," Melody said. "I won't butt into y'all's business anymore...well, I'll try not to, anyway. I just can't stand a bully."
Ghost sucked in his breath, as he looked up at Melody. "Steve's not. He saved me from them. That's why...well, not just that, but one of the reasons I love him. We've been together so many times, and this time it'll work...I know it will."
Melody nodded. "I hope so," she said, but really had no idea what he was talking about, as they'd not yet told her the whole story.
There was a noise coming from the other side of the van. They looked over, to see Steve standing there. Clearing his throat, he said, "Melody, I'm sorry for yelling at you, and being mean. I didn't mean to cause trouble, ok?"
Melody narrowed her eyes. "Ghost explained it to me. I don't want to be enemies, Steve. We both love Ghost, and our arguing puts him right in the middle. I hate that...and I don't want to just forget it, though. I have to say it. I know you hurt Ghost out there...his wrist may be broken. That's not acceptable, Steve He said you've been getting help, and that's good. But, do you ever apologize to Ghost, after you hurt him? Or does he just forgive you, and that's the end of it?" She stared hard at Steve.
"Ghost knows I don't mean it...right, Ghost?" He looked over at him.
Ghost shrugged. "You do mean it when you're doing it. Then you don't."
Steve was using all the restraint he could, not to lash out at Melody again, for starting this whole thing. He was clenching his fists, and wanted so bad to tell her again to stay out of it.
"Ghost, I'm sorry for hurting you. I know it sounds lame, at this point, but I do mean it." He reached out for Ghost's hand. "Come here, I need to talk to you." Ghost took his hand, and they walked away from the van.
Melody shook her head, as she watched them walk away. "Bite your tongue, girl," she told herself. "It does no good to point out the obvious to those two." She went back to find Linda.
"Get anything settled over there?" Linda asked.
"Not really. I plan on keeping my mouth shut from now on, though. I hate what I'm seeing happen." She bit at her bottom lip. "I don't know if you see it, or not, but I'm done trying to bring it up," Melody said.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing