E finds herself on the run again when V happens upon her at the little blue house before making her way Southwest. But we’ve decided not to give up on them, yet. There is still hope. There is always the unexpected. This is where miracles happen, right? That is the magic of the unexpected. The “impossible” is just the “inordinary” or “unexpectable”, really.
V’s chicken was cold before she got to it. She picked at her plate with her chin in her hand. What did I do wrong? She asked herself with furrowed brow, sitting in the middle of a Bojangles in the little Alabamian town. I don’t really understand. Like,…I do, I get it, the fear and trust thing, but why is it so unwaveringly predominant? There has to be a major choice factor in running away that religiously. There is a choice in it, you are right, V, but E has an analytical mind, which means that all the physical mess of the world, and a perspective of reality—no matter how bleak—is what guides her decisions and fears the strongest.
It means she sees mainly from her fleshen person and from the words others drive into her and the wounds in her skin. (This, of course, is a thing all people have a little of). V, my darling, you operate from your spirit, above all. You are barely touching the ground and nearly invisible! Just as E had observed back at the fairground in Georgia, it is as though you could float away! The only thing keeping you on the earthen ground is the flesh which cloaks your soul and keeps it locked away from the stars.
You see everything with x-ray glasses and a hint of hope and possibility. But, E, my dear, does not. She sees what is; what is evident. She does hope and dream, of course she does! But these hopes and dreams are bound by her reality, while your reality is bound by your hopes and dreams!
You are opposites. This is why you understand, but do not. Why you see, but cannot figure out. Why you’ve figured out, but cannot place reason to it; or rather, reason that, to its end, is all-encompassing. You often see so much of a bigger picture, that all these things are tiny dots. And though you try to credit them with their individual credibility, you do not see it as E does; and this is the reason E does not come to the same conclusions as you.
E sees fear and hope and reality and fear again.
You see fear, possibility, fear again, hope, dreams, and possibility again.
You do not end with a conclusion of fear, you end with a conclusion of possibility. But this is the difference between an analytical mind (which is of great benefit in many a thing), and a creative mind (which is of great benefit in many a thing as well).
Bored again, V searches for the local police station nearest the hotel her and E had stayed in, and looked for S’s record of arrest. She found it quickly and looked through it. It was very brief. It stated a short and simple charge of her fault, the date on which the offense took place, and the location of the incarceration center she was held at. Of course, a beautifully-horrible-looking mug shot was also featured. S scowled into the camera and looked like a gaunt horror figure from a flecked-film movie.
I just still think there was someone else who helped pull it off. V closed out the browser as chills went down her spine. She looked around for a shady character in a trench coat who might be peeking out at her through dark sunglasses. But there were none. That’s a thing of movies. She felt silly for looking for something so obviously unrealistic, but still. She tapped her finger against the table in thought. There has to be a way to figure out who it is… who else it is.
With salty cheeks, E sat in the darkening forest and began to shiver from the cold. “I’ve gotta put on a new change of clothes, it’s getting cold.” She said to herself.
She unzipped the duffel bag and right on top was a folded blanket and Sir Fish! Oh, I’d forgotten about you! E’s eyes began to water again. God how fucking sweet. She hugged the warm stuffed dinosaur tightly to her chest and let a few tears fall on him before pushing the blanket aside to find a jacket. “I don’t need a change of clothes if I’ve got this jacket and this blanket.” She said to Sir Fish. “God, V is so sweet, isn’t she? One day, maybe I won’t be so terrified of whatever, and I’ll be able to sit down and have a smoke with her.” She looked at Sir Fish who had no expression except for the small smile and bright eyes embroidered on him, and that’s the only expression he ever had. “Do you have feelings? You have em but you can’t show them?” E looked down at her hands in her lap, “…you’re a lot like me.” She smiled at him. “Come on, let’s go to sleep. By the looks of the sky, it’s late. Too late to be staying up and talking to inanimate objects …no offense.”
Her eyes widened to a brief thought that crossed her mind and scared her. Just please don’t reply. I can’t afford to be hearing things tonight. “None taken…” Stop imagining it, E. Stop. Stop picturing it. Just go to bed, you’re fine. Rest.
She pulled the duffel bag under her head and settled into it. “I miss V.” She whispered into the cool, breezy night air before closing her eyes to sleep. But, they instantly popped open. “I could go to Melinda’s!” She smiled with relief. She’d just been rescued from her own insanity.
She trekked through the leaves to the edge of the forest where the latter met the highway after packing up all her things. She looked at the cozy blue house, warmly lit by hanging lantern lights. The cheery holly-red door standing to welcome her and as an offer of protection. Bold and keeping all the cold and nighties out.
She looked down the highway, this way then that, and crossed to the home’s lawn. She stepped up the wooden porch stairs and onto the landing. She rapped thrice upon the door then stood back. A moment later she saw a light come on in the living room and heard a shuffle toward the door. Another small moment before the blinds parted and fell and the door opened.
“Hi, E!” John whispered. “What’s going on? Come inside.” John looked worried and confused. “Melinda is asleep.”
“Hi, sorry.” E said, making her way to the kitchen table. “I just needed a place to stay…to sleep, I mean; aside of the forest.” She quietly explained as she sat down and tightened her blanket around herself.
“Of course.” John acknowledged her need, “Well, we’ve got the couch in the living room you’re welcome to crash on. Would you like some water, or anything? An extra blanket?” He gestured to the blanket she was huddled in.
“Yes please. A blanket would be nice.”
“Okay, you just get settled and I’ll bring one out.”
E got up and quietly shuffled into the living room and realized she didn’t have a pillow and wondered if it would be okay to use one of their decorative throws. But, relieving her of the need to ask, John came back just then with a thick blanket and a down pillow.
“I realized you might need a pillow and we had an extra.” He handed them to her.
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.”
“Of course. Melinda really took a liking to you earlier. She really thinks you’re something special, E.”
E smiled to herself and a little joyous puff huffed out of her nose when she did.
“I appreciate that. She was very kind to me earlier. I hate to ask again.”
“Oh, it’s no problem,” John says and then brightly smiles, “That’s Melinda. Always so caring.” He puffs. But then, after asking if E has everything she needed and she does, he goes off to bed upstairs again.
E waited until she heard his footsteps soften and the upstairs door gently close and then she made a nice little bed and settled onto the couch. A small nightlight in the kitchen was just enough to provide some comfort, but not keep her awake. The warmth and peace of this safe space in this secure home allowed her to fall asleep easily and deeply.
V had not done much today aside of drive around this little Alabamian town and check into a local hotel before going off to the local Walmart supermarket to grab some necessities. A box of kittens had greeted her at the door outside along with the girl scout who held them on her lap and her mom who stood nearby talking to an employee on break.
“Hi! Are you interested in a free kitten? These little guys need homes and I need signatures for a donation to the local pet shelter.” The little girl asked her.
“Oh hey there! The kittens are very cute.” V stops to look and pet a little gray one struggling to pull itself out of the box which had handles cut into the sides and no flaps.
“So would you like one?” She reaches out with a clipboard and a pen, “You just need to sign here to show your support to the shelter for homeless kitties.”
A few scribbled signatures donned the top of the list. This box of kittens reminded her of E. She would have flipped over these little guys and definitely taken one or two or three, whether the hotel would have allowed it or not. She would have found a way. “You know, you drive a hard bargain, but I’m staying in a hotel right now…a little homeless myself, and I won’t be able to keep a kitten there.” The girl slightly dejectedly slouched and began retracting the clipboard and looked back down at the kittens to let V go back about her business in the store, “Okay.”
“But, to support the cause of homeless kitties, I will add my signature.” V finished.
“Really! Thanks!” The girl eagerly reached out with the petition for V to sign. V scribbled her name, “There ya go! Good luck!” She smiled down at the kittens again and patted the little gray one again who paused his struggling to look up at her and stare as she walked off. “Meow!” The kitten called with a tiny voice.
“Aspen!” The girl laughed.
Once V emerged again from the store after acquiring the goods, the girl and the kittens and her mom were gone.
After that, V had ordered some chick-fil-a takeout and headed back to the hotel. Plopping onto the bed and grabbing the remote, she flipped on the TV and flipped through the available channels.
Dang, nothing good is on. She frowned. So she put on some college football and opened her ranch sauce packets and chicken nuggets and attempted to follow the plays and scores.
I could call E! The thought bounced into V’s mind suddenly. No, remember? She wants space. And it’s late, let her sleep. V said to herself, furrowing her brow as she checked the time. The ability to is always there, though. And somehow, during all this mess, she’d forgotten about that single blessing of modern technology. …Single blessing.
She did decide to text her though. Why let this connection slip away and end at that? This divide? This fear? So she drafted, “I’m thinking about you. 🙂 I hope you are safe.” No.
She typed and untyped and modified her message and finally wrote to her, “Stay safe :)” and sent it, closed her phone and watched the game again. But, a few minutes later, she picked it up hoping for a reply. There was none yet. E hadn’t even read it yet. She’s probably asleep. V turned her phone back off, deciding not to worry. E is an adult, she knows how to handle herself. And decided it was time for her to go to bed, too. Afterall, I’ve got a warm place to rest. I might as well take advantage of that. …God, please protect E. Please keep her safe,… and warm. I know that might take a miracle, but I know you can work miracles…
Not to fear, V. E is safe in the little blue house again. She is sleeping peacefully in the home of a very kind family. And trust me, she is in Melinda’s prayers as well. E is in good hands. Rest your mind.
V settled her head into the soft hotel pillow and tucked Lady Perth next to her chest, under her arm and drifted off to sleep. E will be okay,… she has to be. I just know it.
Here again we meet the sky. The stars have come out to dance over the heads of our troubled travelers, who, both, have been able to rest their worries for the night. Good for them. I wonder if I could get a little bit of that… Nonetheless, here they both rest under the same canopy of night; under the same twinkling stars; and both under a roof, just not the same one. The first night they share the safety of a roof again, though separately. Rest easy, lovers, there is an awakening coming soon.
Part 16 is in the works 🙂