Good evening f-list!
I hope you're all having a wonderful day. It's raining here but it sounds just great!
I feel so good like I didn't in weeks - that makes me very very happy!
So today I spent most of the time with my cats, I read a lot, wrote a little (changed almost everything as usual) and now I feel wonderful!
Enjoy this wonderful evening, night, next morning - as my grandma always says: never waste time with something you don't like - do whatever you love most at least one time the day! Right she is!
So this is for my dear friend claudia603 just because.
Thanks to dear aliensouldream for looking over it.
Part 1 - Unexpected truth
Recently I was sitting on the steps to my parent’s porch. Smoking, enjoying the evening silence, watching my elderly neighbor watering his flowers. He waved at me and I noticed how old he is. I thought about helping him and went over. His garden isn’t that huge but there’s a lot to be done. Since then a kind of “friendship” has grown. After the daily garden chores we’re always sitting at the steps to his little house (it looks like a little English cottage) talking about this and that (nothing serious) enjoying the last sunbeams and a beer.
I breath a little sigh of relief today, I’m happy about the work I’ve done and the beautiful blends we’ve created. I knew that I wanted them to be cozy, to remind you of a flower garden outside this charming little country cottage. But I also wanted them to be natural, soothing, to smell amazing, lovely and earthy. God, I sound so sloppy – like a girl. This makes me chuckle. Aaron McDermitt taught me a lot about gardening the last weeks, I didn’t know I could ever be interested in doing this. He handed me a little book he created, he calls it “idea book”, keeps clippings from different magazines in it “for inspiration” he says. Sometimes I just flip though it at my breaks for the sheer fun of it. It’s a beautiful reminder that even the smallest of things begin at just that – a simple idea. Gardening is hard work and I love to do it, to get drained in sweat, feeling every muscle of my body, the shower at the end of the day, washing down all the dirt, soothing my sore body – feels like heaven!
I don’t know what it is but today he seems to be more quiet than usual when we’re sitting down on the bench at his porch, thoughtful, lost in … whatever – I don’t feel that comfortable, something is saddening him but then he lights his pipe and we are smoking in silence (I love the flavour of his vanilla tobacco).
After a while he starts talking in a deep low voice, I nearly fell over because I didn’t expect him talking to me at this moment.
“It’s a nice place here, isn’t it? You’ve done quite a fine job, boy… I remember a time – many years ago – when I sat there with your grandmother almost every evening during summer just like now, smoking, breathing in the soft air, having a beer with her now and then. It was a good time.”
I’m surprised. We never talked about something personal. He sounds sad. My grandma. She was a wonderful lady and I still miss her. It seems he misses her, too. I remember her working in our garden. Looking around I realize my garden is just a mess, I have to change this…
“I made her a promise the day you were born …She asked me to have an eye on you when she wouldn’t be here anymore…”
Why does he mention this, what is this all about? It hurts, I miss my grandma. I wish she would be here now… and he wouldn’t be talking like that. I have to say something.
“How long did you know her?”
He takes another drag of his pipe, exhaling deep and very long … “We knew each other for about 60 years, Zeke.” With a mischievous smile he added “ She was my first love and my last…”
I don’t know what to say, but … he LOVED her??? This turns out to become a very odd and confusing conversation…
“What about her?”
“She never knew, I never told her… At these times it wasn’t easy … you know poor boy, rich young lady. Her parents weren’t “amused” that we became friends. But she was always very stubborn and wouldn’t hear any of it. You’re like her…”
This makes me smile. “But you don’t know me at all…”
“Don’t be wrong, boy. As I said I made a promise and I kept it …I know more about you than you know…”
This IS confusing, I only know his name - Aaron McDermitt - and that’s it.
“She told me that your parents would leave you sooner or later even they liked you a lot..”
Makes sense, right? Leaving a kid alone when you like it. Ridiculous. Won’t hear any of it. When she knew why didn’t she hold them back … It would have been a lot easier for me …
“How did she know? And what kind of conversation is this today … and why are you talking to me like that?” I’m careful not to be too unfriendly but it doesn’t seem to matter…
“I don’t know, she just knew it. So when she died a couple of years ago I always had an eye on you, sometimes you even needed two. I’m always checking if your window-blinds are down or if there’s light in your rooms – just to get sure you’re at home and you’re ok…”
“You’re controlling me?” I AM pissed. I don’t need a watchdog.
He chuckles. “You’d have a word with me if I did, right? No, my boy. Though she even handed me a key to your house just in case… Don’t worry, Zeke – I won’t use it. Though that’s not true. I used it once … lately…”
I don’t know what to think let alone say. Then it hits me …
“When have you been in my house”, I’m snapping at him.
He keeps quiet for quite a while…
“When and why?” I ask furiously.
But he stays calm. “It was in January. I didn’t see you for days, no music, no spinning wheels, house and garage were very quiet – too quiet - and you didn’t open your door when one of your friends stopped by. He came often and seemed concerned..”
Someone was here? In January? “Who was it?”
After taking a sip of the beer he continues. “His name is Casey Connor, he showed up nearly every hour the second day – this worried me. I was still on my way looking after you when he knocked at my door asking me if I had seen you, so I just had to use the key, Zeke.”
Casey was here? But why? I can’t remember… and they both went into my house …
“What happened then?”
“When we opened the door we felt at once something was wrong. It was dark, very cold, the air was sticky, the heater was down. We found you on the couch, where you slept for days it seemed. Casey ran to you, couldn’t wake you so he called the doctor at once. You looked so sick and didn’t realize any of it. Neither me, nor Casey nor the doctor. You were running a high fever, your skin felt hot, drained in cold sweat you were shaking. Casey also called his mother – good choice by the way, a nice lady she is.
The doctor looked concerned and wanted to take you to hospital but Casey wouldn’t hear any of it. As much as we all tried to convince him it would be the best for you he stayed stubborn. “He wouldn’t like it, he can’t stand it being … prisoned!” he yelled at us. A tough young guy your friend is…”
Oh I remember feeling sick, wasn’t there even a nurse?
“The first days were the hardest for you and for all of us. It was hard work to get down the fever but Mrs. Connor made it. Casey took care you drank and ate enough, I took care of the heater. You made it my boy, you were close …”
“Close to what?”
“Close to heaven, Zeke. After 5 days the worst was over. You didn’t talk in your sleep anymore and the fever was gone…”
Why can’t I remember ANYTHING?
“I had no clue … when I woke up I was alone. There was no one there. Neither you, nor Casey nor the nurse.”
Then I got it. I was talking in my sleep? Goodness!
“What did I say …”
Emptying his pipe at on of the steps he murmurs … “You were crying for your grandma and for Casey…”
Good God! My beer goes down the wrong way … “What?”
“For Casey, yes. He suffered with every choke, every movement you made, every sigh and moan … when the fever was finally down he was relieved … but he seemed a bit sad, too…”
Casey. Why didn’t he say anything at school? Why should he? I’d surely would have acted like an asshole, rude and unfair. – Now I feel embarrassed…
“Oh, I’m sorry. Just thinking …”
The silence now is almost unbearable.
“Casey seems to be a very nice young man, Zeke.”
“Guess so… “
“He was there night and day for about one week until you were on the mend…”
“and then he didn’t show up anymore?” I feel sad, a bit angry, disappointed, too.
“His mother came over three times the day…”
“Oh, I remember. I thought it was a nurse because of the name plate on her shirt. Meredith C. This was Casey’s mom…”
“And I really called Casey’s name?”
This makes him smile and me blush. Shit!
“Hmm… I’m sure he’s a wonderful friend, isn’t he, Zeke?”
What should I say? So I’m “hmmm-ing” and his smile widens while my redness deepens.
“He never left you without a little kiss… sometimes he kissed your hand, sometimes your cheek, sometimes your shoulder. Calm down, his mom didn’t see any of it…”
“But you did?” Heavenly creature, where’s the hole I can hide …
“It’s ok, Zeke. He just likes you. It’s good for you that there’s someone taking care of you, my boy…”
“It’s ok, Zeke. “
“But he’s a boy. He even isn’t my friend…”
“Same for you, right?”
This old man is going to drive me mad but it doesn’t feel … wrong.
This has to stop so I’m offering him a helping hand to repair his roof “It’s the least I can do …” He hesitates …”It ‘d make me feel better, Mr. McDermitt…”
“Aaron. Call me Aaron, Zeke…” then he agrees.
“Aaron then. Why are you telling me all this today?”
He smacks his lips, pads my hand “I think you should know that you’re not alone…”
So I’ll keep myself busy the next days, it’ll make me stop thinking, over-thinking too much.
Casey. I cried for Casey ?
This makes me sigh though I don’t know why.