This is for my dear romeny
thanks for everything, my dear!
Title: The Vineyard - Chapter 13
On his way back home there was much time to think about it. A curse! People believed in this!!! They were living in the 20. century so this simply couldn’t be. Of course there were legends, myths spread all around the country but hey, they weren’t real! Between you and me they sounded like … fools. Sorry, friends. He didn’t believe that Casey wouldn’t or couldn’t come because of an alleged ancient curse. He eagerly wanted to talk to Joshua the next day. There HAS to be more. Of that he was sure.
It started snowing again but whether did he realize the snowflakes nor the cold. What a family! Mysterious? No. Crazy. Superstition, nothing more. He thought about the tower. If he would be a painter it would be able to draw it from the bottom to the top without leaving a fucking detail. He remembered when he had described it to Tom and Sofie – the looks they shared were … he didn’t know how to describe them. Fuck! Fuck! Double Fuck! He got weak in the knees, cursed himself to be stoned by too much “Heartblood”. Casey. Why did all his thoughts end in Casey. Cursey. Casey. Were was Casey? He had no doubts – he NEVER had – that he was alive. Why didn’t he ask Thomas about the words he picked up last night? On top of the hill the had to take a break, lit a cigarette and closed his eyes. All he wanted now was to be at home, snuggling up in bed and then drowning into the land of nods. Or much better – sleeping for ages. Without having nightmares. Without the urge to think about … Casey. What the hell was wrong with him. He should take care of his dog, of his home – there were so much things to do. “I’m such a fool…” he cried more than once when he stumbled over his own feet. Casey was a fool, too! Why did he do this to him? Why did he torture himself? Was it torment for Casey? Was it a joke? He started humming to calm his nerves. Why the heck did it seem that his way back home was much longer than his way to the Blue Grape? Had he lost his way? Where was the nightlight? Where was his car? He must have been crazy walking alone more than 7 miles in winter.
While he was lamenting, mostly pitying himself the wind started howling. His name. “I’m so stoned! Jesus, no more ‘Heartblood’ for the next time” he swore. “Zeke… Zeke… Zeke…” He shook his head, couldn’t keep himself upright and stumbled when two strong arms held him… What…? Again he shook his head and saw … nothing. Fine. ‘Well done, Tyler’ – he cursed himself again. “Zeke… Zeke…Zeke…”
It has to be the wind. He wasn’t better than people here - maybe he too fell under this fucking … spell or curse or … whatever. His hair stood on end and the five degrees below zero felt like twenty… Someone was following him. There were steps behind him walking faster and faster – they made him nearly run (as good as this was possible with his own feet being in his way constantly). Hurry up, Tyler! When he turned around and stopped, the steps stopped, too. Fuck! “Who’s there!” he shouted. “I have a gun! And I will shoot!” Fine. Well done, Tyler. As if your flashlight could impress this … what? “Go home! Fuck yourself! And leave. Me. Alone!” Was he scared? Y… no! No! His mind played a trick on him and it served him right.
In the distance he saw a candle flickering in the window. Sofie was a good lady. She took care for him. He went faster, couldn’t find his keys but finally reached his home.
It was warm. Goodness, this felt like heaven. Here he was safe. Pulling off his jacket he passed through the kitchen, stopped before the chimney to warm his hands. Buddy rested in his basket close to the fire, opened his eyes lazily and whimpered. “Good boy. Go back to sleep.” He murmured and patted his head. He sat down at the kitchen table with a cup of hot steaming tea, black and strong, without sugar or cream. He thought about the Vineyard again. The land was now meagre and dreary but he and his employees had worked hard, very hard, that this would change next year. To be true – he was proud that he hadn’t given up. More than once he was close to stop. Without the support of his friends he surely would have capitulated. But whenever he didn’t know how to go on he went to the wine cellars, stopped at the special oak barrel – things were easier there where all was quiet and dark.
What people didn’t know was how torn he was sometimes. On the one hand he wanted to do something meaningful. On the other hand the thought it ridiculous. Was it the right thing to do? Of course people had hope again. They got their jobs back. Yes. This felt good. But was he happy just doing this? What would make him really happy? He was content, strong, healthy – but happy? What did he miss? He felt beloved here and he shouldn’t be ungrateful. Thomas and Sofie for example did everything for him, to make him feel at home. He felt beloved and he smiled thinking about his ‘substitute’ parents. But what was going on here? What did they hide from him? And why? He was curious, oh yes. Fearful? Maybe. A little. No. Not really. Lonely? Only at night. He had started writing kind of a diary about his daily chores, what he planned, what he had finished. To get himself distracted, that the nights wouldn’t be that long. That he didn’t think to much. In this book there was nothing personal, nothing about how he felt. He didn’t look often deep inside himself because it made him weak, furious, helpless, too. Casey was always present. Casey.
What did he know about him? What did he think about him? Was he the reason that he was doing all this? His grip around the cup tightened until his knuckles turned white. He couldn’t say no to these questions. Could he? He loved the people here. Looking around in the kitchen he had to smile and remembered Sofie’s eyes when she came home three days ago after a little vacation at her sisters. She was overwhelmed when she entered her new kitchen. He even laid bricks for a chimney he knew she had wished for since she got married, since she came here. He was in his element when he did it. Bill the carpenter made all the closets exactly after the plans he had made. The walls were now painted in light yellow and they fit perfectly to the honey coloured wood. It was very homely and they all knew this was the heart of the house from now on. Wood spoke of warmth, radiated familiarity somehow. Touching the huge wooden table, feeling the smoothness and strength of Mother Nature he felt better. This was his home now – he’d live here until the end. And if he wouldn’t see Casey again – he knew where his heart belonged.
To his Vineyard.