Woke up with the same fear pounding in my head.  The same fear I’ve been drowning out for weeks.  But, today is different.  Today, I’m writing it down.

“I see my shadow self.  There is no use hiding.”

I’m not sure how long I can keep track of these things.  But, how will you know if I finish it or not anyway?  I just need to open my hand and let them go.

I washed my face of the fog and met Gloria.

“Sleep last night?” She sipped her coffee and looked deep into my eyes. As if I was important.  As if my answer had weight.  As if my words could save her day.

“Fine. Um. Same as usual.” And when I tossed out that lame lie, I could feel her gaze drop.

Gloria suggested a holiday.  Amazing woman, really.  Here she has no idea what’s going on inside my head–or even that something’s going on at all. Yet, she’s given the foresight to jerk me out of place.

So, I phoned in for a few days and we hit the road.

She is so beautiful.  But, she always has been.  I just so rarely notice. We followed the winding road through the endless hills until we finally reached our spot.  It was great to stretch out and feel human again.

“You need to see the stars.  That’s all you need.”

I kept my mouth shut with a smile.  Stars were not what I needed.  But, what’s the use in arguing.

I held her tightly in my arms as we stood at the top of the hill.  Someone somewhere shot off a firecracker.  Gloria gasped in joy.  I tensed up.

As I put up the habitat, she began to sing.  She was actually serenading me.  I’d never, in my life, heard Gloria sing before.

“Nightingale, tell me your tale. Was your journey far too long?”

Her voice was beautiful.  God, she’s beautiful.  I had to close my eyes to finish my task.

“I don’t deserve you, baby.”

Her head upon my chest.

“But I love you anyway, Joe.”

We laid there, forever in silence.

“So, when are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

I thought about this beautiful trap Gloria thoughtfully planted for me.

“Gloria, sing some more.  You tell me.  You tell me, baby.  I can’t bear losing the sound of your voice.  Keep singing.”

I opened my hand and she held it all night long.




About The Author

J. Stephen Jorge

Please, give my latest book a read. It's called AMIGO: Small Stories and Tall Tales of Hope. I'd love to hear what you think. Connect with me at http://www.jsjorge.org sometime. Gracias.

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