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Thread: A Garth Contest Fantasy...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    50

    Since it magically vanished....here we go again

    (we now join our fantasy already in progress...it's 2/7 ... a cold night in Oklahoma....)

    "What are you doing out here may I ask?"

    "Checking on Sassy and the others."

    "You are gonna catch a cold in just that?" He points at my thin jacket, and hands me the coat. "Come on back inside. It's almost time for cake and ice cream."

    "Thanks for the coat." I take it from him and drape it around my shoulders.

    He holds out a hand out for me to take and says, "Come on back inside."

    I shake my head and look toward the barn door. "I'm okay out here."

    He can tell something is wrong and comes to sit next to me on the tack box. "What's the matter?"

    I know lying to him is out of the question, so I tell him part of the truth and hope it's enough. "I just feel a little funny. It's all family in there."

    Garth puts an arm around my shoulders and gives me a little squeeze. "Everyone here is family as far as I'm concerned." He leans his head over to rest on mine. "So let's go have some cake, and watch me open my gifts."

    I realize I haven't wrapped my few offerings and say, "Well if you want to open my gift I'd better go wrap it."

    Garth stands and offers both hands to help me up. I put my feet down and stand up and we are face to face, a foot apart, and suddenly I can't breathe. I know what is going to happen and I don't stop it, even though I know I should. He leans forward and I feel his lips brush mine. I close my eyes and get lost in the moment, letting it surround me, warmer than any coat could ever be. I melt into him and time stops around us.

    I lean into him and his hand slide up my arms to my shoulder and I let mine do the same. He closes the gap between us, moves his hands down over my back and pulls me close. Our lips part and I try and remember how to breathe again. Somehow air just wasn't important to me for the past few moments. "That's all I need for my birthday." He whispers in my ear.

    *****

    I put my head on his chest and take a deep breath, loving the even the smell of him. What am I doing? And is it too late to stop?


    The questions are moot, because we hear someone start to open the barn door. I start to pull away, but he won't let me. I look away from the door, but he doesn't. His Dad pokes his head in and says, "You need to come back in, son. Everyone is looking for ya." He slides the door shut and we are alone again.

    Garth turns my face back to him and kisses me gently. "Come back in with me?"

    I don't trust myself to speak, so I nod my head.

    *****

    Back inside the party is lively and I slink back into the bedroom to get the gifts I'd gotten Garth at the mall. I quickly put them in their gift bags and toss some colorful tissue in the tops of each. I am peeling the backs off the bows when the door opens and Taylor runs in saying, "Mel, come on! It's time to sing to Daddy."

    I smile and ask her to help me carry my gifts into the other room. I look at the little Disney store bag on my bed. I'll have to give him the Thumper later. I don't think it would be a good idea to give him that one in front of so many people, who probably have no idea how he helped us out last summer. It would be way too complicated to explain.

    Hmmm…. "Way too complicated to explain" really seems to sum the whole thing up pretty well. Taylor grabs my hand and pulls me to the door.


    ****
    I hand all the gifts to Sandy and she puts them in the small mountain on the coffee table and I walk to a rocking chair and sit down. When Allie comes and sits in my lap, I sneak a glance up through my bangs to see how everyone is reacting to this show of familiarity. Only Sandy seems to be paying any attention.

    Raymond comes in from the kitchen carrying a large cake covered in candles. Kelly follows him grinning widely and pulls a blowtorch out from behind his back. He makes a big show out of getting it going and lighting the candles. Garth is pretending to be really upset by it all, but I can tell he's not. We all join in when Raymond starts the birthday song.

    Sandy tells the girls to come help her in the kitchen and they all go to help cut the cake and serve it to everyone. I get up and go join them. "Need any help?"

    Sandy doesn't look up, "No, thanks anyway. We have it under control."

    I get a distinct chill from her direction and I try not to let it show that I've noticed. "Okay, well…if you change your mind I'll be in the other room."

    I wander back into the living room and see that someone has taken my seat. So I just go stand by the door to the bathroom and watch the whole thing. Garth is making a big production out of opening the gifts, shaking each one, like kids do at Christmas. Each gift-giver gets a word of thanks or a hug.

    Garth picks up one of my gift bags and reads the tag to see whom it's from. He smiles and looks around the room to find me. He sees me finally and smiles and mouths a silent "Thank you". He opens the big bag first and pulls out the shirt. He holds it up and says, "Thank God! No stripes!" Everyone laughs and he reaches for the next bag.
    It's a small one and he pulls out a CD. It's No Fences, the anniversary edition. He looks at me puzzled and says, "Umm…thanks. I already have this one I think." Everyone laughs, and I say, "Read the card silly."

    He reached into the bag and pulls out the card. He reads, "100, 000, 001 and counting. One step closer to the 2nd Hundred Million." He smiles and laughs and then reaches for the last bag. He takes out the tissue and stops dead. He looks up at me and I see a tear in his eye. He puts the bag down and gets up and walks over to me. He wraps me in a huge hug and kisses my check. "Thank you. You found a way to wrap my heart up in that bag. It means a lot."

    He takes my hand and walks back to sit on the hearth once again, making me sit next to him. He picks up the bag and gently takes out the 8 x 10 silver box frame I'd bought in the card store this morning. He runs a finger down the front and smiles. Then he turns it so everyone can see it. Matted in the center of the pictures are four little pictures of his girls, taken in one of those little photo booths in the mall. The girls and I had picked out little heart things in a few stores and put them around the pictures. On three construction paper hearts, each girl had written a message to him. When we had gotten home I'd put it all together. He is still looking at me in awe. "When did you do this?"

    I smile and tell him "Well August didn't really drop her hat in the electronics store. We just wanted to get rid of you for a bit so we could take the pictures. And the other stuff, well you were with us when we got them." He shakes his head in wonder and puts an arm around me and gives me another squeeze.

    Then he stands up and turns around and puts the picture in a place of honor, dead center on the mantle.
    what if the essence of who you are and always have been is enough???

    ~from the prelude in THE DANCE by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    50
    People are starting to leave and the girls are begging their Daddy to let them spend the night. He's pretending that he's gonna say no and then Sandy says, "Not tonight angels, I'm sure Daddy has enough company." Garth gives her a look and simply says, "Watch it!" To the girls he says, "Grab your coats and we'll drive up and get your pjs. They run squealing to the unfinished spare room to get their things on. Garth looks at me and says, "Could you give us a moment?" I nod and go into the bedroom and shut the door.

    I have no idea what is said between them, but I hear the front door close in a moment. Soon there is a knock on the bedroom door. I say, "Come in."

    Garth opens the door but doesn't come in. "We'll be back in a few minutes. Why don't you pop some popcorn and I'll bring back a video?"

    I smile, and say, "Sounds like fun." I don't look at him, and he knows something is up.

    Garth calls my name, and when I look up at him he says, "You okay?" I nod, but that isn't good enough for him. "What's wrong?"

    I don't really want to go into it, especially when I am not really sure what all of IT is. "I just feel like I ruined your party. I feel like I'm causing trouble."

    He gives me a perturbed look and comes to stand in front of me. "Get that **** out of your head."

    "Sorry, but I can't help but notice that "some people" don't see too pleases that I'm here."

    He clears his throat and says, "Well, 'some people' are just in a *****y mood, 'cause their date was too chicken to come hang out with us." He winks at me and says, "Get that popcorn ready, we'll be right back."

    I follow them out onto the porch and wave as they get into the truck. I watch them drive away, making a turn before leaving the gate, to cut across the property on a road I hadn't noticed before. The night air has gotten colder, and there is a real nip to it, but I sort of like it. I watch the taillights of the truck until I lose sight of them just past the barns, and then I go inside and shut the door.

    I look around the living room and sigh. It looks like a tornado has been through here. There are cups and plates on every flat surface, and a lot of little bits of wrapping paper and bows all around too. I sigh and go into the kitchen to get the trashcan.

    Walking around the room I collect the bits of paper and the cups and plates and stuff them into the can, making sure to not toss cards by mistake. I take the now full trashcan back into the kitchen and look into the laundry room area for a basket. I want to gather up the gifts but don't feel up to making a lot of trips. There is a wicker basket on top of the dryer and I take it back and fill it with gifts. It still takes two trips to get everything into the spare room.

    With the living room tidy, I head into the kitchen to find the popcorn. I put the first bag into the microwave and start opening cabinets looking for a big bowl to put it in. I can't find anything suitable. I sigh heavily. This man has no idea of what is really important. I giggle and think that the next gift I'll give him is little hand-made book titled, "A Single-Father's Guide To A Successful Sleepover." He is really gonna need some helpful hints with three girls.

    I keep looking and finally find a big cooking pot, like a roaster for cooking a turkey. It will have to do. The microwave dings, and I take the finished back out and put another in. The first bag gets poured into the pot and I cover it with a dishtowel to keep in the heat. The second bag joins the first and I carry the pot into the living room and put it on the coffee table.

    Just as I sit it down, the door bursts open and the girls run in, jumping up and down and laughing, "IT'S SNOWING!!!" I look out the open door and see a few flakes float through the halo of light from the porch.

    I laugh with them, but refrain from jumping up and down. I love snow too, but this isn't enough to get excited about. I help them take off their coats and hats and gather their things up to carry into the spare room, out of the way. I ask, "What movie did you bring?"

    Taylor looks, pouting slightly, at her Dad, who has just come in and shut the door. "We couldn't agree, so Daddy picked it. Now we have to watch "Hook"."

    I look up at Garth and say, "So we like Peter Pan, do we?"

    He shrugs and says, "It was on the top of the pile."

    I roll my eyes and say, "You are as bad as they are!" I look at the girls and say, "Go get your pajamas on, and hurry before the popcorn gets all nasty and cold." They hurry off to the bedroom and I take the coats to the spare room, and shut the door when I'm done. Garth has taken some blankets and pillow from the window seat. I nod approvingly. He's not as hopeless as I thought.

    *****

    We settle down to watch the movie; Garth takes the comfy easy chair and leaves the sofa for us girls. I find myself with a lap full and don't mind a bit, until my back starts hurting and there is no way to shift to make it better, and no place to shift it too.

    Garth says, "Everybody up!" We all look at him like he's nuts, but get up off the sofa. I pause the movie, because I happen to really like Peter Pan myself. He picks up the sofa cushions one by one and tosses them behind the sofa, and then pushes the coffee table away too. I realize he is pulling the sofa bed out, and I blush, when I realize what else this means.

    It means that instead of watching the movie, he's been watching me. He knew my back was hurting and that as much as I love snuggling with the girls, it was getting sort of cramped.

    I run my hand over August's pretty blonde hair and I get an idea. "Taylor go get me a hairbrush." While she runs to the bathroom to get a brush, I pick up one of the sofa cushions and put it against the back of the sofa to use as a backrest. I climb onto the sofa and pull a blanket over my legs. The girls make their spots too, and when Taylor gets back I pat the spot in front of me. "Sit here baby, and I'll brush your hair and braid it before bed." I look at Garth, and say, "Can you get my blue bag from the bedroom please?"

    He nods and disappears for a moment into the bedroom. He takes a few minutes to come back and I figure he can't find the bag. I ask Taylor to let me up and I go to the bedroom to help him. I find him sitting on the bed, holding the stuffed Thumper, smiling. He looks up at me when he hears the door. He holds Thumper up. "Is this for me?"

    I nod and say, "Yeah, but I didn't want to give it in front of everyone. It'd be too hard to explain."

    He smiles, "It might be." He puts Thumper back into the gift bag and gets up off the bed. "What color bag am I looking for again?"

    I laugh and walk to the dresser and pick up the small blue make up bag. I unzip it and take out a container of hair bands and tell him, "Let's get back to our slumber party."
    what if the essence of who you are and always have been is enough???

    ~from the prelude in THE DANCE by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    50
    The rest of the evening is cozy. We watch the rest of the movie and then put in another. The girls are getting sleepy, and have settled into spots on the sofa bed, with pillows and blankets. Allie is using my calf as a pillow, but I don't really mind. August sits up and looks at her Daddy and says, "I wanna snuggle you." He holds his arms out to her, but she shakes her head no. She wants him to lay with her on the bed. He sighs and takes off his shoes and bends over and picks August up. He settles himself on the bed and lets her snuggle up next to him. She's asleep in moments. I steal a glance at him and sigh. This is why he has to be home. They need him, and from the contented smile on his face, he needs them too.

    I fell asleep too, and wake up when I feel the weight of Allie's head lifted off my leg. I open a sleepy eye to see Garth bending over us, moving her to the side. He sees that I'm awake and puts a finger to his lips, "Shhh…"

    He holds a hand out to me and I sit up and take it. He pulls me to my feet and hands me my shoes. I look at him very puzzled, but I sit on the coffee table and put my shoes on. He is at the door holding my coat, having already put his own on. I join him and let him help me put mine on too.

    He smiles and opens the door. The few flakes from hours before are now huge and fat flakes. The ground is covered and everything is white and glowing. I smile up at him and sigh. "It's beautiful," I say. He steps out on the porch and holds out a hand to me. I take his hand and close the door behind myself.

    Garth takes my other hand and starts walking backward, down the steps and into the yard. I look at him like he's nuts, but I let him lead me. Soon we are standing in the middle of the yard, and the flakes are swirling around us. It's a magical moment. I turn my face up to the sky and watch the flakes rush toward me. I laugh and whisper, "It's like living in a snow globe."

    Garth throws his head back and laughs too. I let go of his hands and turn a slow circle, and spin again until I feel his arms wrap around me. I keep my eyes closed and let the feel of the moment sink in, making a memory, that I'll never forget.

    Just as suddenly he is gone, I open my eyes and turn to look for him. I see him jogging to the truck. Maybe he is getting some gloves or something. He opens the door and reaches in only a second. I hear the radio come on and he turns back to me, and holds out his hand to me once more. I walk slowly toward him and take the outstretched hand.

    He steps away from the truck, taking me with him and then pulls me close. We start to sway, in time with the music and I put my head on his chest. He leads us in slow circles around the yard, and when the song changes, we keep dancing, using the beat of our own hearts to guide us.

    *****
    It's magical, dancing in the snow, not saying a word, but saying so much all the same. I don't know how long we stayed out there like that. The song on the radio changes again and it's one of his. The haunting opening bars of The Dance break through the bubble of unreality around us and Garth clears his throat. "We should leave tomorrow."

    "It's okay, Garth. We can stay longer, if you want to spend time with the girls. I understand."

    "That has nothing to do with it. We need to get you home."

    I'm puzzled and a little hurt. He can tell and he kisses the top of my head. "Mel, we shouldn't be here…. like this." I nod slightly, acknowledging the truthfulness of his last statement. "God knows I wish it were okay, but it's not."

    I can't help it, tears well up in my eyes. I won't look at him; I don't want him to see my tears. He knows they are there, without seeing them though. A warm hand reaches up and wipes my cheek gently. I look up at him then and see a tear on his cheek too. I stand on tiptoe and kiss it gently.

    He sighs and closes his eyes, and pulls me tight against him. There is so much I want to say, but can't find the words for. How do I explain the conflict in my heart?
    "Garth,…?"

    "You don't have to say it."

    Is it possible he can read what is in my heart? "I think I should." I don't know where to start. I open my mouth hoping the right words just find their way out. "I don't know what to do. I love him, and when I'm with him, I'm happy. But when we are apart, there are so many doubts…" I look up into his eyes and say, "And so many other feelings." I look up into his eyes and melt at what I see there. I have to look away or be lost.

    He shakes his head slightly; "No we need to get you home."

    I can't keep the hurt in my heart from showing on my face. He squeezes my hand and I look up at him once more. "I would be so happy to have you here, forever, but I can't ask you to do that."

    Doesn't he know that all he has to do IS ask?


    +++++++++++++++


    there you go again....

    Mel
    what if the essence of who you are and always have been is enough???

    ~from the prelude in THE DANCE by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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