fiction

The Transformation Of Amy Lunaro: Chapter Seven. {fiction}

Once inside the small craftsman cottage, Leanne ushered Amy into a little light blue room to the right of the front door.

A massage table wrapped in soft pink flannel sheets lay beneath a window where the white afternoon light fell. Music, a marriage of crashing ocean waves and longing cello, played from the far left corner.

There were enough green plants to make up a small garden on the chipped white windowsill, and books piled on an old driftwood bookshelf,  where light pink, glistening black and glowing purple crystals lined the shelves. Leanne puttered around the room while Amy combed over the book titles.

Goddesses in Everywoman, proclaimed one, Be Here Now, instructed another, and Dancing In The Flames, said another. All of the books had something to do with the Goddess, or Consciousness, Self Healing, or Feminine Power.

At home, Amy’s floor was littered with issues of Us Weekly and People, details of celebrities’ shopping lists or the demise of their private lives; Amy binged on them like Twinkies, but they only left her hungrier and more tired.

She couldn’t remember the last book she read, she didn’t have the commitment a book took.

Leanne pulled back the pink sheets, and said to Amy, “Take your shoes off, kid.”

She pulled her boots off and left them by the door. She had holes in the red and white socks she had slept in for days. She had the socks and the soul of an orphan. Leanne looked at her with pity and frustration. She patted the bed. Amy sat lightly on its side, her legs hanging off, her toes grazing the floor.

“All the way,” Leanne said. “Do it all the way.” Amy complied.

“Lay back,” Leanne ordered. “And go ahead and fall apart now. It’s safe. All the way. Do shit all the way. Don’t hold on to anything.”

Slowly Amy leaned back into the fuzzy warm sheets, that felt like the skin of a teddy bear. Inch by inch, she felt herself sink into the mattress. “Let go,” Leanne whispered. Amy stared at her, wide-eyed, like, what will happen if I do?

“Close your eyes,” Leanne said. “Breathe. Let yourself be held.”

Amy sank deeper. Muscle after muscle released. Tightness she’d been holding on to for what felt like since childhood. Eons of holding on. Every cell clenching so tightly. To what could have been. To what should have been. To who she should have been. To how she should have been.

To what could have been, if only she had been different.

And just like that, she started to cry. Not like the reserved crying she had done since James left, but the howling of an orphan. The crying of a child ripped from her mother, forever. The cry of death and abandonment and fear and the end of things.

The cry of her core wound, the one James had ripped back open.

The human wound. The I am unlovable, alone and always will be, and I will die alone wound. The one she’d been trying to cover with wine and pills and running. She wailed like an abandoned child on a battlefield. She wailed like the ocean in a storm.

She wailed like she did when the doctor said, “It’s time to say goodbye to your mother.” She wailed like she did when James said, “I’m never coming home.”

Over her, Leanne was just breathing, deeply, with hands that hummed with warm light over her heart. “Breathe into my hands,” Leanne said. “And cry till you can’t cry no more.” She hadn’t been touched by another woman for fifteen years. She shuddered with relief and grief.

She felt as if she was on an operating table, her heart being ripped out of her chest. She felt gutted apart like a fish on the docks of this island she had fled to. Lying splayed in her own blood.

“It hurts so much,” Amy said, gasping.

“As it should,” said Leanne, as calm as the day she first met her, as cool as she had been standing in front of that dairy freezer.

“I feel like I’m dying,” Amy said, gargling for air.

“You are,” said Leanne. “You have been for a while. We’re just speeding up the process so you can get on with the rebirth.” Amy couldn’t imagine life after this, but she kept dying, because Leanne told her to, and it felt good to feel someone in control.

It was part of the reason — no, much of the reason — why she was so attached to James; he had always been in control. She could be on auto-pilot. She could sleep while he drove.

She let out another gargling sound, and wailed for another twenty minutes, thrashing beneath Leanne’s warm hands, which moved down her body until she got to Amy’s feet, where Amy could feel the sensation of energy leaving her soles.

Then Leanne held her holey socks, in a way that comforted her like no macaroni and cheese Law and Order marathon ever had. Her touch felt so safe and loving that Amy breathed down deep into Leanne’s hands, then eventually passed out, like an exhausted child at the end of a long fit.

When she awoke, she was alone in the blue room, curled in a fetal position. Her eyes fluttered open to Leanne’s altar, heavy with crystals and angels and what looked like a wooden pentagram. Over the altar, a mirror. Amy had the daring to look in, and at herself, something she rarely did anymore.

Her eyes were red and swollen from crying, her greasy hair could house a murder of crows, her face bloated from alcohol and crying. “Fuck,” she whispered.

But still, she felt lighter, as if something had shifted.

She pulled herself up off the bed and padded outside to look for Leanne, who was sitting on her porch with her back to the door, looking out over the rose bush, a chenille blue blanket wrapped around her shoulders.

“Hi,” Amy said softly behind her.

“Everyone dies, you know,” said Leanne, not turning around.

“What?”

“I know it hurt, like a bitch, I know, trust me, you’re not the first to lose someone you loved. And I can feel, you hold all that in your body and your soul and your heart. But the harder you hold on, the harder it hurts. And you’re holding on like a muthafucka.

And you’re drinking to fill a wound only love can fill. But everyone dies. I know it sucks, your motha, she died young and beautiful and full of dreams. But that was just her fucking time. But it’s not your time.” The words caught in Leanne’s throat.

“Your motha, she told me that in there. That it’s not your time, kid. She told me to tell you that.”

Amy stared at the back of the woman’s head, the white curls tucked beneath the blanket. She marveled at her complexity; so tough, yet maybe the most compassionate person she had ever met. This woman was deeply feeling for her. And they were practically strangers.

Leanne continued. “We don’t know when, and we don’t know how. And you just happened to be front row as a kid. I get that. But everyone dies, at some point, sooner rather than later, and there are no fucking guarantees. I could drop dead in the middle of this sentence.

The next time you choose to take a showa — soona rather than lata, I hope — you could slip in it. And that would be fucking it. No,” she shook her head. “This ain’t your time. But you think your time ain’t comin’? It’s comin’ as sure as that sun is setting.”

Amy looked up at the pink light that streaked the sky, at the orange globe that was slipping into the pine trees. “So is my time, and everyone else you love’s time.We all go, sweetheart. Maybe you were given a gift to see that. And use that, to actually live.

That’s what death does, if you look at it right, it teaches you how to live.”

Amy sighed and looked down at her holed feet.

“I think,” Amy’s chin began to wobble, “I think it’s why I clung to James for dear life. I was so scared of him dying too.”

Leanne nodded. “You clung so fucking hard you killed it.” Then she let out one of those hoarse throaty laughs of hers, that felt anything but joyous. “Oh, the fucking irony. You were so afraid to kill it, you killed it. You paying attention? You’ve got to fucking pay attention.”

She shook her head, still not looking at Amy. Then she was quiet. Amy could hear the crickets starting to serenade the garden with the violins of their bodies. Leanne was still.

She was so calm that the grey rabbit from before had taken residence a few inches away from her foot, chewing the grass beside her.

“No,” said Leanne. “That’s not the answer. If you love people, you let them live, you let them go,” she said. “Love lets go. Fear,” which sounded like fee-yah, “that shit holds on.”

Amy breathed, deep in through her nose, out through her mouth in a long sigh. “Good job,” Leanne nodded. “Way more of that. And you know, newsflash, kid. Nothing lasts forever. That love, with Mr. Rock Star, it taught you a bunch. When shit hurts this bad, pay attention.

Class is in fucking session. And if you’re smart, you’ll learn from it and move the fuck on. It wasn’t supposed to last forever. It was your first love. They rarely last. They teach, but they don’t last.

So the question now, kid, is what did you learn? You don’t graduate until you’ve learned the fucking lesson. Otherwise you’re in eternal detention. Muthafucking Groundhog’s Day. So pay attention. And learn.”

Amy was silent. Finally Leanne turned and looked up at her, right in the eyes.

“You’re no dummy,” she said. “You’ve acted like a dummy, but you’re no dummy. You’re smart. You’ve just played dumb because it was easier. But it’s time to get wise. You gotta grow up, girl.

And what a grown-up does is they figure out what they’ve learned, they forgive themselves, they forgive the other person, then they get back up and they move the fuck on. Here’s some more breaking news. There’s a whole big world out there outside of you.”

Amy looked back up at the sky, now completely fluorescent pink, the birds were calling Good Night to each other, a dog barked in the distance, and Leanne — Leanne had one tear leaving the far corner of her crinkled right eye.

“I think,” Amy whispered, “I think I learned a lot.”

“No shit. Think about shipwrecks,” Leanne said. “The old ones, from the days of pirates and shit. Think about all that gold at the bottom of the ocean. But only the brave ones, who dive way down deep into the wreck, only those muthafuckas get that gold.

Well, your ship has wrecked, and you’re at the bottom of the ocean, kid, might as well look around and see what you find.”

This is an ongoing series from a forthcoming fiction novel by Sarah Durham Wilson of DOITGIRL.
Tune in weekly for the next chapter in ‘The Transformation of Amy Lunaro’.

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Sarah Durham Wilson
Sarah Durham Wilson is a woman in the world who writes about being a woman in the world. She teaches workshops, courses, and retreats on awakening to one’s inner Divine Feminine nature. You can find her on Facebook and her blog.
Sarah Durham Wilson