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

When she reached the rental home, Amy felt different.

There was a new awareness to what was around her. She got out of the car, and when she closed the door she touched the jeep’s door softly, like love was pumping through her veins, and she could pass that love on, even to an object. She found herself thanking the jeep for driving her around.

She could swear she almost felt it respond in a humming energy.

She walked up to the front door and stopped  beneath the chimes to hear them sing, as if, maybe, they were singing just for her. And she thought, “Who’s to say they aren’t?”

She closed her eyes and felt the sweet tinkling all over  her body, like it was healing her cells, and a small smile of gratitude crept along her face. She thought of Leanne saying to her, “Instead of complaining all the damn time, I just say, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’ And it works. Try it, kid.”

So she said thank you, thank you, thank you to the chimes for their song, and she felt the gratitude peel open the doors to her heart.

Despite the cool Fall wind, she left the door open when she entered, so as to keep hearing them sing, in case they wanted to be heard. When she crossed the threshold of the doorway, she entered the space with what could only be described as a new sort of consciousness.

She saw the house as if for the first time. Despite the circumstances that had brought her to this house on the cliff, how lucky she was to have someplace like this to land. She straightened the blanket and pillows on the couch.

She scooped up the magazines that vultured others’ lives, and put them in the recycling.

She did the dishes which had piled high in the sink, and outside the window, the moon, almost full, caught her eye, glowing in the sky, the stars twinkling around it like its shiny attendants, like ladies in waiting to a Queen.

And for the first time since she’d moved in, she opened the window to the ocean breeze, and she felt it whoosh over her skin, as if it had been trapped there, just longing to touch her. She shuddered beneath its salty fingers.

There was no feeling like the ocean breeze, no sensation like its briny air of mystery, beauty and depth. One breath of ocean air felt more filling and healing than twenty gulps of inside air. She again thought of Leanne. “There’s this whole big world outside of you.”

Suddenly Amy wanted nothing more than to feel outside of herself. To climb outside of the prison of herself and be a part of the world.

But like a programmed robot, she reached for the bottle of Cabernet on the counter. She pulled it closer to where she stood at the sink in front of the ocean breeze that had now begun to fill the house.

She could see Leanne shake her head. She could hear her say, “You do the same shit, you get the same shit.” But Amy didn’t know how to hit five o’clock without wine. That seemed insurmountable. “I mean, baby steps,” Amy thought.

For the first time since long before James had left, because there is the actual moment they leave, but the leaving begins long before that, she had felt hope. And she didn’t want that hope to leave her, she wanted that hope to stay.

And she knew how she felt the mornings with the wine in her body, she knew too well the Death Monster that lived within her tummy and her throat, and she knew he fed on wine, how strong he grew from the alcohol — and the stronger he grew, the more he filled her head with thoughts of death.

But she had drunk or been sedated since she was 16 years old, and not a day had gone by when she hadn’t taken something to stop the pain. There had not been a morning she hadn’t woken hung over in fifteen blurry years.

But this was the first time there had been a gap between just reaching for it and slugging down at least three glasses. There was something within her resisting, pausing. She didn’t know what to do. So she did something she hadn’t done since Sacre Couer.

With the moonlight falling in through the window sill, she fell to her knees, she clenched and interlaced her fingers, pressed her forehead to the ground, and she asked for help.

This time, though, nothing came.

She only heard her words:

“If anyone is there, I could use some help. I want to change. I want to be better. I want to make something of this life I’ve been given. I’m scared I’ve ruined it. I’m scared it’s too late. But I don’t want to be me anymore, I want to be, someone I can love, who can be loved. Please help me change.”

Amy waited on the white kitchen rug with just her own words hanging in the air. She waited some more. She heard the ocean breathing in and out behind the house. She heard the chimes in front of the house. But nothing else. So she placed her hands in front of her and she rose to her feet.

And just as she did so, the wine, teetering on the edge of the sink, fell into the porcelain basin and shattered, red liquid leaking like blood down the drain. Amy stood there for a second, and then looked around. Leanne had told her there was no such thing as a coincidence.

So she said, “Well, okay then. Maybe you are listening,” to whom, she wasn’t sure.

But her heart still beat like a trapped hummingbird, and her breath was still short and shallow, and her hands still shook. She scoured the fridge, littered with old pizza and uneaten fruit. She opened the cupboards. Pots and pans and coffee and… tea.

She took down the tea box. Green Tea, Black Tea and Chamomile. Chamomile would have to do. She poured water into the kettle and clicked on the stove, and while she waited she moved into the living room. Instead of turning on the television, she wandered up to the book shelf.

There were books on the island’s history, photography books of local fishermen, classics like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, those books she always pretended to read but never actually had. Amy wrinkled her nose.

She was about to give up and turn on Lifetime, to surely watch a hysterical, bereaved woman shoot her ex-husband through tears in a “You did this to me” rant, because isn’t your life over when your man leaves? But then a title caught her eye.

The Power of Now,” it said. She did that face people do, that shrug of the lips, that meh, and she pulled it off the shelf. The tea kettle sang from the kitchen. She stuck the book under her wing of an arm, pulled the folded blanket off the couch, and poured herself a cup of chamomile.

Armed with a book called Power instead of the drowning glow of the television, and drinking a mug of something which, for the first time since she could remember, wasn’t alcohol, she headed to bed.

When the sun came in the next morning, she didn’t close the blinds. She opened her eyes. She waited for the terror, but it didn’t come. “I didn’t drink last night,” she marveled. She felt flooded with relief. She let the sun wake her, and rose with it, stumbling into jeans and a white turtleneck sweater.

She made coffee and opened the door to the porch, feeling herself pulled to the ocean. The wind whipped her hair, slapped her face with a gratifying stinging sensation. She chugged the rest of the coffee and ran barefoot down the steps to the beach, her feet sinking into the wet sand.

She began to run, hard, along the shoreline, sandpipers scattering in front of her, the water licking her feet, the icy cold zapping her even further alive. She had visions of the lacrosse field in high school, barreling toward the goal like a machine, her legs like wheels.

She could remember the track at night, where she would run when the pain in the house grew too much. She used to run away her pain, not drink it. And it used to work.

She could hear her high school lacrosse coach crying from the side of the field, “Go Amy, Go!” and she ran faster until she realized there was actually someone screaming at her in real time, and they were yelling “Wait!! Stop!!”Amy halted in her tracks.

Her lungs heaving, her heart banging, she looked back toward the voice. A woman with long brown hair was waving frantically, running to meet her. She stopped, twenty feet away.

“If you keep running,” said the woman in between breaths, pointing at Amy’s feet, “so does she.” Amy looked down to see a small brown dog staring up at her, its tail wagging excitedly.

“Oh!” Amy laughed. “I didn’t see her!”

“She’s been running with you for ten minutes,” the woman smiled, hinged over, hands on her thighs, taking in air in gulps. “She can’t resist a runner. Nice pace,” she nodded. Amy kneeled down and petted the cinnamon-colored dog.

“Hi,” she said to the pup. “What’s your name?”

“Greta,” the woman said. “She’s Greta. I’m Danny.” She moved toward Amy and stuck out a strong calloused hand with clean short nails.

Amy rose and took it. “Amy.”

The woman stood up tall, a good half foot over Amy. She was about Amy’s age, but her skin glowed like the moon and her eyes were alive with life. She was absolute vitality itself.

Her hair fell down her shoulders in shiny waves like a woman out of a romance novel, but she wore tattered denim overalls and a heavy black and red flannel jacket.

“You just get here? Never seen you before,” she said.

Amy smiled shyly. “I guess I’m what you call a washashore,” she said. “I don’t really love that name… it feels so transient… like I could float away at any moment like a piece of driftwood.”

Danny shrugged. “You don’t have to subscribe to any label,” she said. “Everyone has to get here somehow. Besides, things that wash ashore can either wash back away or they can stay. Up to you.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” Amy said.

Danny looked at her now, with a brown-eyed gaze so powerful that Amy shrank. “You came here to figure it out, right?” she asked. “We get a lot of those. Sometimes I wish I could run somewhere and figure my shit out. But I’ve got a husband and a baby and business. I’m anchored as can be.”

‘That sounds really nice. To be held somewhere. I don’t…”

“Know where you belong? Ha,” smiled Danny. “I don’t have time for all those questions. And if I did, I think they would drive me insane.” But now she was sort of staring at Amy — her head tilted, her eyes narrowed.

“Wait a minute,” she said. “Aren’t you Jimmy Jackson’s wife?” Amy was so used to people not giving a shit about her that she’d forgotten how just one month ago her demise had been on the cover of a magazine. She breathed in sharp, his name made her throat seize. “Ex,” she said.

“Yeah, that’s right. I’m sorry. I heard about that. My husband, Ray, he’s a big fan of his.”

Amy looked out at the choppy white water. “He’s… he’s talented.”

Danny looked at her, her face softened. “If you’re into that. I like my bad-ass chick singers.”

Amy smiled. “I could stand to listen to some bad-ass chick singers. I used to.” When Amy was captain of the lacrosse team in high school, she used to pump the girls up with Alanis Morrisette and Mary J. Blige before games.

One day of sobriety, and she was remembering the rebel leader she’d been at 15 years old. She was looking up to the girl she used to be, before she felt she had to be someone else. Before she became overwhelmed with the need to please.

“Well, for now, how about hanging out with some bad-ass chicks?”

Besides seeing Leanne, getting gas, or going to Al’s, Amy hadn’t left the house since she landed on the island. “That sounds great,” she said.

“Tomorrow’s the full moon. We do a women’s potluck circle at my house. Bring something.”

“A moon circle? What is that? What do I need to do?”

“Just show up. And breathe,” Danny said.

“I think I can do that,” said Amy.

“I know you can,” said Danny.

There was silence, just the waves, and Amy wasn’t comfortable in silence.

“Well, thank you,” said Amy, her tone wrapping things up. “It was really nice to meet you.”

But Danny wasn’t done with her yet, she was still taking her in.

“You know what my momma says? She says, to get what you want in this life, you gotta know what you want in this life. She says, most people’s problem is, they don’t know what they want.

If you think about a ship crossing the ocean, and it doesn’t know where it’s going, it’s going to get lost, bang into a ton of ships, cause a ton of chaos and get wrecked. A ship that knows where it’s going, that’s different. It’s got a North Star to look to. It’s got direction. It’s got a goal.”

Amy was quiet.

Danny shrugged. “She’s a ship captain, so everything with her is sailing metaphors. But they work — for the most part. But maybe you’re just rebuilding your ship, and redirecting yourself, you know?”

Amy nodded. “But I don’t… I don’t know what I want anymore,” she shook her head. “I wanted him.”

“Ouch,” Danny said, her hand rushing over her flannel heart.

“I feel that for you. I had one of those. He hung the fucking moon. Then they leave, and your whole world goes dark. I vowed to never build my life around a man again. And then I met Ray. He’s my equal. They have to be. No one’s better than you, no one’s less than you.”

“I feel about as big as a grain of this sand,” said Amy, her toe grazing over the tiny wet rocks.

“You are,” said Danny. “And you’re also as big as the sky. As big as the entire universe. It’s how it works. We’re tiny but we’re powerful.”

Amy was silent. If she spoke, she’d cry.

“Endlessly powerful,” said Danny. “Hey,” she reached out, took Amy’s hand, it was warm and tough. She only held it for a second — a momentary jolt of intimacy, of oneness.

“You’re gonna be okay,” Danny said. “You’ve come to the right place.” She let Amy’s hand go with a rough, pull it together shake.

“It gets better. It’s not going to be like this forever. That’s the one thing you can count on in life, is that it changes. Everything changes. But I guess you learned that pretty good, huh? You probably don’t need some stranger on the beach telling you that.”

“No,” said Amy. “I do need a stranger on the beach telling me that,” she looked up at her.

“Thanks,” she said. If Amy was still in magazines, she would have put Danny on the cover. But Amy had a feeling this woman’s beauty was the last thing she thought about.

There was such little vanity about her, but somehow she was more beautiful, makeup-less in paint-splattered overalls, than any model Amy had ever seen.

“You’re… you’re beautiful,” Amy blurted out.

“Bah…” Danny said, shooing the words away. “That ain’t gonna last.” She pointed to her heart. “But this is. So that’s what I focus on.”

Amy was speechless.

“Hey listen, come over early tomorrow night? I could use the help setting up.”

Amy nodded. “That sounds nice.”

“619 Beechwood Road. Five o’clock.” Then she scooped up Greta. “Come on, you,” she said to the little dog, who looked at her adoringly. They turned in the sand. “See you tomorrow night, Amy.”

Amy just stood there watching them trot away, when Danny turned and called to her in the wind.

“Hey, Amy.”


“Don’t worry. We’re gonna get you sailing again.”

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’.


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
Sarah Durham Wilson