fiction

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

Leanne propped Amy up in bed with chamomile tea and a linen bag full of dried fruit.

She bustled over to the window to the right of the bed.

“You need some fresh air after a night in that contaminated hospital,” she said, cracking it open a sliver so the autumn air could seep in.

“Thank you,” Amy said, softening under Leanne’s care.

“And ain’t no music like the singing of those trees in the breeze,” Leanne said.

It was true, they had become Amy’s favorite sound, she had grown to love the soft feathery rustle of the leaves as the wind whispered through them.

It was like the leaves were the hair of the trees, and as the breeze swept through them, she could feel those fingers through her own hair. It relaxed her whole body, to feel that breeze. It was like as if when the earth exhaled, so did she.

“I’ve got two poor fellas to heal then I’ll be back,” Leanne said, tapping the foot of the bed with a turquoise-laden hand.

“You got everything you need?”

Amy sank back into the soft village of pillows and looked out the window.

“Yes…” she said. “I think knowing you literally can’t do anything is somehow really calming. Like there’s nothing I can do but be. Gosh, Leanne, I think I could say for the first time in my life, that I do, I do feel like I have everything I need.”

“Now we’re talkin’,” Leanne said. “This, all of this, right now, as it is, is far more than fuckin’ enough,” she said. “And knowing that is your ticket to paradise. Some wise fucker once said all of man’s problems are because he can’t sit alone in a room with himself. You’re ’bout to put to that test.”

Amy nodded. “Before mom got sick she used to say she felt like the whole world was swirling around her and she just wanted to stop for a moment and lie down in cool white sheets, in some quiet corner of the world. She said she’d be standing at a cocktail party or sitting in the office and just start to dream of cool white sheets.

She said she felt too guilty about resting in such a fast-paced world. Sometimes I wonder if she had let herself rest more, if she still would have gotten so sick.”

“Sounds like you’re onto something kid. Ignore the body’s whispers and one day it will start to shout. Best listen to what your body has to say. It’s as wise as the earth herself. It’s trying to tell you when you’re in trouble, when to slow down, it’s trying to tell you what you need. Smart folks listen in, not out.”

“Now sink on into those cool white sheets and remember what the doctor said. Your only job is to heal. It’s like the Universe is saying your only job is to let yourself be loved. Not that most folks find that easy. Most folks find it to be the hardest job in the world. It’s why everyone’s so sick. It’s why I never have a day off. Everyone’s so love-starved.

And love, love is what heals us, my dear.”

“That’s a really nice prescription,” Amy said. “Be. Loved. Doctor’s Orders.”

“Yup,” Leanne said.

“The secret to life. Okay, I’m out.”

Leanne strolled down the polished wood hall.

“Well, la di da,” she called from the living room. “You know I don’t really think I’ll mind hanging around this joint till you get your sea legs back,” she said.

“Always did wanna know how the other half lived.”

“Thanks again, Leanne,” Amy called back.

“Don’t go nowhere now,” Leanne laughed.

Amy gave in. “Hahaha,” she said.

“That’s the spirit. Gotta laugh at this shit. Or else you’ll cry. And who wants to do that on a beautiful day like today. That laughing will heal you faster than any pills.”

The door slammed and Amy was alone.

The unfinished books she had begun to collect; the Power of Now, collections of Rumi and Hafiz, Leanne’s borrowed books on the Goddesses, Awakening Shakti and Dancing in the Flames, sat now like dogs at her feet waiting to be touched. She had nothing else to do now, but to receive the wisdom.

And, well, write. Write that book. God, it wouldn’t go away. Once you knew you had to do something, you simply had to do it. It wouldn’t leave you alone. It seemed there was nothing to do but that thing you had to do.

But how?

She looked over at the bedside table, where the journal Danny had given her lay waiting, untouched. She picked it up, held the soft brown leather book in her hands. It spilled open, revealing its empty pages, like a life waiting to be lived.

Just… start. That was the only way to do anything, right? Was to just start it.

But she had never written about herself before. Only others. She had never started any writing with “I.” She could write a celebrity profile in her sleep, she’d start with a quote, or what they were wearing, or what they were having for lunch. She had never told her own story.

But she had told an older male editor once, she had told him of her dream of telling her story.

He had laughed.

“What story do you have to tell?” he had asked her.

“I mean, like a memoir,” she had said.

She figured the word memoir came from the word memory, and everyone had memories, right? And she figured it would be a good way to expunge some of the ghosts that rambled through the halls of her body.

He chided her like a child. He had told her she’d barely lived, what was there to write about? He told her wait until she was eighty, wait until she had actually done something with her life. Wait, he said, until she had something to say.

But what if there was no time to wait, or waste? But what if she didn’t last that long? And what if her story might mean something to someone else? What if, what if her story was actually enough?

He had said, “I don’t know, kid, your life seems like a battle to me. And maybe you might want to wait until some of that smoke on the battlefield clears, so, you can see a little better. So you can make some sense of things a bit.”

She looked out at the clear autumn sky, at the clean white sheets, at the white blank page. Things felt pretty clear. It felt as if she had surrendered, like the sheets she lay on were the white flag itself. Like the battle was over, and the smoke had cleared enough to see, that no one had lost, no one had won, it was just, over.

And maybe writing about that chapter of her life was as good a way as any to close it, before she started a new one. Just maybe, it was the only way to start a new one.

She felt a little wiser than she ever had in her life, like she might be able to offer something. It felt as if things were finally coalescing, like she had stopped and found a place of stillness. Leanne was right, she had been grounded. There could be no chasing men, no possibility even of thinking of leaving, no last night to recover from.

All the lessons now had time to stop and settle into the bones of her body. And maybe they hadn’t all been for nothing. Maybe they had been for this. Maybe everything  was always leading up to the very moment you were in.

She picked up the pen.

“Strike where you’ve been struck,” she heard Leanne say. Well, that would be her heart. She would write from there.

She placed the black pen to the white page.

“Start where you are,” she thought.

“Both my legs are broken,” she wrote. “They seem to just be an outer reflection of my inner brokenness.”

And then she wrote: “How did I get here?”

She thought of Carmen. 

“Well, if love is a wild bird, then I held it too tight. And it couldn’t breathe, and it couldn’t fly. If love is a wild bird, then I captured it, and I, I let it die.”

She paused. The heartbeat of her pen seemed to race.

And there and then she decided to do something radical, that she would tell the absolute truth. She would write as if she would never show anyone, like she was just sharing her secrets with God. She would empty every skeleton from her closet. She wouldn’t worry about characters’ names or getting anyone in trouble.

She wouldn’t worry about any of that stuff that might slow her down or censor her. She wouldn’t worry about what people thought, or what they would say, or if they would think her strange or sad or crazy. She would just write until she felt free, until there was nothing left to say.

She would write just as if she were telling a story to the angels, whom she felt hovered over her bed.

She wrote until she heard Leanne’s wheels on the gravel outside.

She heard Leanne rustling around making a fire, before she came in and helped Amy to the bathroom, and then back to bed. She disappeared again only to come back in bearing a tray of two bowls of soup and soft white buttered bread.

“Got you some nice fresh minestrone,” Leanne said.

“Did you make it?” Amy asked.

“Hell no,” Leanne said.

They sat together that night on the bed, sipping soup in silence.

When Leanne’s spoon clinked down for good, she looked down at the books at the end of the bed.

“How ’bout we read a little poetry?” she said, sifting through the titles, opening up Hafiz, rifling through the pages.

“‘Kay,” said Amy.

“Mmm, this is pretty,” she said.

“Ahem,” Leanne cleared her throat, lifting her reading glasses from her generous breast, resting them on the tip of her nose.

“The subject tonight is Love,” she read.

“And for tomorrow night as well,

As a matter of fact

I know of no better topic

For us to discuss

Until we all

Die.”

“Well, how about that? I sure think he’s right. What do you think?”

“You know what I think,” Amy said. “I think I don’t know anything about love,” Amy said.

“Oh, hush now with that story,” Leanne said, stroking her fingers through Amy’s hair.

“Stop trying to be something you already are. Which is love.”

“You’re right,” Amy said.

Lemme give you a hint,” Leanne said. “Everything you’re looking for is always right under your nose.”

“You really think that’s true?” Amy asked.

“Why would I say it if I didn’t?” Leanne said.

“I respect myself too much to lie.”

“Ah,” said Amy. “Well, you’re right here and I love you,” Amy said.

“You ain’t so bad yourself, kiddo,” Leanne mustered.

And then, even though it felt wrong, even though the intuition flashed red, Amy said it anyway:

“I feel like, you’re kinda like my mother,” she said in a voice as small as a doll’s. Leanne’s hand stopped mid hair- stroke. It was like a moment which had been floating happily in the air suddenly crashed to the ground and shattered like a  porcelain plate.

“Don’t say that,” she snapped.

Amy was quiet.

“I’m, I’m sorry,” she said.

Leanne sat up off the edge of the bed.

“I had a daughter. And you had a mother. I’m not your mother. And you ain’t my daughter.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” Amy said.

“You’re a grown woman. At least in body. The rest of you needs to catch up and learn how to care for yourself.  I’m just here because you need someone right now, and truth is,” her eyes hardened. “Truth is, kid,  you ain’t got nobody else. Your life is damn right empty. And that’s something you need to look at.” 

Leanne walked out the room, snapping the lights out as she passed through the door.

Amy sat there alone in the pitch black emptiness, looking at it.

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