fiction

The Transformation Of Amy Lunaro: Chapter Thirty Three. {source}

“Amy,” Todd said. “Amy,” he pressed. He shook her body alive in his arms.

She fluttered her eyes open, sprawled out in his plaid-covered arms, her head back heavy and loose like in the Pieta.

Todd’s, Alba’s and Sadie’s concerned faces came into focus above her.

“Oh God,” Amy said.

“Just me,” Todd said.

Sadie licked her anxiously and Amy scrunched her face under the kisses. “Thank you, Sadie,” she said.

“Are you okay?” Todd asked.

Alba pulled Sadie back by her leather collar and asked her to sit, and then she kissed her dark brown head. “Good job taking care of your Mommy, Sadie,” Alba told her, giving her another reaffirming pat, even though Sadie still looked on with wild, worried eyes. Amy reached out and softly stroked Sadie’s leg, and then looked up at Todd.

“I’m totally fine. Just totally embarrassed.”

Alba cleared her throat and stood up. “Well, I’ll let you two kids… sort this out. Glad you’re alright, Amy. Next time, why don’t you just come on in?”

“Thank you, Alba, I will.”

“Do you know what happened?” Todd asked. “Like, can you remember?”

She thought a minute. She looked back up at the mess of white stars in the sky. As beautiful as they were, she didn’t think swimming in them could feel half as good as lying in his arms. If there was a heaven, it was down here, not up there. If there was a heaven, she wanted it to feel like this.

She once heard a story where when you got to heaven, you could choose your favorite memory to live in for eternity. So far, hers was this. His fingers dug deep into her back and he breathed more heavily, she could feel it on her face. And, he could have put her down by now, she realized. Her pulse raced and she licked her lips.

She looked back into his eyes, and she smiled.

“I do remember,” she answered, “I mean, I wish I could black it out, but yes, I remember. I was standing on this crate…” She stopped for a minute. She almost said, “watching you dance, and you moved so strongly and surely that I was put in a trance, and I was pretending it was me you were dancing with,” but of course she didn’t.

Instead she just said, “Standing on the crate to look for Sadie. And then the crate just shattered.”

He nodded, but almost seemed disappointed by her answer. Once again they were keeping everything that really wanted to be said just under the surface, and it seemed as if the truth had a life of its own, like a person coming up for air, and they kept pressing its head back under the water.

But they could feel truth’s presence, urgent and breathing on their necks, longing to be acknowledged. He looked over his shoulder at the wooden wreckage. “It was kind of a long fall,” he said, “I’m just glad you’re okay.”

“You saved me,” she said, throwing the back of her hand dramatically to her forehead like a fairy tale princess.

Todd shook his head. “Lunaro, you know you don’t need saving.”

She blinked, registering what he’d said for a moment.

She sat up a little bit in his arms, struggling to use her abs. “Wait a minute,” she crinkled her forehead, “I hadn’t told you my last name.”

He suddenly turned slightly red, and he looked like a young boy, caught doing something he shouldn’t. Then he tried to play it cool. He was really good at playing it cool. He shrugged.

“Maybe someone told me,” he looked around, as if there was anything else going on outside the dance, but them, a man holding a woman in his arms who wasn’t his wife. No, this was surely the main event.

She smiled, teasing, “That,” she said, “or maybe you Googled me.”

He still wouldn’t look at her. He stared at Sadie who was now relaxed enough to be licking her undercarriage, one fox leg struck straight in the air.

“I guess I could have,” he said, “it’s not a big deal. I Google everyone. You… you know, in case you were a serial killer.”

“But what if I had just killed one person. Like, not serial. Like a one-time whoops.”

He laughed in spite of himself. “Shut up, Amy,” he said, jerking her playfully, “I’ll throw you off the roof.”

“Do it,” she told him, “break both my legs again.” Then she thought, but I feel so good I’d probably fly. 

“Well, did you Google me?” he asked.

“No,” she said, proudly,  even though it would have been the first thing she’d done if she had the wifi password, “I actually didn’t.” She snuggled deeper into his arms, pleased with herself, and as comfortable as if she were in her childhood bed.

He paused, then took a chance. “Why not?”

She smiled. “No wifi password.”

“Ah,” he nodded.

Then the truth came back up for air, and this time she let it breathe.

“And I didn’t want to know anymore about you after…”

“After what?”

“Well, after I found out that you were married.”

“Oh,” he said.

She bit her lip. They were quiet for a moment.

Then he said, “Yes, Yes, I am. Does that have to change things?”

“Change what, what is this?” Amy asked.

“Our friendship,” Todd said.

“Well, I should say it does,” she said. “You should tell a girl before…” Now it was her turn to stare at Sadie, who had finished her hygiene routine and stared back at Amy.

“Before what?” he asked.

She changed the subject. “Anyway, you were the one who Googled me,” she said. She fixated on a frayed black thread on the collar of his shirt.

“Why is that weird? You meet someone, and you Google them. Everyone does that.”

“No,” Amy shook her head. “That’s not true. You only Google people you’re… interested in.”

He turned red again.

“So you like me, that’s what it means,” she said. Then she had the courage to look him right in the eyes, which he then narrowed.

“Wait,” he said. “That feels like a big, semi-dangerous leap.”

She was quiet.

“You leapt,” Todd said again.

But Amy felt it in her body, where her wisdom lived.

She pursed her lips. “No,” she said, “it didn’t feel like a leap. I feel like, it’s just where we are.”

He suddenly dropped her on the ground. She landed on her tailbone that she had fractured in high school lacrosse.

“Ow,” she told him.

“I can’t be having this conversation, Amy.”

“I know, I know,” Amy said. Her forever-held, deep-abandoned exilement wound rose to the surface. She was bad, she didn’t belong, she was alone and cast out and forever looking for her home. “I don’t want to have it either,” she told him, walling back up.

“We can’t… do this,” he said.

Why do you think I didn’t want to go to this dumb dance?” Amy asked.

“We can still be friends,” he said.

I don’t think that ever works,” she grumbled, “look, I gotta go.”

“It does work,” he said, “you just made it weird.”

“Todd,” she sighed, “it always gets weird with men and women. No matter what. Sex… sex makes it weird.”

“It’s not about sex,” he said.

“Nice,” Amy said, “so you’re saying you’re not attracted to me.” Then she started to play with the dirt with her foot, as if she could draw a trapdoor to fall through.

“Actually, I’m saying it’s more than that,” he said softly, “it’s more than sex.”

“Okay,” Amy said, “Well, way to make it even weirder.”

“Let’s just unweird it,” he said. He dusted off his hands and held them in the air. “Done. See, it’s not weird anymore. We just deleted the last five minutes.”

“Can we delete the part where I fell off a crate?”

“No,” he said, “I want to keep that part.”

“Fine,” she brushed the dirt off the back of her jeans, “can I just hobble back to my cabin alone like a wounded animal now?” she asked.

“Lemme walk you.”

“No, it’s okay,” she told him, “come on, Sadie.” She made a half-assed attempt at a whistle, but it just sounded like “pffffft.”

“You suck at whistling,” Todd smiled.

She stifled a smile. “Don’t make me laugh,” she snapped.

“Please let me walk you,” he said.

“No,” she said firmly.

Then she glared at him. “Anyway, stop being so nice. That’s taking advantage. You just want me to like you. It gets you, a married man, flattery, and me, a single woman, nothing but embarrassment. I get the bum end of the deal.”

He crossed his arms sternly. She watched a muscle flex beneath the plaid and was mad at herself for noticing.

“Go on, git,” she told him, nodding toward the barn dance. “Isn’t that what you say on the farm?”

“Amy Lunaro. I’m not letting you quit our friendship. You quit everything else. I saw that, I read that about your life. Starts and stops. You don’t… finish. You don’t see things through.“

She blushed. She couldn’t imagine what else he came across in his sleuthing. So much for not telling him her story.

“So you’re not quitting this. We’re going to be friends.”

“You leave tomorrow. That’s dumb. We’re never going to see each other again.”

“We have the whole night,” he looked at his watch, “it’s nine thirty. Young. The night’s barely a teenager. Come on.”

Amy thought about it for a moment, and she knew she didn’t want to be his friend. It would be inauthentic. She would feel like a liar, trapped in a role she hated.

So she just said, “No.” Then she took off running across the field toward her cabin.

But he was fast, and she soon realized he had caught up with her, and he was running alongside her in his construction boots.

“High school track,” he said out of the corner of his mouth.

She was so surprised she started to laugh, and it echoed across the fields.She was laughing so hard, those big full-body laughs, that she didn’t see the branch that tripped her, and she fell down in the grass. Todd fell down next to her, laughing too, and Sadie joined them, flopping beside them.

It seemed like they were directly under the moon, she was flooding them with light so bright Amy had to squint to look over at him. He smiled way down into her soul.

“You’re relentless,” she said.

“Yep,” he said proudly.

“Do you always win?” she asked.

“I don’t have to,” he smiled that Cheshire Cat smile of his, “but I sure like to.”

He pushed her shoulder lightly. “But I’ve got some breaking news for you. You’re pretty fucking stubborn yourself.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere,” she said.

“I’ve already got you right where I want you,” he said.

She drew a line between them in the grass with her finger.

“Todd,” she said, “here’s the line. Stay on your side.”

“Roger that.”

Then he pulled a silver flask out of his jean pocket and held it, glinting, in the moon’s light.

“Here’s to our friendship, Amy Lunaro,” he said. She sighed, heavily. She hadn’t told him she and drinking weren’t a healthy combination. She hadn’t told him she seemed to do a hell of a lot better without it. She hadn’t told him in the morning it made her want to die. But even so, she had been pining for it, desperately.

So one goodbye drink, before he left for his life, before they never saw each other again, couldn’t hurt. She didn’t want to ruin the momentum of the moment.

He took a hearty swig of Bourbon, then passed it to her. Her heart thudded, she saw warning signs within, of yellow, orange, spinning lights, but she drank it anyway. And the first sip made her whole body warm and relaxed.

Then they laid there, under the stars, passing the flask and talking and laughing like best friends from a long and distant galaxy away, made of the same soul, who had finally been reunited after lifetimes apart.

And then, then she got really, really, really drunk.

And the last thing she remembered was him asking her, “Wait, you should tell a girl before…?”

“What?” Amy asked.

“What you said before by the barn. You said, ‘you should tell a girl before… what?’”

“Oh,” she looked at him like he held the key to the door she had been looking for all of her life. And she felt this was her chance, like when you’re at the ocean, and you’re either going to stay on the shore forever, or you’re going to finally dive into the water and lose yourself to something so much bigger than you. So she dove.

“Before… she falls in love with you,” she told him.

He was dead quiet for a moment and Amy could only hear his breath and her heart banging out of her chest.

Then he put his hands in the air limply, and did a weird, lurching forward movement. “Rawrr,” he said.

“What the hell was that?” Amy asked him.

“That was the cat leaving the bag,” he said.

Then she remembered telling him how dumb it was, while she laughed so hard she thought she’d split wide open.

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