"I really enjoyed myself tonight. I needed this. A lot." She added a shaky laugh at the end of her sentence.
"I'm glad I could be of assistance." He rested his hands, but her never removed his eyes from her face. He studied her glowing complexion under the moonlight before he asked the next question on his mind. "If you aren't doing anything next weekend, could we do this again? Not a date of course." She didn't have to dwell on the answer she would give. Ellyn couldn't help but enjoy his company. Maybe this was the distraction she needed to make it though all of the lingering problems in her life.
"I would love that Gabriel." The smile she had grown to loved appeared from underneath his shabby beard.
Before walking back to the driver side door, he planted a kiss on her cheek. Ellyn's eyes widened, and she placed her hand softly over the spot were Gabriel's once was. She didn't remove her hand from her spot until the 1969 Dodge Charger was no longer in sight. Even then, she stood there confused.
The night was still pretty young and her agenda was officially open. After all, there wasn't much to fill it with. Turning in place she looked around the ranch, and her eyes feel upon the barn. Suddenly, the events that had taken place earlier that day played out in her mind. The key.
She trotted towards the barn and headed towards the entrance of the stables.
Inside, neither of the horses was present. Like earlier, the odor had smacked her in the face full force. Mentally, she had expected it, but it had still upset her stomach a grave amount. Her nose finally got use to the smell, and she examined at the mess she had caused prior to her date.
Everything that had fallen off the shelf had been cleaned up and placed back in their rightful positions. Ellyn stepped closer, checking to see if the key had been missed by the person cleaning up. She resulted to getting on her knees and checking underneath the shelf. Her assumption was correct. The bronze key attached to the cracked plastic was lying underneath the shelf. Smiling, she grabbed it.
She looked down at the key, its purpose still a mystery.
"What are you doing?" A voice erupted from behind. Ellyn's heart could have easily jumped out of her mouth. All the normal functions that took place in her body had come to a screeching halt. It was like she had developed into a piece of toast. Lifeless and pale. She clamped her hand shut hand pressed her hand against her lower back as she turned around to acknowledge the person who had caught her red handed.
Isaiah and the demonized horse were standing at the entrance of the stables. Isaiah frowned in confusion and let the bridle of the horse fall into the air. He stepped out of the moonlight and into the light Ellyn was currently standing in. She still had not answered his demanding question. According to Viviane's orders, she wasn't supposed to, but tonight had to be an exception. After all, he had spoken to her first. In additon, it was quite difficult trying to focus on his question when he was standing so perfectly shirtless in front of her. She may have been emotionally damaged, but she was still a woman.
"What are you doing in here?" His voice, this time, was less sharp and angry. Ellyn's brain finally began to melt slightly.
"I-I was uh, uh looking for something."
"For?" Ellyn frantically looked around on the floor for something to complete her lie. At this point using a bottle horse shampoo would be out right ridiculous. Once again, her brain had sunk back into its frozen state.
"I thought I left something in here earlier..." she trailed off.
"Oh." Was all he mumbled as he turned back to face the horse. Ellyn didn't bother to move as she watched Isaiah store the horse in its designated area. "So how was your date tonight?" How did he know?
"Ok. How was your....casual outing?" As he shut the gate, he placed a lock on it and walked to where the moonlight greeted the darkness. He stood to where his full body could be seen with just the little light that was available in the stable. His arms curled into his chest as he awaited Ellyn's answer.
"You two go to Brandy's?" Ellyn nodded. Suddenly, a frown came over Isaiah's face. "You sign?" Ellyn nodded again. She still felt uneasiness when she spoke to him. It was like she was afraid Viviane would pop up at any given second and bust them for having a cordial conversation.
"How?" Ellyn opened her mouth to reply to his concern, but suddenly, her brain ordered her to stop. So quickly, she had been put into a position to where she had to reveal her past. Her stomach sank into her toes. Ellyn knew this moment would have come sooner or later, but now that it was staring her in the face, she was as frozen as a piece of ice. She went over the possible answers in her head, trying to debate whether to tell a lie or tell the truth.
"My father was deaf." She replied honestly. Isaiah's face sank lower once he received the answer.
"I'm sorry to hear that. He was deaf all your life?"
Ellyn nodded. "My mom taught me when I was still in diapers. I was signing before I spoke my first word." She looked away, immediately after she spoke her last word. Her face, too, began to sink into a slight depression. The laughter and the stories Ellyn and her father shared all were told with just the simple positioning of the hands. None of it was ever coming back. It made her want to tear up right in front of him, so she looked at the dirt to avoid him seeing her glassy eyes.
"Where is he now?"
"Dead." Before she could catch herself, the brute word had slid past her unforgiving lips.
"I'm sorry Ellyn—"
"Don't be. It was years ago." Ellyn instantly shook off the sadness, and popped her head back up.
Slightly, he nodded his head. "Well I have to wake up for work in the morning. Big day at the school tomorrow." This brought a look of confusion onto Ellyn's face.
"You're a teacher?"
He smiled. "A history teacher. I use to be...never mind." He shook his mind free of the previous thought. Unlike he hoped, Ellyn caught that. "I better get going." He turned on his heels and began to creep towards the entrance of the stables.
Suddenly, he stopped walking and turned over his shoulder to face Ellyn.
"Were you planning on sleeping in here tonight? I don't think ole' Heaven needs any company." He chuckled at his own joke. His whole body turned to face her, and for the first time since he walked in, he really looked at her. "What do you have behind your back?" Her mouth opened to blurt out the first believable lie she had to offer, but all that came out was hot air. Ellyn had suddenly run out of lies. With her brain back into its frozen state, she couldn't brew up anything off top of her head. So, she stood there pretending he had not asked such a question. Seconds passed and nothing was said.
"What are you hiding?"
"Nothing." She finally mumbled.
When he didn't get the response he was looking for, Isaiah took three long strides toward Ellyn. Her brain wasn't able to register this. She backed up against the shelf and every hair on her body became erect. She couldn't breathe. He was so close and demanding that her fight-or-flight response was suddenly no use to her. His broad shoulders blocked the moonlight that slowly crept into the stables. Isaiah towered over her, eyes burning with confusion. And his lack of clothing wasn't making any of this better.
To Ellyn, he didn't look angry, just awfully bemused. She fought the urge to look up into his stoic eyes, but it was useless. As he tried to peer around her, she moved disallowing him to see the undisclosed object that she kept behind her back. He tried to go the other way, but she repeated the same motion. They played this game of cat and mouse for a few seconds before they both began to chuckle with laughter. The overbearing awkwardness was suddenly amusing to them.
"Just give it up!" He said between smiles.
"I don't have anything!" She nearly yelled, but hilarity was still clear in her voice. He tried to move right again, but like before she had stopped him. It was something about this time that was different. He was slightly closer than before and the aroma radiating from his skin was much different. Their eyes melted together like two perfect pieces of a puzzle. Everything slowed down. Their playful moment suddenly turned into an emotion filled staring contest. She was so caught up in this intense moment that she didn't seem to notice his hand, slowly moving toward her clamped fingers. Once he was inches away from the prize, he quickly snatched the key from her hand and stumbled back a few feet. Ellyn stood there in awe as he watched the ecstatic man walk away with the key. Did he just hypnotize me?
He looked down at his hand and his smile vanished. It was replaced with another confused and unsure look. His hand moved the key around, as if it would help reveal the memory behind it.
"Where did you find this?" He mumbled under his breath. It took Ellyn a second to actually understand what Isaiah said. She slowly moved her arm in the direction of the box of the box on top of the shelf. Glancing behind her, she noticed that whoever placed the box on the top of the shelf had turned the box in a different direction. This error allowed the side of the box to reveal a name written in cursive. Ellyn stared closer and allowed her brain to absorb the name. As she turned around to speak, she was met with the sight of Isaiah's back storming off towards the front of the barn.
"I know you want to know just as much as I do, so don't just stand there."
The tension inside of the truck was uneasy and extremely uncomfortable. Ellyn held her breath a few times to make sure her body did not to move as much. The excessive awkwardness was literally leaving her breathless. Every few seconds, she would look out of her peripheral, catching a glimpse of the statue driving the car.
The look on Isaiah's face would have caused anyone to be scared still. His posture was slanted, yet still gave off a livid sense. The blank stare never left the road and only a single hand gripped the top of the round steering wheel. The only sign that he was still alive was his shallow breathing. His eyes were empty and shaded with confusion. So many questions, concerns and pleas were burning in his eyes. The drive was no more than twenty minutes. They arrived at a set of garages underneath the glow of a single street light. The area was surrounded by a crowd of trees and the location couldn't help but give off an eerie feeling. The lot was deserted for the night.
The entrance was blocked off by a gate that required an approved code in order to receive access. Isaiah retrieved the key, along with its synthetic attachment, and stared at the number on the defected piece of plastic. Letting down the window, he typed in the code and the chain linked fence slowly began to crawl open. He pressed the gas pedal and entered the lot.
The car came to a calm stop into a parking spot adjacent from the garages. The driver side door swung open with no words spoken and no questions asked. Before Ellyn had a chance to undo her seat belt, Isaiah was already out the car walking down the embankment. Ellyn climbed from her seat and chased after him.
"Would you like to explain to me why we are at some random ass storage place?" She cried out after him. He didn't even flinch at the sound of her voice. "Isaiah!"
Running down toward the man, she noticed that he had come to a stop in front of a specific garage door. Above the door were the numbers that perfectly matched those on the plastic portion of the key. She waited to him to make a move, but he did nothing. Soon, Ellyn realized that she was playing the waiting game with him. Seconds turned into minutes. Very long and irritating minutes.
"Are you just going to stand there?" Ellyn now found herself mimicking Isaiah. Her words seemed to wake him up from some disoriented daze.
"Sorry." He mumbled, finally saying something after forty-five minutes. Moving closer to the garage, he placed the key into the keyhole. After turning it until it unlocked, the garage automatically roared to life. As it opened, everything became still as the mystery behind the key was finally revealed.
Both of their mouths were gaping open. The sight in front of them was something they neither predicated nor expected.
Gifts upon gifts upon gifts, lined the walls of the garage. Among the gifts was a navy blue sports care with a life size bow sitting on the car. There was also a motorbike, an untouched guitar and a piano. All of the gifts had a tag attached to it. She was too far away to acknowledge what the writing on the tag said, but it was clear that someone was meant to receive every last one of these presents. She stared into the garage, still admiring the gifts, and suddenly, Isaiah began to stumble towards the entrance. He went to each gift, glancing at the tags and touching the presents that were too large to wrap. He saved the piano for last and looked at the tag attached to it. His legs stopped and his face melted into a deeper shock. Ellyn suddenly grew worried and took a few steps closer. Once her body was in the light of the garage, she, too, looked at the tags. Almost every tag she looked at had the same exact title on it.
This was the third time she had seen and heard this name. Who the hell was this Micah person?
Her train of thought was suddenly cut off by a soft melody coming from behind her. She swung her body around to find Isaiah in front of the piano in his own musical world. His fingers flowed along the key board, producing a sound so breathtakingly beautiful that it left Ellyn utterly speechless. She found herself slowly gravitating toward the piano and eventually joined Isaiah on the bench he was sitting on. She watched as he studied the keyboard carefully, lingering over each note, making the flow of the song more than perfect.
Abruptly, the music ceased. The calming tune was suddenly replaced with soft sobs. At first, Ellyn thought it was herself producing such aggressive snivels, but she came to realize it was Isaiah. He was the last person she expected to have any type of emotional breakdown. She didn't know whether to be shocked or soothe the damaged soul beside her.
Isaiah's painful cries brought Ellyn to tears herself. Going with the latter, she wrapped her arm around one of his vibrating shoulders and placed her damp cheek on the other one. She didn't know the reason behind the tears, but she knew that each drop of water contained a small, painful tale, waiting to be freed.
SORRY FOR THE WAIT! SCHOOL IS KILLING ME AND WITH WORK ON TOP OF THAT I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO TIME FOR THIS! I CAN'T GIVE A PREDICTION ON EXACTLY WHEN THE NEXT CHAPTER WILL BE OUT BUT HOPEFULLY WHEN THINGS CALM DOWN ILL BE ABLE TO WORK ON IT! SO GIVE ME TIME AND BE PATIENT WITH ME AND MY GAME PROBLEMS :/ THANKS TO ALL THAT HAVE STAYED WITH ME SINCE DAY ONE AND HELPED ME WITH MY CC PROBLEMS! SHOUT OUT TO MY REBELS!!