Ellyn slowly shut the large blue dresser that had been hers for the past month in the half. She would miss rumbling though the hand me down clothes, trying to find something decent to wear to get through the day. She ran her hand across the old, peeling paint and the cold metal handles that would give her trouble on the cold days.
Closing those doors felt like she was finally closing a chapter in her life and finally moving forward to the future. It was time to leave this quaint, blue room behind and trade it in for a gorgeous beach house on the south side of town.
"Got everything?" Gabriel appeared from behind only using his voice. The more he was around Ellyn the less he used his signs. He felt beauty should be addressed with words and not hand movements, despite his disability.
Ellyn bit down on her lip and nodded her head as the man behind her pressed his lips onto her shoulder and then onto her hair. She knew they were something at this point, but whatever it was it was merely more than friends. The blonde grabbed onto the hands that were wrapped around her waist and went back to that perfect night earlier that week.
"Hey you got a minute?" Gabriel, so calmly, placed a few knocks on the open door of her room.
Ellyn looked up from the magazine she had selected from Shirley's collection, and slightly tilted her head to the side. The once hat loving man, hardly ever wore a hat when he came around Ellyn. His hair was crowing his face as usual and behind it was a handsome smirk that gave her butterflies. "Yeah what's up?" she quickly signed to him.
"I want to show you something." This time he didn't bother to speak with his movements. "Come on." He paused and looked at her closely as if an important thought ran across his radar. "As a matter of fact..." He signed and inched closer to the woman on the bed.
"Is this really necessary?" The blonde woman wiggled, while she signed, in the man's arms as they exited the bounds of the house. "Doctor's orders. You aren't supposed to be on your feet. Bed rest remember?" Ellyn rolled her eyes and crossed her arms as the man led her to the unknown.
Nothing was said for the remainder of the trip as they rounded the side of the house, went through a few trees and eventually, appeared in front of a tall grey building at the back of the ranch.
"What is this?" Her face formed into a temporary frown.
Once they entered the building, all vision had decreased. The only light came from the moon which was only coming down onto the stair well in the middle of the bottom room. Cob webs, dust particles and a few rakes and shovels were lounging around on the floor. Gabriel stepped over the crawling spiders and insects that were scattering across the dark concrete floor. Suddenly Ellyn was grateful that she was in his arms.
Floor by floor, they went up each step in silence. She would look over at him, after examining her surroundings, and notice a small smile at the corner of his mouth. What is he so happy about?
Ellyn could feel the end near once the pace of the man below her began to slow down. She looked up and noticed that there were no more stair cases above them. They finally reached the top.
"We're here, well a little." He looked around the floor, checking for broken glass and other hazardous objects before her put her down. He stepped back, looking at Ellyn's reaction.
She looked around, slightly confused. "This is what you wanted to show me? An empty room four stories high?" She chuckled and crossed her arms after they were done signing.
"No." Gabriel shook his head. "I said a little." He grabbed her hand and led her towards a door that Ellyn didn't notice until he pointed it out. It was grungy and old, as if it hadn't been touched or cleaned in years. The door knob was hard to make out between the grunge and the darkness.
He let go of her hand and removed the hinges that held the door in its place. Ellyn stepped back and watched the man remove each screw carefully and toss it on the floor. Suddenly, he placed his hands on each side of the door, and after a little bit of squirming, the door was replaced with a massive hole.
An incoming breeze rushed into the room and swept Ellyn's hair off of her shoulders. The air was so crisp and cold, but yet it felt so amazing. She breathed in and closed her eyes, accepting the feeling, until it was suddenly over.
She opened her eyes, to find Gabriel standing in front of the massive hole with one hand out offering her to come out with him. Ellyn looked past where he stood and located a set of rails, which indicated that following him out there wasn’t a fool move. Taking his hand, she took one step after the other until her body was no longer consumed with the darkness of the room; she was now overtaken by the darkness of the outside.
One could see everything up here. The countless forest lining the plains of the small down and even the ocean line where the town's limits stopped.
She walked along the side of balcony to get more of what the view had to offer. Into the horizon, she could see the many lights and tall buildings all cluttered together. Suddenly, she felt sick and it wasn't from the baby.
It had hit her how close she was to Vaughn. He and the hell he brought along with him were no more than ten miles away from where she stood. A shiver went up her spine, but she was not at all cold.
"Are you cold?" Gabriel had followed her around the balcony, closely studying her expressions once again. He placed his hand on her shoulder and began to rub it to make it warm.
Ellyn broke away from the amazing scenery and turned to face the kind, loving and gentle man that had thought enough of her to share something like this with her. "This is so beautiful Gabriel."
"I come up here all the time to get away from everything. No one is up here to judge you, or laugh at you when you cry. Just the air." He took a moment to breathe in the swarming breeze that surrounded him. "That’s what I love the most about this place. It's like the air comes and blows away all of my problems."
Looking out into the view, he carelessly leaned up against the rail. Ellyn cautiously followed. He took a few more deep breaths, his eyes remaining on the lights and the ocean line. Neither of them said anything. The view spoke for itself.
Suddenly, Gabriel lifted his finger and pointed out in the direction of the ocean. "You see that ocean line with the houses lining the shore?" He turned his head to see if she could. Once she nodded, he continued. "That’s where I live."
"Really? I took you to be more of a country boy." She only used one hand to sign.
He chuckled. "I am, at heart." Laughter was still apparent in his rough voice. "I hated being stuck in the small town. I wanted to get out of the forest and see the light that was on the other end of those trees. So I found a beach house right after high school and I've been there ever since."
"So why are you always here at the ranch? That seems like a pretty far drive to make every day."
Gabriel shrugged. "That may be my house over there, but this, this is my home." Ellyn gave an understanding nod and returned her focus to the view. "Actually, that’s kind of what I wanted to talk to you about."
Ellyn's head quickly snapped towards him. "What do you mean?"
He rose from his leaning position against the rail and faced the girl next to him. He inhaled and shook his sweaty hands free of his nerves before he continued. "Well I was thinking, you know with the baby coming and everything, that you would need some more space and the guest bed room is no place to raise a kid, you know. I could be there all the time to help and—" He exhaled sharply and continued signing. "And I have an extra room and I was just wondering, I mean as long as you're ok with it, that, if you want, you could stay...with...me."
Ellyn smiled. She felt as if Gabriel had gone in and sown her uneven heart together and watched it explode with joy at the same time. This man was willing to take care of a woman he knew nothing about and a child he didn't father. The part that enlightened Ellyn the most was that he wasn't looking for anything in return. Her hormones were screaming for her to cry, but she knew that would be too much over a caring gesture.
So, she grabbed his hand and looked up into his worried eyes. "I would love to come and stay with you, Gabe. That would mean the world to me."
"Really?" His once nervous expression, shifted into violent joy.
Ellyn simply nodded and suddenly, she was dosed with a pair of arms. Joy and many other positive emotions overcame Gabriel and he quickly wrapped her in an embrace. "You just made me the happiest man in the world. I won't disappoint you Ellyn!"
She smiled into his shoulder. "I know."
He placed her feet back onto the balcony, but he didn't let go of her waist. Their eyes fell into one another. Each twinkle telling a different story. There were no words spoken by mouth, only the emotions being reflected by the moon light. Ellyn kept her hands on the front of Gabriel's leather jacket, but they never remained in a single position. They slowly rose to his face and explored his hair, cheek bones and eventually the back of his neck.
"I...I really want to kiss you." Gabriel whispered, his voice shaky with fear.
Ellyn sucked in her breath. This would be her first real kiss. A kiss that promised something other than pain and torture. This kiss would mean something. Although she couldn't figure out these feelings that made her feel so comfortable in his presence, she liked them. At that moment, she couldn't think of anyone better than Gabriel to be her first real kiss. Was I ready for this?
"Then do it." Ellyn smiled, answering her own question.