For Mi Papa… Kiss Kiss
Celeste gave Mr. Spencer a hug of appreciation for all that he has done for her before Charles got into this auto and drove off. “Please let me at least take you out for dinner to celebrate your happy day,” he asked her one more time to agree. “No thank you sir, I appreciate ya asking me though.” She is happy to complete her studies but not overly excited like most graduates would feel at this stage in their lives as she turned down her teacher’s offer. Charles didn’t want to leave the sad young lady alone, but there was no way she would let him stick around, so he said his goodbyes and took off with a smile on his lips. While driving down the road to return to his rental home a plan formed into his head regarding how to trick Celeste into celebrating her completion of school, and when he pulled into his driveway he immediately started arranging his plan of attack. There would be no way she could refuse or get out of what his magical plans were for the cowgirl.
Several lonely days passed by when the introvert Celeste is sitting down by a peaceful lazy creek pondering about what she wanted to do with her life. She reaches into her light weight coat pocket and pulled out the unread letter from her grandfather. Immediately a voice inside her head begged her to read the contents. It’s been a year since she evaded the spirit guide who plagued her every waking moment to read the note she carried on her body on a daily basis. Today as she laid down on her back on the forest floor to view the change of colors of the changing leaves, she is bull dosed down with warnings. The cowgirl hears the demanding order loud and clear, “Open me,” instead of listening to the request, she holds on to the envelope. “No, leave me alone. I will open the damn letter when I get good and ready,” she finally spoke out to the spirit, and shoves the letter back into its hiding place close to her heart.
Instantly she feels a dangerous presence enter the woods and changes the windless peaceful forest into multiple angry voices demanding her to open and read the letter, she sits up cross legged and gets pissed off. It takes her a few seconds before she pulls the letter out of its hiding place in her jacket. She rips the envelope open and unfolds the letter to shake it in front of the forest, “Okay ya happy now!” she spits out with venom. After a year Celeste finally begins to read the letter out loud.
If you are reading this letter than I am sure that you are alone and I have passed away from this earth. Please heart forgive me for not being able to live my life out with you lassie, but God has bigger plans for me. I know you are missing me, and have drawn into a lonely isolated place within your soul. You are not alone Celeste, I will always be with you for eternity. The lord gave you to me when I had lost all others in my life, just as you have lost all in your life making us kindred spirits. You have been my joy from the day you were born and I’m proud of the lady you have become; but I want you to be strong and know that I have left all my belongings to you. The house and all my possessions are your’s to live in and do whatever you like to be safe from worry that you aren’t homeless or penniless. As for your father, I am ashamed at myself for never letting you know that I spoke to him. I told him he was no longer to be part of your life until he got himself together; however, he was drunk when I talked to him and lost in his world, so the only way I could protect you from his ugly harm is not allowing him to see you. I hope you can forgive me my little Indian girl.
I have paid Mr. Spencer in full to complete your education, please don’t be hard on him while you struggle to gain control on what you have been dealt with in life. I had to write this letter because I am dying of heart problems little one, and there is nothing you or I could do to repair what is broken. So I am sorry for not worrying you when the time came for me to meet my maker. Remember do not waste your breath on things you can’t change, but change the things you can to make a better life for yourself. You will be everything most men dream of in a lady, but soften your heart dear child, and love will find you some way if you allow it. Let the light of the sunshine heal your wounded soul, and then life won’t feel so repulsive. I love you Celeste; don’t be angry with our Lord God, as I know you have turned to the Great Spirit in your Cherokee heritage for guidance, it is good to have both belief’s in your heart to rely on. There is a Scottish saying I leave you with daughter, May God Bless you to live as long as you want to; and want to as long as you live. I ask you to remember to love yourself and all around you. Henry
Celeste couldn’t hold back her tears as she quickly crumbled the letter up into a ball and then held the paper so tight in her fist as she screamed out her loss to the forest. Her yells echoes out in the woods as she pounded her fist on a rock, and then immediately got herself under control before saying softly, “Grandfather I love you for all that you have given me, for the endless love and understanding you have bestowed upon my life. I will never be the same without you my father, my savior, my hope in life. It is I who thank you for giving me love, wisdom, an earth lessons when I had none to guide me in life. Grandfather I Love you, for all that you have given me in life, and companionship. I will never be the same without you my father nor will I get over losing you. Thank you papa for giving me the honor in loving you, your teachings, and wisdom will never be forgotten. Your presence will never be gone it still lingers here all around me and it won’t leave me alone, so for now I say farewell mi papa,” she finished her statement and stood up from the dirt ground to let the ball of paper drop from her fist into the stream, and watched the paper float away from her with the slow flow of water moving southbound.
Between the nagging of Mr. Spencer and the bellowing of the spiritual voices inside her tormented brain, Celeste decided to kiss everyone’s rear-end to keep the peace. For over a year and a half, the cowgirl became a book worm full of knowledge as Mr. Spencer diligently schooled the half-breed to graduation. Her personality is sharp, straight to the point, but lacks the glorious sunshine that usually radiated out of the girls soul. It has been too long of a time since Mr. Spencer can last remembered seeing the girl smile as he views his student testing. Celeste sat at the kitchen table taking her final exams to graduate this year seriously. The letter no longer sat at the center of the table, and Mr. Spencer didn’t instigate if she read it or not. He views the beautiful half-breed that barrels him over with her intelligent mind every time he gazes into her sad strange eyes.
At the age of seventeen in a half, Celeste’s artistry blooms to perfection. She is not the girly girls who likes to be pampered or primps into a mirror to paint her skin. She is simple in worldly possessions, but someone to take a double glance at her exotic earthy style. Celeste decided a while back to begin to make her own clothing out of animal skins just because she hated to go into a town, and since she jumped up to the height of six feet; it was hard for her to find clothing that fit her long legs, except for cowboy boots. She loved the soft deerskin leather to work her hand stitching magic creating tops and shorts for comfort, and bikini’s for the hot summer days. Even at an early age she never watched TV and found reading at night a pass time escape from the world; but lately she found herself sewing her clothing with satisfaction in peace and quiet listening to every clock on the wall tick tocking it’s time away. Her waist length unruly blonde hair is groomed into a long braid with leather strings behind her back with a cowboy hat upon her head she received from a cowboy at a rodeo. She is thankful the hat hid her gold and green eyes from Mr. Spencer’s nervous energy. It takes her a few more moments to check her multiple pages of the test before passing the work towards her teacher. “You sure Celeste; because if I pick up my red pen it’s final,” Mr. Spencer states in a firm tone. She stands up from the round table, and turns her back on him for the grading to commence.
Mr. Spencer is use to her silent treatments, and begins his examination upon her papers. It takes him a few hours to complete the grading after a whole pot of coffee Celeste made for the scholar. Celeste is stitching a pair of buckskin pants when Mr. Spencer steps into the living room where she retreated to keep herself busy. The teacher sits on the leather black sofa and said in a sad voice, “I’m sorry Celeste to tell you my assessment,” he waited to get her attention with her vision. Celeste laid the soft fabric down on her lap and gives Mr. Spencer a emotionless sad face. “It seems you are officially graduated from high school with a grade average of four point zero, which means you will no longer need my services unless…well I don’t know.” Celeste gives Mr. Spencer who is blushing a soft gaze, and nods her head with a small smile upon her lips. She desperately wanted to laugh a little at how he tried to be serious while joking with her, but she didn’t want him to see her smile again nor anyone else for that matter.
Celeste stands up and places her pants on the rocking chair, and turns to Mr. Spencer. “I thank you sir for pushing me to succeed, and for being there when I had no one to encourage me. Also, for letting me learn in a safe environment and understanding me as a person. It is I who am grateful my grandfather found you.” Mr. Spencer sat mesmerized by her smooth silky voice, he bumps himself out of his thoughts and stands up to her. He is afraid to ask her what he had spinning round in his mind as he finds their eyes connecting for the first time in a long time. “I…I,” Celeste scrunched up her brows in thought. “Yes, Charles” she encouraged the handsome scholar by having the gall to address him by first name in her sultry slow reply. Mr. Spencer became nervous under her watchful orbs and more shocked she had used his first name for the first time since they’ve been together. In fact, lately Mr. Spencer felt a deep rutted pull in his gut to investigate his feelings for Celeste sense every time he came near the cowgirl, her earthy allure would overwhelm him to senselessness. Not only did he feel her essence of womanhood rising each day, Charles could feel an unexplained power laying dormant deep in her soul that has yet to be set forth upon the world. He shakes his head and thinks he recovered his dumbness when he blurted out like a school boy nervous to ask a girl out for a date.
“Will you go out with me, I am mean….grrrr…I’m no good at this and for some reason you are making me tongue tie.” Mr. Spencer suddenly became wormy with nerves. Celeste was about to answer when Charles cut her off, “I mean just dinner to celebrate your graduation,” Charles sweated at the brow trying to explain to Celeste. “No sir, but I thank ya kindly. There’s no need to celebrate, except I do have a bottle of whiskey Henry use to drink if ya like a swig.” He nodded yes and followed the retreating cowgirl into the kitchen where she poured them both the fire liquor. “Celeste I’m impress you haven’t taken up to drinking alcohol, will this be your first time drinking,” he asked with care. “Yes, I haven’t had the nerve to get all liquored up, nor do I care too sir, now drink up and here’s to spit in you’re eyes.” She raised her shot glass to Mr. Spencer who busted up with laughter hearing her solute and took his shot glass off the table to join in the toast grinning so heavenly. Celeste finally couldn’t hold her lips any longer from moving, she too broke out in a smile, but not a laugh. “Where on earth did you hear that statement,” he asked cheerfully. Celeste returned back in time in Alabama when Ernie was her best friend in the woods who said the funny statement many times while raising his glass up to the heavens of moonshine to taste the pure brew of the alcohol substance. “An old mountain man use to make the comment,” was all she informed him before she brought the liquid to her lips and took a sip with Charles following suit.
Every day Mr. Spencer would show up to find Celeste gone. He had a horrible rot gut feeling as he sat on the front porch waiting for her return she would disappear into the forest any day away from mankind, but for now he knew she had to return to feed the livestock on her farm. To him she’s an excellent woodsman and would have no problem living her life out in solitude. Henry trained the girl well to survive without the need of stores or materialistic goods. Several times Mr. Spencer had witness Celeste gutting an animal she and Henry had killed for their winter supplies. He smiles at the thought of using the dead animal for Biology education, and remembers her being quick with a blade while becoming a sponge in identifying animal anatomy to perfection. Not only did she hunt without fear, she also taught him a thing or two about curing hides from the animals. He marveled at the fact the young girl was brilliant with her hands, and living in the old ways of life staying humble as a honey bee. It is almost eight in the hot muggy evening when Celeste materialized out of the woods on foot carrying a dead rabbit she had killed, Mr. Spencer stands an approaches his student.
“About time you returned Celeste I’ve been waiting for a while to talk to you,” Mr. Spencer said while approaching the cowgirl with a smile on his face. Celeste didn’t smile at her teacher in fact, for several weeks after her melt down she kept her lips tight and went on with her daily chores as usual; however, she drew more inside herself as a hermit in life and preferred her isolated world. He followed behind the cowgirl and watches in a blink of an eye Celeste skinning her kill with one fast cut to the gut and with a quick jerk downwards strips the hide from its body. “Are you going to talk to me Celeste?” The cowgirl doesn’t reply as she picks up her kill and heads to the house with Mr. Spencer following. When they step inside the kitchen, Mr. Spencer noticed the letter from Henry is still sitting in the center of the table with his smoking pipe on top of the letter unread. He realizes the death of Henry affected the cowgirl’s spirit deeply as she walks around the house lifeless and without purpose. He sits down at the round table and states, “Time to begin our studies Celeste, you ready to start your lessons?” It takes her a few moments to answer while she pours two glasses of lemonade and sits his glass in front of him saying, “No, I just want to be left alone as I told ya before.” Mr. Spencer takes a sip of his lemonade and puckers up his lips in sour dislike, but he doesn’t mention how horrible the drink tastes. He tries to speak and finds it hard to make a comment due to the sour taste in his mouth. Celeste gives him a dangerous glare daring him to make a comment, but Mr. Spencer is a trooper and holds his tongue. She slides a bowl of sugar in his direction, and turns her back on him to prepare her dinner.
Mr. Spencer watches the movement of Celeste’s curvy backside prepping her dinner in her daisy duke shorts and yellow t-shirt. Since the last time he saw her she was developing quickly than usual for a teenage girl. Her breast is plump and sexy in her tight fitting t-shirt, and finds his pecker is growing with want as he views her long golden color muscular legs move in time. Celeste feels Mr. Spencer’s energy checking her out from her backside, she turns her attention on Mr. Spencer who suddenly turned beet red with her perlustration, she flips her head back to her task. He clears his throat from having wicked thoughts about his student and speaks out carefully. “Are you ever going to read your grandfather’s note Celeste.” After silence moments of prepping her rabbit to bake in the oven she turns her attention on the scholar, “No it means nothing to me. What is done is done and I ain’t needing the validation of what’s in the letter.” Mr. Spencer realizes that she has become worse since he had seen her weeks ago. “Sit down please Celeste and let’s talk about you’re education,” he offered her so he could change the lust he felt in his loins.
Celeste takes a seat across the table and stares at the genius. “You can’t keep going like this girl, you must complete you’re schooling and your grandfather,” she cut him off immediately. “My grandfather is not here anymore Mr. Spencer to control me, so take the money and run dude.” He begins to get angry and barks out, “Stop wallowing in self pity girl and get you’re shit together. If I have to spend the night and many more to show you I am not leaving, I will.” She ponders on his words and states, “Fine whatever!” He knows she is saying what he wants to hear, but feels she is going to run the minute he leaves her again and maybe for good. “Can I have your word on this Celeste, or do I need to tie you up to ensure your going to go through with it?” He sees Celeste’s lips wanting to make a comment, but instead she nods yes with her head. Mr. Spencer knows her word is solid, he stands to leave and states firmly, “I will see you in two days, no and’s or but’s is that a deal?” She stands up with both hands on the table ready to lunge at the man. Mr Spencer doesn’t wait and takes his leave of her home in fear she was going to open a can of whooping on him if he didn’t leave her home and now; nevertheless, he knew she honored the code of her unspoken words, and smiled knowing it was only time before he broke down her barrier of destruction.
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In slow motion Celeste strips off her dirty clothes, and sinks her stinky body in the bath tub. She sits motionless watching the water fill up in the tub and shuts the water off when done. She begins to whimper softly her tears of fears regarding her papa’s death. The cowgirl whispers out, “I could have saved ya my father. Stupid me, why didn’t I call the doctor instead of listening to ya?” She covers her face with her hands and lets her sorrow spew forth. It takes the half-breed over an hour to wash her dirty body clean after her melt down. Her hair was another story when she touched the long curly golden mop. She feels the clumps of matted hair and begins the long process of washing the mass. Celeste reached for the conditioner and empties the contents of the gooey substance in her hair to try and de-tangle the mess. She waits for ten minutes and rinses it out of her head. “Come on Celeste I’m waiting for you,” Mr. Spencer knocked on the door with his soft request.
Celeste wraps her towel around her body and grabs another for her hair. When said and done she opened the door and tipped toed to her father’s room. Since she had no clean clothes and didn’t want to go to her bedroom to let Mr. Spencer see her in a towel, she pulled out Henry’s dresser drawer where he kept his large t-shirts and boxer shorts. She spots a pretty wrapped yellow box and softly touches the red ribbon binding. “Papa,” she whispers out and takes the small box out of his drawer. Celeste pulls the ribbon free and carefully opens the box. Inside is a beautiful gold necklace with a horse shoe, she lets the tears fall in gratitude her father hadn’t forget her birthday. Celeste sits on the edge of Henry’s bed to study the necklace. Mr. Spencer calls out again clicking her out of thinking about her papa. She gently places the gift back in the box, and puts it back in the drawer for a later time.
Celeste puts on her father’s shirt and shorts and is ready to leave his room when she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Dark circles surrounded her two different color eyes, her cheeks were sunken in from lack of nutrition, and lips were cracked and dry. She pulls off the towel from her head and realizes what a mess her hair has become without the care of brushing and combing. Instantly she looks away from the mirror and puts her towel back on her head, and leaves Henry’s bedroom to join Mr. Spencer in the kitchen.
“About time, I was wondering if I had to come in there and drag your rear-end out. You look more presentable Celeste, sit down and have a bite to eat we have lots to talk about.” Celeste obeyed without words and sat at the round table. “Eat girl so you can process everything I am about to say to you,” he quietly offered. Celeste didn’t pick up the fork, she sat without moving and stared at the letter from Henry in the middle of the table. Mr. Spencer places a glass of lemonade in front of Celeste, and sits down across the table from her. The air is thick with unspoken words while Mr. Spencer eats and Celeste stares into abyss. He decides to plunge forward and speaks to Celeste with care.
“You’re grandfather wrote me a note Celeste, he has paid me in full to educate you until graduation. Since you’re brilliant in your studies if we work throughout the year you could finish before you turn eighteen.” Celeste doesn’t register Mr. Spencer’s words as she stares at the letter in the center of the table. He gives her a glance and sees her orbs on the letter, “Go ahead read it,” he offered softly to the cowgirl. “No, I can’t right now sir,” she replies and continues onward. “Ya don’t have to stay Mr. Spencer I don’t care if I finish school or not, besides the forest will take care of me, not school so you can keep the money and be on your way.” He dropped his fork on his plate and spoke firmly to the girl. “Bull crap I take my job seriously Celeste especially when I am paid for expecting to finish a job. Education kills our ignorant society, and your intelligent mind would be a sad thing to waste without proper education.” He picks up his fork again and begins to eat while Celeste ponders on his words and didn’t touch her plate of food.
Mr. Spencer slides a newspaper towards Celeste and states, “Nice job cowgirl.” Celeste is confused with his statement until she lays eyes on the front page of the newspaper. Slowly her hand reached out to touch the paper and slid the news to view her riding on the bucking bronco in the rodeo. She shows no reaction until she sees her grandfather’s face in the back drop of the picture. Henry is smiling from ear to ear watching his little girl ride the bronco. Celeste pushes the newspaper away in sorrow and doesn’t reply, she stares again at the letter from her grandfather in the center of the table.
After an hour of listening and watching Mr. Spencer’s lips move to his words, Celeste stands up and said, “I must take care of the animals so if you please excuse me I am sure you can find your way out. Thank you for dealing with my bad-ass self, I meant no harm to you or others just keep you’re distance from me right now and I will get a handle on my self sooner or later.” She turned on her heels and headed outside to escape the feelings of being suffocated. Mr. Spencer cleans up the table, and gives the newspaper one more look before leaving. He brings the paper closer to his vision and sees what Celeste saw, “How stupid I am, why didn’t I see Henry’s mug shot in the damn picture before I gave this too her, son of a bitch!” There was nothing he could do about it, so he left the paper on the table and left Celeste’s home with a heavy heart.
Since Mr. Spencer finally is inside Celeste’s home there was no way he was going leave. He cleaned up the broken glass from breaking into her home in the kitchen, and decided to make his student a good meal to encourage Celeste to come out of her room. There were also things he needed to discuss with her about education, living arrangements and such, for he too received a letter from Henry and was paid in full to complete his granddaughter’s education until she graduated. Mr. Spencer throws a steak in the pan to cook while he busy’s himself making a salad. Celeste quiet as a mouse leaves her room and stands in the dark hallway watching her teacher burn the shit out of a piece of meat. The kitchen is smokey and smells of burnt meat when Celeste walks into the kitchen straight to the stove. Mr. Spencer takes notice of the messy cowgirl as she quickly takes off the pan on the stove not saying a word to him.
“If you want to eat I advise you to go take a bath and get yourself spiffy up. You stink to holy hell girl and you’re hair is a matted mess.” She doesn’t reply and sits at the table to stare at her teacher while he tries to attempt making a salad. Celeste noticed the scholar had no skill using a knife to cut up veggies, an at times she witnessed his near miss of shaving his finger skin off, but she doesn’t say a word and watches the nervous man make a salad. “You’re making me crazy Celeste, go take a bath and then join me for dinner.” Celeste becomes irritable with her teacher, “I don’t want to eat, I want ya to leave and get the hell away from me before ya burn my grandfather’s house down,” she spit out. Mr. Spencer gives the saucy half-breed an evil eye. Celeste refuses to give him a glance and gives the letter from her grandfather a look in the middle of the table with his smoking pipe sitting on top of the envelope.
Mr. Spencer blows his top at the cowgirl, “You’re a fright girl with your black rings around your eyes, your finger nails are gross with dirt, your gorgeous hair is matted, and you stink like shit!” Celeste scrunches up her eyes in thought, Mr. Spencer sees her pondering over his nasty comment to her. “Fuck off,” she rips out and stands from the table with her fist bunched up. Mr. Spencer recognizes the dangerous stance the girl takes and knows he has pushed her to a breaking point. For some reason words couldn’t come to his lips, instead he picks up the red juicy tomatoes he finished cutting for the salad and threw it at her hitting Celeste in the chest with the gooey substances. It takes a few seconds for the cowgirl to react, she reached for more of the home grown red fruit on the round table and squished it in her strong hand to pitch the mass at the teacher hitting him in the face.
Even though Celeste is the same size as her teacher in height, her teenage body however towered over his frame in strength. It takes a split second for Mr. Spencer to snap and before each one knew what happen it was a drag out food fight between the two with vegetables at the kitchen table. They both circled the round table with ammunition in hands, Mr. Spencer doesn’t back down as he lays claim to the dangerous wild look in Celeste’s orbs. He dare not push her too far, but knew this was an important step to make Celeste crawl out of her hole of despair. “Take a bath piss butt,” he barked out. Celeste throws lettuce at him and realizes the leafy object is worthless to throw at the scholar. “Begone rodent, get the hell out of my father’s home or I will leave myself never to return. I don’t need a house to cover my head, I don’t need people in my miserable life, I don’t give a shit anymore what you crackers do, an so if I want to smell like shit then it’s my right, not yours!” Celeste is huffing and puffing ready to dive on the table and strangle the man from the other side, when Mr. Spencer hits her in the face with cucumber slices.
He fears the ugly stance the half-breed has taken but stands firm in order to break the protective barrier she acquired. “Your father would be ashamed of you girl. I know you have taken a huge blow to your heart with your papa gone, I know about your childhood years of being alone without true parents, I know it is a travesty what you’ve endured in life, but fight back Celeste don’t give them the power to turn you into something you’re not and right now you are ugly, horrible, and violent with anger. Grow up and take charge and change the things you can change, and worry not what you can’t until you can attack your dilemmas with flare,” he screamed out to Celeste over the table.
Mr. Spencer jumps in fright when Celeste took her mighty fist and pounded the sturdy table with force. He watches the rest of the veggies bounce in time to her hammer strikes upon the wooden round table. Finally Celeste cracked her lid on the table, each pound she made with her fist upon the table released the anger that consumed the girl with violent hatred towards mankind. Mr. Spencer steps back to watch the explosion erupt inside the half-breed. She keeps pounding until tears drip quickly from her eye ducts, then came curse words that Mr. Spencer has never heard before in his life pour out of her lips in her heavy southern twang voice. She screams out her frustration hammers the table over and over with her fists. “Hit it girl break the table but get your bitter pill out,” he whispered to her. Celeste didn’t hear a word from the teacher as she took her vigor out on the table.
Mr. Spencer drops his jaw in disbelief as he witnesses another side of the sweet and gentle girl he once knew pound out her distress of life upon the strong wooden round table for over fifteen minutes. He is thankful she is hitting the table and not him when he hears a light crack beginning to split the table from her mighty horsepower assault. Something finally breaks inside Celeste, she stops her abuse on the table and withers down to the floor in agony to cry out her calamity. Mr. Spencer immediately runs around the table to where Celeste laid curled up in a ball crying out her misfortune, and gently begins to coo to the teenage woodsman. “That’s it little one cry it out, time to heal and mend what is broken.” His heart is torn to pieces as he listens to her sorrow spill out. “Mama, mi papa…” she said over and over again till her throat hurt from screaming and crying. Mr. Spencer picks up her torso and hugs the cowgirl with kindness he knew he never had. She is limp in his arms when she settles down from her heart retching balling, and closes her eyes in exhaustion. Mr. Spencer holds on to the stinky girl allowing her to gather her spent energy until he could stand no more of her foul scent.
He begins to move from sitting on the floor in the same position for too long and demands Celeste to rise. She obeys for some odd godly reason and follows him into the bathroom. He sits her down on a small seat and draws a bath full of water. “Take a bath Celeste it will help you relax.” She didn’t reply and sat quietly looking at the fuzzy bathroom rug. He steps out and closes the door for privacy and states kindly, “If I have to come in here and make you bathe I will so don’t test me.” The door clicks into place leaving her alone to her misery as she watches the tub fill up with clean refreshing water.
Lifeless Celeste closed herself into the farm house for days not letting sunlight sparkle through the windows. She sat in the dark house for many days without eating and moving. Never in Celeste’s life had she missed a day without tiding up her home or herself in hygiene. To her what did it matter if she lived or died in this world without her grandfather by her side as she sat silently at the kitchen table staring into nothing. She doesn’t even budge from her spot when a soft knock at the door is heard. “Celeste let me in, I know your in there so answer the door,” Mr. Spencer called out. Celeste in a daze holds on to her grandfather’s smoking pipe at the table. Mr. Spencer pounds on the door harder and yells out, “Open this door now young lady, I have someone here who needs to talk with you.”
She doesn’t move from her spot as she hears two people talking behind the locked door. “Celeste if you don’t open this door I will break it down or smash a window to get to you,” Mr. Spencer ripped out getting angrier by the minute. The cowgirl lifts her eyes up to view the door and gets up in slow motion to head back to her bedroom. Celeste is about to enter her dark bedroom when she spins around to the sound of breaking glass. “Damn you woman, I warned you I will not take no for an answer,” Mr. Spencer sticks his head through the glass and barks at Celeste. “Piss off ya peck…be gone,” she finally replies to him. “Don’t you speak to me in that tone girl, you’re grandfather would be furious with you now for the way you’re acting. I have his attorney here who needs to speak with you since you don’t open doors nor answer the phone. Now open the damn door or I will crawl through this window and give you a spanking on the ass!”
Celeste stands in the hallway close to her room, it takes her a few minutes to decide what to do. “Damn it Celeste get your shit together and start acting like a lady.” She begins to head towards the door in the dark and unlocks the door. Mr. Spencer doesn’t hesitate and opens the door immediately. The cowgirl steps away and sits back down at the kitchen table as her pesky guest entered her dark domain. Her teacher flicks a switch for the lights to come on, she scrunches up her eyes from the bright light. “Jesus god girl you’re a mess,” Mr. Spencer spoke out with care. Celeste had no idea what she looked like nor did she care, she keeps her eyes focusing on the wooden table not acknowledging the intruder’s. Mr. Spencer instantly takes it upon himself to let light filter in the large kitchen area. He opens the curtains and blinds to lay witness to a dirty home she is living in. She doesn’t give the gentlemen her attention, and sits lifeless at the table as the attorney sits down at the table.
Mr. Spencer joins them at the table and stares silently at his student. His heart is breaking for the half-breed whose life suddenly came to a screeching halt. The attorney clears his throat to speak to Celeste who doesn’t even acknowledge his presence. “I have here you’re grandfather’s living will, he has willed everything to you and more. All I need is your signature that you receive the letter and I will be on my way.” She doesn’t move and watches the old man slide the letter into her direction across the table. “Pick it up Celeste,” Mr. Spencer demands from her. When Celeste gives Mr. Spencer a glance, he is struck with hatred far from his imagination. He feels her defiant deadly attitude barrel him over, but she doesn’t touch the letter. The lawyer slides another piece of paper towards her with a pen for writing. “Please sign here on this line and I will leave you alone, unless you need my services.” She moves and signs the document and slides the paper back at the attorney.
The lawyer quickly leaves with paper in hand and shakes Mr. Spencer’s hand for assisting him in contacting Henry’s granddaughter. Mr. Spencer sees the man out and returns to talk with his student. He begins to clean up the dirty kitchen while he spoke with love to her, “Celeste darling, you can’t act like this. You have to stay strong for your life is not finished on this earth.” Celeste doesn’t move from her seat. “Leave me alone sir, I don’t want to communicate with anyone any more,” she whispered out. Mr. Spencer begins to clean up the broken glass from the kitchen window in silence. Celeste watches him and decides to leave him to his task. She gets up from her chair and heads to her bedroom slamming the door shut.
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Celeste’s trouble dreams haunted her throughout the time she laid next to Henry’s cold body. She opened her weary eyes and sat up to swing her feet on the floor. Henry’s bedroom has a empty feeling as Celeste sits beside his body to cradle her worry mind in her hands. The room is semi-dark, she hears the large aged old clock on the wall in Henry’s room chime four times in its whimsical sound. It takes all her energy to rise from the bed and begin the task of cleansing Henry’s body for burial. She had learned this year with Mr. Spencer the ceremonial ritual of the Cherokee ways on how to prep a body for passing. She heads to her room and gathers a stalk of lavender she had drying out for burning, and grabbed her tenure oil she made out of the pleasant earthy herb. She loved the intoxicating scent and adored soaking in the bath tub with the herb, but never thought she would be using it to purify Henry’s passing.
Before going back into her grandfather’s room she went to get a warm bowl of water with a wash cloth and then sat beside his bed for a few more silent moments pondering how to clean his body. With slow care she stood up and slid the beautiful blue cover down his long strong cold naked body. In lethargic motions she dipped the cloth into the water and began to wash is nude body with love and respect. Each stroke to clean the man’s body bit into her soul of intense loneliness, and when finished she reached for the lavender oil and rubbed his whole body down with the oily substance. Even though she was no stranger in nudity, it seemed odd viewing her grandfather’s body. Softly she pulled out a white cotton bed sheet, and wrapped his body firmly inside the covering and tied long leather rope to ensure the sheet covered her beloved father’s dead body. Celeste reached for the dried stalk of herb and lit the end with fire. The room began to fill up with the heavy scent of lavender smoke in no time at all. Silently she waved the dried herb in the air unable to speak a word. And when complete she gazes one more time at her only parent in life and whispers out, “I love ya forever papa,” she turns on her bare feet and closes Henry’s bedroom door.
Each step the cowgirl takes breaks the last thread of hope in her heart, she finds herself standing in front of Henry’s chair at the kitchen table and pulls the chair out to sit at the table for hours silently unable to speak, cry, or act out any emotions that invaded her mind. For hours she sat in the dark house not knowing what to do until a story pops into her head that was told to her by Mr. Spencer how Cherokee view life and death. She scrunches up her brows in heavy thought about the Cherokee story of two dogs.
Two dogs which were asleep when the smoke offerings were made, they were forgotten when the dogs awoke they were grieved and angry because they had been neglected when smoke offerings had been made to all other living things. They said to the people, you have failed to make smoke offerings to us; therefore, to punish you we shall bite you and yet we will never leave you. We shall follow you and be with you forever. The names of these two dogs were sickness and death, and so as they said, sickness and death are always among all living things upon the earth. Our powers increase and fade, we have strength and weariness, and we are bitten by sickness and death. The sun rises and shines yet it is overcome by darkness. The moon waxes to fullness and then fades away. Th flowers bloom and wither; the leaves come forth and are cut down by autumn. The wind blows and there is calm. So changes come, and all things sicken and die, but though sickness and death may bite all things that are bitten return and are reborn again. Celeste is about to speak the Indian prayer of death when a voice inside her head spoke for her, “Walk with Mother Earth into balance and peace because beneath our feet lay the bones of our noble ancestors.”
Celeste didn’t respond to the voice except get up off the chair and went to the telephone to call the hospital for someone to pick up her precious cargo. It didn’t take any time at all to remove the dead body, and when all was said and done Celeste found herself alone in an empty house at the age of sixteen. Celeste heads outside to feed of the animals and returns to the farm home. The cowgirl immediately closes all the windows from the sunlight and locks the doors to sit in the dark home alone. Her body is aching and struck into dumbness as she slowly walks around the living room with countless memories, she sits on the couch and grabs a blanket to cover her chilly body up and milks her wounded soul from the great loss of her peaceful world. She hears another invasion enter her mind and shakes her confused head from its kind words of wisdom, but she could careless what it spoke, she curled up her long body and laid on the couch slipping into a nothingness world of disappointments.
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The day came for Celeste to turn sweet sixteen, she stretched her sore long curvy body out on top of her queen size bed. She had slept in later than usual after a long day of cutting wood for their winter supply with her grandfather. Several times she took note the aging process was stripping Henry’s body as he had to take many breaks. She picked up the load with ease telling her grandfather to relax and enjoy the day. Henry had to bark out at her many times to be careful with the twenty inch chain saw. “Papa, its time to quit thinking I’m a little girl, tomorrow I’m sixteen and there is no reason why I can’t learn and help you out.” Celeste lowered her clear eye glasses to protect her orbs from flying debris from the tree she is cutting down. She smiled at handling the dangerous devise and gave it gas to get use to the power the gas machine offered. It took her all day and into the late evening when she finished and cleaned up, and when she entered the farm home to shower Celeste opened her grandfather’s bedroom door to check on her papa. He is sleeping soundly so she closed his door softly and went to the bathroom to soak in the tub.
Celeste gets off the bed aching from yesterday’s chores, she takes her time to move her sore body into the quiet kitchen. Like clock work she didn’t hesitate to make the morning coffee. After putting the java pot on the stove to percolate, she noticed Henry hadn’t woke up himself. She begins to make breakfast for the both of them and when finished making French toast she called out for her grandfather to rise. Time ticked by as she tidy-up the kitchen when she called out again. An ill feeling took hold of the birthday girl when Henry didn’t come out. She immediately went outside to see if maybe he was in the barn since he didn’t hear her calling him in the house. “Papa,” she yelled out in the late morning hour. Henry didn’t answer so she went back into the house to check and see if he was still in bed.
She knocked lightly on his door Henry grunts a response, “Let me sleep Celeste, I’m not feeling good right now.” She opens his door and walks over to his king size bed. “Papa what’s the matter can I getcha anything,” she offered Henry as she stuck her hand out to feel his forehead. Henry has never been sick a day in his life until now. Celeste became worried for his health even though his forehead was cool to the touch. “Pop can I call the doctor to stop by and check on ya?” Henry lightly said, “No I just need to rest a little more than usual baby, go feed the animals and I will be out later.” Celeste obeyed but not before she gives him a peck on the cheek and closed his door with care. After she finished a lonely breakfast at the large round table she placed the rest of the French toast in the oven on low, and went outside to do her morning chores.
It’s noon time when Celeste felt a horrible feeling in her gut after she completed doing her ranch work. She thinks its her menstrual cycle coming around again when she double over in pain holding her tummy with her strong hands. “Son of a bitch,” she bellows out by the barn and puts the pitch fork down to go inside the house to calm her body down. Celeste walks in the cozy large kitchen and noticed her granddad hadn’t even got up to eat breakfast. She turns off the oven and heads to his bedroom calling softly out his name. “Papa are ya still resting,” she comments as she places her hand on his door knob and turns the steel to open. Henry doesn’t reply and is laying on his side covered up with a lovely crush royal blue velvet covering. She carefully speaks out his name and touches his cold bare shoulder to lightly shake.
In a blink of an eye Celeste’s beautiful world came crashing down “Papa,” she whispered out in fear. With speed she puts her finger under his nose to feel his breath, but takes note Henry has blue lips and his eyes were open wide. She turns his cold body on his back and yells out his name, “HENRY!” It takes her a few seconds to realize her papa had passed away in his sleep. Her body instantly drops beside his bed on the floor. She is silent numb to all existence of life staring at her dead grandfather. Hours passed by without movement from Celeste as she knelt on her knees by her grandfather’s bed gazing at his open eyelids.
Celeste finally moves and lifts her stiff body up to close her papa’s eyelids. She covers him up completely in his lavish covering and walks out his bedroom stunned and lifeless, she heads to the kitchen for no apparent reason. She stands by the round table staring at Henry’s favorite spot at the aged table he made with his own two hands. Her breath didn’t come easy as she instantly felt her walls were closing in all around her. She grabs her throat feeling the burning desire of hate ready to scream forward upon her lips, she doesn’t give into the ugly feelings but finally lets her tears fall freely. Her body shakes uncontrollably standing by the table, Celeste grabs the edge of the thick wood and holds on to dear life squeezing the shit out of the table with her bare hands. And when she felt her emotions were about to tumble forth, she turned on her heels, and returned to Henry’s room where she laid her body next to him for the rest of the day and night silently holding the father who was her savior in life. The first words that escaped the cowgirls lips were, “Death is not the greatest loss in my life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” She shuts her mouth never to speak again when she closes her heavy lids and falls asleep beside her dead grandfather, refusing to acknowledge the earthy spirits that begged her to listen and answer them inside her head.
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“You were wonderful tonight my little beauty, you sure did show up those cowboys girl,” Celeste’s grandfather stated with pride. Celeste took off her straw cowboy hat and gave it her attention. “At least I got a hat out of the deal, but I don’t think I will be doing that again because papa I could get addicted to the thrill of riding.” Henry laughed out and quickly said, “You were born to ride little one and the way you took control without using that rope and held on to the horse’s mane was impeccable.” Celeste gives her grandfather a wonderful smile and thinks about the wild scene on the bucking bronco. “Celeste what about that cowboy, ya going to give him a call?” She pulls out the piece of paper with the man’s name and number, and shakes her head no and throws the paper away in the little trash bag in the truck. “Nope I don’t call boy’s nor do I want too papa. I’m happy with the only man in my life right now and that is you! Besides I didn’t like the way he looked at me with lust in his eyes.”
Henry understood her meaning, he didn’t miss the cowboy’s advances towards his granddaughter. They pulled up into their driveway and tumbled out of the Dodge truck. “Papa if ya don’t mind I would like to go night fishing. Do ya mind if Chief and I take a night time stroll to the creek. I might spend the night out in the woods too if ya think its okay.” Henry nods yes and watches Celeste take off with speed to the barn whistling for the draft horse. In a matter of minutes he views his granddaughter and Chief bolt out of the pasture and hears her yippie yell in the night. He chuckles out with laughter and watches the two speed through the night as one with the earth. “Dear god, take care of my daughter. Guide her in life to be the special person I know she can be, for god help the man she ends up with, because she will not be anyone’s fool or puppet in life.” Henry enters his farm home and heads for his bed for the evening.
The feel of power between her legs brought a natural high to Celeste’s soul. She encouraged the huge horse to bring on speed as they both barreled through the warm evening air. Celeste felt freedom and no fear balancing her body without holding on to Chief’s mane. She spread her arms out in the night and yelped out her glee, and when they arrived at the stream her grandfather fished at Celeste slid off her horse and striped her clothing off to skinny dip in the refreshing water. She loved her time by herself an adores the beauty of the evening in the woods as she views the moon’s soft glow. Celeste begins to relive the events of the fantastic time she had at the Rodeo. She speaks to Chief the horse about the man and moon as the horse nibbles on the sweet grass never leaving her side. “Mother Earth I thank you for the bitching time I had tonight; however, I hope I didn’t hurt any of those boy’s feelings by showing them up tonight.” It takes a few silent minutes to pass by when she hears the Little People laugh at her. “Yep ya should have seen me I kicked some ass tonight baby!” She giggles along with her childhood mystery people and feels a breeze caress her naked body. “Thank you mother I appreciate your love,” she commented to her spiritual guide of the forest happy to know her life was beautiful in so many ways.
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