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Old 12-29-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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Lost Highway - Chapter 28

Lost Highway - Chapter 28
: 1screamingangel & wo_speaking
: PG-13
: Mel and Sam carry on... with or without them...


Mel stood next to her car and waited for Sam to say goodbye. Funny how the heat hadn’t bothered her at all since the moment they had walked into the Broken Horseshoe and now all she could feel was the dry heat and how it made her sick to her stomach. She looked around and became aware of the absence of anything with color. The hills she was facing were brown, the sun was so bright it left no shadows, leaving the sky a washed out white, there were no flowers…it was spring wasn’t it? She couldn’t remember what day it was. Last night it had rained and now there wasn’t a drop of water anywhere, not at all like home.

Everything felt so empty and bleak to Mel right now. She sighed heavily as she got in the car and turned the key, thinking that would move Samantha along. When it didn’t she took the tape Paul had given her out and popped it in the car’s tape player. She had a hard time believing this incredible music was made by these two guys in the desert, but it was. And it was beautiful. How had she missed that?

Mel smiled recalling the look on his face when she opened the door. Paul was so pleased with himself that he could prove to Mel he was telling her the truth. He had written ‘never forget’ and a heart on the cover and must have put it in her purse when she was packing the car. Well, at least she had something of his to keep forever.

Mel had also left something for Paul. She knew what he had been asking of her and had not answered him on purpose. He wanted to know if she would be a woman in his life when he needed or wanted her. It wasn’t what she would choose outright for herself, but she had answered him. She left a note for him that simply said:

Here is my home number and address in San Francisco- my parents will always know where to find me. Maybe you will find me too. I miss you already – Mel

The first song wrenched at her heart and she let it play, staring out into the blinding sunshine, not seeing anything at all. The tape continued and Mel’s thoughts and emotions ran with the intensity and passion of the music.

After a haunting instrumental, the next song started and as the words began, “If you twist and turn away, if you tear yourself in two again..”, Mel could not stop the tears as they started to pour out of her eyes. Paul’s voice was amazing, so full of passion; she couldn’t believe he refused to sing for her. Dave’s guitar coloured the song with echoing chimes, it was a glorious backdrop to Paul’s vocals and she thought she might never be the same again after hearing it. The song played out and she hit the stop button so she could catch her breath. Mel took the tape and put it carefully in the case back in her purse. She missed him terribly already and closed her eyes to see his intense pale baby blues as he listened to her when she was talking. The time woudl come, some day, when she wouldn’t imagine him looking at her and then maybe she could listen to his music, but that wasn’t going to be anytime soon.

Mel was becoming impatient and very hot. Sam was taking too long to say goodbye and Mel was becoming a little concerned she was going to have to go into the brick house and forcefully put Sam into the car.

Deep breaths, she told herself. After all, she didn’t want to leave Paul either. But the girls had talked yesterday and decided to cut their losses, so to speak, and get out while they could, before it hurt too much. Too late for that Mel laughed, it already did. She just wanted to get out of this town and leave it all behind, if she could.

Mel closed her eyes and tried not to think of the way Paul had brushed her face with his hand last night as he was making love to her. Sam slamming the car door put an abrupt end to that memory.

“Finally!” Mel screamed a bit too loudly.

“Let’s go…now…Mel,” Sam said in between her short breaths that sounded like she had been running.

“You OK?” Mel asked already knowing she wasn’t.

“Just go, please Mel, now,” Sam choked out as she grabbed Mel’s hand and squeezed it tight, biting her lip.

Mel knew she was on the verge of completely losing it and so she gave Sam a straight on look and said very quietly and calmly, “Sam, you know we need to go, look at me Sam, we need to go, we agreed on this, remember?”

“Yes! Damn it, but I don’t want to leave him Mel. I have never felt this way…” Sam responded.

And with that Mel refocused on the car, started it, and pulled out of the drive way. She could see Dave stepping onto the porch to watch them leave and knew she had to get Sam out of there quickly. Sam could not fall apart on her, not right now. Mel was having a difficult time keeping herself together.

They drove south out of Bridgeport making their way to the highway out of town on their way to Vegas. As soon as they cleared the buildings of the small town, Sam burst out in sobs, she was hyperventilating and it scared the hell out of Mel. The only other time she had seen Sam like this was at her father’s funeral. Sam didn’t cry. Mel pulled the car over off the side of the road and dug around in her purse for tissues.

“Thanks Mel”, Sam said, trying to speak. “He…he told me he loved me, Mel!!”

Mel froze. How close did she come to saying the same thing to Paul? What was going on here in this small little town? One night Dave was creeping into their hotel room and now he was telling Sam he loved her. He could not possibly mean that or possibly know how damaging it would be for Sam to hear him say that. Mel sat squinting her eyes out the front window wondering how this all happened. Then Mel started to laugh at the irony of their situation, a hysterical laugh that reverberated through the closed car. Love, or something like it, is what had happened to all of them. Isn’t that what Paul was trying to tell her last night as they lay together? He was holding her so tenderly and lovingly, stroking her hair and kissing her forehead as she cried out her sadness at having to leave him.

Sam looked at Mel in utter disbelief. “Mel, nothing funny is going on…did you hear what I just said to you? Are you ok?”

Trying to choke back the laughter that was really just holding back her tears, Mel asked, “Sam…what in the world did you say back to him?”

“I told him I’d never forget him ... and then ... I just ran out of their like a scared little bird.” Sam was sobbing so hard that Mel understood her only because they had spent their entire lives together. “Love Mel, he used the word Love. How could he Mel? That is a serious word…and I could see in his eyes that he meant it. He said he loved me and he meant it. No man except my father has ever said that to me and meant it Mel.”

“Sam…” Mel paused, “what should we do here? What can we do? They are going to leave to go back home soon. Didn’t he tell you that? They’re not staying for the rest of their lives in this little town in the middle of nowhere. They have…” Mel paused to choose her words carefully, “…obligations. We can’t go with them; they aren’t going to take us back with them. I told you, they have these whole other lives waiting for them to return. Sam, please stop crying and get a hold of yourself, please!” Mel said a little harsher than she meant to. Paul had told her everything. Obviously Dave had told Sam nothing. Mel’s anger was quickly refocusing on this Dave guy.

Mel started the car to pull back onto the highway, when Sam yelled, “Stop, please don’t get back on the highway. Turn around ... I can’t leave him, Mel ... I can’t!!!”

Mel stared at Sam. “How much do you really know about this guy? What gives him the right to say that he loves you?” Sam began crying again, but paused at Mel’s words.

“Just what are you trying to say here?” Sam demanded. She was getting angry at Mel’s accusatory tone.

“All I am saying is that it doesn’t really seem like you know Dave that well. There is a big difference between lust and love. Some people know the difference and some don’t.” Mel glanced at Sam, unsure whether or not to continue. “Sam, you know men have said that to you before because they love fucking you … they totally fall in lust with you … it is not the same, and you know it! What makes you so sure that he meant it?” Mel questioned.

Sam took a couple of deep breaths and responded in almost a whisper. “Mel, how do you know what I know about Dave ... er Edge…”

“Edge? Who the hell is Edge?” Mel was shocked. Mel was staring out the driver’s window and couldn’t look at Sam right then. She had seen Dave’s nickname on the tape and knew that Sam would see she was hiding something. Mel wasn’t sure right now she could hold in all she knew, and she wasn’t sure it would serve a purpose to tell Sam all of the things Dave should have told her... if he hadn't already.

“It’s Dave’s nickname.” Sam glared at Mel. “We talked enough ... maybe we didn’t talk as much as you and your boyfriend Paul did, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t just as intimately connected, does it? Who are you to make that judgment on me? And yes, he did tell me he was leaving soon, so I know that!” Sam exclaimed, like she knew the secret and that was that.

After a minute or two, when Mel was sure she had masked her feelings and secrets, she looked at Sam and said, “Should we turn around and stay with them until they leave? How much more difficult will that be? I have already said goodbye to Paul and if I go back I am not sure how I would ever leave him again. And he is not going to take me with him…that is not reality, for me or for you. Dave is not taking you with him. He didn’t offer to, did he?” Mel paused to look out onto the bleak sun-drenched landscape outside her window. She wasn’t sure what she would do if he’d offered to take Sam and Paul didn’t ask the same of her. Mel turned back to her to her best friend, realizing that she could not interfere with what Sam chose to do right now. “If you want to stay here Sam, I will turn the car around and leave you here…maybe I will go back to San Francisco and come back to get you when you are ready. I can’t stay here – it would hurt too much, it hurts too much now.”

Sam sighed deeply, shuddering like a small child trying to control her sobs. “Damnit Mel, no he didn’t offer to take me with him. I think he might have thought about it though. I know you are right. It’s just I have never felt this way about any man before. I think we could really have something together. Do I think that just because I am leaving?” Sam wondered out loud.

“No…no. It really wasn’t fair of him to say that to you. I am sure he did not mean to hurt you, he wanted to tell you before you left. But how can you love someone you have only known for a short time? Sam, you know it takes a long time to love someone. Once you say that word…damn! Is he that selfish that he needed to say it? Why say anything at all? What did he expect you to say?” Mel questioned Dave’s judgment. “And what exactly does ‘I love you’ mean to a man who knows he is not ever going to see you again? Why say something that you can’t do anything about?” Mel’s anger ran its course and now she just felt incredibly sad for both of them – for all of them.

“Mel, you’re not being fair to him. He is the most giving man I have ever known. He is so thoughtful…my god, he washed my dress this morning so I had clean clothes to put on! And when we are together, all he does is please me. I have never ever been with a man that is concerned about my needs in bed! Love can be expressed in many different ways, and you know it!” Sam defended the man she had just left standing alone without responding to his overture of love.

Sam felt the devastation in the depths of her very soul. How could she just leave him standing there? He would never forgive her, and she may never forgive herself. It was at that moment she realized the enormity of what she had done. She couldn’t go back and face him now – he was probably so angry at her for walking away that he wouldn’t even open the door if she came back.

Watching a car pass on the desolate road, Samantha knew they would have to move forward. “Mel, let’s just go on to Vegas. Let’s go. I don’t want to talk about it anymore right now.”

Mel’s heart was broken for the loss of a wonderful man, for her best friend and for the possibilities they were leaving behind. However, there was only one thing she could do. She started the car and moved forward. Neither she nor Sam was so sure about what direction was forward right now. They drove in complete silence except for the occasional shuddering sob from Sam’s quiet tears.

I'm going to quit posting for a day or so so I don't completely monopolize the forum with Lost Highway entries....
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