a new way of seeing
buzzing / noun
a low, continuous humming or murmuring sound
a flurry of activity
Raven, you were sleepwalking.
She halts to a stop, her hand squeezing the carton tighter just before pouring its contents into the glass. It causes the orange juice to splash all over the counter and her long, loose white t-shirt, the cotton material, absorbing it with eagerness.
Shit, shit, shit... so damn clumsy.
She cusses more under her breath and then cleans everything with unusual speed and precision that contradicts her words strongly. Almost like a machine. Mel furrows her eyebrows at the sight, but she doesn't comment on it.
It happens to us all, Ray. It's fine.
She rests her arms and elbows on the counter, leaning in heavy on them for a moment, lost in thought, her head sloped forward, a bunch of messy black hair covering her face in the shadows. Then she jumps up abruptly, a sudden realization hitting her.
Crap. Mel, I'm so sorry.
I said it was fine.
No, not the stupid juice. I completely messed up Ben's shirt.
She starts to lift it carefully, face crinkling at the damp, clingy material, and then she wriggles a bit in an attempt to pull it over her head without getting extra filthy and even more sticky all over. In the process of it all, revealing stripy white and blue boxers, the soft skin of her stomach and back already exposed. Mel just shakes her head, a bit irritated, and puts a hand quickly over the girl's arm.
No, that can wait. I want to talk to you first. Besides, Ben has tons of those in the closet; he won't even notice. Ever since he saw that Top Gun movie as a teenager, he makes it his sole mission to always have some white tees in stock. Let's face it, that obsession got him into being a pilot in the first place.
She feels a lazy and affectionate smile creep onto her face.
No matter how much he will try to convince anybody that asks him about it that destiny brought him there and that being a pilot had been his dream ever since he was a kid, a passion shared with his grandfather. But that is only a part of it, and I know the full non-edited version.
She says, watching Ray turn towards her with a small smile, her body language becoming more comfortable. She touches the side of her nose as if it's a shared secret between them and winks at her before turning away towards the kitchen cabinets.
Well, let him have it. He deserves it after having to deal with you on regular basis.
Somehow, she senses the shift in the air and ducks her head down long before the dishcloth can even reach the back of her head, grinning pleased, while her friend's eyes become a bit wider.
Keep trying, Mel. Remember, you're getting old. You need all the practice you can get.
Nearing 32 is toddler age. And I got stuck with a 22-year-old infant to watch over.
Mel points a finger accusingly at the girl and hopes there isn't a slight shake to her voice. Then she picks up the dishcloth from the counter and moves it between her fingers with some tension.
Ray, you really were sleepwalking last night.
The girl's face freezes, her eyes blinking with speed as if she was trying to unhear the words, turning the time back simply with the power of her mind.
Mel, I slept the whole night through in bed. I woke up so rested, more than I have been in weeks. You have no idea how good and strong I feel.
Oh, I think I have a clue or two.
They stand there for a moment in silence until the girl tries again.
It's been an amazing Sunday, I don't know what it was about it, but I finally feel relaxed. Not stressed, not overthinking in any way, not... scared.
Mel nods a few times, taking in her tones and energy as if tasting each flavor before speaking again. Ray puts one hand on her hip while the other one flies in every direction, gesticulating as new words fall out of her mouth like bullets out of a machine gun.
It must have been that nap in the garden that I had. A few hours in the sun and shade, in nature, and boom! I feel much better. New day, new me; everything in brighter colors and with a nice tan to match. After that, the whole day was a breeze. You were right all along, Mel. Meditation really does wonders. I mean, I was against it at first, sure. You know what they say. Only the rich and jobless choose spandex and lycra for everyday clothes. But it works. I feel totally brand new. What...?
Ray catches some air to breathe and then looks confused at her best friend and the serious stare that she shrinks under, suddenly crossing her arms as if protecting herself from all possible harm that could come her way. Screwing up the shaky foundation she had managed to build so far. The temporary confidence evaporating in seconds. Her fingers clinging and clawing the material of the shirt. The yellow stain below already drying up and filling the open kitchen with that particular and intense overpowering smell of oranges. A unique blend of a scent both appealing and somehow suffocating.
Honey. There was no whole day for you.
What do you mean? Of course, there was. I remember it all.
Alright. Then tell me, what happened after you woke up from the nap?
It's almost comical how the girls' face changes, bends, and twists in all sorts of direction. Yet, there is nothing funny about the situation itself.
Mel, I-I did so many things yesterday, I even...
She cuts off, uncertain what to say next.
Did you do them? Or did you dream of them in your sleep? It seems warm, doesn't it? The memories? Much brighter and softer than in real life?
I, no... I mean, yes. Shit, Mel, I don't know!
She wines like a wounded animal and puts her hands to the side of her head, closing her eyes shut as if blocking out everything around her. Mel comes closer and gently takes the hands from her head and puts them in hers, kissing them softly, knowing that it would calm her down. The girl slowly opens her eyes and gazes at her as if she was the only one that could save her from her own thoughts. Almost as if her friend could even stop the earth from cracking in two if she pleased.
It's okay, trust me. You just slept longer than you thought. You actually slept through the whole day and staggered back into the house after 2 a.m., causing a few things to fall to the ground with a lot of racket.
The girl tenses, but she smiles at her with tenderness.
No, don't over-panic. Nothing broke, mostly just some clutter here and there, I promise. But it woke me up, and I came down, just in time to see you walk past me; eyes opened, but not really seeing me. Sleepwalking happens. It's less uncommon than you think.
Ray looks doubtful, so she gives her a reassuring look.
She squeezes the girl's hand and walks her over to the sofa, pulling her down gently. Ray follows her without protest but with worry still visible on her face. Her aura, as if a distinct flavor or sound, vibrating, shifting, and buzzing like an aggravated, hyperactive swarm of bees. There was a layer of aggressiveness to it, not the obvious kind but the one that came from fear and confusion. Sting. So no one can sting you.
Yesterday, you let out your energy into the earth, releasing all the tension and fears into the soil beneath you. I watched you through the window upstairs while it happened. I know. It sounds crazy, but I think you know by now that crazy can become your daily reality sometimes. Don't you?
She nods slowly and sighs.
I don't remember it, though. All I know is that I was trying to meditate and let everything go, just like you taught me, and then... nothing. Absolutely nothing, just freaking empty space.
She squeezes the girl's hand again, trying to pour some peace into her body, a whitelighter's most basic, natural gift. That, and healing when necessary. Though, there were never two whitelighters quite the same. The powers slightly altered for each soul blessed with such skills.
And you did as you were told. I feel partially it was by accident, but I'm still very proud of you. I know you aren't a fan of getting into the details of the supernatural and that it scares you. But sometimes we have to talk about it. It's for your safety, and I do not want anything bad happening to you just because you were unaware of how to protect yourself from the gifts you were offered.
They don't feel like gifts to me.
She scrunches her face painfully and pulls out her hands, sticking them tightly under her armpits. There is some sternness about it, and Mel shifts her head to the side, trying to read her. To read the stuff she kept to herself, all the things lingering in between.
Yes, I can see why you would think that. I realize that now it just feels like a burden that was put on you, too heavy to ever carry. But trust me, I know you can do it if you just put enough care and attention into it. I will provide the knowledge and the exercise that are needed for you to accomplish that goal. But you're the one that has to make it happen. Do you hear me?
She can feel the sternness shift and curse in her own bloodstream now. The white, pristine light in her fingertips wanting to escape and fill the entire room. She wants it too, but she fears scaring the girl when they were finally making some progress, and she doesn't want that to change too soon.
Do you hear me?
She asks again, and Ray nods slowly but with gentle shades of confidence this time.
Yes, I do. Loud and clear. But Mel, why didn't you wake me up when I fell asleep in the garden? Why did you let me stay there so late in the night?
She inhales deeper and looks at the girl.
You needed it. The earth needed the time to take in your energy, and there was a lot of it.
Ray's eyes become wider again, but she ignores it. There were plenty of things that would surprise her and put her into a state of shock on this journey. She wasn't going to sugarcoat every little detail because that would get them nowhere.
The energy needed time to sink into the soil and then return it back to you. More filtered, more clear. Less stained by your fears and the things that were blocking you. To make you stronger and not just chaotic, trying to bring the basic level of control to something that has no walls, no edges, or limits. It's tough. But not impossible.
She inhales deeper before letting the inevitable out.
The chaos consumes, Ray. You need to balance it out. Otherwise, it will devour you, and not in the way that you crave for.
Mel, I don't...
No, I know about that energy that you felt in the bar. I know how addictive and alluring it was. And I understand that, but it must not overtake you. If you want to feel it again, you must know how to swim in it.
They sit there in heavy silence for a moment as the girl tries to take it all in, or at least portions of it.
To swim and not to drown in the waves and high tides, you must find harmony in yourself. It's the only way to obtain it, in the right way that will not destroy you.
How do you... how do you even know all those things? No, wait. Actually, don't tell me. I don't need to know that right now.
She moves her hands rapidly in the air like she wants to push the unwanted knowledge away as far as possible.
Mmm, sometimes there aren't that many words needed, Ray. I just know. Some of it I have learned from the ones that know far more than I ever could. And the rest...
She gazes at the girl with more softness.
And the rest I just feel, I feel it deep down inside of me. Right to the deepest, most tangled, and twisted-up roots of my soul.
She takes Ray's hand again and then puts it over her chest, holding it there over the heart, beating steadily under her fingertips, blending with how the energy stirs between her heartbeats.
I feel it all in here and just know somehow. Not everything I can explain. But it is a part of my heritage, and I am proud of it, even if it wasn't always like that.
The girl looks down at her fingers resting on her friend's chest, right in the center of her ribs, and inhales sharply. Mel looks down at her hand and smiles with more tenderness as the clear, soft light leaves her fingertips slowly, cascading down and tracing patterns over the girl's skin so gently that it speaks of affection that has no borders. No limits. Unconditional love in its kindest form. The girl's breathing races, and her chest rises and falls with growing speed.
It's okay. Let it grow inside of you. Just like you let it fill you yesterday in the garden. I promise you; it's alright. I think you know by now that there isn't a single particle in my body that could hurt you. Am I wrong? Tell me I'm wrong.
She whispers gently, and Raven's blue eyes gradually fill with peace and a certain kind of stillness. An assurance.
No, you're not. It's just a little bit...
Yes, it is. But do you think you can find the courage in yourself, to not only feel it but accept it as well?
Ray stares for a minute into the warm chocolate-brown eyes of her friend, whom she treats like family. More than her own blood-tied family could ever be, then gazes down at her hand and the light that dances against her skin, tickling it a bit as it sways and flows without rest or fatigue. And then she nods, her eyes tracing the white fog that seems to shimmer in the bright light of the morning that falls into the windows located behind the sofa. And then, without warning, she smiles and feels something in her melt like snow as the sun breaks through its cold layers. Gently, slowly, with kindness and warmth.
Mmm, that... it tickles. That's wild.
She says with surprise as Mel smiles at her but doesn't respond in any way. The white light starts to move against Ray's skin in a playful way, as if encouraging her to take some action of her own. The girl gazes at the energy with wonder as something seems to fill her up and move through her body. She shifts her eyes closer to her elbow and watches as a faded, very soft light moves under her skin. If she wasn't focused on the strange feeling and the skin where it was heating up, she probably wouldn't even notice it at first. But she feels it, oh how she FEELS it. She closes her eyes for a moment as it expands under the muscles and moves forward, slowly all the way to the knuckles, and then opens her eyes again. Her stare is mesmerized and slightly frightened as an orange light escapes her fingertips, first shyly as if learning the outside world. And then with more confidence as it moves onward and finally meets the other captivating light. The picture in front of her is more than hypnotic. It's enchanting and pulls her in with a magnetic force.
She leans forward and gazes at both her and Melanie's hands as the golden orange light mixes with the delicate white one, forming into small orbs and dancing against each other as if getting to know each other, shimmering and sparkling, creating tiny explosions. Shifting forward and backward, circling each other and then causing gentle hissing sounds. Like fireworks meeting and bursting into million beams of light. Feather-light earthquakes on the surface of the smallest of Suns. She breathes fast and shakes her head in wonder. The strangest game of push and pull she has ever witnessed. It was really hard to break away. And how would she? How could you break away from a miracle? From live magic?
What in the...?
They are just getting acquainted. It's amazing, isn't it? Like little children that know nothing about the world. And yet, they seem to know each other. As if two souls finding themselves in the limitless vastness of the universe. By chance, it seems, and yet, inexplicably familiar.
Ray blinks, and Mel clears her throat, slightly embarrassed.
Sorry, I got a bit extra there. But it's beautiful, isn't it?
Yes, it sure damn is. Fuck.
She whispers out, and bites her lower lip, still mesmerized by the little scene.
Don't stay in that moment for too long, or you will stay there forever.
She looks up at her and blushes.
So, how do I...
Just welcome the energy back in, and it will know what to do. Mmm, simply visualize inviting it into your body, see how it moves and flows back into your bloodstream. Let it return to its home.
Ray looks a bit doubtful and overwhelmed by the entire situation but manages to nod in response. She closes her eyes and repeats her friend's instructions in her mind, slowly, over and over again. Imagining the energy slowing down its dance, shifting and bending, first unwillingly and stubbornly, but then gradually tracing its light back into her fingertips, her hands, up the elbows and her shoulders, gliding until it moves to her chest, flowing between the ribs and filling each and every heartbeat that she possessed. Slowing down even more and resting in her cells, the deepest structure. Her muscles and bones now seeming to be made out of rubber or silicon. It felt more than freaking surreal, to say the least.
The most abstract feeling in the world, right?
Ray opens her eyes and nods, a bit shaken by the whole scene.
Yes, yes... very. Jeezes, Mel. And it's like that every time?
Usually, yes. Though it can even be more powerful than that.
She cusses and shakes her head, leaning her back against the sofa, looking exhausted as if she had just done a triathlon of some kind. Mel nods and smiles.
Trust me, despite the craziness of it all, it's so very worth it. Through a lot of hard work. And speaking off. It's getting late. Take a few deep breaths and hit the shower. I'm leaving now. So, close up later and meet me at the cafe, alright?
Yeah... yeah, of course.
She mutters, a bit distracted.
Yes, feels like a lot of unnecessary mundane to do, but that's life for you. We still need to pay the bills.
The girl groans in disbelief as the meaning of the words finally breaks through but nods after a moment and sits up.
Just give me five.
Mel leaves quickly and closes the door behind her without looking back. Then leans against the door and exhales loudly. Well, that went better than she thought. Her house was still standing, and so were the mailbox and the cherry trees. She would say that they could call it a success. She walks down the pathway and into her car, sitting down and trying to let peace spread inside of her gradually. She wasn't sure how it would all go, to be honest. The first time you deliberately let out your energy, and not just by accident, can be a challenging thing to experience. It was like that for her when she first did it. Her family was a loud witness to it. But with Raven and her level of powers... well, let's just say this morning could have ended in so many other ways that could have been dangerous for both of them. For Mel especially. But she was glad they took that chance. Without it, they could not move forward with what needed to be done. Raven needed balance, and this was the only way to obtain it. Practice as much as possible until the power in her would only expand inside her. And not implode outside. Mel breathes out a bit shakily but then gradually calms herself down. It will be okay. It has to be.