A silent love drives Lou to take a long look at her life.... is it too late to set things right?

inspired by "Ghost" sung by the Indigo Girls

Dear Lou-

Itís been a long time, too long -

You probably think Iíve forgotten you, but that ainít true.

Itís just been too hard to tell you all the things Iíve got trapped in my head.

there's a letter on the desktop that I dug out of a drawer

They sent this letter to me, they found it in your things, waiting ... waiting for you to send it. I have to believe that you just ran out of time.

the last truce we ever came to in our adolescent war

Thereís no excuse for the time thatís passed, but I need you to know - Wherever I go, I take you with me. Where ever you are, so am I.


I have a whole collection of letters locked away in a drawer, letters Iíve written and have had returned, unopened. I always meant to throw them out, give up on him, but there was always one excuse after another... one more thing telliní me to keep them. Over the last few weeks I've taken those letters out and read them again and again, laughing at the silly things I wrote.

There were a few letters from you mixed in with mine. Short and sparse, they never told me much. I canít tell you how much Iíve searched through the few words you put to paper, hopin' to find a bit of my own pain in those lines.

and I start to feel the fever

from the warm air through the screen

you come regular like seasons

shadowing my dreams

It's November and still I feel heat in the air as I stand here alone at my window, staring into the night. My memories find their way inside, slipping through the cracks in my mind, thick and warm; a never ending stream of memories driving me. I read, I walk, I ride..... and still I can't escape the doubts deep inside of my heart. I wish I'd listened back then, taken a moment to think things through... had some time to myself. Maybe, just maybe I wouldn't be standing here wondering 'What if?'.

There it is again, that nagginí feeling, pulling on me. I feel you with me constantly, a shadow in the back of my mind and heart.

and the Mississippi's mighty

but it starts in Minnesota

at a place that you could walk across

with five steps down

and i guess that's how you started

like a pinprick to my heart

but at this point you rush right through me

and i start to drown

It started a long time ago, this torment in my heart. Starting slowly and building like a flood, it had to begin somewhere; nothing comes straight out of thin air. There had always been a connection between us, something deep and calm even if the world around us was fallin' down around our ears. From early on there was an ease in our relationship, a quiet peace between us. I remember how free I felt, as if even then, you sensed who I was.

The moment you saw me... really saw who I was, was when I went after my brother and sister. It was the time the other riders learned who I was, but you.. when you heard the words you saw me as a woman for the first time. I saw it in your eyes. You didnít judge, you didnít cringe or turn away. It was in that moment that I saw Ďyouí too.

But if that was the start of this river drawing me through life, the day the dam broke ...well that's easy to see:

It was that kiss.. that all consuming kiss that made me want to slap you, and still made me go weak in the knees. There was a passion there that had no match, something that was wild and untamed like an Indian pony unbroken and full of life. Wicks showed me one kind of passion.. one that could hurt and kill a heart. He flayed open my dreams, stripping me of that precious shield of innocence.

With Kid there was always been a sweetness to what we had... a quiet, almost bashful interaction. He'd been attentive and caring, always concerned for my feelings and tryin' to protect something in me; something I fear had been gone for a long long time. His concern was a wonderful thing, sweet and smothering... 'cause in the late hours of the night, when we were together...it was still there, a third person in an already crowded relationship.

I was as precious as a porcelain doll, protected from harm and myself... keepin' me from the edge. He kept my control intact, but in doin' that; I could only experience love from the outside lookin' in.

and there's not enough room

in this world for my pain

signals cross and love gets lost

and time passed makes it plain

Everyday it filled me a little more. This naggin' feelin' that I had missed out on so much in life. Together, Kid and I had seen Rock Creek change, family grow and leave, takin' other paths in life. We built a successful horse ranch, stickin' by each other through hard times and good, but there was always an emotional distance, at least on my part. We'd never had any children and I know Kid felt cheated somehow.

I talked with Rachel time and time again, and even Emma once, when she had been by on a visit. They were the only ones I had trusted to keep my secret. Emma reminded me of the time when Tyler DeWitt was tryin' to track me down. I'd felt so guilty about 'cheatin' on Kid, but we hadn't made any promises then... I could have stopped it, could've taken a different path, but I felt like I owed it to Kid. He'd kept my secret. He'd known from the beginning and he'd kept it for me.

I've been keepin' a secret of my own for years. I've been in love with a ghost.

Strange, but I can't think of livin' without this feelin' in my heart, holdin' me together with each breath, and

of all my demon spirits

I need you the most

I'm in love with your ghost

I'm in love with your ghost

dark and dangerous like a secret

that gets whispered in a hush

(don't tell a soul)

when i wake the things i dreamt about you

last night make me blush

Tonight as I slept, I dreamt of that kiss by the fire again. The one time I had been overwhelmed by my own need. I dreamt of what might have happened, if we'd been given more than that moment. More than that one tantalizing taste of rapture.. it still holds me in its grasp, tyin' me to the memory - to you.

(don't tell a soul)

If we'd had more time, things might've been said between the two of us. It could have all changed that night, instead I've had to bottle up all me feelings, feelings I hadn't been able to talk about or even admit to myself, not until now.

I kept it all to myself, the next day you wouldn't talk about it. Why should I try? You brushed it off like it didn't matter, "It wouldn't happen again" you said. That cut deeper than you'll ever know. There were hopes I'd had - even then, hopes that froze as quickly as they'd flared to life.

and you kiss me like a lover

then you sting me like a viper

I go follow to the river

play your memory like a piper

I sit in the cramped coach of the Overland Stage, but I feel my thoughts surging over me like water, bringing my body back to life... itís been sleeping for so long. I had almost forgotten what it felt like. I'm headin' to that awful place, the place where you lay buried. I have to prove to myself that you're dead. I've read the papers, heard the stories and had it told to me more times than I can count. You're dead, murdered by a two-bit vigilante, six feet under and a funeral I couldn't attend - but through all of it, you are still alive....here in my heart.

and I feel it like a sickness

how this love is killing me

I'd walk into the fingers

of your fire willingly

and dance the edge of sanity

I've never been this close

I'm in love with your ghost

Every night, I feel you closer, stronger than before... I don't know if I'm goin' insane or if I'm gettin' closer to heaven. Every morning, the same as the last, I wake up, my mind a twisting gale of emotions; the sheets flung off the bed as I wrestle against my guilt. Through it all I know that I would gladly walk through the walls of an inferno to feel again.

unknowing captorvou never know how much you

pierce my spirit

but I can't touch you

can you hear it

a cry to be free

oh I'm forever under lock and key

I doubt you ever thought it would go this far, that Iíd let myself give in to these darker thoughts... I didnít either, until I got that letter.

I knew it wasn't working, even had the papers drawn up... he told me he wouldn't sign them, not until I'd made my trip and had some time to myself. Even as I left, I knew it was too late. We'd grown apart too much to force it back together. We'd tried so long and so hard to prove that we were perfect together, it had all but killed anything natural between us. It wasnít anyoneís fault, sometimes things change.

My cry for freedom, stopped again by the crushing weight of love.

as you pass through me

now i see your face before me

i would launch a thousand ships

to bring your heart back to my island

as the sand beneath me slips

I feel everything slippin' away, draggin' me down with reality. The closer I get to you, the more I find myself alive. Each breath burning through my body, the air coursing around me sears my soul. This was takin' too long, there isn't anything fast enough to bring me to you... but I know deep down, I keep goin' because I know you're there waitin' for me.

as i burn up in your presence

and i know now how it feels

to be weakened like Achilles

with you always at my heels

this bitter pill i swallow

is the silence that i keep

Can you hear me? Can you hear me call to you across the miles? I'm comin' to you finally. To share my silent shame with you.

I made my choice years ago, I made my choice to do what I felt was right. Right for everyone. I had thought that you had made your own decision to shut me out of that part of your heart that I so desperately wanted. If only I'd realized how you were tryin' in your own way to set me free.

I had taken it as rejection, never suspecting your own pain. I had been to wrapped up in what I thought everyone else wanted. Rachel, Teaspoon, the others... and Kid. Sweet Kid, always tryin' to shield me from my own faults. He tried to make everything better. I was grateful to him, thinkin' I had a life with him, one where I could bring my brother and sister back to.

You've heard about them, they've both married and have children of their own. Lives of their own.

it poisons me I can't swim free

the river is too deep

though I'm baptized by your touch

I am no worse than most

in love with your ghost

you are shadowing my dreams

in love with your ghost)

(in love with your ghost)

(in love with your ghost)

There you are, nothing more than a grave marke

r and a pile of dirt. The town had mourned you, but no one there could understand why I hurt so much. They brought me to you, concern on their faces and worry in their hearts. It must be written across my face, how much I miss you. Jimmy, my love... where have you gone? I can't believe a man, so tall and full of life, could be reduced to this sad little plot of land in the hills.

I out waited them, they've all gone home to their families and left me to mine. Family, loves you for yourself, flaws and all. You'd seen all my faults and loved me regardless, you'd stood by me without question, never askin' me to prove anything. I knelt down beside you pushing back the ache in my chest and loved you with everything I had. The ground, so cold under my hands, was a stark reminder of the last fifteen years of my life, in that moment, it's all forgotten, all forgiven.

Late that night, I felt you near me. Peace, like Iíd never known, settled over me in my sleep. A hand, tender with care, smoothed over my hair and I heard a chuckle deep and soft in my ear. ďCome a long way Loulabelle? Itís time for you to go back to town... Iíve got a rest of my own to find.Ē

Blindly, sleep shrouding my eyes, I grabbed on with both hands. ďTake me with you.Ē

There was a pause and a tender caress. ďWould it do any good to argue with you?Ē Before I couldíve answered I was in his arms and we were going home.

Email Raye