Seashell Secrets XIX

Loni had walked for hours. He went down past Shenandoah Elementary towards Coral Way. He had to get to Gar’s house in Coconut Grove. Sometimes, he would walk for hours to get his thoughts organized. He did his best thinking in the shower or while doing something rhythmic.
Loni had walked towards Lully’s house in Little Havana, then walked back to his house. The images from the previous night kept resurfacing in his consciousness. His memories were all confused and it seemed that there were periods that were just missing, as if he had been dreaming.
He wanted to forget the man. His hands and arms felt so clammy and cold. The Miami sunshine was rising and collecting in bright yellow pools here and there between tree branches. A school bus came around a corner, and Loni watched as it picked up some kids. The kids got on the bus with books and bags. Two women watched the kids board the bus and then stared at Loni. He realized that he looked freaky out there so early in his heavy metal band member outfit and wild hair. He usually wore a ponytail and dressed in less threatening clothes, but this was his show outfit.
The women walked away quickly, peering back at him suspiciously once in a while. He smiled, but that made it worse. He had to get to Gar. Loni knew then, that he could be gay or he could not, but what had happened the night before had nothing to do with being gay. That guy had been a predator.
Gar was fixing his Mom some of her Cuban coffee and thinking about breakfast when the phone rang.
“Hello,” he said and listened to the voice on the other end.
“Hey there, Gar,” Lully’s Dad said. “The agent called in. Do you have a decent demo, son?”
“We have a four song demo, but Lully is not on it,” he replied.
“I will bring Lully over when you are ready, and we’ll record your new song. I will add it to the demo using my recording equipment,” he said. It sounded like he was chewing.
“Thanks,” Gar was really happy that Lully’s Dad was in the business. “I will call Paul and Loni, so that we can do this as soon as possible.”
“Sounds good,” said Lully’s Dad and hung up.
Gar strained the milk for the coffee. His Mom would love the coffee. He didn’t like coffee, but he had watched her make it a couple of times and learned. She was probably still asleep. Gar’s Mom had trouble sleeping, but would always try to get up early to fix things up around the house and do the shopping. He went to her room.
“Mom,” he said. She smiled without opening her eyes.
“Is that my favorite son,” she asked.
“It’s your only son,” he said.
“Any son who brings his mother cappuccinos in bed is a favorite son,” she opened her eyes and pushed herself up to sit. Pillows arranged around her and a scarf around her head made her look like a Hollywood star.
“Mom, guess what,” he asked, handing her the cup and saucer. It was the fancy porcelain from the island.
“What,” she asked. She took a sip and nodded with enjoyment.
“Last night, someone from a recording studio saw us play and really liked us. They want to sign us,” he said. It was his dream. Could it be her dream, too? She had wanted to be an actress, but had met his Dad and decided that he was going to be her world.
She stopped her coffee drinking and put the cup and saucer on the nightstand.
“Come with me Gar. I have something for you,” she said. She got up, wrapped a satin robe around herself and walked him to the vanity. She opened her top drawer and pulled out a small black velvet box. She carefully pried it open and showed Gar what was inside. His eyes widened.
From inside his mind, he heard a song by a band called Blind Illusion about a dangerous stone. He stared into his mother’s eyes, but there was no danger there. She looked at him with a sage look of promise, as if she had been waiting for this moment for all of his life.

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