Tommy - The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl? - Chapter 88


Tommy
The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?

A Novel By Teddie S.

Copyright © 2018 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 88
Dr. Etsitty’s Cookout. Kelly & Larry.

Ajie and I had gone shopping with my grandmother and aunt. We had found some rugs, pottery, and baskets to help us decorate the apartment. While we were shopping, we’d stopped at Doc Martin’s Restaurant in Taos where grandma bought lunch for all of us.

After we’d finished shopping, we paid a call on Mr. Yazzie the silversmith. It was a surprise, as he didn’t know that Ajie and I were in town. We joked around with him about the two rings that he’d slipped into our goodie bag last year. He’d also shown us a lovely piece of work that my Great-Great-Grandfather Kilchii Nez had done. It was a small silver box with a round turquoise piece in the center of the top.

We were going to drop my grandmother and aunt off at the resort, pick up our things, and head back to Albuquerque, and that's what we did. After we’d left the resort and were on the way back to Albuquerque, I asked, “Honey, why the tears earlier?”

“When we were talking about Kelly and Larry coming?”, Ajie asked.

“Yes.”

“I just got sad when I thought about Maria and Mark not coming.”

“I know. But they’ll get out here sometime.”

“I know.”

“And we’ll see everyone when we go home.”

“When’s that going to be?”

“Are you getting homesick?”

“Maybe a little.”

“I think once you get into the swing of classes and working that you’ll be okay.”

“I guess.”

When we got to the apartment, which I guess is home now, I backed the car into the garage, and we unloaded everything. The suitcase went upstairs. The camera bag went into the small room and the silver into the safe. The pottery and baskets went onto the kitchen table. The two rugs that we were going to hang went on the table. The biggest rug we placed in front of the couch, and the other four rugs went upstairs. Two into our bedroom and two into the spare bedroom.

I finally asked, “What more do we have to do?”

“Oh not much.”, Ajie said. “I guess just figure out where to hang the two rugs, and where to put the pottery and the baskets.”

“And I’ll bet you already know where you want things?”

She just smiled. Then she said, “Let’s go somewhere for dinner.”

“Where?”

“Maybe the drive in.”

“The one with the ginger ale milkshakes?”

“Uh huh.”

“I’d better change.”

“Why?”

“If we get the same car hop and he recognizes the car, it could be interesting. Besides two girls cuddling may not look good.”

Amy smiled, and said, “Go get changed, lover boy.”

A short time later we were cuddled together enjoying hamburgers, french fries, and ginger ale milkshakes. These hamburgers were as good as the ginger ale milkshakes. This drive-in was a keeper. And tonight we had a different carhop.

After we made ourselves a light breakfast, we figured which rug was going to be hung in which bedroom, and while I hung them, Amy placed the pottery and the baskets where she wanted them. Then we rehung the special rug with the new hanger, and it looked better.

I then asked Amy, “Well are you happy with what we’ve done?”

“Yeah.”, Amy said. “But I may find other things that would look good.”

After we’d finished, Amy spent the rest of the morning studying. And I read. Then as we were eating lunch, I said, “Let's go back to the Sandia Crest. I’d like to look around a little more.”

“We have to be at Dr. Etsitty’s at five.”, Amy reminded me.

“I forgot.”, I said. “We could run over to that camping equipment store and see what they have in the way of trail maps for up there.”

“We could also use hiking staffs and maybe larger canteens.”

“And a backpack.”

“For a blanket?”

“I haven’t found a place around here, like we had at home, to use it. Yet.”

“A girl can try.”, Amy said with a sly grin

I shook my head, grinned, and said, “Maybe I’ll ask the guy at the camping store if he knows a place.”

“You wouldn’t dare?”

“Wouldn’t I?”

A little later we were talking to the guy at the camping store, and he had some good maps with trail descriptions for the Sandia Crest area. We bought the trail maps, along with hiking staffs, additional canteens, and a backpack. The guy also suggested windbreakers, as it was always windy up there. And after our last trip up there we agreed with him.

We headed back to the apartment to get ready to go to Dr. Etsitty’s for the cookout. I grabbed the two research papers that were written about Nádleeh and ran over to the drug store to make copies. While I was at the drug store, I also grabbed today’s issues of both the Navajo Times and the local paper. Then I headed back to the apartment.

When I was back and getting ready for my shower, Amy had just gotten out of the shower, and she walked into our bedroom in her birthday suit. I looked at her naked body, smiled, and wished we had more time.

She saw the look in my eyes, grinned, and said, “Later lover.”

“Really?”, I replied.

“Yeah. If we get started now, we’ll never make the cookout.”

“So?”

“Remember who my preceptor is for my masters.”

“Yeah. I know.”

Amy was going as Ajie. Was this a good idea with members of the faculty being there? I don’t know.

As Amy got dressed, I took my shower. When I came out of the shower, Amy or now Ajie was dressed in a fancy blouse, a long fancy skirt, and wrap moccasins. She had braided her long black hair into a single braid that went down her back. She’d finished off the braid with a fancy leather wrap with feathers. And she’d added one of the beaded headbands. She looked sharp.

I wiggled into my special panties, slipped into a bra, and added the breast forms. Then I went with a fancy long skirt and a velvet blouse. I had learned to braid my hair, but I wanted to add the four colored leather strips to the braids, and I wasn’t sure that I could do that. So I asked Ajie to braid my hair for me.

Ajie quickly braided my hair and added a fancy wrap to the end of each braid. Then I added my favorite headband, the braided leather one with the feathers that hung off the loose ends. I placed it, so the feathers were in front of my left ear. I looked in the mirror, and I loved the look.

We both went with light makeup. Then we headed downstairs and to the safe to choose what jewelry we were going to wear. We both went with Concho belts and the matching silver feather earrings. Ajie went with a beaded choker, and I went with the bone Concho choker. We added a couple of rings and bracelets.

As we walked to the garage, I grabbed the copies of the two papers. Once in the garage, Ajie got in the car, I opened the overhead door, got in the car, pulled the car out of the garage, got out of the car, closed and locked the overhead door, got back in the car, and said, “I’m going to look into putting in a garage door opener.”

Ajie looked at me, and said, “I was wondering how long it was going to take you.”

“I’m going to the housing office tomorrow and find out if I can.”

As I drove, Ajie read the directions. And it wasn’t long until we were in the outskirts of Albuquerque pulling up in front of a lovely ranch-style house on a large lot. There were a half a dozen cars in the driveway and still room for us, so I pulled into the driveway and parked.

Ajie and I got out of the car, walked up to the front door, and I pushed the doorbell button. Soon the door opened, and a tall man, who was undoubtedly an Indian, looked at us, smiled, and said, “Yá’át’ééh. You must be Kai and Ajie?”

Knowing that he was Navajo, I replied with, “Yá'át'ééh, nizhonigó íiná aadóó hozhónahasdlíí.” – (Hello, it is good, and all is harmony around us.)

“Whoa. I may be a Navajo, but I don’t speak the language well.”

“I’m sorry. I said, hello, it is good, and all is harmony around us. It’s a greeting that we like to use. And yes we are Kai and Ajie.”

“I like that greeting. And I’m Tahoma Etsitty. I’m Victoria’s husband.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Etsitty.”

“Please, everyone calls me Tom.”

“Well, then it’s nice to meet you, Tom.”

“And it’s a pleasure to meet you, Kai and Ajie. Come on in everyone is out on the patio.”

We followed Tom through a very nice living room and equally nice kitchen, and out onto a large patio. There were maybe a dozen people there, all of them women. When we walked out onto the patio, Dr. Etsitty saw us and walked over. And she said, “Tom, I see you’ve met our two special guests?

“Ajie and Kai, I’m glad you could make it.”

“Thank you for inviting us, Dr. Etsitty.”, Ajie said.

“We’re not at the university, so please first names.”

“Yes, ma'am. I would, but I don’t know yours?”

“It’s Victoria, but you can call me Vicki.

“Come let me introduce you.”

We walked over to where everyone was, and Dr. Etsitty stood behind Aije, put her hands on her shoulders, and said, “Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to my graduate assistant for next year or two, Amy Young. And her friend Kai Nez. Amy is a member of one of the Navajo clans and was given the Navajo name Ajie Nez. And, her friend, Kai Nez is a member of the Navajo Nation.”

I saw Ajie cringe as Dr. Etsitty then said, “Amy graduated from Ohio State University's College of Nursing this spring with a Summa Cum Laude. And she is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International.”

Dr. Etsitty continued with, “If you’re wondering why they're dressed as they are. I wanted to meet Ajie, and I suggested that they come in Navajo dress. And I asked Amy or Ajie to bring her friend Kai. Please make them feel welcome and introduce yourself.”

Everyone was friendly, and we got the usual questions about our clothing and jewelry. Ajie was the center of attention of what I took to be the female faculty of the nursing school. And this cookout was good, but couldn’t match the barbecue at the resort.

I spent more time talking with Tom Etsitty then anyone else. And I felt comfortable talking to him. At one point, I said, “Tom, I have a good feeling about you. I think you will do good things for your people.”

“My people?”, Tom asked.

“Yes. The Navajo people. I’d also suggest that you brush up on the language.”

“Why?”

“I’m not sure. I just have a feeling that you might need it soon.”

“Now I’m worried.”

“Don’t be. Everything will be fine. Do you know Naainish Yazzie?”

“Yes.”

“Ask him about me.”

“Why?”

“He can tell you things about me.”

“You wouldn’t mind?”

“No.”

Almost four hours after we’d arrived, we were saying goodnight to Vicki and Tom Etsitty. And as Tom was shaking my hand, I said, “Remember what I said about brushing up on the Navajo language.”

Vicki looked at me and asked, “Why?”

“To help keep it alive, and you never know when it will come in handy.”

“Oh.”

Then Tom said, “Kai. It has been interesting meeting you. I hope to see you again soon. Goodbye.”

Amy looked at him, and said, “Tom, Kai and I never say goodbye, it’s too permanent. For your first lesson in the Navajo language, Kai and I only say, hágoónee'.”

“Hágoónee'?”

“Yes, it can mean many things, but we use it as, see you later.”

Then I said, “Hágoónee', Tahoma and Vicki.”

Tom smiled, and said, “Hágoónee', Kai and Ajie.”

On the way home, Amy told me that it felt funny to call Dr. Etsitty by her first name, Vicki. And that it was even harder to call Dean Milford of the College of Nursing by her first name, Martha. She said that they had asked her a lot of questions about her undergraduate work, and why she’d come out to New Mexico to do her master’s work. They also talked about her clothes and jewelry and why she was wearing them.

Ajie knew that I spent most of my time in a one-on-one with Tom Etsitty. And I told her that I felt very comfortable talking to him and that I felt that he would do good things for the Navajo people. That we’d talked about me being a Nádleeh, and why being a male, I liked to present as a girl. Then we talked a little about spirits and how they relate to the Navajo. I’d given him the research papers and told him that if he or Vicki had any questions after they read them that we could talk again. He was also surprised as to how well I knew the Navajo language. And I explained how my mother had helped us learn the language.

I then told Ajie that things got interesting when we started talking about Chief Peshlakai. I told her that I had told Tom everything that Chief Peshlakai had pulled with the scholarship. And that Tom had told me that he thought that during the election for the chief of the clan that Peshlakai and his friends had stuffed the ballot box, and that he had also told me that something was rumored to be going on that not too many people knew about including him. When I'd mentioned what Hastiin Tlizilani, the reporter, had said about Tom and me meeting him, that Tom had gotten quiet. And then Tom had whispered that there was something that was about to come to a head.

Ajie asked, “He didn’t say what. Did he?”

“No.”, I replied. “He said he didn’t know.”

“Did you believe him?”

“I felt that everything he told me was on the up and up.”

“So do you think something is going to happen?”

“After hearing things from the reporter and now from Tom Etsitty, I think that something big is going on.”

Later as we were getting ready for bed, Amy pulled out a little card, handed it to me, and said, “I want to collect on one of these.”

I took the card, looked at it, read it, and said, “You don’t have to present it every time you want one, you just have to ask.”

“It’s more fun to give you the card.”

“Well, M’lady. Your wish is my command.”

Amy enjoyed her hour-long foot massage and other things, and so did I.

The only thing I did on Monday instead of reading after walking Amy to class was to go to the housing office and ask about installing a garage door opener. They said that I could, but that they’d have to inspect it after I installed it and I’d have to pay for it. And I had no problem with that.

Amy had her two classes and the usual studying to do after dinner. I was in the routine of walking her to class, reading, having lunch with her, walking her to her second class, reading, then walking her home. I also made it a habit to stop at the drug store every day and pick up a copy of the local Albuquerque paper and a copy of the Navajo Times.

Wednesday was my twenty-second birthday. And I didn’t say anything. I wanted to see if Amy remembered. And she did. As we walked back to the apartment after her second class, she said, “Let’s go out to dinner tonight.”

“Okay.”, I replied. “Where do you want to go?”

“Your pick.”

“I wish we were closer to Taos.”

“I know. Maybe the next time we spend a night at your aunts. So, where else?”

“Pizza.”

“Sounds good. And I think I’d like a bottle of wine too.”

At dinner time we walked across campus and to Nunzio's Pizza. We ordered our favorite, a large cheese pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, green olives, and green peppers. And a bottle of wine. We ended up taking half the pizza home. The wine was gone when we finished dinner, and Amy drank most of it.

We walked back to the apartment, and as I put the pizza in the refrigerator, I heard Amy run upstairs. I went into the living room turned on the radio and sat on the couch. Amy came back down, and she had changed, she was wearing her robe. And she was carrying something. She sat down next to me and handed me an envelope. It looked to be a card. I opened it and read it. It was an adorable birthday card. I looked at Amy and said, “I love you.”

Then Amy handed me a package. And I asked, “What’s this?”

“Open it and see.”, Amy said.

I unwrapped the nicely wrapped package and opened the box. In it was a lovely silver bracelet with five pieces of turquoise mounted on it. I took it out of the box and looked at it. Of course, I looked at the maker’s mark, and it was Mr. Yazzie’s. I looked at Amy and said, “I love this. Thank you so much.”

“You’re very welcome.”, Amy said. “Mr. Yazzie did a wonderful job on it.”

I slipped the bracelet onto my wrist. And said, “You’re sneaky, and I love you.”

“I love you too. But I didn’t have a chance to get you a cake.”

“That’s okay.”

“But I still have dessert for you.”

“Oh!?”

“Do you remember that night on the couch at the resort?”

“How could I forget.”

Amy stood, unfastened her robe, and let it fall to the floor. She was standing there completely naked. I smiled. Then she said, “I’m your dessert. Do to me what you did to me that night on the couch in front of the fire.”

She didn’t have to ask twice.

Thursday, Amy was excited, Kelly and Larry would be here this afternoon at about four. She was so excited that I didn’t know if she’d make it through her classes today or not. She also had a list of things for me to do, wash clothes, do the grocery shopping, clean the apartment, etc. I told her that they weren’t staying with us. But she said that they were stopping by before we went to the resort. I just said that I’d do everything that she wanted me to do.

When Amy came home after her afternoon class, I had everything done. I hoped.

She was a nervous as a cat trapped in a dog pound. She couldn’t sit still. At four the phone rang. Somehow I beat her to the phone, and answered it, “Hello.” … “Hi, Larry. Did you have a good flight?” … “Great. We’re looking forward to seeing the two of you.” … “Once you get the car, follow the instructions that we sent you, and you’ll be here in ten minutes.” … “Great. See you when you get here.”

I looked at Amy and said, “Okay. Relax. They should be here in about twenty minutes.”

“Twenty minutes! How does the apartment look?”

“Would you please relax. Everything is fine.”

Amy kept looking out the front window. Then sitting back down, then getting back up, looking out the window. And sitting back down. I finally grabbed her, tossed her on the couch, and said, “If you don’t stay there I’m going to sit on you.”

“Sorry.”, Amy said, “But I just can’t wait to see Kelly and Larry.”

“Honey, I can’t either, and they’ll get here when they get here.”

And it was about twenty minutes after I’d talked to Larry that there was a knock on the door. Amy was off the couch like a shot and to the front door before I got out of the chair.

Just before I got to the door, Amy opened it, and started to say, “Hi Kell … ” Then Amy screamed, “Oh my God! Maria! What are you doing here?”

I couldn’t see her, but I heard Maria say, “Silly, we’ve come to see you.”

“Oh my God!” And I saw Amy and Maria wrap the1r arms around each other.

I walked over to the door, and Mark, Kelly, and Larry were standing there, grinning. And I said, “Hi guys. What a great surprise. Come on in.”

I pried Amy away from Maria, and said, “Come on. Let them in the apartment.”

Kelly looked at Amy, and said, “Gee. I wish I could get a welcome like that.”

Amy grabbed Kelly, hugged her, and said, “I’m sorry.”

“Honey, it’s okay. You weren’t expecting to see Maria.”

We walked into the apartment, and there were more hugs and handshakes. Finally, things settled down. Then I said, “This is a wonderful surprise.”

“Do you two have room for us for a few nights?”, Mark asked.

“Of course we do.”, Amy replied. How long are you going to be able to stay? A week? Two weeks? A month?”

with a little laugh, Maria said, “No, honey. We need to fly out on Sunday.”

“Only three nights! That’s not long enough.”

“Sorry, sweety. But we have to be back home on Sunday.”

“How did you do this?”

“Why don’t we sit down.”, I said. “They’ve had a long flight.”

We sat, talked, and found out that Mark and Maria had been working and saving for the tickets for the flight in the hopes that we’d put them up. And they’d kept it a secret from everyone but Kelly and Larry. Was there any doubt that we’d put them up? Besides I knew they were coming. Wink. Wink.

Maria looked around, and asked, “Did you guys decorate this place?”

“Amy did most of it.”, I replied.

“Nice job Amy. I like what you’ve done.”

“It’s all Navajo. The rugs, the drapes, the pictures, the pottery, and the wall hangings.”

“And Ajie, it looks like you’ve been getting some sun.”, Maria said. “You look good with some color.”

“You can’t help it out here.”, Ajie replied.

“And the black hair. It looks good on you since you’ve gotten some sun.”

“It helps me feel like part of the people. And fit in with Kai’s family.”

“The people?”

“The Navajo.”

“What about the blue eyes.”

“I tell them the same thing that Kai does, a recessive gene.”

“And the blouse and long skirt?”

“They’re comfortable. You should try them.”

“And the moccasins?”, Kelly added.

“Same reason. Comfort.”

“So you wear this all of the time?”

“Most of the time. Unless we’re hiking, then it’s shorts or long pants, and boots.”

“So, Maria and Mark.”, Amy said. “You want to stay with us?”

“Of course.”, Maria said. “You said we could.”

“Of course you can. We only charge twenty-five dollars per person per night. But that includes breakfast.”

“Oh. … Uh. … Okay.”

“Honey, I’m kidding you. Of course, you’re welcome to stay with us. In fact, why don’t we go upstairs and we’ll show you your room? Come on everyone.”

The six of us went upstairs, and they couldn’t believe that this was college housing. I reminded them that it’s married student housing. Mark and Maria said that their bedroom here was bigger and nicer than there one at home.

Then Larry asked, “What time do we have to check in at the resort?”

“Don’t worry.”, I said. “We took care of that, and you can arrive at any time.”

“Thanks. How long does it take to get there from here?”

“Not long.”

“What’s not long?”

“About two hours.”

“Not long!?”, Larry exclaimed.

“Realize that out here it’s a long way to anywhere.”, I said. “New Mexico is about two and a half times the size of Ohio.”

Then I said, “Mark, why don’t you and I bring your bags in, then we can think about dinner.”

“I am getting hungry.”, Mark replied.

“Remember there’s a two-hour difference between home and here. It’s only a quarter to five here, and it’s a quarter to seven at home.”

“That’s why I’m hungry.”, Kelly said.

Amy grinned as she said, “And you’re eating for two now.”

“Tell me about it. And where’s the little girl’s room?”

Amy pointed to a door, and said, “It’s over there. And if anyone else needs to freshen up before we go out to eat, there’s another bathroom upstairs.”

Maria ran upstairs, and Mark, Larry, and I went out to get Mark and Maria’s bags. As I closed the front door, Mark asked, “Were you able to keep us coming out a secret from Amy?”

“Sure.”, I said. “I just never mentioned anything even if she brought it up.”

“Are you ever going to tell her that you knew?”

“Only once you’re gone. I don’t want you seeing the blood.”

“She’d be that mad?”

“Probably not. But I’ll hear about it.”

We carried the bags up to the guest room. Then Larry and Mark used the facilities. And I became Kai. Why? There would be a bonfire burning by the time we got to the resort, and I might want to meditate. Besides, I like Kai.

When I came back downstairs, Maria was the first to see me, and she said, “Kai.”

Then Kelly looked, and said, “I was wondering when we’d see you.”

“When I’m around the resort I just feel better being Kai.”, I said. “It has something to do the area’s strong spirits.”

“I even feel them sometimes.”, Amy added.

“I don’t know about you two.”, Mark said.

“Come on, you can follow us to Old Town and the La Placita Dining Rooms.”, I said. “But, let me grab some jewelry first.”

I walked to the small room, knelt at the safe, opened it. I only took out one of the Concho belts, two rings, and a bracelet. I locked the safe, stood up, and put on the jewelry.

Larry was standing there watching me, and said, “A safe?”

“We needed someplace to keep the silver jewelry.”

“Is it a good safe?”

“Yes. It’s old and heavy. And it took four of us, with a dolly, to get it in here.”

“It does look heavy.”

The six of us headed to Old Town, Maria and Mark came with us, and Kelly and Larry followed us. When we got to the La Placita Dining Rooms, both Larry and Mark commented about the thickness of the walls. And the tree growing up through the roof. Mark said, “This place is cool.”

They weren’t busy, yet. So we were quickly seated. And as we were looking at the menu, I said, “This is on us.”

“No way.”, Larry said. “You’ve done enough already.”

“Let us do this as a welcome gift. Besides, after tonight Maria and Mark will be doing dishes for the next three days.”

Maria looked at me, and said, “In your dreams, girlfriend. In your dreams.”

I grinned and said, “A girl can dream, can’t she?”

As we ate they filled us in on the happenings back home, and we learned that a couple of our friends from high school had been drafted into the military. And another one of our friends had gone to Canada to avoid the draft. And we told them what we'd been doing.

After we had fried ice cream for dessert, we headed north to the resort. I had Mark ride with me, and Amy and Maria ride with Kelly and Larry and follow me. I knew that the girls would want to talk. Plus Amy could answer any questions about the area that Kelly and Larry would ask.

It was just starting to get dark when we pulled into the resort. And Mark said, “I know Maria and I were out here before, but I just can’t get over how great this place is.”

I pulled into my aunt and uncles house, we got out of the cars, and walked up to the door. I just opened the door and walked in, and I heard Larry ask Amy, “Does Kai always just walk into the house that way?”

“We both do.”, Amy replied. “This is his aunt and uncle’s house, and if we’d knock, his aunt would yell at us. She’s told us that this is our house too and to treat it that way.”

As I opened the door, I yelled, “Anyone home?”

“Hi.”, I heard my aunt say. “We’re in the living room.”

I looked at the crew, and said, “Come on.”

I took them into the living room and introduced everyone. Then my aunt asked, “Kai, you going to the bonfire tonight?”

“We might stop.”, I replied. “But I want to get Kelly and Larry checked in first and then show them around.”

“Okay. Shilah’s working tonight.”

“Good. If we don’t see you again tonight, we’ll be back for the barbecue.”

“You’d better be.”, my uncle said. “I’m counting on you being there.”

“I was hoping that you’d forgotten about that.”

“Me, forget? No way.”

“Come on guys, let's get you checked in.”

As we walked out the door, I said, “Larry you can move your car to the guest parking area later.”

We walked to the hotel, and Larry and Kelly looked around at all the decorations. Then Kelly saw the picture, and as she pointed, she said, “Kai, that’s you.”

“Uh huh.”, I said.

As we walked up to the counter, Shilah said, “Good evening, Miss Kai. Miss Ajie. How can I help you?”

We got Kelly and Larry registered, and found that my uncle had upgraded their room to one of the Cliffside Suites. Those are the ones with a private balcony facing the cliff, which have a soaking tub.

As the six of us walked over, Larry asked, “Is everything out here build with adobe?”

“A lot of it.”, I replied. “It’s supposed to have a high thermal mass.

I showed them where the room was, and as they opened the door, Kelly said, “This is great. It has that Southwestern feel to it.”

I smiled, and said, “Come on, let Amy and me give you the tour of the resort.”

The six of us walked around the resort. Amy and I pointed out all the points of interest. When we came to the cliff trail, I told them about watching Sunrises and Sunsets up on the cliff. We also explained about the massages and soaking in the pools. And other services offered by the resort.

By then the bonfire was blazing, so we walked over that way. There were guests there, no singers like are there on Fridays, but I felt the spirits. But I didn’t feel a need to meditate.

Amy said, “Not going to meditate. Are you?”

“No.”, I replied. “I don’t feel a need to.”

“Thought so.”

“You’re feeling the spirits tonight. Aren’t you?”

“Uh huh.”

Kelly asked, “Amy, do you feel the spirits too.”

“Sometimes.”, Amy replied.

We stayed at the bonfire for about a half an hour, then the six of us walked back to my aunt and uncle’s house so that Larry and Kelly could move their car to guest parking and retrieve their suitcases. As we were saying goodnight, Kelly asked, “Amy and Kai, we’re flying out of Albuquerque early on the twenty-third. Do you think we could spend the twenty-second with you.”

Almost together, Amy and I said, “Of course you can.”

After telling Larry and Kelly that we’d meet them tomorrow at six at the barbecue, Amy, Maria, Mark, and I headed back to Albuquerque. And that was at close to ten local time. The girls, of course, we're talking, but it wasn’t long until it got quiet. I looked in the rearview mirror, and our two passengers were asleep. Amy lasted a little longer, and then she nodded off.

We were back at the apartment just before midnight, and it took me a little while to wake up my three passengers. I finally got my tree passangers into the apartment, and as Maria and Mark were going up to bed, Amy said, “If you get up before we do, feel free to fix yourself something. There are things in the frig and cupboards.

“Or if you can wait, we’ll take you to a Mexican restaurant for a good breakfast.”

“Okay.”, Mark said with a yawn. “Good night.”

After Mark and Maria had made it upstairs, I looked at the answering machine. And there was a message on it. I played it back, and it was a detective from the Santa Fe County Sheriff's office. And he said that the guy that had tried to steal our camera bag had pled guilty and was going to spend some time in jail.

I said, “I guess that’s all over with.”

“Let's hope.”, Amy quipped.

After we heard Maria and Mark finish in the bathroom, we went upstairs to bed.

~o~O~o~

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