The candles hadn’t been hard to get. After some convincing and a newly acquired magic power that consisted of what humans referred to as the “puppy dog” face in her body, pretty much got her anything she wanted. They were running a little low on food anyway, and Jeb still needed the boys’ help with the mirrors and making sure the cave hadn’t suffered any damage from the wet season, so that left the Wanderer on her own, driving an unmarked van into town. He’d been so easy to crack it almost wasn’t fun.
It had been easy, blending in with the souls in town. But she didn’t have much time because she hadn’t let Ian know that she would be leaving. He’d probably be furious when she got home, but for now, she had matters just a tad more pressing in mind.
With cart-fulls of food, she happily obliged in strangers’ help to the van because there would be no waiting humans in the back. She was on her own. It felt nice to be trusted so completely.
Stopping at an electronics store, she stepped tentatively inside where she was immediately approached by a tall, curly-haired man who seemed more than willing to help her find exactly what she was looking for. A small portable stereo that ran on batteries. A boombox, she learned. She grabbed a few CDs; she wasn’t sure of Ian’s taste, but she did the best she could. It wasn’t a presentjustfor Ian after all. It was for all of the cave dwellers. They needed music in their lives.
Thinking about how happy they’d be, she purchased a guitar as well. Maybe someone would know how to play and they could bring music into the caves without batteries. And make their own songs. She felt as if she were floating when she thought of how happy everyone would be.
One last stop and then she would be back on her way. She stopped at just a regular grocery plus store and purchased a dozen of the best smelling candles she could find and a few boxes of matches assuming they’d last longer than lighters would and they’d serve many other purposes.
The drive home was quicker than she expected and only Jeb was waiting for her when she got back. He let her know that Ian was angry she’d left without telling him but that they’d calmed him down and busied him elsewhere so she could do exactly what it was she had in mind. He winked at her knowingly and her shy body betrayed her, her face tinting a scarlet pink.
She dashed off to her room after explaining the guitar and clutched her bag of candles and the boombox under her arms. She set them up strategically around the room, lighting them and looking on in awe as they cast perfect shadows along the cave wall. She was sitting on their mattress with music on, turned low so that it was only background music. She was wearing one of his shirts that fit her like a dress almost to her mid-calf. Her heart was pounding so loud so thought maybe he could hear it.
She swallowed down a lump in her throat as she heard him call out to her. Tears wanted to fill her eyes in the best way and then she saw his face with the eyes so blue they didn’t have a name. “Hi,” she called quietly, watching him as he took in his surroundings in what looked like wonder. “I’m ready,” she whispered, looking at him seriously, knowing he knew exactly what she meant.