I almost named this chapter “A Day like Any Other.” I have used that title in the past to highlight a day that started so normal, then rapidly spun into something very different, sometimes good, sometimes terrible… Oh, wow, that title even worked it’s way through my head as Maude as I described the start of the day Bill (who was really Shysage) and I were married!(1) That could have worked for this chapter; it is just that…

Well, the day didn’t start so normal, or maybe it really did. When I woke up, my Bill was very gently caressing me… Well it was quickly clear he was enjoying what he was giving, too. I rolled over on my back towards him, and just savored his amazing touch as I finished waking up. “How about a shower, precious?” Bill… Shysage asked so lovingly… It had been a few days; maybe our Ariel had re-arranged a lot of things, not that this even mattered. But, a shower, with my man… What an amazing way to start my day. I got dressed (bed-time clothes), peeked out to make sure the coast was clear, then Shysage and I ran quickly into the bathroom off the living room where our shower was (Ariel had her own shower). Shysage set the water up, then helped me in, then he joined me. He volunteered to wash my hair, but still kept caressing… I don’t know how good a job either of us did, at anything! Shysage took care of his woman (oh, my goodness!), then we just hugged tightly there in the warm water for a while, then Shysage washed us both with a little soap. I don’t know how well that worked either; I was having trouble standing up! As soon as he could, he helped me out of the shower and I flopped down on the toilet lid and Shysage dried me, then himself. Wow, I love my man, and showering with him… Well, I had to check to see if it was clear again, then we dashed back into our room. Shysage was in the rocking chair right away, and… We hugged and clinged (I don’t know) for a while. Even as Summer, I so treasure that… We got dressed next (sigh), then I let Shysage put just a touch of one of Edna’s perfumes on me, and only then did we hunt for our Ariel. She had been sitting on the swing enjoying a little quiet the whole time. We joined our treasure on the swing for a little while more, then we all piled into Shysage’s Mustang and headed to the Diner, for another normal day, of course. Well, it was a thursday, usually a busy day for us, for the Diner, probably very busy this last month of summer. And we barely had time to get windows opened, fans set up, and a little of the heat out of the dining room when a bunch of customers pulled into the parking lot, almost all at once it seemed. We were quickly swamped by the lunch rush. Actually, it was pretty easy. I took orders, Ariel served & cleared tables, and Shysage got stuck in the kitchen doing dishes almost non-stop. He laughed, and said he was counting plates. Every 30th plate, he would stop, come find me, and hug me some. Well, that was just nice, and made lunch rush a little more pleasant. Before he went back into the kitchen, he usually tried to find Ariel and give her a hug her too. I think Shysage and I both missed our daughter so much…

Maybe in the middle of the lunch rush, one of the locals brought me their cellphone, and said it was for me. What in the world… A lady named Dawn wanted us to reserve two seats for her; she and her daughter would be here in about an hour. I smiled, said that would be fine, then gave the cell back to the local, and they walked back and enjoyed their fries. Five minutes later I realized… Oh, wow, Dawn and Camille — maybe anyway. I was Summer now, and I remembered; if it was them, this would be… Well, I knew I would cry a lot. I let Shysage know just in case. He hugged me tightly, kissed my head… “Ariel and I can cover for you if it is them, precious.” I guess I got sucked back into the lunch rush after that, and absolutely blanked on saving them a table “in about an hour…”

But I guess Ariel found them as soon as they came in, and had already kept table 1 clear for them — I don’t know how she does that. Table 1 is near the restrooms, and not real popular, but usually very quiet; kind of out of the way in our dining room. I was busy, stayed busy serving our town, one burger, one soda at a time. Ariel came and got me. She held out her hand for the pen and paper. “Mom, you have company” she said with a smile. I saw Dawn, and was in tears right away… and even Camille! I almost ran over there, and the three of us were quickly hugging, crying… Not much was said; I was Summer now, and of course remembered them both… Such precious friends… But I also remembered their Twins in my home world, and that made me cry a lot… After a while, we sat down, and just visited, still wiping away some tears, hugging again occasionally. And I ran and got Camille’s picture of me (as a small horse with wings), and that made us all cry, too. Dawn didn’t try to ask what had happened (why I forgot); I am not sure how I would have answered that anyway. It didn’t really matter. And Camille is such a treasure! She asked for paper and a pencil (which I got for her right away), and Camille drew the most amazing picture of Shysage and I, both as small horses… Oh, my goodness, that made me cry too! I told them both a few times that it was just so good to see them again… And Dawn thanked me again for rescuing her little girl… But they only stayed maybe an hour, then sighed at the 1 hour return trip home. We all hugged, and I thanked Camille for another amazing picture. They were soon on their way, and then I just… had to find Shysage (in the kitchen washing dishes), and cry on his shoulder for a few minutes It really does hurt that we have such amazing, precious friends… scattered all over, it seems, now so far away…

Maybe half an hour later, well it wasn’t very long after, Shysage came up to me, sighed, and said quietly “Honey, the cook is beat and wants to go home early. Can we accomodate Sam this evening?

I furrowed my brow briefly… Sam is an amazing cook, and we would gladly accommodate him. We certainly can’t serve much beyond soda and fries without him! “We should put up signs, and Ariel, we need to let people know.” I looked over at the clock. “Close at 5 then?”

Shysage smiled. “I think that will work; I will let Sam know.”

Ariel went from booth to booth letting everyone know right away that we would close in about an hour. She was kind, smiling, set a few straight, laughed, and was soon done. I made two signs, and taped one on the front door, and laid another down next to the cash register. Then I realized, well I thought… “Wow, a long evening with my man!” That sounded so nice to me. We could go home early, swing a while with Ariel, then Shysage and I… in our rocking chair… clinging… I sighed… I hoped Sam felt better tomorrow, but tonight… I was looking forward… By 5:20 we were locking the front door, then heading around back to Shysage’s Mustang. We let some hot air out of the car; it was still stinking hot here on the edge of the desert, in the middle of august, and without AC! We carefully got the three of us in, then Shysage started his car. He smiled right away. Like I said, I think he likes that car. I sighed deeply right away, too. I love my man! He drove us slowly home.

But the minute Shysage eased the car off the road and onto our long driveway… I… burst into tears, and was quickly crying loudly… I sensed… I felt… my TWIN!!!

And I only vaguely sensed that Ariel was crying too… I almost knocked Shysage over to try and get out of the car before he had even pulled to a stop. I wanted… I needed to hug my Twin… She was crying buckets too, already, and jumped down off the porch, and we were quickly hugging… crying… exactly the same way, with exactly the same voice, at exactly the same time… Well, she, they thought I was dead… again… That is so brutal, to lose a Twin… And this wasn’t the first time my Twin had to deal with that… We just stood there next to the Mustang, hugging, crying… for a while. Both Shysages gently moved us up onto the porch since it would start to get dark soon. My Twin and I, we just cried together, hugging, for a while more…

And Shysage, well my Shysage filled me in on this later. My Twin Summer and her Shysage, they have a daughter also named Ariel, who was then about 4 years old. Our daughter Ariel, years older (long story, 2), is their Ariel’s Twin. Though years apart, they both sensed each other right away. Shysage said his Twin (my Twin’s Shysage) was holding their Ariel in his arms when their Ariel’s mommy jumped down and ran over to me. Our Ariel walked up the steps onto the porch. Their Ariel looked at our Ariel, and couldn’t look away. As a 4 year old who could just barely talk, their Ariel said quietly “Ariel?” certainly a question. Our Ariel just put out her arms, and their Ariel did the same. Both Ariel’s hugged tightly, and cried softly together, ending up on the swing, and just relaxed together while both mommies hugged and cried loudly together. Oh, my goodness, all our Twins… We were all together now! And yes, I could thank my precious Shysage for arranging all of this… He takes such good care of me…

And I guess, I need to explain this Twin thing a little more. I am from a different world, in some senses a parallel word to here. Some from my home world actually have “Twins” who are the same person in this world, same name even! That’s how I’m using the word “Twins”. Some of the Twins we know are both Twins and twins. But among other aspects, us Twins… Being together is just so amazing… And I wrote something like this once to try and describe why I and my Twin are so drawn together…

The deeply rooted attraction between these ‘Twins’… …was simply this… …the realization of full, complete, unconditional acceptance… They were more than twins, they were identical… …the same person… …and there was simply no part of one that would cause the other to be guarded, to attack, or doubt, or complain, or to plot behind their backs, or hurt them in any way, this was simply not possible… It was perfect peace, at the hands of someone you knew would never do you wrong or attack you. On the contrary, Summer knew her Twin would do anything to help her any way she could. And of course, Summer would do the same. No wonder these Twins always wanted to be together… Heaven should be just like this… (3)

Wow, remembering that, writing that made me cry… I love my Twin! And I need to point out that, us Twins, when we are both in the same world, we look almost identical. My Twin looks just like me. The second time they visited the Diner (before my Man woke me up), I was just so struck by that. But we are the same persons, just from two different worlds… That part is complicated…

After crying, hugging for a long time, my Twin and I nudged both Ariel’s over on the swing, then sat down there next to each other, hugging, and crying on and off some more, enjoying each other and the music(4). Both Shysages had brought chairs out from our living room, and were relaxing, talking some. And I did overhear my Twin’s Shysage say “Yeah, Phil and Shiela are doing fine.”  He chuckled, then said “Well Phil was running away, and tried to find the most out of the way spot he could, just to think…  And he found you, of all people…” paused briefly, then  “Well, he decided to take a year off of college to care for his new wife and their baby…”  That made my Twin and I both cry, the same way, at the same time…  Still, I was pretty sure me remembering was a big load off my Shysage. Well, and for me to remember my Twin, that had to make things much easier for my Twin’s Shysage. Now I knew why my Twin was so upset the first two times they visited(5). Because of the Twin Link, she absolutely knew it was me, but I didn’t remember any of that, I didn’t remember her… Well, I was just Maude then… Now, so much had changed… I, we both wiped away tears the rest of that evening. And I asked my Twin about soul linking some. (Only Twins can generally do that.) We usually jump at that privilege, but I agreed with her answer. She said quietly, almost whispering in my ear. “Nah, I am so fed up with what has been going on… True friendship doesn’t just quit like that… I don’t want to see all you had to go through, yet anyway… And I’m really embarrassed about how the rest of us…” We hugged and cried a while more.

As midnight rolled around, their Ariel was sleeping soundly in our Ariel’s arms. The two of them crashed on the couch in our living room. Shysage and my Twins brought their stuff in from their (newer) Mustang into Ariel’s room, and… Well, 30 minutes later, we were all snug, locked inside, and sound asleep, with a bunch of fans going, of course.

My Twin and I woke up the next morning, thinking the same exact thing… We would all work at the Diner today, for a while at least. My Twin and her family, they needed to head home in the afternoon; her Shysage had to work when they got back. But, until then, there would be two Maudes and two Bills at the Diner, and two Ariels, sort of. My Twin and I thought about this together, and agreed even before our Shysages woke up. She met me in the living room, and we made sure both Ariels were ok (swinging calmly on the front porch), then we both got on matching, dark blue “The Diner” t-shirts (she already was wearing jeans like I like). When both Shysages came out they already had their jeans and white t-shirts on, too. Then my Shysage pulled a package out of some closet, opened it… It was a bunch of the same dark blue t-shirts with “the Diner” on them, but they were brand new, and even had that sail boat thing over the words “The Diner”! A sail boat… here in the middle of the desert… I don’t know… Still, I hugged my Shysage for that after we all changed. My Twin held their Ariel while our Ariel got a new the Diner t-shirt on too. Then we made our way to the Diner. Well, their Ariel still wanted our Ariel, so she rode with them in their Mustang, and Shysage and I followed them in ours. The cook was just a little confused as all six of us arrived at the Diner when he did. We caused a lot of confusion that morning! Our Ariel pretty much held their Ariel most of the time, even walking her around some, and visiting with any other young children that came. But my and Shysage’s Twins… There were two of us! Right away, both Shysages worked together to get the fans going, windows opened… I guess my Twin’s Shysage has to do that sometimes at the church he works at.

But that day at the Diner was an absolute blast from the moment we started… My Twin and I, we split the Diner in half, and she took half of the tables and I took half. Our Shysages cleaned up after each of us, served big meals with us… Wow, did we confuse a bunch of the locals! The visitors, the salesmorons, they didn’t care… Well, wait… I heard over the Twin Link that one of the salesmorons, thinking my Twin was me, he asked her if her sister (he meant me) was married. I heard that, ran quickly over… Sounding as intimidating as I could, “Yes. Leave us both alone.”

“Ok, all right, I will… I’m sorry… Don’t hurt me…” He crouched close to his tablet thing and that was that. Wow, me intimidating a salesmoron… That is one for the books (whatever that means).

And my Twin ended up with Delores’ table, and actually drew a blank about Delores’ “special order.” I overheard (over the Twin Link), and ran quickly over and watched Delores’ jaw drop! “Oh, my goodness! There are two of you! How…” Well, we both hugged her and cried briefly together. Then Delores said quietly “If only Edna could have…” That made me cry, which made my Twin cry… the same way… at the same time… Delores had to leave too soon though, to meet Victor at the mall.

And I listened carefully over the Twin Link, and could tell if my Twin was not sure about anything. I just talked quietly, and explained over the Twin Link. She took it from there. We both had a lot of fun with that, and she kept saying “Twin, we need to do this again!” It was an amazing morning, an amazing lunch rush, if that is even possible.

Things calmed down after the lunch rush, and in the middle of the afternoon, both Summers and both Shysages, we all sat at the same booth and had some ice-cream and chocolate chip cookies. My Twin likes both too, of course. Then I remembered their earlier visits, and that made me cry. Then my Twin stood up, and held out her hand like she did that afternoon… “You are my adopted sister now, remember?” I stood up and we hugged right away, and that made me cry, which made her cry… Well, she quickly realized… I was crying because I wanted to see her sister, which made me want to see my sister (her sister’s Twin…)… I kept crying because they had to leave… I was thankful that I got to see them though. And their Ariel was pretty sad at leaving… The last thing I heard over the Twin Link was my Twin saying “Ariel… again…” This seemed to calm their Ariel down.

Twins… Oh, my goodness!

——

  1. CSR Maude: Meanderings (41) A Day like Any Other

https://wordpress.com/post/shysagecsr.wordpress.com/993

  1. The Chronicles of Summer Rain, Vol. 10, Ariel Dawn (FIMFiction)

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/267838/the-chronicles-of-summer-rain-vol-10—-ariel-dawn

  1. The Chronicles of Summer Rain (Original), Chapter 41, Twins, Part 2 (FIMFiction)

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/156624/41/the-chronicles-of-summer-rain/chapter-41-twins-part-2

  1. …The slow, understated elegance of ‘The Celestial Capital – Al’Taieu’* from the ‘Chains of Promethia’* expansion for Final Fantasy XI* (*c2014 by Square Enix).
  2. Both times Summer’s Twin visits her when she is Maude

CSR Maude: Meanderings (25) Just Bazaar

https://wordpress.com/post/shysagecsr.wordpress.com/837

CSR Maude: Revelations (49) Just Bazaar, Again

https://wordpress.com/post/shysagecsr.wordpress.com/1097

  1. CSR Maude: Revelations is copyright 2017 by Shysage. And “CSR Maude” is vol. 15 of the Chronicles of Summer Rain

c2017 by Shysage…

 

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