idioms...sayings understood by native people part twenty seven
Carl walked towards Charlie and the others. As he got to the bucket, he sat down cross legged and stared directly at Charlie, who wrinkled his eyebrows.
"Hold up your hand, Charlie."
Charlie held up his right hand.
"Count the fingers on your hand."
"Count the number of fish."
The same answer came out. By then Jenny had managed to limp down and was standing by Rick and Lynn, wondering just where all this was heading.
"Count the people around you."
He got to four.
"Count your self."
Carl looked up at the three standing. "Come join us for the ceremony."
They gathered and sat in a circle.
"Charlie. The great fish spirit allows us to take just enough to feed our family." He paused. "How any fish?"
"How many people must we feed?"
"We must thank the fish spirit for allowing us to feed our clan."
"Clan? What is a clan?" Charlie asked.
"A Clan is family."
"So I belong to this family?" He looked around at the four people sitting in the circle.
"Charlie, I think of you as my little brother." Rick stated quietly.
"Charlie, you are my nephew and always will be." Carl stated.
"You are my life, Charlie." Lynn whispered.
"And you are my best friend." Jenny smiled.
Charlie sat up a little taller.
Carl held out a plastic bag. As he opened it, he smiled. "This is sage." Reaching into the bag and removing a piece of grey green mossy herb. He closed his eyes and stated, "This stands for great respect. We offer sage to show respect the fish spirit for allowing us to feed our clan." Then sprinkled it over the bucket.
"This is Rosemary." The fragrant herb was resting in Carl's hand. "This stands for remembrance. We will always remember this day in our hearts of the five fish who will become a part of us forever. We will always remember to thank the fish spirit for allowing them to become a part of our clan's memory." He sprinkled the herb over the bucket.
"This is thyme. It stands for Courage. Today, we celebrate the spirit of the fish." And sprinkled it over the bucket.
Then he stood up with the baggie in both hands, "To the fish spirit, We thank you for providing for our family. We will with great respect always remember the courage of the fish that we will eat in order to live." and then threw the bag so that all the contents went up in the air and scattered into the wind.
"Do you understand, Charlie?"
The boy just nodded.
Jenny got up and told Charlie, "Let's go, Charlie. We need to get washed up for lunch. Lynn and I made one of your favorites."
"Peanut butter and jelly?"
The boy got up and followed the hobbling Jenny who suddenly felt Carl walk up beside her and put his hand around her waist.
"Lean on me. I can't stand you walking like that." he whispered into her ear.
Rick watched the three head back towards the house. "Well, I'll be damned." then stopped talking as he saw that Lynn was still there.
"Yeah. I think that sums it up." She stood up looking at this very complicated man. "Did you mean that? You look at Charlie like a little brother?"
"Lynn, when have you ever heard me say anything I don't mean."
"Hummn. Fine. Get done and get cleaned up. Lunch is already on the table." She walked away.
Rick quickly got the fish filleted, putting the remains on the flower garden out at the edge of the property. By the time he got back to the house, Charlie was taking an afternoon nap and the rest were quietly watching a basketball game on TV.
When he came out from the shower and went into the kitchen, he sat down and started in on the plate left at the table.
Lynn came in and poured the man a cup of coffee, sitting down across from him. She crossed her arms and placed her chin on them, looking at him.
"I love my brother."
"I have tried to do what is best for him."
"Why do you make me feel like I haven't?"
"Because deep down inside, you are wondering the same thing."
"Listen. I am not your enemy. I will respect your wishes about Charlie, but I will offer you my opinion." He paused after taking a drink of his coffee, "I want the best for my little brother, too."
"How can you really like him that much?"
"He is your brother. And you ask me that?"
"Yeah. I wanna know you motivation."
"Ah, whether I like Charlie because of who he is, or whether I am saying I like him, just to get close to you."
"You're right. You really don't know me." As he finished his sandwich, he got up and put his plate in the sink, turning, he leaned against it. Taking another sip of his coffee, he looked thoughtful.
"Rick?" Lynn turned in her chair so she could see him more clearly.
"Lynn, can you ride a bike?"
"What? um, sure. But it has been a long time."
"Come outside in about a half an hour. I think we need to go get a few things." And turned heading out of the house leaving one confused brunette behind.
Carl devoid of lipstick and towels, entered the kitchen to hear Lynn sighing with her head resting on her hand leaning on her elbow.
"Now, that... is one heavy sigh." He poured himself the last cup in the pot. Smiling, he reached up and got the coffee and filters out. "What seems to be the problem, Miss Johnson?"
Lynn smiled. "Well, Mr. Matthews, your cousin is one complicated guy."
"Not really. He has always had to be careful. Remember, he works for the Matthews' family."
"Carl, he is thirty five. Why hasn't he got married yet?"
"Ah, Rick is someone who will not bring anyone into a situation that he cannot save them from."
'What the heck is that supposed to mean?"
"It means that until the company and his family are resolved, he has chosen to be alone. Why do you ask that all of a sudden?"
"Just wondering." as she got up, "I guess I am gong on a bike ride with Rick. Can you guys watch Charlie for a little while?"
"Sure." He stared down and contemplated his coffee.
"Oh, and Carl," as Lynn exited the kitchen. "Thank you for today."
"Yeah. For helping Charlie to understand the situation."
"Glad to be of help."
Carl headed back to the living room with another cup for Jenny who was sitting at the edge of her seat watching the game. He smiled.
"Come on...Come on. Jeez, Ref you must be blind as a bat to not see that foul." Her hands were clenched in front of her. "Make it... make it... Wow, a three pointer!" Her hands went up in the air and she jumped around doing the happy dance.
Laughing, Carl came into the room. "Ah, I see your foot is better."
"Yeah, after you wrapped it in that ace wrap, it is. Besides, I am tougher than that."
Carl just shook his head and handed her the coffee.
"Do you drink it black?"
He paused and asked, "Were you a cheerleader in your younger days?"
"Cheerleader, no way. I wanted to play."
"No. The girl's basketball team played like...well...girls."
"Ah, and you think you could have gone up against the men?"
"Sure." seeing his face, she responded. "You look doubtful."
"How about if Rick and Lynn get back soon enough to keep an eye on Charlie, you and I go play?"
"Look, Mr. Nice Guy.. I don't want to hurt Lynn's boss."
Carl laughed at that. "Not to blow my horn or anything, but I played some in college. It should be interesting." and he looked at his coffee. "But why do you keep calling me Mr. Nice Guy? I don't do anything unless I really want to."
"And you keep doing nice things."
"So that makes you a nice person."
"Ah... I see. and is that so bad?"
"No, I guess not." She frowned and took a sip.
"So, who is winning?"
Rick watched Lynn as she got on his mom's old bike. He had kept it in condition, along with his own, partiallly because it reminded him of her and partially because one day he wanted to have someone who would be worthy enough to ride it.
"So I see you haven't forgotten."
Lynn giggled. "I had forgotten how fun this was. But the seat seems a little low."
"No problem. Stand up." Eyeing the difference, he said, "Get off for a second." Grabbing his tools he loosened the bolt and pulled up the seat.then tightened the bolt. "How is that?"
"Perfect." she paused, "Rick, who did this bike belong to?"
"Ah, It was my mom's."
"She must have been short. I'm five foot four."
"She was all of five foot two." Remembering when he was thirteen he had grown taller than her and he spouted off to her, the moment when she took him down. "But she was a powerhouse. And I learned quickly not to talk back to her."
Lynn looked up at him with concern.
"Oh, not like that. Just stern, and she would always listen as long as I maintained a respectful tone." He paused and handed Lynn something in his hand, ]"Here."
"What, a bike helmet?"
"Yes," He paused. "You have to wear it. Carl would never forgive me if something happened to his star employee."
And off they went.
to be continued.