You Are The Master – Prologue
Megan’s boat had remained untouched on the lake for quite some time, partly because of the dreadful weather, but primarily because the lake evoked an overwhelming surge of memories associated with her mother. It appeared every ripple of water held a poignant reminder.
As Megan slowly loosened the boat’s tether from the pier, she caught the sound of a familiar voice—the only person she longed to converse with—Madison. “Your Daddy said you’d be out here. Finally getting back in the water?”
Megan rose to her feet, holding onto the rope tightly, ensuring that the boat remained tethered and didn’t drift away. With unwavering determination, she declared, “I believe it’s necessary.”
Madison continued her stroll along the dock until she reached Megan, their presence connecting with a brief yet tender kiss. “You want some company, or is this a gut-wrenching tribute that needs solo time?”
“If you’re my company. I’ll take it,” Megan replied, her voice tinged with uncertainty. “I’m unsure how many more chances like this I’ll have.” With a gesture, she invited Madison to enter the boat first, extending a helping hand.
Graciously, Madison reciprocated Megan’s gesture by helping her in maintaining balance as she stepped on board. “I still can’t believe your dad is taking you away.”
“I understand your frustration, and believe me, I’m rebelling against it too,” Megan confessed, her voice filled with defiance. “I can’t understand why I have to leave when I could stay with MeMaw or even with you.”
Madison settled into a seat, making herself comfortable, while Megan inserted the key and started the boat’s engine. With a heavy heart, Megan steered the boat toward the center of the lake. Sorrow enveloped her, and a single tear escaped her eye, battling against the flood of emotions that threatened to consume her. She fought to keep her composure, an arduous task. Ever since that fateful day, it had been a constant struggle.
Michelle, Megan’s mother, had embarked on the boat’s most recent voyage. It was soon after she returned home from a doctor’s appointment where she had been diagnosed with stage four cancer, and the medical professionals had informed her that there were no treatment options available other than ensuring her comfort. After breaking the news to Megan and Mickey, the family wept throughout the evening.
Before the family awoke the next morning, Michelle drove the boat to the middle of the lake, weighed herself, and leaped overboard. When Megan awoke and began her search for her mother, she saw the empty boat adrift on the lake. Michelle had been the glue that held the family together, and thus, her passing was devastating.
Michael canceled his tour to be with the children, but the longer he stayed at Michelle’s family home, the more grief he felt. Subsequently, no family member spent any time at the lake. It served as a painful reminder of Michelle’s death and the location where her cremation took place. The lake had once held memories of boats laden with food and beverages, accompanied by the sound of hillbillies strumming guitars and singing ancient folk songs.
Megan switched off the engine near the very spot where they had discovered her mother’s lifeless body, allowing the boat to idle. Madison remained silent, seeing Megan’s overwhelming display of emotions, considering she was only fourteen years old. Megan had already suffered the loss of her mother, and now she was also being uprooted from her comfortable life. Her father’s decision to move Megan and Mickey to Los Angeles was driven by his acceptance of a songwriting position at the company managing his singing career. Michael longed to spend more time with his children and less time on the road, which led to his retirement from singing and performing.
Megan’s impending move would also require a significant adjustment in her relationship with Madison. They had been inseparable since the day they met, and over time, their connection had developed into something they kept hidden from everyone else.
Madison tenderly approached Megan, stepping closer to her as she stood on the deck, fixated on the water ahead. Gently, Madison wrapped her arms around Megan’s waist and nestled her head against Megan’s neck from behind. “Aw, Bud. I understand how much you miss her. We all do. But standing here like this won’t bring her back or prevent your dad from moving you.”
Turning around, Megan remained encircled within Madison’s comforting embrace. Her eyes met Madison’s as she spoke with a touch of vulnerability. “This situation just sucks. I’m scared that you’ll find someone else to replace me.”
“Ain’t no other girl ever gonna cross these lips, Bud. I swear,” Madison declared, using Megan’s childhood nickname, emphasizing her unwavering commitment.
Megan tenderly pressed her lips against Madison’s, and in that shared moment, they felt a mix of affection and apprehension, sensing that it could be the starting point of their inevitable downfall. Reluctantly, they pulled apart, yet Madison held onto Megan, her grip expressing a desperate desire to prolong their connection. Amidst the lingering embrace, Madison’s voice trembled with uncertainty as she asked, “When do you leave?”
“Friday. He’s taking us to see the house before he signs the papers.”
“And tomorrow, I have band practice all day.”
Megan came to the realization that this could potentially be her last chance to spend time with Madison before the latter’s departure to California. The once bright and joyful expression on Megan’s face contorted into a scowl. Los Angeles, one of the most densely populated cities in the country, held no appeal for her. The idea of leaving behind her tranquil life on the farm for the chaotic and bustling city existence filled her with a deep sense of aversion. With a heavy heart, Megan reluctantly distanced herself from Madison, physically creating space between them that mirrored the emotional void created by their impending separation. “So, this is it, I guess.”
Madison gently grasped Megan’s hand, leading her away from any potential onlookers, even though it seemed unlikely that prying eyes would be present on the serene lake, surrounded by vast ranch houses. “Then I want to spend the day out here with you.”
They sat closely together, with Madison wrapping her arms around Megan while Megan nestled beside her. They had shared so many afternoons like this, initially cuddling and eventually venturing into exploring new sensations beneath the comforting shield of a blanket. Madison wiped away a tear that trickled down Megan’s cheek.
As the afternoon waned, the two young girls struggled to hold back their tears, seeking solace in each other’s embraces, kisses, and gentle caresses. As dusk settled, they found themselves once again in the sanctuary of a private moment, acutely aware that it would be their last.
When they finally docked the boat in the dark, Madison helped Megan in disembarking. Their fingers interlocked, their hands lingering in each other’s grasp for a fleeting moment. Megan surveyed the surroundings, scanning the house to ensure that no one could catch sight of them.
Megan leaned in and planted a second kiss on Madison’s lips when they believed it safe to express their affection. As they reluctantly parted, Megan voiced her request, saying, “Don’t cheat on me with another girl.”
“Never, but I know that once you get out there, every female will want a piece of you.” Madison grinned.
“Yeah, sure. Who’d want a hillbilly country girl like me?”
“I would. I love you, Bud.” Madison quickly pressed her lips against Megan’s in a swift kiss, her own tears beginning to appear. With a sense of urgency, she abruptly pulled away and hurriedly left.