Chapter 22:     Melly Returns

ART writes---

Doug and Melly Wielson returned to Monroe at the end of April.  I 
picked them up at SeaTac Airport.  They were easy enough to
recognize, the two most beautiful people to get off the plane,
tanned and healthy.  Doug looked the same, except for his complete
style change, from clean-shaven with ponytail long hair to mustache 
and crew cut.  

My heart almost stopped when I saw Melly: quite grown up, almost 17, 
she looked so much like Sally now, only taller (5'10") and with Doug's 
patrician nose to shift her beauty beyond cuteness to 
absolutement formidable, golden hair waving down to her hips.

We all greeted, embraced and danced around like people do in
airports, then Melly looked around and asked, "Where's Addy?" 

"Addy couldn't come because he'd fill up the car all by himself,
and there'd be no room for you two.  He and Elaine are waiting 
back home."

"Just how big is he now?" Doug asked.

"Almost 8 feet tall, weighs 460.  But those are just numbers, wait
till you SEE him," I said proudly.  

"Then let's hurry!" Melly insisted.

Doug rolled his eyes for me, "We'd better do it.  She's talked 
about nothing else since we left Jakarta."

"Well, Adam has been looking forward to seeing you too, Melly," I 
told her, "in fact, he's been pretty nervous."

Melly smiled, "He has?  Good!"

We compared Jakarta and Seattle as we drove north along I-5.  They
described a traffic hell that made the local traffic hell look 
good, both of them seemed glad to be back in the Pacific

As we approached Seattle, Melly was looking for her landmarks, the
Space Needle, SeaFirst Building, "Hey, where's the King Dome?" she

"They tore it down last year," I told her, "got a newer bigger
better stadium now."

"The American Way," Doug remarked, "use it up and throw it away." 

"Oh, Dad," Melly remarked, "you're already forgetting how bad it 
was in Jakarta."

It was sunset when we arrived. Inside the house, Adam and Elaine heard us pull into the driveway and he went into a panic. He had changed shirts several times and was looking for the right place and pose to be in when they entered. "How should I stand?" he asked in panic. Elaine giggled, she couldn't help it. The door crashed open, Melly wasn't waiting for Doug or me. Elaine was first to be hugged, they danced and laughed. That gave us time to catch up. Adam and Melly hadn't even said anything to each other yet, it was obvious that they were both extremely nervous about meeting each other again. "God damn, Adam my man, you're a mountain!" Doug said in awe. Adam nodded, "Yeah, hi, Doug," didn't smile, neither offered to shake hands. Melly could now turn her attention to Adam. But she did smile and said, "Wow! Mount Everest!" "Hi, Mell." Adam didn't move. Still didn't even smile. I think he was paralyzed. "Hi, Big..." Melly started to say, but there was a pause, I could sense that neither of them wanted the word brother to be said, "...Guy." Adam smiled for the first time, and that was all it took to set Melly off. She threw herself at him, jumping up into his arms, wrapping her own arms around his neck and hugging him as vigorously as she could. Then she looked him in the eyes close up. "Don't I get a kiss?" Adam tried to shyly peck her on the cheek, but she stopped his head with her hands, "No," she said, "a real kiss. A ME and YOU kiss." We'd never seen Adam kiss Melly that way before, but he gave her what she asked for. Their mouths locked together in a kiss as un-brotherly as possible, a movie kiss, long and passionate. We were all just standing there; mouths open, watching the show. Hell, we weren't even there, they were alone together at last. It was almost like that time they first met, when little Melly had placed her hand over little Adam's heart and... "Wooo-ee!" Melly cried out when they finally broke for air. Then she looked down at us from her perch high in Adam's arms and grinned in smug innocence. Reminded us that we could breathe again, now that the display of raw passion was over. Doug was looking slightly shocked, but then he was caught up in an embrace himself as Elaine reached him. Melly didn't care what anybody thought, she had zero dignity. She laughed and crawled around to Adam's back, tossing a leg up to sit on his shoulders, although she didn't have much head room left under the ceiling. Doug had to protest, "Melly, you're trampling all over poor Adam, can't you come down?" "It's okay, Doug," Adam said, "Melly can trample all she wants." She nuzzled his cheek and whispered into his ear. "Take me for a run through the woods!" Adam, whose sense of propriety was slightly more intact than Melly's, said, "You and your dad just got here, shouldn't we wait until tomorrow?" "Addy...I can't wait!" Her voice squeaked with urgency. Adam laughed, shrugged, "Excuse us, folks, gotta run. We'll be back soon." He had to duck low to go through the door with Melly on his back, and then they were gone. We looked at each other. Doug shrugged, "Kids will be kids." So we had some beers and talked about what was going on in Monroe, Adam's school, the band, the IPR, Doug's plans, there was a lot to catch up on. It was a nice summer evening so we tried to sit on the porch, until the mosquitoes drove us indoors again. Every so often we could hear Melly shrieking with delight as she shot through the darkening forest on her godlike steed. "Well, they're having fun," Elaine remarked. Doug laughed, "Good for them. She's been talking about her ride through the woods all day long." I lifted a beer, had to tease my old buddy a little, "I guess you know all about the symbolism..." "Yeah yeah, I know," Doug said, "as long as it's just symbolic, let them have their fun." "Well Doug, you've certainly mellowed. You're not worried about all that passion anymore?" Elaine asked. "Naw. Adam and I have discussed...things. I trust him." Doug looked rather complacent. I was about to ask what they had discussed, knowing that they had not spoken to each other in four years and having picked up on the stiffness between them now. But Adam and Melly came back, so I never asked. She was on foot this time; they were holding hands and laughing. Her hair was tangled and wild with twigs and leaves, her t-shirt was now inside-out, skin flushed. If any girl ever looked just-been-laid, she did. But she innocently announced, "Ohmygod, that's got to be better than sex!" This time we all rolled our eyes.
That night Elaine and I discussed Melly's Return. It was an interesting subject. "Doug must back to his old free-thinking, ways" I said, "if he's really that calm about Adam and Melly's passionate reunion." "He's not," Elaine said without a doubt, "there's something wrong between him and Addy, they didn't even shake hands." "I noticed that too. And they were both being way too polite for old friends. But Doug did seem pretty sure that those two horny teen-agers weren't going off in the woods to get laid." "Well, I'm sure as well. Not yet, anyway, that would be pretty fast work," Elaine said, "especially since Adam has been so insecure about this." "Boy, Melly sure wasn't." "Oh yes she was," Elaine spoke with the surety of her woman's intuition, "but she pushed on through anyway. She had to." "Well, I'm sure they'll work it out. At least they're older now so we don't have to stand in their way anymore. Doug is on his own now if he wants to keep them apart. They have my blessing, as long as they're happy." "Mine as well, but there's no guarantee of happiness," Elaine noted, "but then, there never is, even for us normal humans." "Are you worried that Doug could be right after all? That a squatch and a human can't mix?" "There'll certainly be problems, Doug might just be the least of them, but really; squatch, human, who cares? If they're ready to love each other, then it's up to them. And I don't know if Adam is ready, but Melly is." "Well...lucky Adam," I announced. "Lucky Melly too, I think. But enough about them," Elaine said, sliding up against me, "and all of their passions--must be the power of suggestion--because now I sort of need to be serviced." "Oh oh, here we go again: those same old pheromones! No sleep at night, no rest all day..." "'Fraid so. Get it up." "Well, I don't know, Elaine, I'm kind of tired, had a long drive to Seattle and all..." "That's okay, Doug is just upstairs..." "...but I'll see what I can do."
Doug and Melly stayed with us for a week until his house was ready. The people who had rented it for the last four years had already bought another house, so Doug had no problem getting it back, but it did need to be painted and fixed. I drove Doug into Seattle to buy a car he had found on Internet, and we stopped into the Comet Tavern, my favorite sleazy bar on Capitol Hill. I asked about his new job. "Oh, it's pretty experimental just yet. I got invited in by an old Microsoft colleague working on a contract for non-lethal weaponry for government and police agencies. At some point a civilized society has to find a way of controlling violent people or groups without just blowing them away or killing them. Right now we're specifically working on software to sabotage illegal computer operations, but there's also a lot of real sci-fi stuff in the works: metamorphic camouflage, EMP grenades, sedative gasses, pepper foam, hi-tech non-lethal force." "Sounds just like that government think-tank you turned down when you were younger and decided to study linguistics at Stanford instead." "Oh, you remember that? Yeah, well it's those same people, all right. Had me on their list all this time, finally got their hooks in me. What goes around comes around." "It sounds pretty interesting. And rather noble--humane law enforcement." "Yeah, well, anything can be misused. Give the police non-lethal weapons and they'll have even less compunctions against using them on anybody. But I had to get out of Jakarta, so I took the job." "Was it so bad over there?" "Politically, yeah, it was about to go nuclear. But it was an ex-pat paradise and the women there were fantastic. Really did their best to get and please foreign boyfriends and all you had to do was give them a VCR or something." "Yeah? Hmmm. How did Melly like it there?" "Oh she liked it. She was in a good school, had lots of friends, boys swarming. But she's..." "Yeah?" Doug's face took on a sour expression. "She never stopped talking about Adam. All that time. I'd have thought after so long...I don't know how healthy that relationship is for her." "Well, she loves him," I mentioned. "Yeah, well, she's also screwed up over him. She thinks he's her PET or something. I don't know. I almost didn't come back here because of Adam. Don't get me wrong, I love Adam, but...I love Melly more." I sat back and observed Doug from a little distance. My best friend, once at least, now I was feeling uncomfortable with him. "So why did you come, bringing Melly back to Adam and all?" "Melly's an independent girl--and independently wealthy now-- Sally's estate left her a sizable trust fund, so that she gets enough money every year to finance her education and support herself. She had decided to come back and if I wouldn't, she'd just come back alone," he said. "She figured she could just move in with all of you." "Yeah, well, she figured right," I told him. "Well, I didn't want that. I'm worried about her: Melly thinks the meaning of life is a wild ride through the woods on the back of her squatch boy friend." I looked at him, at how much he had changed. Then I had to shake my head and laugh about it, "Doug: Melly is absolutely RIGHT! Let's not worry about her, let's worry about YOU!"
Adam and Melly were having a good time. It was a great summer weather-wise, their days were free, since neither of them had jobs yet, except that Adam would play music two nights a week with Guesswork. Melly went along and cheered him on. They also went up to their old hangout, Naked Lake, where they sunbathed and swam and picnicked with the other regulars. Or they went inland, straight up into the Cascades, Melly upon Adam's shoulders, casually looking for the sasquatches but mostly just being together. And they were together all the time. Even sleeping. After the second night she simply told Doug that he could have her room, she'd be sleeping in Adam's. Of course Doug protested against that, she was still under the legal age, etc. In her usual outspoken manner Melly announced, "Look, Dad, we're just talking and cuddling, and...oh yeah, sleeping. Not copulating, relax." "You two don't need to be together 24 hours a day!" he retorted. "Right now we do. I missed him for four years, I want to catch up." We were all somewhat surprised to hear that they were still "not copulating", but relieved as well, even though we had already accepted it as all right. We knew that Melly was telling the truth because she wouldn't have kept it secret for a second if they were. She was absolutely proud of loving Adam, and totally unabashed about it. Cosmic Mates, you know. Once Doug got the house finished he moved in and insisted that Melly move in with him. She was really reluctant; she didn't want to sleep in a nice bedroom in a small town; she wanted to sleep in the wilderness, on the edges of craggy cliffs in the rain, kept safe and warm by the embrace of her furry Tarzan. They had some father-daughter arguments while with us, we couldn't help overhearing them, and even if we had missed out on anything juicy Melly would involve us anyway. The dominating theme Doug reiterated was that: "You are too young to be living in sin with ANY man, and that until you reach the Legal Age of Adulthood I am responsible for your MORAL BEHAVIOR!" "God damn, Doug Wielson, is this the same man talking who had a different Indonesian girl friend every month? No, can't be. Must be the Doug Wielson who believed in free sex and women's rights in the 90's. Oops, no, can't be him either..." "You're just so young, I'm trying to keep you from making the same mistakes I made..." "Yeah, well, I must be one of them! Look, I bought that "too young" bit when I was 13, but now? Come on, Dad, grow up! You told me yourself that you were screwing girls when you were 15." "I was a guy..." "Stop! You also taught me that the sexes are equal, changed your mind about that too?" "Guys don't get pregnant!" "Who's getting pregnant? How could I if I'm not even screwing? Besides, if I WAS having sex with Adam..." "You're NOT! You never will!" "Oh Dad, it's inevitable someday, you know that. Anyway, I couldn't get pregnant or even catch VD with a sasquatch, so why worry?" "You don't seriously want to have sex with a...a you?" "Where have you BEEN all this time? Tell me that YOU DON'T KNOW that I've loved Adam since I was 3." "Sure, Big Twin Brother, fine! But not as a...a man." "Look, Dad, if you start being racist about Adam Leroy Forest... well, don't even think about it. I'll defend him against ANYONE, you know that. So if that's where you want to go, you go there alone." We could hear that Doug was clutching at straws with a Free Thinker like Melly, and that some of his own Free Thinker status had gone stale. But she did eventually move into town with Doug when he did. He also kept her home at nights, just like any common 17 year old daughter, such a tyrant. But Adam and Melly still spent their days together, so if they really wanted to have sex they could easily pull it off. Or so it seemed to us. Doug was against it, but the truth is that Elaine and I were getting a vicarious thrill waiting for it to happen. Especially because of that faint but familiar smell around the house whenever Adam and Melly were together: we recognized it from back when they were first becoming adolescents; that subtle, rather pleasant, musky smell. Elaine noticed it more than I did, because it affected her erotically. So we naturally assumed that now, as more or less sexually mature young adults, they could and would probably become lovers any day now. Perhaps it was irresponsible of us, but we were rather looking forward to them telling us how happy they were.
About 5 weeks after her return Melly spent an evening with us, she and Elaine made a delicious Indonesian dinner together, then she went upstairs to sleep with Adam, even though Doug probably wanted her to come home. Early the next morning I went out to the kitchen to make some coffee and Melly was sitting there alone. She was fully dressed, jacket, shoes, and her travel backpack was on the floor beside her stuffed as if she was moving out. She was not her usual happy self. "Hi, Melly, you're up early!" "Can you drive me to my Dad's?" she asked in a very sad voice. "Uh, sure. When do you want to go?" "Right now. Please." It was obvious that something was wrong, but she was not volunteering any information. We got into the car without speaking. As we drove away she looked up at Adam's window and her tears were streaming. As we turned out the driveway she looked back at the house as if for the last time ever, starting to sniff. "Melly, what's wrong?" I finally asked. "Adam and I...we broke up!" And then the flood gates opened and she cried so much she couldn't talk any more, all the way into town.

Chapter 23

Adam out of Eden