Melysa was understandably quiet during the quick ride back to the motel. The radio was tuned into an oldies station and The Bee Gees 'Stayin' Alive was playing.
Cullen respected Melysa's need for privacy and he remained silent until they were in their room.
"I'm exhausted," Melysa realized. "Mentally, emotionally, and spirituality."
"It's been a long day," Cullen said, taking a seat on the end of the first bed.
Melysa removed her dress without even thinking about it and tossed it onto a chair. Wearing a black bra and panties, she went into the bathroom and closed the door.
Cullen turned on the television and pulled back the covers to the bed he had claimed as his. He quickly undressed and put on a pair of gym shorts and a tee shirt before sprawling out on the bed. He turned off the lights and allowed the television to be the only light, although the sound was turned way down.
Melysa came out of the bathroom after a while, still wearing her bra and panties.
"You're not hungry, are you?" Cullen asked.
She shook her head no and then surprised Cullen by laying on the bed he was on.
"Oh," he said, slightly confused. "There's two beds."
"Just hold me, Cullen," she requested.
He wasn't about to debate her, pulling her close and offering her comfort.
"I wish I could rid myself of this guilt," Melysa sighed.
"You haven't done anything wrong," Cullen said.
"I feel like I have," Melysa said heavily.
"We're not responsible for our parents, Mel," Cullen said as he brushed his hand through her hair where it lay against his shoulder. "They're supposed to be responsible for us."
She snuggled against him but she didn't say anything and after a while Cullen realized that she had fallen asleep.
Melysa dreamed that she was on the lawn of her father's Long Island House she remembered from long ago. She was wearing a white dress, staring at the ocean, the sea breeze allowing her hair to flow. She saw her father – also dressed in white - approaching, smiling as he took her hands in his.
"Thank you," he said. "You did good."
"What did I do?" Melysa asked.
"You forgave me," her father replied. "It wasn't your fault. My mistakes were not your fault."
"Are you sure?" She worried.
"I'm very sorry," He told her.
"Sorry for what?" She needed to know.
"For abandoning you and ignoring you," he answered. "I shouldn't have. You're a good kid."
"Dad," she smiled.
"I have to go," he announced.
"I already have," he said. "Your job is to be Stayin' Alive and living your life. Be happy. Love."
Melysa opened her eyes to find herself half-lying on the sleeping Cullen. The television was still on and she realized she was in the motel room and that her father was dead and her eyes teared up again. She stirred and that caused Cullen to wake up.
"Are you okay?" He asked yet again.
"Do you believe in dreams?" She asked. "As revelations? Interpretations?"
"Sure," Cullen replied.
She thought about it for a moment. "Make love to me, Cullen."
"I need to feel alive," she whispered. "I feel alive when I'm with you. I need to be stayin' alive."
"You sure you're just not grieving and hurting?"
"Of course I'm grieving and hurting," she moaned as she rolled on top of him. "For the sins of my father. But that has nothing to do with us." She kissed him.
"We're supposed to have faith in our fathers." Cullen said.
"I have faith in you," Melysa replied.
Cullen kissed and caressed her. Melysa sat up and removed her bra, allowing her breasts and nipples to be seen by him for the first time. She smiled as she lay back down on top of him and she kissed him some more. Cullen slipped her panties down her legs and she kicked them off her feet, naked now to be shared with him.
"Are you sure?" Cullen needed to ask.
"What I'm most sure of is that I want you to make continuous love to me until all the hurt, grief, abandonment, guilt, and sadness goes away."
"That could take years," Cullen said.
"I'm okay with that," Melysa replied as she reached her hand down to pull his shorts off. "We make a good team, don't we?"
"Partners," he agreed.
"I'm Stayin' Alive," she grinned as she kissed him.