The Long Road Ahead
Author's note: Me being in AP US History and having to writing a narrative in Creative Writing is what led me to... Show full author's note »
Our Trials BeganA month later, I was proven wrong. The kid was effecting our plans; Angelica became overcome by a sickness that kept her bed ridden and very weak. She could barley eat or drink. Every day Scott stayed by her side. He helped her drink and helped her eat. Sometimes he wouldn't eat himself. Even when sick, Angelica was more worried about him and how the ranch was doing. He tried to make her worry more about the baby and getting well, but I knew she knew that there was nothing anyone could do to help her.
As Scott stayed inside and dealt with his wife, James and I were busy outside dealing with the horses. One of the mares was pregnant and we had a man who wanted to buy our older stallion for ninety dollars. He was planning on heading to California and needed the horse to pull his wagon. I promised him if he would come back when he planned to leave, which was about three days later, we would have an answer for him.
That evening, James and I sat on the outside porch. Angelica seemed to have a sudden spark of energy and wanted to be outside. Scott was in the front yard with her snuggled into his chest. They were so happy for each other. I could see them being great parents to their first born.
“We need to figure out if selling the horse if a good idea,” James said in the middle of a long silence.
“I know. We sell the horse, we have money to buy us food and other supplies while we wait for the foal to be born. But at the same time, we have the younger male to impregnate the two females and we are taking a risk. If he dies, he have no stallions and have to buy one. We need to save our money.” I looked over at James.
“But if we don't, we have two males and a better chance at having more foals born. But we are so short on money, what with Angelica being so ill from the child, that we would starve.”
“I could get a job in the town. I can take the stallion in every day. The town is about five miles away, but they always are selling goods to traveling Oregon Trailers so there are jobs available. You would stay here and work with the horses.”
“I can't do it on my own, you know that. Scott is too caught up with Angelica. God, she needs a doctor bad.” James covered his face with his hands.
“I know... I know. I'm trying to throw ideas out. Should we talk to Scott and Angelica?”
“Angelica has enough on her mind and Scott is so emotionally compromised, his input wouldn't do us any good.”
I sat their silently, staring off into the mountains. The sky was a deep purple, the sun having set beyond the horizon only a half an hour before. The stars were bright and the moon was full. It was the most peaceful night, yet the most stressful.
“We should sell. It is our only chance. If one of us can't get a job, then we need to sell the stallion and hope God is looking over us.”
James sighs. “I hope you are right Levi. You were the one who got us out here in the first place, you can't fail us now.”
“You agreed to this as well James. It isn't just my fault that we are having issues. We all had input.”
“You already sent off the letter to your brother before we all talked about moving West. We die out here, you are to blame.”
“James, how can you say that!” I stood up and stared down at him. “No one is to blame. We are going to have issues here and there because that is just what happens. If we just had everythin' easy, our lives wouldn't be fun or nothin'.” My Southern accent came out of me then. The faster I speak, the more thicker it becomes.
“I don't see Angelica's becoming pregnant very 'just what happens' Levi.” James stood up and put his face into mine. “If we sell the horse and we fail, Scott and Angelica will be looking for someone to blame. I will tell them it was your idea.”
“And if we don't, I'll let them blame you when we fail.”
“You just said we are goin' to sell them.”
“You agreed to it!”
“No I didn't. I just said I hope you are right.”
“Do we sell or do we not sell? Choose James because from your point of view, I'm going to get blamed for everything anyways. So choose! Sell or keep?”
James stares at my face for a few moments. I could see his face going red from the anger boiling in his blood. He always was a hot-tempered man. Whenever something didn't go his way, or someone made him mad, he punched things or yelled. He easily got on my nerves, but he was my closest friend. He always agreed with me on my issues and I was always there for him whenever he was hurt. When Alex got angry, he couldn't think clearly. I seemed to be the only one who knew how to calm him down just right so he could solve the problem.
I place my hand on his shoulder. “Take a deep breath James. Okay? Let us just sleep on this.” I rubbed my fingers between his shoulder blades and watched as he let out a deep breath and his face went back to its light tan shade.
“I'm not going to blame you Levi. You only do what is best for us.”
“And so do you, Scott, and Angelica. We are all in this together. But right now, we need to deal with this alone. Scott and Angelica need to deal with their baby.”
James nodded his head. “I need sleep. You need sleep. Fresh start tomorrow? This day has been hell.”
“Yes. Sleep is good.” I called out to Scott and Angelica, telling them we should get inside and to bed. It was late. James and Scott help Angelica into the house and I fixed up her bed. As Scott went to get her water and James headed to the bedroom him and I shared, Angelica pulled me close and whispered something to me.
“Can you keep a secret Levi?” She looked desperate.
“You know I can.” I smiled. I didn't like seeing her in so much agony.
I snorted. “No you aren't. Your baby is just making you weak. I did the same thing to my mother.”
“No, my mother and her mother suffered the same things. My grandmother nearly died when she gave birth to my mother, but died when she gave birth to my uncle. My mother died when she gave birth to me. I'm going to die when I give birth to this child.”
I stare at her eyes. “Is that why... you didn't want children?”
“I don't want to leave Scott. But I'm going to, and I want you to help take care of him and our baby. Along with James of course.”
“Angelica, don't say things like that. You aren't going to die! If you think it, you will. Think about living, of being with Scott and your baby.” A single tear fell from my eye. “Think about the love you feel that I can't.”
“You'll be loved Levi.” She wiped my tear away. “If I do die–”
I frown, shaking my head quickly.
Angelica holds my head in place with her hands. “If I do, promise me you will stay out here on the ranch and raise the baby. Take care of Scott for me.”
“Promise me!” Her voice rises slightly. She was begging me from deep in her heart.
I sighed. “I promise.” I sit up, wiping my face off. “You won't die. Not if I can help it anyways.”
“Okay, so here is the water. Fresh well water.” Scott walked in and came over to the bed. “You two okay?”
Angelica nodded. I could see the pain in her eye as she looked at Scott, but he didn't notice. It was a good thing too.
“Go to bed you two. Sleep tight.” I walked from the room and down the hall to my room. James was sound asleep already. I stripped down to my undergarments and slid under the sheets, burying my face in the pillow.
Never had I dreaded the rising sun so much.