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 »
RealizationThe next day, I was able to see the damage outside for myself. Trees were torn up and the barn was mostly intact. The two mares and the colt were in the fields eating grass. The stallion wasn't anywhere to be found.
Alex walked up and stood next to me as the sun shown down on the damp grass and wrecked landscape.
“We're lucky we survived,” James said.
“I'm glad your okay.” I looked at James. “I thought you drowned.”
“Nope... only one of us left last night.” He stared off into the mountains.
I look down at the grass beneath my feet. “Angelica told me she was dying a couple months ago.”
“What?” James looked at me.
“She didn't want me to say anything, but I had to promise to take care of the baby and you guys while keeping this ranch together. She wanted the baby raised out here.”
James placed his hand on my shoulder.
“I don't see it happening. We lost the stallion last night, Scott is an emotional wreck, and our future lies in the sex of that one mare's baby.” I rubbed my eyes. “I can't do this. We should go back to the South.”
“Our lives are here now.” James slid his arm around my shoulder, pulling me against him. “Angelica had a talk to me too, about a month ago.”
I looked at him questioningly. “What about?”
“She told be to stop being a, well... she told me to stop being an ass to you and start expressing my true feelings. I didn't get what she meant until last night.” James looked at my face.
I stared back at him. “I won't get it until you tell me.”
He leaned forward and slightly kissed my lips. He pulled back slowly and stared at my eyes.
A small grin started to form across my face. “She told me I would be loved the way I want to be loved. I didn't think it would be you,” I mumbled.
“Well, I was raised to know that loving the same sex like I do you is a sin. Every time I felt a feeling for you, I just was angry and took it out on mostly you.” He chuckled a bit. “I guess me being a pain was me showing how much I care.”
I snorted. “Angelica was a very unique individual. You didn't take out your anger on me that much.” A tear fell down my face. “I didn't want to accept her dying, but now she is dead and I still don't believe her.” I lowered my head to hide my sobs.
James pulled me against him and held my face to his chest. I cried into him, holding his waist with my hands. I guess deep down I was attracted to James, but I was so absorbed in everything else going on there were few times I actually thought about being with someone like Scott and Angelica were. I held onto James tighter, feeling strongly protective of the one chance I have at real love.
After what seemed like forever to me, I pulled away from James, wiping off my face. “Let us go inside. We need to help Scott.”
James nodded. “We build our relationship more tonight?”
“Yeah.” I smiled and pulled James along by his hand to the house.
As Scott's daughter, named Angie after her mother, napped away in the bassinet a elderly woman in town gave to us a few months ago, Scott, James, and I went out to the forest to bury Angelica. We wrapped her in a green sheet – her favorite color. Scott held her body as James and I dug a deep hole.
“I don't want to let you go baby.” Scott mumbled, looking at his dead wife's sheet-covered face. “Please come back.”
“Scott, she never left.” I said.
He looked at me. “What?”
“Well, yeah you can't talk to her or see her again, but you can feel her in here.” I stopped digging and patted my heart. “She will always be there and in your daughter. She looks like her for a good reason, I'm sure.”
Scott kept staring at Angelica's body as James and I continue digging. Just as we are about to stop, James and I hit something solid. We looked at each other funny and got onto our knees, using our hands to brush the dirt away.
A large gold rock reflects the sunlight into our eyes and we blinked.
“Gold?” James and I said together.
Scott looks down into the hole. “Oh my god!”
“We're saved,” I mumbled. I lifted the rock up. I had to use the strength I had left in me to lift the gold up and out of the hole.
We all stood there and stared at it for a while.
“We can get more stallions,” James said.
“We can get things for the baby,” Scott whispered.
“We have a fresh start,” I stated. I looked up at Scott. “It's time to let her go now, Scott.”
Scott looks at Angelica's body one last time before lowering her down into James's arms. He gently laid her down on the ground in the hole and slowly climb out.
We stared down at her, said a couple of things to her, and then Scott grabbed the shovel and began to cover her body up – his way of finally letting her go. James held onto my hand as I watched her body disappear. Once I couldn't see her anymore, I grabbed a shovel and helped Scott cover her up. James went to find a rock to use as a gravestone. He finds a large, heart-shaped rock in the stream near her grave. Once we finished burying her, we helped James carry it over and place it at the head of her grave. We said a quick prayer and left her to rest in peace.
Scott carries the gold in front of me and James, while we hold each others dirty hands. We had a new life ahead of us, which involved three men raising a baby girl in the middle of grassy hills with horses.
Angie will turn out great. We've got a long road ahead of us.