Cowboy GirlsbyAlex the Cat©
The red Honda Civic rental car came to a halt in the dirt driveway. A small figure exited the vehicle, and sighed as she looked at where she would now be living. This was her first time seeing the ranch style house in person. It looked just like the photo the real estate agent showed her, and she was grateful for that. Weeks ago she had made the arrangements for everything to be in working order in the house and for her furniture to be delivered. Now that she looked at the peaceful surroundings, she hoped it had all been done.
A flock of birds flew overhead above the line of trees and she watched them take off. She liked that there were a few trees to either side of the place and a couple in front to allow her some privacy. Walking around back, she smiled upon seeing the expanse of thick forest that stretched out as part of the backyard. A plot of ground a few feet away looked like it was once a garden. Her nose crinkled with a bright smile because she knew she'd be able to make a profit from growing her own vegetables.
Taking the keys out of her mini backpack purse, she returned to the front and went inside. All of the delivered furniture was still in their original packaging. Knowing there was a lot of work to be done; she grabbed her luggage from the trunk, and went in to first change clothes. She made a mental list of much needed items, so a trip down to the supermarket and maybe one to Home Depot was a priority.
The breeze gently blew, slightly rustling the leaves on the trees. The afternoon sun was high in the western sky, and it made for a beautiful summer day. A tall dark figure on a midnight black horse made their way out from between the trees. What started out as a gallop soon became a fast run. The long lanky rider rode the horse hard through the expanse of field, from one end to the other. The feel of power between her legs made her smile. Slowing the filly down, she patted the sweaty flanks and rubbed a large hand up and down horse's furry neck. "Good girl. Let's go over to the brook so you can get a drink." Leisurely they trotted down the familiar path. Letting the black horse roam free a bit, the figure decided to take a nap in her favorite shady spot.
The small woman looked out the window at the former garden. She knew she should finish working on unpacking everything, but her hands were itching to immerse themselves in the dirt. Grabbing one of the boxes of material she picked up at Home Depot, she went outside to start her garden. She unlocked the small shed, and smiled upon finding a tiller. She checked the tank, and it was half full. Figuring that should be enough, she wheeled it out and tried to get it going.
Sean woke up to a buzzing noise in the distance. Looking around, she didn't see the filly in sight. So she dusted herself off, and went in search of her. She made whistle calls, but still there was no horse. A pull towards her former neighbor's place had her looking through the brush at the abandoned old house. There in the garden was a woman tilling the ground. Hmm, I guess the place finally sold. She thought to herself. Suddenly the horse nudged her upper arm. "Hey you. Where have you been hiding?" She scratched her snout, and took the reigns. "Time to go home." Flying up into the saddle in one swift motion, she looked back over at the small woman working the ground then took off.
The young blonde sunk to her knees in the fresh ground. She just finished sectioning off the various areas she wanted for each vegetable. As she began planting the young tomato plants, a flashback of her life prior to this day came to mind. She thought of her final goodbye to a good friend.
"Thank you Mother Terese for your understanding. This has been a very difficult time for me."
"Yes, child. It has been rather trying. But things will change now. It's fine that you need to leave. Sometimes one discovers that the life one wanted to lead in service is not the life for her. It is hard work and requires one hundred percent dedication. But don't think that you have failed my child."
She nodded her head as she twirled her thumbs in her lap.
"You are a wonderful pupil, Indy. You are a quick learner and you have such zeal. I'm sure you'll do fine in your new life."
"Thank you Mother Terese. You have done so much for me and I am grateful." She stood up and hugged the older woman who she knew had practically raised her.
"Go on now. And enjoy yourself." She said with a wrinkled smile and a twinkle in her bluish gray eyes.
Indy wiped the sweat from her brow as the setting sun hid behind the trees. Deciding to resume the gardening tomorrow, she went inside to make some dinner.
"Damn, the gas is not on." She said to no one in particular. "Now I'll have to go into town to eat." She took a quick shower and headed out to find something.
The little red car pulled into the parking lot of the Bright Star bar and restaurant. Indy was so hungry, and since this was the first place she came upon, she decided to try it out. Inside the dimly lit place, she sat down at a two-person table against the wall.
"What can I getcha?" The gum chewing older waitress said. Her bright reddish orange lipstick was faded, and she looked very tired behind all that green eye shadow and rouge. Brown damaged hair from too much coloring and perming was pulled back into a ponytail.
"I'll have the turkey club sandwich with French fries and a house salad."
"What about to drink?"
"Oh, um..." She scanned the menu and debated on whether to have alcohol or not, and then finally made her decision. "I'll have some milk."
"Milk?" The waitress questioned sarcastically as she looked at the young woman like she was from another planet.
"Do you have milk?" Indy asked hesitantly.
The gum popped in her mouth. "Honey, I can dig some milk up for you, but just remember this is a bar that happens to serve food. If you wanted a family restaurant, there is a Denny's down on Rockwell Road." She walked away.
Indy looked around at the shabby place to notice some of the stares she was getting from the men. Almost all of them had cowboy hats and plaid shirts on. She averted their gaze, and took out a notebook and pen from her bag to work on some writing.
Sean stepped up to the bar with her long time friend, and another co-worker. "Let me have a Sam Adams, and these boys will have Guinness."
"Thanks Sean." Tommy said as he brushed back the blond hair from his eyes. His huge bulky figure reached over for the drinks, and passing one to Joe, he took a swig of his.
They sat and chatted for a while until they heard a loud stir of voices behind them. In unison, they turned around to see a drunken man speaking noisily and sloppily to someone at one of the tables.
Indy wasn't sure what to do. It was obvious the man was inebriated, and she didn't want to anger him, but she also wanted him to go away. Deciding that it would be better for her to leave, she got up.
"Aw come on, shug-a-r. Have wone liddle," he hiccupped, "drink wit me." He swayed from side to side trying to keep his balance.
"No, thank you."
"Now Henry, are you bothering this young woman?" A tall cowboy asked from behind her.
She turned to see the stranger with a big bushy black mustache and matching sideburns. His brown Stetson hat sat firmly on his large head. Hazel eyes looked into hers and he smiled.
"Naw, Bret. I'll...just go away." The drunkard stumbled back to the bar. No one wanted to get into a fight with Bret Stevens because his daddy practically ran the town, and with the right strings pulled, Bret could get anyone sent to jail or worse.
At the bar, Tommy leaned into his friend. "She sure is pretty. Not from around here though."
"Yeah." Was all Sean could say. This was the first time she saw the small blonde up close, and instantly knew it was the same woman who was working in the garden earlier that day at the old house. So this is my new neighbor. She thought to herself.
"You're not going to start trouble, are you Sean?" He stared at her while she stared at the small woman.
"No, no trouble." She stood up as she heard the woman firmly tell Bret she wasn't interested. "I'll see ya later, okay?" She commented to her friends and then walked off out the door.
Tommy figured this would happen. Knowing his best friend was immediately interested; he chuckled and shook his head. With a wink towards Joe at their friend's behavior, they continued their conversation.
A few minutes later Indy went to the parking lot. "Damn, I don't believe this." She declared. Indy kicked the flat tire and stomped back inside. Finding her target she stormed right up to him. "You bastard. How did you know what car I was driving? Just because you helped me earlier in getting that drunken guy to back down and I expressed that I don't want to go out with you doesn't mean you need to act like a grade school bully."
The tall man looked at her and chuckled then returned to his beer. With his back to her, he said, "I guess you'll need to find a ride home. I'm sure I can give you one."
"No thank you." She stated vehemently. She stomped back outside, and leaning against the Honda, she started to cry. "I'm already hating this place and I haven't even been here a whole day." She said into the night air.
"It's too dark to change that tire, but I'd be happy to do it for you in the morning." The contralto voice gently said.
Indy looked up at another tall figure.
In the lamplight of the parking lot, Sean took off her black cowboy hat out of courtesy, revealing jet-black hair in a boyish style like Toby Maguire's. "My name is Sean." She extended a large hand.
The small woman took it, and saw in the night's lights that the stranger's eyes were a deep blue. "My name is Indy. Thanks for the offer." She wiped her face of stray tears. "But how am I to get home now? I don't suppose the town has a cab service?"
Sean smiled. "I can give you a ride, if you'd like?"
Indy thought about it for a moment and figured it'd be okay since the offer was from a woman. "Okay, thanks." She was lead over to a shiny black Nissan Frontier pickup truck. "I don't remember the name of the road I live on, but I know how to get there."
"That's okay, I know where to go." Instantly Sean realized that maybe she shouldn't have said that.
"How do you know where I live?"
"Um...I'm...your neighbor. Our properties are joined behind your place. I was out riding today and I heard the tiller, so being curious I saw you working on the garden. I was surprised because the place has been abandoned for three years already. I got used to no one being there, you know what I mean?"
"That explains why I saw horse tracks in various places."
"Must be from Midnight when I let her loose to wander. That was her original home. Mrs. Wicker was her owner until she offered to give the horse to me. She said she couldn't take care of Midnight anymore on account of her arthritis."
"Did she die in that house?"
"Actually no. Mrs. Wicker died in her sleep while visiting her children in California one holiday. So, did you get a good deal for the place?"
"Oh, I didn't buy it. I'm just renting it for now. I'm not sure if I want to stay in this town --- or state even."
Sean picked up on Indy's sudden sadness as she pulled into the driveway.
"Thanks again. I do appreciate it."
"No problem. What time would you like to get your car?"
"Oh that's right. How about 8am? That way I can buy you breakfast to show my appreciation."
"Sure thing." Sean responded with a smile.
Indy tossed and turned in the pre-dawn hours. The dream plaguing her mind would not let her be in peace.
"Please don't. I won't do it again. I'm sorry mom. I didn't know." Another slap came across her face.
"You filthy --- filthy girl. You're Satan's whore. How could you do this to me? You have shamed our family. I'm sending you to the convent and you better pray that there will be mercy on your soul from God because I won't be showing you any." Her mother yelled.
Again a slap came across her face. "Please mom, ---- don't send me away. I'll be good."
"No. I've had enough of you. Don't you know how hard it's been for me ever since your father died? I have been trying to raise you and put food on the table. I can't do everything Indiana. I'm calling the priest first thing in the morning. The whole house will need to be cleansed of your dirty deed."
"Please mamma. I'll repent. I'll be good." She cried into her hands as she heard her mother stomp out of the room and slam the bedroom door behind her.
Indy jumped up from the dream. Her heart was racing. She fought back a few tears as she decided to get up and go work in the garden to clear her mind.
The early morning dew looked beautiful on the blades of rich green grass. The drops of moisture on the blades of grass tickled her bare feet as she walked to the garden. Only wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt, she returned to planting her vegetables. She thought back on the dream and also her conversations with Mother Terese.
"I don't feel the same as the others. Does that mean I'll go to hell?"
"No child. You forget that God is compassionate and loving. Just because your beliefs or concepts of what life holds for you differ from ours, only shows that we are individuals --- each of us with our own ideas."
"You know why I was sent here, don't you?"
"Yes child, I do."
"Oh Mother Terese, I still have desires. Even if I beat myself they won't go away. I cannot live my life like this."
"I understand." The older woman reached out grabbing smaller hands in her own. "You need to follow your heart Indy. As long as you do that and never harm another, you can be free. Your soul cannot live by the rules that have been set upon you. I am here at the convent because I love it here. I was drawn here from the very first day. This is where my heart belongs. You need to find where your heart belongs."
Indy was suddenly shaken out of her reverie by a loud knock that came from the front of the house. She got up and sprinted around the house to the front.
Seeing Sean get back into her truck, she called out to her. "Hey! Sean!" She reached the truck, and continued, "I'm sorry. I was out in the garden and lost track of time." She stood holding open the truck door and stared into ocean blue eyes. Her breath left her for a moment as she noticed all of the features of this beautiful woman that she didn't catch the night before. High cheekbones stood prominently on a tanned face. Muscles played along the strong neck when the tall figure swallowed.
"Okay, I'll wait in the truck for you." Sean suggested.
"No, come inside." She grabbed a large hand, and led her into the house. The feel of the warm callused hand made her shiver slightly. Shaking it off, she said, "If you'll just give me twenty minutes, I'll be ready."
"I haven't had a chance to finish unpacking and get all the furniture together, but you can have a seat at the kitchen table."
Sean sat down and looked at the various boxes and pieces of furniture that still had bubble-wrap wrapped around it. Wanting to be of some help she opened a box containing a bookshelf, at least that's what the picture on the box showed. She pulled out all of the pieces and decided to start putting it together.
When Indy returned freshly showered, she stood there watching the tall woman work. She noticed how graceful Sean moved, and the muscles that flexed along her forearms and neck.
Feeling a pair of eyes on her, Sean looked over her shoulder and just about fell at the sight before her. Long strawberry blonde hair hung loosely past small shoulders. An olive green buttoned shirt was tucked neatly in a pair of brown pants, and brown shoes adorned small feet. There was little make-up on her face, only enough to accentuate her features.
"You don't have to work on that." Indy commented with a smile.
"Oh, I...um...just wanted to be of some help. I hope you don't mind me digging into your boxes."
"Not at all. Shall we go eat?"
When they got to the car still sitting in the parking lot, Indy was upset to find that now all four tires were flattened.
"I don't believe this. Is this how everyone in town gets treated when they turn someone's advances down?"
"No. That's just the way Bret is. I'm sorry the tires are ruined. We'll need to get new ones, and I can get them on for you."
Indy sighed. "No, no need to bother. It's a rental car. I'll just call the place and have them tow it away and charge me for the damages. I need to get my own vehicle anyway. I may as well start now. Do you know where the nearest dealership is, that I can walk to?"
Sean folded her arms across her chest and gave her a raised eyebrow. "Come on, I know a place where you'll get a great deal. I'll drive you over."
The yellow Jeep Wrangler with the black hard top came to a halt in the driveway. Indy almost couldn't believe she now had her own car. She was so happy with the deal given to her, and was so grateful that Sean knew the owner of the dealership. She asked the tall woman over for dinner the next night because she felt buying breakfast wasn't enough of a 'thank you' for the tremendous kindness Sean had shown her. Plus secretly, she knew she wanted to be near Sean again. There were feelings stirring within her that had lied dormant for some time, only surfacing occasionally when a thought would cross her mind. But now these stirrings were becoming stronger.
Digging into one of the boxes searching for her favorite cookbook, she started planning the meal. Then she got down to work with trying to make the house look presentable for tomorrow evening.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Indy opened the front door and smiled at the sight. There stood Sean in the blackest jeans imaginable with black cowboy boots, a white-buttoned shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a black cowboy hat. The silver buckle on the belt was not one of those large obnoxious ones. Instead it was a simple rectangle sporting the image of a horse that was soldered on to it. "Hi, come on in."
Sean took off her hat, and stepping inside said, "You sure are looking beautiful."
The young woman wore khaki slacks, and brown shoes with a denim blouse. Indy's face turned a shade of scarlet at the compliment. "Thanks. You look great yourself."
Sean brought out from behind her back a bottle of Café Zinfandel and one white rose.
"Goodness, thank you." Indy sniffed the rose's fragrance. "Hmm, it's beautiful. You know, a white rose stands for purity." She commented casually.
"Yes... I...wanted you to know my intentions are...pure."
Indy didn't quite know how to respond. Did this mean that Sean shares the liking Indy has for her? "Um...please have a seat. Dinner is ready."
"Thanks. I see you've gotten yourself settled in." Sean remarked.
"Yeah, I was getting tired of seeing boxes everywhere." She set two plates down on the table, and then took a seat. "Would you like to open the wine? I don't have an ice bucket, but I can fill this stainless steel bowl with ice. That should work, so that the wine stays slightly chilled."
"Sure. The food looks great. You made all this?"
Sean took a bite and moaned. "Wow. This meat loaf is terrific. Hmm, and the mashed potatoes...is there garlic in here? Mmm the gravy is very tasty. Even the broccoli tastes great. It's not often I get to enjoy a home cooked meal."
Indy giggled like a schoolgirl. She had never had anyone enjoy her cooking so much or even talk about it. "I'm glad you like it."