Originally Posted: August 2, 2011

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Bronwyn’s Choice: Picture 2

New Beginnings, Part 2

After leaving the house, Aimee walked across the barnyard to the hidden wooden stairs that lead to the road where she parked her car. The stairs meandered up the side of the hill, through the dense forest that surrounded her grandfather’s farm. As she walked, her thoughts kept returning to Adam. He wasn’t like the other cowboys she knew. He was quiet and caring, especially to a complete stranger.

Adam was taller than Travis. With Adam, she had to look up at him, while Travis was her height. Adam’s dark blond hair brushed his shoulders and his hands were calloused for hours of hard labor. Travis would never be caught with long hair or rough hands, he was a metro-sexual to the core. Aimee shook her head. Until Travis, she had never gone for the clean cut city boy, having always preferred guys like her daddy, ones who didn’t mind getting dirty or spending time outside. Guys who loved animals and camping.

But Travis swept her off her feet the first time she met him at a singles bar in Los Angeles. He was so charming and sweet. She hadn’t dated in a few years when they met and was easily taken in by his Casanova personality. After two years of dating, he finally proposed. Instead of the tears she always imagined she would shed, Aimee had just stared at him in shock. It was at that moment that she realized that she really didn’t love him. They had a comfortable life together, sharing a cute little downtown flat, but she didn’t want that kind of life forever. She was a country girl at heart.

Aimee stopped on the stairs and looked down the hill toward her grandfather’s farm. She shook her head; it was Adam’s now. She wanted to go back down that hill to see what would happen between them, but she also knew that it wouldn’t be fair to Adam or Travis if she did. After a long look down the hill, she turned and continued to her car.

Once in her car, she grabbed her cell from the glove box. She had needed time alone, and Travis had been calling her non-stop since she left the restaurant, telling him she needed to think about his proposal. She pushed the on button and while she waited for the phone to boot up, she looked out the window at the wooded area, remembering the time she spent there as a child.

Aimee and her parents had lived with her grandparents. Her dad helped grandpa run the ranch while mom and grandma ran the house. Mom would also make quilts that were sold at a local gift shop. Life was wonderful and full of love. Until the night Aimee’s mom died.

Aimee’s parents went for their weekly horse back ride and picnic. Grandpa had asked them that morning not to go because he had a bad feeling. Usually her parents would listen to grandpa’s worries, but not that day. They couldn’t wait to be alone for a few hours. The day was like any other; Aimee helped her grandma around the house and then went to the barn to take care of her pony that her grandpa had given her. As the sun started to set, Aimee watched grandpa pace the barn yard waiting for her parents to come home. She was awakened by the commotion in the barn yard when they got back. Her dad carried her mom to their car. Aimee could remember the blood on her mom’s face and grandpa yelling her dad. Then her dad sped in to the night, taking her mom to the hospital. Aimee never saw her mom again, and shortly after the funeral, her dad and grandpa had a fight. That was when they left the farm.

For a few years after that, Aimee would go the farm to visit her grandparents during the summer for a few weeks, but it was never the same. Then after her grandma died, she never went to the farm again — until today. It had been fifteen years since she last saw the farm.

The buzzing of her phone pulled her out of her thoughts. She looked at the screen to see ten missed calls and just as many messages. Scrolling through the list, she discovered that not all of the calls were from Travis — a couple were from her best friend, Penny. Aimee hit play on Penny’s first message, avoiding the calls from Travis. Penny’s voice filled the cabin of the car.

“Hey, sweetie. Travis just called me looking for you. I told him that I talked to you but didn’t know where you were. He is really worried about you. Where are you, and why didn’t you tell me that he proposed? Call me as soon as you get this message.” Aimee had called Penny to let her know that she would be out of touch for a few days, but never told her friend why. Aimee deleted the message and played the next one from Penny.

“It’s been over twelve hours since I left my last message. You better be dead in a ditch for making me worry about you and deal with Travis. Call me!” Laughing at Penny’s message, Aimee hit delete and dialed Penny’s number.

“About damn time you called me!” Penny’s anxious voice answered on the first ring. “Where are you?”

“I’m safe and near my grandparents old farm,” Aimee told her.

“You drove to Northern Colorado by yourself?” Penny asked. “Are you crazy? That is a sixteen hour drive from here.” Aimee knew very well how long the drive from Southern California to Colorado was.

“I needed time to think, and I didn’t really know where I was driving to until I got here. I’m going to head into town and get a room at the bed and breakfast. I’ll head home tomorrow or the day after,” Aimee told Penny, feeling bad that she had worried her friend.

“Do you need me to come and be with you?”

“No, Penny, I’m fine. I just need to get my priorities straight. I’ll call you tomorrow once I know what I’m going to do.”

“You better. If you don’t, I’m coming out there,” Penny told her fervently. “You are like my sister, Aimee. I don’t want you doing anything stupid.”

“I promise I won’t, Penny. I’ll talk to you in a couple of days.” After a brief goodbye, Aimee hung up her phone and stared at the display. Deciding to call Travis after she checked in to the bed and breakfast, she placed the phone the passenger seat. Aimee started up her car, did a u-turn, and followed the road into town.

Like many of the Colorado mountain towns, Rockton Falls was small with a one main road through the center of town — at one end was the grocery store and the other was the feed store. Sprinkled through the middle were the town bar, a small restaurant, an old Victorian style house that was now a bed and breakfast, and a few small gift shops for visiting tourists. Aimee parked her car in front of the house and sat for a few moments before grabbing her purse and heading inside.

Twenty minutes later, she sat on her bed drying her hair, watching her phone as it rang. It was Travis again. She still wasn’t ready to listen to his messages or talk to him. She turned off the phone and set it on the night stand. Deciding that she needed to buy some new clothes and food, she put on the clothes she had been wearing and headed to the small clothing store next door.

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