Waiting To See You Pt 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Nick Brennan is invited to a friend's house for dinner. He meets his friend's daughter. Part 1 of 2

Submitted: September 24, 2016

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Submitted: September 24, 2016

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When you move on from something, change has a funny effect on each particular person. You can be happy and excited. Maybe even sad and confused. Change can ultimately effect what the rest of our lives can end up being. You could end up bitter and alone, or you could be happy and receptive of the new outcomes.I was very happy with the changes in my life. Leaving Ridgeview was one of the best decisions I could have made. 

I left Ridgeview after two years of trying to re establish myself. I was a well known author and journalist. I had traveled the world, reported on stories and situations that were the embodiment of hell on earth. I've been a succesful author with 5 bestsellers. I had moved back to Ridgeview for a lot of reasons. The most important one was to come to terms with my past. I had let the mistakes and the misconceptions I had about my town define my life. A lot of my work was bitter and angry. You couldn't tell if it was me as a person or the author who wrote a lot of those articles. As much as I was glad to be with my friends Casey, Lucas, Jake and Chris, it was time for me to go. 

Telling my friends goodbye was incredibly hard, but once it was done I felt an incredible weight lifted off my shoulders. We went out one more time at The Tuneup. One more time of Rhonda showing off her bad ass attitude and her incredibly awful collection of Honky Tonk Country. One more night of reliving my younger days. But more importantly it was one more time of taking Ridgeview as an enemy. The town wasn't the problem, it was me. I had identified the town as the cause of my problems. It was ultimately my responsibility to take on these demons. I had done just that.

I had moved to Gallatin Montana. It was a small town about an hour away from Bozeman. It was a small town of over 500 people. It was a tourist town for sure, being an entrance for Yellowstone National Park. It was very hilly terrain and with the Gallatin Mountains right in your front and back yards, you were never at a shortage of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. One of my favorite things about Gallatin was the whole town was idyllic. Everyone knew your name, people would go out of their way to help you. Nothing false or pretentious about it. Montana was welcoming to a writer wanting to move on from his past. I welcomed it's invitation with open arms.

Purchasing a house in town, I had been recently spending all my time remodeling it myself. Last weekend I had torn out all of the old flooring and decided to put carpet down. My project down the road was to go to Bozeman and have a custom made kitchen plan drawn up. I had been studying home remodeling and carpentry with a neighbor of mine. Sam Jacobs was a local handyman who had been in the Gallatin Valley for close to 30 years. I had been in Gallatin for 6 months before I found him at my front door.

Sam Jacobs was a long limbed former cowboy. He had a bowlegged walk and always had a Grey Stetson Rancher Cowboy hat on. His face was lined and tanned. His beard looked trimmed and sculpted to perfection on his face. Very much like Kris Kristofferson. he came by my door and heard that an author had moved in. I walked out into the front yard and saw him leaning on the tailgate of his pickup truck.

"Heard that an author moved in," Sam said.

I nodded. "That's right," I replied.

Sam walked closer to me, extending a hand. "I read a couple of your books. I'm a big fan. Sam Jacobs is the name. Local handyman." Sam said,

"Nick Brennan," I said.

We walked into the house. Sam took a glance and shook his head at my damage. 

"Boy it looks like you need a helping hand," Sam said.  He was surveying the damage and shaking his head.

I had to laugh. "Is it that obvious?" I asked.

"Son we never get tornados in Montana, but we sure get someone on a hell of a remodel rampage.Your not wanting to put gravel floors in here are you?" Sam said.

Before I gave him an answer I looked at the floor. I had done quite a bit of unintentional damage. I turned to look at Sam.

"Would you help me with this?" I asked.

He agreed to and we spent every weekend working on the house together. While working, Sam would tell me about himself and life in the Gallatin Valley. To me, Sam represented a dying breed in American Masculinity. Not afraid to work and get dirty. You just had to do what needed to be done, regardless. I respected that a lot.

After getting to know eachother, Sam felt that it was time to meet his daughter. We were at his ranch on the outskirts of town. It was a 50,000 acre spread. For someone who had never been on a ranch before, it was quite the experience. A wooden fence covered the property lines. It appeared as though the horses were on one side of the property and the cattle were on the other side for a reason. As I drove up the road to the main house, I saw Sam ride a golden Palomino down to meet me. I was in awe. Not very often you get to see an authentic Cowboy in person.

"Well hello Nick, ma'boy," Sam said. He climbed down from the horse to shake my hand. Sam lead me into the house. The house was very impressive. It was a Log Cabin that appeared to look just like it was built in the 1800's. The flooring was smooth cherry wood. Inside the house was covered with all kinds of western art. I was speechless as I was walking into the living room

"Speechless," Sam said.

"For sure," I said. "This is just beautiful. I am amazed."

"Hell, I get amazed too," Sam said. "The little woman picks out most of it. We've had some good years as of late. Haven't done well with selling the animals, but we been contracting to some Rodeo associations and they use our horses. Hell of a profit to be made in the Rodeo. You ever been to one? We'll take you this year. It isn't till August, by god I am hungry. Let's head into the kitchen." 

I nodded my head. I followed Sam into the kitchen and saw his wife. A pretty hispanic gal, with long black hair down to her tail bone. She had green eyes and was wearing a button up western shirt and tight blue jeans. She waved us over. Sam followed her instructions and took me to meet her.

"Maria, this is our new friend Nick," Sam said. "Nick, this is the boss of the outfit, Maria." 

"Hush your mouth," Maria said. "I am delighted you could come to our home. I know Sam has talked quite a bit about you. He is a big fan of your books, I have started reading them and I must say, you are good. I hope you are hungry." 

"Ma'am, the only thing I am allergic to is an empty plate," I said. 

Maria laughed and we went into the living room. Sam sat in an old recliner. I sat on a leather couch. I saw an unopened can of Coors sitting right by me. Sam motioned for me to drink. I opened it and joined him. Sam propped up his feet and let a sigh out.

"Nick, I am just getting too damn old. Can't seem to move with out hearing bones creak. I told Maria she needed to get some WD-40 to put on joints. It's a hell of a thing getting old. Don't ever do it. Nothing good comes from it." Sam said.

I laughed. Being around Sam was a sigh of relief. I felt more like an adult. Sure my old friends were adults, but it seemed more like all we did were juvenille stunts and had ridiculous conversations. I was happy to have made a friend that wasn't like that. He was the real deal. 

"Where the hell is she?" Sam asked.

"Who?" I asked.

"Maria, have you seen Jaime? She should be here now." Sam asked.

"She is running late, she was closing up the store tonight." Maria said.

"Damnit, that's right. See what I said?" Sam said.

"Who is Jaime?" I asked.

"Jaime is our daughter. She is a real mustang. You are gonna be impressed with her." Sam said.

I nodded my head. Sam turned over towards his end table looking for something. A photo on the wall across from me caught my attention. It was of a Cowboy holding a saddle on his shoulder staring out past the camera. Looking for something. A horse perhaps? Something else maybe. I was intrigued. I felt Sam staring at me. I could hear him chuckle.

"You like that photo?" Sam asked.

"Yeah, it's pretty cool. Who is the Cowboy?" I said.

"That was a friend of Maria's brother. Bobby Garrett. Local Saddlebronc legend. He won the All Around Cowboy award at the rodeo in Cheyenne a few times. Hell of a hand. Guy knew horses better than anyone. I competed against him a few times in the 70's. Beat me everytime. Just had this way with . Passed away back in 95. Stomach Cancer. He's riding the Rodeo in the sky now." Sam said.

I nodded. One of the things I noticed about Sam is that Cowboys had this almost sacred bond. They were the ones that were holding on to a tradition. A way of life that mattered to no one else but them. The camraderie was something I admired. I had seen it when I had been in town getting groceries and just would watch the Cowboys talk to eachother. It was something that would always stick with me.

Maria walked out and said to us, "Dinner is ready," We got up and left our beers where they were and walked into the dining room. 

On the table was the most exquisite meal I had ever seen. Mexican rice, vegetables and rolls with mashed potatos and a chile relleno casserole that I could only describe as incredible. Sam grabbed a plate and attempted to dish up. Maria had a spatula in her hand and slapped his hand rather harshly. Sam made a face at her.

"Sam. I am surprised at you. You have a guest here. Let him fill his plate first." Maria said.

"Ah hell," Sam said. "The little woman is right. Dish up son. I gotta go get some more beer for us."

I dished up my plate. After I did that, I sat in a spot and watched Sam and Maria interact with eachother. It was quite the sight. They had to have been together for almost 35 years. It appeared as though they still had the spark as if they were teenagers. I couldn't help but smile. Sam and Maria dished up their plates and sat down. After Sam handed out the drinks, we started to eat.

It was a fun conversation. Sam and Maria asked a lot about me. Why did I move out here? What did I think of the valley? Have I met so and so? How's working on the house going? Am I writing a new book? For the first time in my life, I felt like a real person. I didn't have to mold myself into something that a particular person might have thought I was. I just was loose and didn't care. It felt great.

"How long have you and Sam been together, Maria?" I asked.

"Since 1981," Maria said. "I can remember it as if it were yesterday," 

"Hell, woman, don't bore the boy." Sam said.

"Quiet. Eat your vegetables," Maria said.

Maria turned to look back at me. "I can remember it clearly. We were in West Yellowstone. I was with my sister Jacqueline at the Rodeo in town. We were sitting in the front row of the bleachers. Right directly across from us was the chutes that the bullriders were in. Of course my attention was in the chutes. Big strong handsome hunks. I remember after the last bullrider finished his ride, they said it was time for the saddlebronc riders. Saddlebronc is where you ride a wild horse on a saddle and have to hold on for 8 seconds. Anyway, the first rider was this tall, lanky looking cowboy. Had a dark beard and steely blue eyes. He was wearing a red plaid shirt with a black hat on. He looked pretty good in those wranglers. He was the first one up to ride." Maria said.

"What happened?" I asked. I was captivated.

"Where the hell is Jaime?" Sam asked. "She usually calls if she is running late."

"She is fine, she is a grown woman." Maria said. "Jaime is our only child. Sam is a worrying sort."

"That is understandable," I said. "Fathers are pretty protective."

"He gets it," Sam said. "You close to your father?"

"He died when I was 5," I said.

"Sorry to hear it," Sam said.

"What happened?" I asked Maria. "What happened with Sam's ride?"

"Someone is excited. Perhaps I could be a writer," Maria said. She started to laugh. "Sam, you tell the rest of the story."

"I got up on this mean Appaloosa. Hector. Meanest son of a bitch I ever rode on. I had a good grip and called out to the guys. "Let's do it boys". They opened and it was the nastiest ride I ever had. My body was slamming back and forth, hitting the horses hind end. It was brutal. I held on for the 8 seconds. But I couldn't get off the horse. My foot was stuck. I called one of the boys to come get me. He came and pulled me off that bastard. When I got off, I saw the prettiest little gal in the whole state of Montana. I ended up missing my next ride sitting with her all night in the stands." Sam said.

"Wow," I said. "I don't know if I could ever do something like that."

"Maria is beautiful. I hope you wouldn't sit with her." Sam said.

"What? No no no, that is not what I meant." I said. I was pretty embarrassed.

"No he means Rodeo," Maria said.

"Tell me about Jaime," I said.

"Jaime is something special," Sam said. "She is the perfect woman,"

"She is about your age. Beautiful girl. Works over at Chesnutt's Western Wear. Rodeo queen for the past few years. You would like her," Maria said.

"I think the least we could do is introduce her to our friend," Sam said. 

"I would like to meet her very much," I said. 

Sam got up from the table. I sat with Maria as we ate in silence. After a few minutes Sam came back with a picture. It had to be Jaime. He handed me the photo. 

She was wearing a red sundress. Her tan skin and dark black hair was quite the exotic look. I was in love. I didn't want to say anything like that right away, but she was quite the stunner.

"She is quite beautiful," I said.

"Damn right," Sam said. "Most beautiful woman in the whole valley."

After Sam said that, the door opened. We all looked at it. As the door opened, a young woman walked in. She was wearing a green vest that had Chesnutt's Western Wear on the back over her blue t shirt. Dark glasses and her hair down. She turned to look at us. Her smile could melt the hardest person in the world. 

"Nick, I want you to meet our daughter Jaime," Sam said.

My jaw dropped.

(To Be Continued)


© Copyright 2017 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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