With Molly's help I walked back outside and into silence. I sat down in my chair and waited, but still nothing. I sighed. "I know you guys were listening in, so what do you want to say?"
I heard an intake of breath from my father. "It's hard for us to treat your normal since when you were in the hospital you couldn't do things on your own and now you insist that is the only way you want to do things. We forgot how to treat you normal after those first six months. It is really hard to retrain yourself."
I stood up quickly and moved over to the card table. I knew I was going to stumble over things in my way, but I didn't care. I slid my hand across the table and grasped my shot glass before I reached over and grabbed the crown out of the ice. I heard a chair slide back and footsteps move closer and I frowned.
"Dad, sit your ass down this isn't something I haven't done a million times since Michael died. I think I have poured so many shots that the liquor just magically finds it's way there now." I undid the lid to the bottle and poured myself a shot. I listened close to hear when the glass was full, then sunk it before I put the cap back on the bottle and replaced it. "You guys don't seem to understand, I have worked so hard to get this far. I do most things by myself and just because something happened with my co-worker doesn't mean I am going to hide in a corner. I want you guys to help me feel normal. Even if I am to stay like this for the rest of my life, I want to be as normal as possible because it helps me to know that I am doing something right with the kids. It is hard to be a good mother to the kids since there are somethings that I refuse to relearn because it would make me feel like I can't do things. That is why Molly is trained the way she is. She sticks with the kids when they are four wheeling, makes sure they stay safe while I am busy and rounds them up for dinner when I need them inside. She isn't just a guard dog, she is a babysitter, a rancher and a friend."
I sat back down and felt a hand on my thigh and I smiled. My mother's voice permeated the air. "I didn't know it was so difficult for you. The few times that I was at your place I thought you were just putting on a show for us."
I patted Rick's hand before I got back up. "No mom, ask Rick. He's asked me to move in with him, but it is hard since I don't know my way around his place." I turned in Rick's direction. "I want to though he makes me so happy. Now if you guys excuse me, I am going to lay down."
Rick put his hand on my and pulled me down to him for a kiss when he whispered in my ear. "Good night love, I will be in bed soon. Would you like me to take you?"
I shook my head. "No baby and don't worry about it. Enjoy your time with my family, they are going to have a lot to talk to you about. How about tomorrow we go to the range and you can start my instructions. I don't think my dad would mind letting me use his card."
He laughed. "How about we wait till we get back to the ranch? Let's enjoy the time with your family as a vacation before we go back into the rush of everything."
I nodded into his neck. "Alright, I love you Rick." I stepped away from him and moved towards the house. I heard Molly get up and I smiled to myself. "Off duty girl. I can get there I promise. Good night all. Love you mom and dad."
I opened the door and walked inside. I held my hand out in front of me as I reached into my back pocket for my guide. I got to the door of the room without incident when I heard a voice from across the house.
"Well damn girl it has been a long time. Thought yous was avoidin us girlie."
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