Chapter Three: Never To Late.
AN- So here’s another chapter.
Sarah had spent most of her free time with Image she found it a lot better then staying in the house. She sat in the mare’s stall with her mother’s diary open in her lap the mare nibbled on her hay her ears forward and alert. “Mom says you were a wild one.” She told the horse, “I don’t see it.” The mare stood with one foot relaxed she didn’t look anything like the pictures in her mother’s old room or hanging on the barn wall. She acted nothing like the horse her mother described in writing.
“You’d be surprised.” Beau’s voice said from over the stall door causing Sarah to jump. She quickly closed the diary and placed it behind her before he appeared. “She was a wild one believe that.”
Sarah glanced up just in time to see him leaning on the door. He was the only other person on this farm she didn’t mind talking to, most of their conversations were about Image. He never asked her how she was feeling never prided into her personal life like everyone else. “Did you ever ride her?” she asked.
“Never had the nerve.” Beau told her shaking his head with a smile as he pet the side of the mare’s neck, “Image only tolerates me cause I’m all she’s had since your mamma left.” He glanced down at her with a crocked smile, “I’m sure once she’s better she might let you climb aboard.”
“I know nothing about horses.” She lied she didn’t mention when she was younger she had taken lessons. She had been only about ten at the time she had found it fun she didn’t remember exactly why she quit. An image of her mother flew to her mind she remembered now. She had been at her riding lessons and her mother had come to pick her up for once instead of sending the driver. She remembered her mother’s face she looked so full of disappointment at the time she had thought her mother hated the fact she was riding, now she wondered if perhaps her mother looked so upset because she was really disappointed in herself.
“You get the same look your mamma had in her eye’s when she lied.” He grinned, “You know a little.”
“I rode for two years, but that was a long time ago I quit I wasn’t any good.” Sarah glanced back at Image. If the horse was as wild as her mother wrote about why would she want to climb on? She had only ever been on what people called made horses, you pointed them and they went. The type of horses only thousands of dollars would buy. “Plus she isn’t the type of horse I rode.”
“It don’t matter the type.” Beau told her.
“Where I rode it was all beautiful imported warmbloods, not thoroughbreds.” She told him, “Father offered to buy me one back then.”
“I bet you would have had a real purty horse.” Beau told her, “I doubt any horse you bought with his money would have the heart Image here has.” He paused, “Or rather had your mama would take her to those fancy jumping shows and go against the rich girls who had those fancy horses, those people thought your mama and Image were worthless cause they had no breedin.” Beau smiled, “They always did well, when it came down to it Image would do anything Annie asked, I used to say the mare would sprout wings if your mother asked her too.” He shook his head, “Other horses when they grew tired would drop toes, knock rails, but that mare no matter how tired would pin her legs to her body and refuse to hit all for the love she had for your mama.” His smile changed from happy to a sad smile, “You don’t see that often, not often at all. She never let anyone other then your mama on her back.”
“Then why do you think she will allow me?” Sarah asked him.
“Because the moment you walked into this barn this horse has begun to act like herself again her eye’s a bright she eats like she used to she even tried to kick me this mornin.”
“Isn’t that a bad thing?” she asked puzzled.
“Yes, but she hasn’t done that in a long time it proves she’s still got some of her spirit back.” He glanced down at the girl, “You comin here I believe is the best thing that could happen to this horse.”
“I think the best thing would be if my mother was here.” She said softly, “I read something she wrote she seemed like someone entirely different then the one I knew, the woman I knew only cared about impressing the right people and going off the fancy dinners I was raised by nannies.” She kept her eyes on the horse trying not to allow tears to fall. “I wish she was more like the girl who wrote in that diary I wish she was more like the girl in those pictures.”
“Maybe she can be that girl again.” Beau said softly.
“She tried to kill herself.” Sarah looked up at him as her tears began to roll down her cheek, “She didn’t want me.”
“I believe she just lost herself when you lose yourself it’s hard to see what’s important.” He told her.
“How would you know?” she snapped.
“I’ve been to a dark place and back.” He looked over at Image, “I never fell as far as your mama, but I believe she is holdin on for a reason she wants to live someone just needs to remind her what is important.”
“Sarah!” Her grandmother’s voice called bursting into the barn starling Image who flung her head up and pinned her ears when the woman came up to the door.
“It’s your mother she’s awake!” the old woman cried, “She’s awake!”
Sarah felt herself want to smile, but she kept it down trying to tell herself it didn’t matter if her mother was awake or not. She was still angry at the woman for trying to kill herself, but not just for that she was angry at her mother for never being there for being so cold. Just by looking at the diary she knew that wasn’t who her mother once was, so when exactly did that change? When did she lose the warm loving girl and become the cold stand off woman?
“Do you need me to drive you?” Beau asked his smile almost caused Sarah’s mouth to drop open. In that moment she saw Beau’s eyes she saw his smile how happy he was that her mother was awake. She saw that he loved her, after all this time he loved her. That was why he wouldn’t give up on Image he was holding on to a part of her mother’s past. Did he have the same idea? Did he think if Image could be brought back from near death then so could her mother?
“Yes Beau.” The old woman said, “Sarah are you coming?”
“Yeah.” She said softly as she stood up, she picked up the diary and held it at her side. She gave Image a pat on the neck and let herself out. She followed the two to the truck her mind racing a mile a minute.
“Ya leavin’?” he growled, “With him?”
“Beau.” Annie said softly as she rested her hand on Image’s neck. “I love him.”
“He lives in the City!” he shook his head, “New York City.”
“He asked me to marry him.” She smiled looking down at her finger seeing her engagement ring. “I go where he goes.”
“Never woulda thought you to be one of those girls.” He glared down at his best friend, “To run off with a man leave everything behind.”
“It’s time I thought about my future Beau and it’s with him.” She kept the smile on her face as she thought of her soon to be husband. “He’s a wonderful man.”
“Sure it’s not his money you love?” he knew it was wrong to ask her she wasn’t that type of girl.
“How dare you?” she glared at him, “How dare you imply I would even think that way, you know I don’t care about his money.”
“Sure makes it easier to say yes don’t ya think?”
“No!” she almost yelled, “I’m marrying him because I love him I’m moving to New York because I love him.”
“You always used to say your future was here on this ranch.” He wanted to grab her and shake her until she remembered what she really wanted in her future she couldn’t really think this man was what would make her happy.
“You know as well as I that Sam will give this farm to Eric.” Annie told him, “And Sam had done pretty well with this ranch.”
“This is your daddy’s ranch.” Beau insisted.
“And now it’s Uncle Sam’s when he married mama he signed the deed this land will go to Eric when he’s old enough.” Annie told him.
“Your dream as a little girl was to grow up and run this place one day.” Beau shook his head again, “What about Image?”
“She will be fine.” Annie patted the horses’ neck.
“No she won’t she won’t be good for no one but you.” He argued.
“Then I’ll take her with me keep her at a stable in the City.”
“That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” He glared at her, “Image ain’t going to be happy in some City barn she needs to run and be free, ain’t no being free in the City for you or her.”
“Then I’ll leave her here you can handle her now she accepts you.” She smiled at her mare, “Don’t you girl?”
“Barely, I would never get on that loco mare.”
“You don’t need to ride her she care for her.” Annie said softly.
“She will wither away without a job.” Beau told her, “Without you here she will give up.”
“No she won’t you over estimate her love for me she will go one and if you must turn her out in the field with the cattle she loves it out there.” She gave her mare one last pat. “Good bye Image I visit as often as I can.” She kissed the mare on the nose then turned to look at Beau, “Good bye Beau.”
“You are making the biggest mistake of your life.” He told glaring from under his had, “I only hope you realize it before its to late.”
As they entered the hospital Sarah held back she wasn’t sure how she felt about seeing her mother she thought it best she let the other two see her first. Her grandmother moved faster then she even though possible for the old lady once the doctor told them the room number it seemed not even Beau’s long stride could keep up with the old woman. By time Sarah reached the room her grandmother was already standing by her mother’s bedside holding her hand. Beau hadn’t gone in he stood just outside the door as if something held him back.
“baby oh baby” her grandmother cried as she touched the side of her daughter’s face, “I was so worried.”
“Mama?” she asked, “What’s going on?”
“Baby you don’t remember?” she asked.
Johanna thought for a moment she saw nothing, but then as if in flashes she saw herself taking pills, she saw herself lying on the floor. She heard Sarah yelling her name. And she heard his voice on the answering machine. “Beau called.” She whispered, “Image isn’t doing well.”
“You and that horse.” Her grandmother laughed through her tears, “She’s alright now Sarah made sure of that.”
“Sarah.” Johanna said softly, “How is she?”
“I’m right here mom.” She said as she walked up beside her grandmother. “I’m fine you know me.”
“Yes, you look good.” She said with a faint smile.
“Image is good too I was just with her when grandma told me you woke up.”
“It’s been a long time.” Johanna smiled thinking of her horse, her wild crazy mare. “How is she?”
Sarah frowned her mother only seemed interested in the horse. She wanted to get angry, but she realized that was perhaps the only thing they had in common to talk about. “She’s doing alright. Beau say’s she’s happier then she has been in a long time.”
“Beau?” Johanna asked, “Beau is still at the ranch?”
“He has taken care of Image if it wasn’t for him we would have had to sell her a long time ago, he has been the only one brave enough to get kicked by her daily.” her grandmother informed. “He’s here now.” She said softly, “He drove us.”
“Beau?” Johanna whispered.
“Hey Annie.” Beau said as he took off his cowboy hat, “It’s been a while.”
Sarah saw it there in her mother’s eyes as well, she cared for the cowboy she hadn’t seen her mother smile for anybody, not like that. Her mother had many smiles all fake, but this smile she gave this man was real. It was almost like she was meeting her mother for the first time, for the first time ever she was seeing her mother as a real human being one capable of emotion.
“Is it to late?” Johanna whispered.
“To late for what?” Beau asked her.
“To realize.” Her voice broke as tears fell down her cheeks, “That I made the biggest mistake of my life.”
“Nah.” He said as she sat on the side of her bed he brushed the tears from her eyes, “It’s never to late.”
AN- So what do you guys think?