When I got home that night I was exhausted, I didn’t feel like starting dinner so I pulled out some homemade frozen lasagna and popped it in the oven. The perks of being the town’s problem solvers is sometimes we get paid in edibles and checks.
Brooks called earlier and said he’d be at my house in an hour for dinner so that gave me enough time for a nice warm bath to melt away the day. I didn’t need to snap at him since his day has probably been a lot harder than mine.
Slipping into the tub I tried not to think of the wedding, work, starting another new busy day tomorrow, or our finances. What else was there to think about? This was my life, on call 24/7, the helpline is open.
I opened the dog-eared romance novel I’ve been trying to read for the past few months and start all over from the beginning, page one. As I read the story starts to come back to me, but where I left off I don’t remember.
In the book the couple is drawn to each other from the moment they met but other circumstances pull them apart. My mind drifts to Brooks and how we met, a long time ago, when we were kids.
My parents weren’t born here or raised here. They moved to town, or actually outside of town, in the country, shortly before I was born. They are nature loving hippies, as the town folk called them, though not hippies in the traditional sense. They never walked around naked or smoked a funny cigarette. They just wanted a slower paced life and a good place to bring me up.
It was hard to get to know kids in school when most of them are cousins with so and so or everyone’s parents know each other so the kids know each other. It’s almost like moving to a new school where the kids have already developed friendships their entire short lives. The first day was difficult and being an only child doesn’t help you to understand how to cultivate relationships well.
I do remember I wanted to play with the boys, I didn’t want to play house with the girls. I was used to the country, playing in the dirt, trying to find snakes, bugs, whatever. But at that age boys don’t like girls and if they do they give them a hard time.
At recess I wandered over to the boys, who were doing who knows what, I couldn’t tell at that point. One boy stopped me before I could even say anything to them and shouted, “No girls allowed!” “Yeah,” the others agreed. This was going to be harder than I thought.
“Ok, but I thought you might want to see this.” I pulled out the end of a rattlesnake tail, the actual rattle. My Dad and I caught it, well, Dad mostly, and he let me keep the tail. I told them the story and I had everyone’s attention. I thought I was making friends then the whistle blew for us to go inside. That same boy who was leading the pack to keep girls out of his boy’s club walked by me and says, “I don’t believe you caught that, you’re just a dumb girl.”
That mean boy, well, that’s my future husband. Funny how he didn’t think I could do anything because I was just a ‘dumb girl’ but now we are partners in a company where I do 50 percent of everything and soon to be partners in life. He eventually grew out of his mean phase right about the time he realized he was in love with me.