Sunflower Inn

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2

Lucky opened the taxi door and looked out onto the vast land. Their were horses far in the back of the house, a farm to it’s right and land, so much lush land. She could use the barn as a movie theater, or an indoor playground for children, or- she stopped her mind from racing off to conclusions and stepped forward. The driver opened the trunk and handed her the suitcase and the duffel bag. She paid him, thanked him and he was on his way. She looked up at the large Victorian bed and breakfast that stood before her. Granted, a little work needed to be done to the front porch and steps, the house itself seemed to be in good condition. The roof was high, which indicated tall ceilings and a large attic, her favorite part of a home. You could use the space for anything your imagination conjured up. She loved the attic they had in their family home, her mom had made it into a playroom, adorning it with any childlike decorations you could think of. Lucky had spent many days up in the old attic, imagining what life would be like once she was bigger. Her five year old self imagined everything and anything, never once believing this could have been her fate. She carefully walked towards the inn, made her way up the shabby steps and knocked at the door. A woman’s sweet voice called out to her.

″Come on in.″

Lucky opened the door, rolled her suitcase in and walked towards the woman. Donna Johnson was nothing like Lucky had pictured her. By the voice, you would think the woman was a short tiny woman, on the contrary, Donna was tall and robust. She had strength in her body and in her face. Lucky walked up to her and hugged her.

″Why, that’s a mighty fine way to greet someone. Do you always hug strangers?″

″We are far from strangers, wouldn’t you say?″

Donna laughed and her eyes creased in the corners.

″I like you Lucky Chance. With a name like that, I had no idea what to expect. You’re pretty.″

Lucky thanked her and looked past her into the rest of the inn.

″Where do I leave my things?″

Donna picked up her suitcase, after much protesting from Lucky, and walked up the stairs. She had the smallest room, which was the one with the nicest view of the mountains.

″If this is the smallest, I am curious to see the suite.″

Donna smiled and went on to tell her that she and her son had decorated the entire home together. It was rustic, yet the different patterns and textures everywhere gave it a luxurious feeling. It was charming, Lucky loved it.

″When will I be meeting your son?″

″He’s out feeding the horses, so I reckon he’ll be back for a late supper.″

Lucky nodded her understanding and started unpacking her things.

″I would appreciate it if you didn’t tell Jet, about you buying the inn. I haven’t told him yet.″

Lucky was surprised, when they had spoken, it seemed as if everyone knew.

″Okay, but I don’t like secrets, so please tell him quickly.″

🐎

Jet brushed Pinto’s mane and looked at the other beauties waiting to be cared for. He loved his horses, they were always there for him. He could confide in them, which he knew was strange, but it was better to talk to them than to himself. He could always count on feeling better after he took a ride to the top of the hill with Pinto. Pinto had helped him through his high school years, through his first romance, which ended horribly, she was there for Jet through it all. Jet had never closed his heart off to his horses and neither to his ma, but even his ma didn’t know his deepest hurts. He bared them alone.

The beauty had enough of the pampering, she pushed the brush away with her muzzle. Jet set the it aside, mounted Pinto and rode off with her. She was a paint horse, black and white, Jet’s favorite colors. He held onto her mane, no need for a saddle with Pinto, she never bucked or threw him over. He rode until the top of the hill, stopped and looked out towards the house. He inhaled a large amount of fresh air, taking in all the aromas surrounding him. A new smell drifted into his nostrils, a smell of sweet honey and roses. Where was it coming from? His eyes scanned his surroundings, finally landing on the back of Sunflower Inn. A woman walked away from the house, towards the lonely road in the woods. From what he could tell, she was wearing a plaid top and form hugging jeans. Her cowboy boots were worn in and her long honey colored hair was tied loosely behind her. She disappeared into the dense forest, leaving Jet with a longing feeling. He needed to see more of her. Who was she? And why did she have to smell so good?

🐎

″Pass the potatoes Jet.″

Jet was lost in thought, he quickly looked up at his ma. He passed her the plate of spuds, touching her hand a while longer to show he cared. Lucky saw the loving touch and smiled warmly. Jet noticed her looking, pulled his hand away and frowned. He didn’t want people seeing him as weak, he preferred being closed off to strangers.

″How long will you be staying?″

Lucky turned to Donna and smiled warmly.

″I will be staying for a few weeks. Until my life is in order.″

Donna nodded, she didn’t want to go into details. She wanted to avoid anything that had to do with the Inn for now, since she hadn’t told anybody about selling. It was time to let go and retire, hopefully she still had a few good years left.

″What is out of order in your life?″

Jet surprised himself after the words came out. Lucky was not one to lie, so she said as much as she could.

″I quit my job and came here to start over. My life changed recently, so I decided to follow my dream.″

″Which is?″

″Have my own bed and breakfast.″

″She came here to study the way I run this bed and breakfast. Right Lucky?″

Lucky knew it was wrong to lie, but the look on Donna’s face was desperate.

“Donna has been nice enough to offer me insight on how to run a bed and breakfast. This place is successful so I would be insane not to accept the help.″

There was a silence that fell over them, as they all continued to eat.

″This meal is really delicious Donna, thank you for inviting me to join. I appreciate it.″

″It’s no problem, we enjoy having company to diner, don’t we Jet?″

He nodded, but didn’t know what to make of the beautiful woman sitting beside him. She was awfully quiet when she had first met him in the kitchen. She had uttered something about the plate and then had run off into the dining room. He had been nice to her, courteous, he had even held out the chair to her. Why was she acting so strange? Women usually threw themselves at him or at the least joined in conversation with him. Lucky was a weird woman.

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