Range drove his truck to town and got some boxes, he made a stop at pastor Joel’s house.
“ Range! How’s it going?” Pastor Joel answered the door. “Come in.” He stood to the side and Range stepped in.
“ Morning Joel, I have something I need to talk to you about. “ Range said.
“ Let’s grab some coffe and set on the deck. Do you need cream or sugar?” He asked.
“ Black only” Range answered. “ Thank you” he took the cup and sat in a chair on the patio.
“ So what’s up?” Pastor Joel asked.
“ Well it’s been about 2 months since I buried Caroline. But she’s really been gone about 2 1/2 years. That’s not what the public sees though. Anyway, I have fallen for Scarlet. She is a great person. I want to marry her but I just needed your advice. I fell like this is what Caroline would want. “ Range waited for Joel to respond.
“ Range, I feel like this is a gift from God. He sent Scarlet at the perfect time. She is a super nice lady. She needs stability and some help and you have the means to help her. “ Joel responded.” Range you have always wanted children too.
“ She apparently had her own business at some point and I believe she will be an asset to this church, the community and to me. Being Quite honest with you I fell in love with her the moment I seen her. “ Range admitted
“ I hoped you would. She seems very honest and trustworthy also. “ Joel said.
“ I have one more request.” Range started.” If she says yes will you do us the honor of performing the ceremony. Quiet outdoors? ?” He asked.
“ Of course! I’d be honored. “ Joel replied.
“ I was also wondering if there are any ladies that would hook up with her to make friends. Do what ladies do.” Range requested.
“ I will speak to m wife to see what the ladies have coming up. I know they have a text thread they communicate with, I will get her in the loop.” Joel told him.
“ I am getting her a phone today so I will text you the number. “ Range said.
For the next 29 minutes they talked about fishing and farming and then Range stood to leave.
“ Thanks for everything.” Range said as he shook his hand.
“ You’re welcome, let me know what she says. “ he patted Range’s shoulder and seen him out.
The next stop was his phone carrier. He went in and got Scarlet a new phone and added it to his plan. Once he had things set hey got back in his truck and made a call to Emily, his mother in law.
“Hello? Emily?” Range Said.
“ Range is that you? Emily questioned.
“ Range , it’s Paul. Emily has not been herself since the funeral. “ I’m concerned. She just cries she said she don’t have anything of her little girl anymore.” Pul explained.
“ It’s very hard for her I’m sure, they were so close. The reason I’m calling is because I fell like it’s time to empty her closet. She hasn’t been it for almost 3 years and I hoped that Emily would come and take what she wants. What do you think?” Range asked.
“ I think that would be a great idea. “ Paul said. “ How about tomorrow?”
“ Tomorrow is great, I have a Lady and her son here. We started out planning for her to stay in the barn apartment but plans may be changing soon. She is amazing. Her son is quite the guy too. She is helping around the farm and is actually planting a garden.” Range was not going to hide anything but he wanted to go slow with them.
“ I will tell Emily that it’s one of Caroline’s girls.” Paul replied.
“ Thanks Paul.” Range knew he understood. “ I will see you both tomorrow.”
“Goodbye.” Paul said.
Range knew he had to get things moving for him and Scarlet but first he knew he had to say goodbye to Caroline’s thing.
Scarlet wandered around the rest of the house. She went upstairs and realized there was a whole house just about and nothing in it. 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms one bedroom had a full-size bed but nothing else. She wondered about why they built so many rooms. Past the living room down stairs was another bedroom with a bathroom. This house was huge Scarlet thought. She did some laundry and washed dishes. She went out and watered her garden then went to find Daisy. Lucas followed her with his truck and would play when she stopped. Once she fed Daisy and her ducklings she went to meet up with Dandy. She petted her for a bit then went back to the house. She was swinging on the porch swing when Range pulled up. Scarlet was happy to see him. She was quite bored. He got the phone and the boxes from his truck He let Lucas help carry them to his room.
“Scarlet , I have something for you.” He handed her the phone.
“ What is this?” She looked dumbfounded.
“ I want you to have a phone. So here it is. “ Range chuckled.
“ Range, that’s an expensive phone. “ she looked concerned.
“I know that you are fixing to be more independent and I want to know you are safe.” He stood next to her and put some of her hair in his hand. “ I need to be able to reach you when you are out especially with Lucas. Please let me care for you. He brushed his hand against her cheek.
She held the phone in her hand. “ Thank you.” She was genuinely grateful for a phone, a luxury she was unable to have for so long. She hugged him tightly. “ it’s been so long since I was able to have a phone..”
“ Then you needed one. Range moved to the kitchen. He was in search of food. Scarlet fixed him a bacon sandwich and handed it to him. He ate while Scarlet looked at the phone. She programmed his number and the house number.
Just then his phone rang.
“ Hello?” Range answered
“ Range it’s Joel, my wife and a few of the ladies are going to lunch tomorrow and want to know if Scarlet wants to come.” He explained.
“ Let me ask her. “ he replied.
“ Some of the ladies are meeting for lunch do you want to go?” Range waited for an answer.
“What about Lucas? Can he go?” Scarlet worried.
“ I can keep him with me.” Range offered.
“ I’m ok. Sounds fun. Where they going?
Range made arrangements then hung up.
“ Sorry about that, they are going to meet at the church at 10 am and then go get nails done then lunch and shopping. It sounds like a great day.” Range filled her in.
“ I probably should stick close to Lucas..” she said hiding her shame. “ He’s not used to me being away.”
Range knew it was a money issue. “ Here.” he opened his wallet and handed her money.
“ I can’t do this it’s too much. “ Scarlet said. She was on the verge of crying.
“ oh honey, don’t cry.” Range said. He reached for her.
“ Mommy are you okay?” Lucas asked .
“ Yes.” She let Range embrace her and then reached for her son. He hugged her legs.
“ Mommy we love you please don’t cry.” He sniffled.
Range caught her eye as she moved away.
“ I love you guys too.” She got on her knees and hugged her son. He twisted her hair and laid his head against her.
Range couldn’t move, she just said she loved him well kind of. He looked at this terrific woman and knew he had to win her heart.
She stood up and wiped her face. “ I’ll except on one condition.”
“ What’s that?” He asked.
“That you will let me pay you back someday. Even if it’s not money, that I get to return this gift to you. “ She said.
“That’s a fair thing to do.” He smiled. Range ran the palm of his hand down her arm and said you won’t have a problem with that and he winked.
She grabbed her mouth to keep from laughing out loud at him flirting. She swatted at him and went to the sink.
“Lucas you want to walk to the mailbox with me? Range asked.
“ YES! “ he came running.
The boys went through the door. She look at the money he gave her. It was more than a weekly paycheck. She went to the bedroom and put it in her wallet. She decided to place all her and Lucas’ things under the bed so that Caroline’s mom wouldn’t see them. She didn’t want things to be harder on Range. She cleaned the bathroom and would put their things in the drawer tomorrow.
Range and Lucas came in. “ Mommy you got mail!” Lucas said and handed her the letter Range sent. She opened it and it said ; your new address is PO Box 921 Hwy 87, Prairie Home Mo 65068
“You can leave early enough to go get your license then on to a fun day with the ladies. “ Range told her. “I’ll give you directions. “
“GPS.” She said. “ I do need the name of the church though.”
He gave her the information and then she asked him what he wanted for dinner.
“ Anything is good with me” he said. “ I guess I need to let you grocery shop since you are doing the cooking. Do I even have something to cook? “ he chuckled as he went to look in his freezer.
It was empty.
“ The diner it is.” Range laughed again. Scarlet joined him.
“ Ya we will need to do that.” Scarlet teased.
Each moment they spent together seemed to crave another. Lucas was playing on the porch while Range and Scarlet was in the swing.
“ This is so nice.” Range said. His phone rang and he got it out of his pocket. It was William. “Hello.”
“Range it’s William. I’m calling to update you about Scarlets situation. So it looks like the attorney has filed for custody of Lucas. The basis is that she is now clean and has an heir since his father died. She is claiming that she was not given the opportunity to be in his life and that right has been taken from her. She also is stating that Scarlet and Lucas is homeless. Utah is a state that honors grandparents rights. “ he explained.
“ What if she was married? What if she owned her own business? Range asked.
“ I believe that it would show her stability, I also will need letters from everyone who helped her run from him, she needs character witness from that time. Range she needs to take this seriously. “ William said bye and they hung up.
Range sat on the swing next to Scarlet. “ How is your garden coming along?”
“ Amazing! Sprouts are shooting up as we speak! I love growing things! Roses and mums and vegetables. Plants and herbs. It’s a lot of work but so rewarding. When I left high school I took a few ag classes and learned how do mass produce things then I actually started my own business. I met Bart there. We married and well you know the rest of the story. He made things so impossible and took money from the business that I had to just sell. It broke my heart. “ Scarlet was heartbroken even now.
“ Other than Rachel do you have friends who can vouch for your success and why things happened the way they did? “ Range asked.
“ Lots of people would vouch for me, why?” Scarlet asked.
“ Because we need them to write letters on your behalf saying why you was homeless and why you had to run. For court.” Range answered. He didn’t want her to worry.
“I’ll call Rachel and she can talk to our friends and family who helped me . “ scarlet told him. She was worried but knew things were going to be okay. She felt peaceful about everything.
“ Let’s go eat.” Range said.
They all piled in his car and they left and went to have pizza. Lucas was thrilled.