“Here’s the daily plan. You’re going to start off by feeding all the horses in their stable. After you can let them all loose, and you’ll have to clean out their stables, refill their water and bring in one stack of hay.” Cole was walking and talking, all in the same time as introducing Claire around the shack.
Once Cole explained everything Claire had to do, she was completely overwhelmed. She had a list of to do’s that with her pace, would take over a year.
Curiously, Claire asked, “While I’m doing all that, what will you be doing?”
“It might not look like it, but after so many years of practice around animals, I guess you can call me a cheap vet. I have two clients to visit today.”
Claire started with her first task of the day; feeding the horses. After searching for 15 minutes, she finally found the stacks of hay. Each rectangular stack was wrapped with a single cord around it, wrapped like a gift. She attempted lifting the heavy load, only to drop it back down halfway.
Two hours later, with trails of hay all over the wooden floors, and two broken nails, all the horses were fed. How am I supposed to get them out of their stables? These creatures are gigantic.
After a long day’s work, Claire was still not done. She had cleaned the horse stables as best she could, and had chopped up a small amount of wood fire; causing her to break three more nails. As Cole drove up the main driveway, Claire was at the back of the ranch, picking out the weeds in the garden.
“The first day’s over and you still didn’t run away?” Cole laughed as he walked towards Claire; his bright smile a visible feature. Claire turned to talk but she was cut off as Cole spoke again, “Whoa! This isn’t the same woman who walked up here today!”
Claire’s hair was a tangled mess, her palms bloody and filled with dirt, her face streaked with sweat and mud and her clothes were just as dirty.
Bowing her head in embarrassment Claire added, “I didn’t get a chance to finish the list. I’m so sorry to disappoint you, but I tried my best.” As Claire began to walk away, her head bowed down, Cole took her wrist, turning her around. “Claire! Don’t be so hard on yourself. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting you to finish the list. I just gave you a lot of extra work because I wanted you to really do the best you could.”
“Are you telling me even you don’t complete such an impossible amount of work in one day?” Claire asked, slowly starting to regain confidence.
“No I don’t. So I think I owe you an apology because you did exceptional work around here and you’ve surprised me. I promise you the next couple days will be easier, and I’ll try and be around to help out.”
As the weeks passed by, Claire began to love her job. It truly changed her into a better person. Cole was often around to offer help and teach her new techniques. As they worked, the two endlessly talked. What Claire liked, was that Cole never once asked about her past. It was left an unmentioned topic.
Cole had introduced Claire to what he called his home. It was just side by side to the ranch and the animals, a small, wooden cabin which served as Cole’s house. Which now, Claire was free to use whenever she needed something.
The two were cleaning and scrubbing the floors in the ranch, trying to remove the thick layers of mud. Suddenly, Cole threw his soapy sponge and hit Claire’s lower back. “Hey!?” Claire yelled as Cole laughed loudly.
Taking revenge, Claire threw her sponge back at him, and started to shower him with straws of hay. The two screamed and laugh in the same time, their bodies tangled upon each other as they play fought. When the laughing finally stopped, they both looked at each other and noticed the way Cole had his arms around Claire.
Startled, Claire said with a trembling voice, “Oh, um, I…I’m sorry.” Cole’s grin revealed his perfect teeth and that was enough to make Claire’s knees fold. Resting her hands on his muscular chest, she leaned in and kissed him. Slowly, she backed off, and repeated once more, “Sorry.” Laughing quietly, Cole looked back at her and dug in for another deep kiss. This time, neither of them backed away. Claire’s hands fondled through his long hair, as he held her delicate structure.
Cole picked up Claire, his lips never leaving hers. They made their way to the bedroom, and that night turned out to be a sleepless one.
I had never expected it to be that way. I don’t know what had taken over my body, but words cannot explain what I felt. As I woke up the next morning, my head resting upon Cole’s shoulder, I could only smile to myself. My body was sore, and drained, yet I felt as if it were one of the most magical nights ever.
Nights like those, however, had their consequences, and some of them were bigger than others. For Claire, the karma that hit her was the severe back pains, and early morning sicknesses. It’s only after being positive and certain of what was happening, that she approached Cole. “Cole? I believe I have something to tell you.”
“What’re you like quitting or something?” He said laughing.
It’s only when he looked up and saw Claire’s serious expression that he stopped laughing.
“Cole. Cole I’m pregnant.”