Vignette 17 - 1983
Lily pored over the various books, making her final selections for college. She thought that it might be good to go out of state; she knew that she couldn't stay at the ranch forever. She had to grow and gain independence. And she wanted to see new places. One college that she did like the look of was in Nashville, Tennessee. It wasn't too far, so she could come at the weekend.
Only a few months to go, and she would graduate from high school. Ennis and Jack had told her how they hadn't finished high school, and that they were proud of her for doing so well. She felt sorry for them for not having the kind of education that she did, but it wasn't their fault. Both of them were very smart, and they'd had to deal with the cards they'd been dealt. It had been a different time.
"Hey," Jack said to her as he entered the kitchen. "You doin' alright there?" She nodded.
"Yeah, reckon so. I'm just about done. Got places picked out in the neighbourin' states, but I really like the one in Nashville. I hope I get in there."
Jack smiled and placed an arm around her shoulders. "With brains like yours, I reckon you'll be fine." She smiled up at him and looked back down at the various application forms.
"I hope so. I really wanna study Art...I think I'd be good..." Jack nodded and kissed the top of her head.
The three of them were packed into the crowded auditorium as names were called out, and students collected their diplomas. With Lily's last name being Twist, they knew it would still be some time yet before she was called. They could see her waiting, whispering quietly with her friends.
"Sure wish they'd do this quicker," Jack murmured, inclining his head towards Ennis, who smirked at him.
"You sure are impatient, rodeo," he muttered. "What you itchin' for? Food?"
"As a matter of fact, yeah. Can't wait for that dinner we got planned." He glanced at Ennis. "An' dessert afterwards, in our room." Ennis went red and looked down at the floor, trying to hide his grin.
At last, they neared the end, and approached the T's.
Lily stood up and shook hands with the principal, shaking her hand and receiving the diploma at last. She looked out and saw her family clapping and smiling at her. She grinned and made her way down the steps.
Afterwards, she bounded up to the three of them and hugs were exchanged. "Congratulations, honey," Jack said as he released her. "You ready to go to the dinner now?"
"We gotta do pictures first," she reminded him. All three of them were dragged into the photo session, and then they could finally leave. They piled into Jack's truck and headed off into town towards the restaurant. Lily was examining her diploma and talking with Rose about it. Ennis and Jack exchanged a smile.
"This place is great!" Jack said with a large grin on his face as they looked around. They had just arrived in Las Vegas and were walking through the hotel up to their room. As they'd driven down the strip from their limousine, they'd seen the bright lights and felt the energy around them. Even Ennis was looking forward to this.
They were taken to their room and then left to their own devices. Jack grinned further at the sight of the bed in front of them, and he nudged Ennis. "Get a load of that, cowboy," he said slyly. "Can't wait to test that out." Ennis went a little red and looked around.
"Sure is nice..." Truth be told, he was looking forward to getting Jack in that big bed and bouncing around on it for a while. Jack walked into the bathroom and called out to Ennis.
"Cowboy, you gotta take a look at this!" Ennis walked in and saw the Jacuzzi. Images of their own back home filled his head. This one was bigger and he could imagine sitting in it with Jack. "So what do you wanna do first?" Jack asked, turning and sliding his arms up Ennis's shoulders, smiling.
Ennis smiled back. "I reckon we've got time to christen that bed before we venture out," he replied, leaning in to claim Jack's lips. Jack mumbled his approval and they walked together back into the bedroom, falling onto the bed and starting to make out.
Lily entered her dorm room and saw that her roommate was out. Claire was nice enough, and they got on fairly well. She sat down on her bed and flicked through her mail. There was a letter from Brokeback Ranch, and she smiled to herself, sitting back against the headboard and pillows to read it.
The ranch was doing well, as always, and everybody was okay. Ennis and Jack were still recovering from their trip to Las Vegas, but were back at work. She knew that work never stopped on ranches, even for the bosses.
As she read, she unexpectedly found herself thinking about her mother. What might things be like if she was alive? There would probably be news about her, too. Lily sighed to herself and pulled out her album from the nightstand. It was only small, but contained pictures of her family. There was one picture in particular that she loved. It was of Ennis, Jack, Rose and her mother, holding a baby Lily on her lap and looking happy. They were sat on the back steps and smiling at the camera. According to Jack, it had been taken just a few months before her first birthday, before Ennis had been drafted.
She looked at the picture, knowing that when it was taken, none of them could have imagined the carnage that awaited them. But it was a long time ago, and things were better now. They had moved on from the bad times and healed.