time for another! xox
A trip across the country is what every woman needs at some point in their life. You drive at your own pace, see exotic new places and stop wherever you want along the way. Fortunately, and unfortunately, I was on one. Sort of. If I didn't have to go, I wouldn't be going at all.
Not that it was a very long drive from Los Angeles to Telluride Colorado, it was me leaving home in general. It was me taking my son away from his home as soon as his freshman year of high school ended. He never even knew his grandpa, but I couldn't leave him in California. A woman should feel remorse over her father's death. I felt nothing of the sort. He left everything in my name a month ago. That's why I was on this road trip.
Los Angeles had been my home for fourteen years. Before that, it was here: Colorado. I didn't tell many people that, though. My childhood caused me to hate many things, Colorado being one of them. Of course, like all things, you can remember the good times no matter how few there were.
First off, Colorado was a beautiful place where the true west lived and still thrived to this day. It was where horses and cattle were a way of life, and when you couldn't imagine being without the Rocky Mountains.
Secondly, I loved it for Telluride. The summer festivities and the many celebrities that visited. I can remember seeing Oprah walk down Main St. with three body guards when I was a kid. Of course she was disguised, but I knew it was her from the magazine stands I would pass at the market.
My third and final reason for loving this state was the land itself. They didn't put the word color in Colorado for nothing. Each new season brought something different that you had never seen before. You went fly fishing, horseback riding, didn't own a television and had no idea what the Internet was. It was sacred.
It was my father's dream. He achieved it no matter how much hurt he caused along the way. Now, I could sell his land. I could rid my life of him forever. That was the plan anyway. I could have taken care of it all over the phone from California, but certain circumstances stood in my way. That's why I am on this road trip.
Seth stirred in the passenger seat beside me. As I slowed my Land Rover and turned into the parking lot of the infamous hotel of, Our Inn, he awoke. My son the teenager. My light. He was my heart, too, no matter how mad he was at me.
"Finally," He grumbled. Night had fallen at just past ten on Friday evening. We drove all day before we decided to stop here for the night.
"Do I get my own room?" He asked. I took the key from the ignition and stowed it away in my small leather bag. I looked into his dark eyes. My eyes. One of the only attributes he ever got from my genes.
"Yes," I breathed. Seth smiled his first genuine smile of the whole trip. It made me smile in return, even though I knew he only wanted it to be away from me.
We grabbed our duffels and headed to the main desk inside where an old woman sat behind a wooden counter.
"What can I do you for?" She asked shakily?
"Two rooms, please," I told her. She looked through her books.
"Isabella Swan." I could see Seth in my peripheral. He rolled his eyes at me.
"No, it can't be," She replied wondrously. I smiled shyly.
"My, you have grown into somethin' beautiful, Bella."
"Thank you, Connie," I replied quietly. She stood up and placed her old weathered hand over mine.
"So sorry to hear about your father, dear."
"Thank you," I whispered. Connie nodded and took my cash. I thanked Connie once more and took our room keys.
"Second floor," I told Seth. He nodded and started up the old stairs. The building smelt just the same.
"Conjoining rooms. Seriously, Bella?" Seth whined.
"Don't call me that," I snapped. "And yes, conjoining rooms. You're fourteen not twenty-five. Take it or leave it." He shrugged and took his key from my hand.
"We need to be up by eight," I started. I couldn't finish my orders before he closed the door on me. I sighed and went to my room. There was a single bed, a TV that was older than I was, and a small vanity by the window. I smiled warmly. It was all very inviting. I would choose this place over a Marriott any day.
After a hot shower and very little channel surfing, the night found me at the open window smoking a cigarette. The air was crisp and the smell was only that of Telluride. There was no smog or beeping car horns. It was almost too quiet. This place had become so unfamiliar, like an old friend you knew nothing about anymore, but who you were trying to desperately make amends with.
I usually only smoked at night, and only to calm my nerves enough to get a couple hours sleep. Seth knew, but never saw me do it. I didn't want him to. You try so hard trying to be the best role model you can be for your child, and you fail miserably no matter what. Why was the battle so hard?
And yet here I sat still fighting it. I would never tell my son to hate his father for his wrong doings; just as I would never speak an ill word about my own father to him. That wouldn't be fair to Seth. I sighed and put my cigarette out. Then, my iPhone rang from beside me. I answered it quickly, not wanting to wake Seth. These walls were as thin as they were fifteen years ago.
"Hello?" I answered in a near whisper.
"Bella, did you make it?"
"Rosalie, hi. We have about an hour drive to the ranch tomorrow."
"Good. Any word from Jacob?" My stomach began to bubble with fear anew.
"You know not to answer him, correct?" Her voice was stern.
"And you'll have Seth call him before you leave cell service? We don't want him starting a false kidnapping case."
"Right. And yes, he'll call."
"Have you told Seth everything?"
"No. He's still mad that I won full custody."
"He'll get over it. It's for the best."
I sighed. "He's so angry with me all the time, Rose. I don't know why."
"He's a teenager, babe. It's his life's purpose," She replied sarcastically. I chuckled.
"When will you be done there?" She asked.
"As soon as I sort all this shit out."
"Do you know the guy living there?"
"I went to school with him before my father pulled me out. It's been at least twenty years. He won't remember me," I replied, trying to hide any sadness. I did remember the boy who used to play in the river with me.
"Well, good luck. Call if you need any lawyering."
"Oh, I will."
"And don't hesitate about anything with Jacob."
We disconnected the call and Rosalie had a way of making me feel better. She was the first person I met when I got to LA. She knew me inside and out, so It only made sense that I would go to her as my divorce lawyer.
At least I would be safe here even though I loathed coming back. I left new wounds to return to old ones. Everything seemed like a double edged sword. Jacob doesn't know where the ranch is, my childhood home. Maybe he would leave us alone. Maybe Seth would get over it and his father. I looked back out to Telluride. The town was quiet, serene, the same. Maybe now I could sleep along with it.
The next morning arrived quickly. It took me twenty minutes to get Seth out of bed. He most definitely was not a morning person. We ate breakfast downstairs that Connie had prepared and by ten, we were back on the road. The further we drove, the worse connections became. The radio slowly faded first. Then, the cell service was next.
"Call your dad. We won't get any service at the ranch." Seth didn't reply, instead taking out his phone and placing it to his ear. I rode in silence. Jacob thought we were taking a vacation to visit my father, not go to his grave.
"Hey dad," Seth cooed. "Yeah, it's all right... I know. Uh, some country place, I don't know. Yep, got the Xbox."
Seth laughed at whatever his father was saying. It stung me.
"I will. Yeah, there won't be cell service, but mom said we'll go to and from town every other day or two. Yeah. She is. Love you, too, dad. Bye."
Their call ended and I could breath again. I didn't ask what they talked about. It wouldn't change anything. Seth stayed silent for a while. I studied him from my peripheral. He was gangly and just under 5'11. He started to tower over me when he was twelve. He had a good skin tone that stayed a darker color year round. I was glad for that. No one wanted pale skin like me. If Seth had been a girl, she would have been cursed with pale skin, tiny breasts, and a clumsiness no one could overcome.
His black hair was always a mess with gel, sticking out every which way. He loved old band t-shirts and dirty jeans with Converse. The poor boy couldn't grow any facial hair to save his life, though. Besides my eyes, everything was his father's. Even his voice had changed into Jacob's. Each day I found myself looking for anything I had given him that was good and pure. I fell short and saw nothing but weakness. He was much stronger than me, but he knew fear all to well.
"Why are we coming here?" He suddenly asked.
"I told you. Your grandpa left his ranch and all of his belongings to me. We have to sort through them and see who he hired as caretakers."
"Apparently he had a family living on the land to work it when he became to old to do so."
"And you know who?"
"I went to school with him."
"I thought you were homeschooled."
"I wasn't until high school. His name is Edward Masen. His father, Carlisle worked with mine on the ranch."
"Oh. What do we do with them?"
"Well, they'll have to leave the land because the bank wants it."
"I miss dad." His statement caught me off guard.
"I know. Me too." It wasn't the truth, but it wasn't a lie either. Seth went back to his Game Boy. I knew he had more to ask me, but he wouldn't.
My son thought I was a liar. I couldn't deny it without giving anything away. He adored his father, and I wouldn't take that from him. I wasn't one of those ex-wives. My hope for this trip was growing darker the closer we drove to the ranch in silence. Maybe it would bring us together. Maybe I could fix myself.
As we passed under the familiar old wooden sign of Stone Meadow Ranch, we each took a steadying deep breath for the unknown.
Like Vegas and July, this is sort of a test. I like to see what people like and don't like. I have a feeling you guys will love this one, so spread the word! I have over ten chapters written for it already, too, so rest assured!
Credit to Laura Kreitzer for my fabulous summary! And an amazing banner by beffers87 is soon to come!
Let me hear your awesome thoughts :)