“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Cami asks, her dimple clear. Her dimple shows up even when she’s yelling at someone, making her seem less serious. And right now it serves to mask some of her worry.
But I know this is weird. I know she’s never done anything like this before and she’s only here because she wants to support me. Which I appreciate.
“Cami, you don’t need to come in here with me.” I climb up the aged white fence. The wood beneath my hand is rough and brittle feeling even though it holds my weight as I step both my feet on the bottom rung.
“Goldie, I need to be in there with you," she says. Her hands are on the top of the fence and she still hasn’t started climbing it yet.
“Seriously, Cami, I’m fine. I’ve done this before.” I swing a leg over the top rail, aware that with the cast on my arm I don’t look like someone who should be trusted to do this on their own. Especially since climbing the fence is harder now than it was with two good arms.
Besides, swinging my other leg over and hopping down is the easiest part.
If Cami wants to wait by the fence, that’s fine. But I need to do this.
The field in front of me is tinged brown still. The grass is in its late summer hibernation even though the first rain of September came yesterday. Droplets dampen the legs of my jeans as I pass through.
Somehow, the effect of the place is almost instantaneous.
After all that happened this summer, being here, in a cow field of some farmer I don’t know feels like a homecoming.
My summer in Montana is far away. The evergreen trees past the other end of the fence line remind me I’m in Washington. But the peace and the comfort of all the days I spent in a pasture just like this one put a bandage on the open wound still left raw in my soul.
I unsling my backpack from my shoulder and plop down in the grass.
This spot is as good as any other.
Coming here isn’t about finding the most comfortable place to sit and write. The grass is still so dry it pokes into my legs through my jeans.
No, coming here is about finding the proper head space to write something for them.
At home, the words wouldn’t come.
At school, I didn’t want to draw any more attention to myself by crying.
At the park, I couldn’t feel their presence.
But here, in a field so much like one at their ranch, maybe I can finally tell them what I want them to know.
Fumbling with the zipper, I open my backpack and pull out my notebook and pen.
I bite the lid off of the pen and stick it on the end with my mouth.
The first thing I learned to manage with one good arm after I got home with a cast and sling was using the bathroom.
The second thing was writing.
Wind, soft and languid, carrying the smells of the first cool fall rains with it even as the last of the fragrance of summer grass surrounds me, blows my way.
Closing my eyes, I turn my face into the breeze, allow it to carry me back to their house, and the sky that was far too big.
A tear escapes my closed lids and trickles down my cheek as my mouth trembles with a suppressed sob.
Sound, more than the rustling of the field in the wind, comes from behind me.
I think it’s Cami at first, that she decided to join me after all. But there’s a heaviness to what I think are steps. A weight that is out of place for her.
Turning toward it, I open my eyes, and come face to face with a gigantic bull.
He’s a Scottish Highland, with long shaggy hair that hangs down around his eyes and covers his whole body, making him almost huggably cute.
But his large horns, and the fact that I know bulls, makes my heart pick up speed in my chest.
We stare at each other for a time that seems to be seconds yet takes forever.
Finally, my heart slows, and I just know he won’t hurt me.
“Did they tell you to say, ‘Hi’?” My voice is hushed and breaks on the word ‘they.’
He humphs a blast of hot air out of his nose and turns to lumber away.
“Tell them I miss them,” I say to his retreating form.
My notebook and my pen sit in my lap. Even though the point of me coming here is to write to them, no words will be done today.
I already said what I needed to.