If It Makes You Happy

July 22, 1896
Sarah Waters

It seemed like a good day to pay Jasper a visit. I have hardly seen him at all since moving to Denver. Sam did not have room for him near the house so he has been staying in a community stable on the outskirts. I managed to borrow a couple of carrots from Deborah, Jasper’s favorite snack. He was definitely happy to see me. I think he might have thought I had forgotten him, but I had not. I missed him at least as much as he missed me.

I had not planned on taking him out but after seeing him I could not just leave. He needed the exercise and the companionship, I think I needed it too. I have so many things to think about and while some probably think it odd, I do my best thinking when I am alone with Jasper. There is something about his spirit which calms me and helps me to see things more clearly. Someday I will need to learn to do that on my own, no matter where I am or who I am with but for now Jasper does the job.

Only a few more weeks and I will be a college girl. I was excited the first time I even dared to think I might become one, now that the newness has worn away, I find my excitement tempered. I have never been afraid of change, most days I welcome it, but there is something more to it this time. I realize when I set foot on that east bound train, it will be more than turning the page to a new chapter of my life, it will be more like finishing one book and beginning a whole new one, where the characters and story are just beginning. What will that new book, new life, hold for me? Only time will tell.

Then there is the business of disappearing books. Do I read too much into it or not enough? I have worried little about it, but the odd coincidences are at least intriguing. First, my father’s journal is taken by Mr. Parker’s hired guns. Next my school books, given to me by Mr. Stone, are taken from my bedroom. And if that were not enough to cause one to wonder, Samuel misplaces his ledgers or were they also taken? Samuel has always been well organized and the last thing I remember him losing was his baby teeth. The idea that all these things are connected is farfetched, but why can I not shake the thought since it entered my head?

When Jasper and I returned to the stable, Samuel was waiting for us. I gave Jasper the last of the carrots before letting the hands take care of him. Without a word, Samuel offered me his arm and we began walking toward home, his home. My home is gone and part of me wonders if I will ever have another.

“You looked happy with Jasper.” Sam said.

“I was. It has been too long since I saw him.”

“No one has kept you away.”

“I know. Why did you come out here?”

“I thought you might need some company.”

“I appreciate the though but as you can see, I was fine.”

“Yes. You were also a convenient excuse to get me out.”

“Are mother and I causing problems between you and Deborah?”

“No, not at all. Deborah likes having a full house. I seem to recall you and Deborah being inseparable not so many years ago.”

“Things change.”

“Not all things.”

“I could debate that.”

Samuel laughed at me. I tried to feign offense but in the end I laughed with him.

“Can you keep a secret, Sarah?” He asked.

“You know I can.”

“Deborah is pregnant.”

He said it so stoically, as though he was unsure he was happy about it. I regarded him carefully for a moment, wondering just what it was he was thinking and why he was telling me.

“Father would have been proud.” I said.

“He was.”

“You’ve known? Does mother know too?”

I felt betrayed.

“No, she does not. I knew when I came to get you and father out of jail, but the timing has rarely seemed right to spread the news. Deborah has been bursting at the seems to tell you and mother.”

“Why have you waited? Mother could certainly use the good news to cheer her up.”

“I thought perhaps it was inappropriate to introduce such news while she was still grieving,, but I have begun to realize she will still be grieving even when the child is born.”

“If you don’t tell her. Do you know what a grandchild will mean to mother?”

“That she is getting old?”

It was my turn to laugh at him.

“I suppose that too, but more importantly it means life goes on. It means that there is a future and even though our father is gone, his lineage will go on.”

“That is an awful burden to place on a newborn.” Samuel said with a smirk.

“It is not a burden, it is just part of what they are.”

“So, we should tell mother then?” He asked.

We both laughed at the rhetorical question. From there we walked in happy silence until we reached the from steps. I stopped and pulled Sam with me to a stop. He looked at me, puzzled and against my better judgment I asked the question which had been on the tip of my tongue.

“Are you happy, Sam?”

He gave me a wry smile and pulled me until I walked up the steps with him and into the house. The lack of an answer left me wondering, what does a child mean to Samuel?

1 comment:

Paul said...

Melanie, Sarah is recovering, a baby should help.
Warm hugs,