|Posted on March 5, 2013 at 12:10 AM|
Maggie practiced on the crutches Hunter had brought in for her. The more she walked the better she felt. She was no longer a sitting target for all of Cindy’s dark glares. It didn’t matter what Maggie did, Cindy didn’t like it.
She made it to the front door, wobbled while getting the door opened and finally made it outside. The air had a crisp cool feel to it, reminding her that that soon enough everything would be green and new. The leaves on the trees were already budding. She lowered herself down onto the wicker chair and sighed.
A gust of wind blew her newly cut hair around and she reached up to put it to rights. She still couldn’t believe that Hunter cut her hair. He was full of surprises. He’d always been a friend, a quiet one that she took for granted. Knowing he never planned to leave their small town, she never gave him a second look and now she wish she had.
Her bruises were beginning to fade but the memory of Wilt Matthews would be hard to erase. How could she have gotten herself into such a situation? The fact that he was married shamed her. Her mother raised her better than that. It wasn’t as though she was naive, she just refused to see what was right in front of her. Of course he was married.
“Is that all you do? Sit around all day?” Cindy come outside, letting the screen door slam.
“Sometimes. I did do all the dishes, on one foot. I thought it quite the accomplishment. Not impressed?”
“Not really. Your car will be ready this afternoon. You should make plans to shove off before Daddy gives you the heave hoe. He’s just being kind you know. He really doesn’t want you here.”
Maggie nodded. It was no use trying to talk to Cindy. There was no winning with her.
“So, you’re leaving today?”
“I’ll talk to Hunter and see. I’m low on cash right now.”
“I knew it! Poor white trash, I had you pegged the minute I saw you.”
“She might be poor at the moment but she was never trash, Cindy,” Hunter said as he came outside holding two mugs of coffee. He leaned down and handed on of the mugs to Maggie with an apologetic smile on his face.
“Her car will be ready. Now she can go,” Cindy insisted.
Maggie held her breath, and waited for Hunter to answer.
“I suppose she could, if she wanted but I’d rather she stayed. Maggie and I have known each other since we were kids and I like having her around.”
Maggie searched Hunter’s green eyes for the truth. The kindness she read in them backed his statement. Maybe she should stay for a while at least. Where else would she go? She’d experienced the outside world and she didn’t find anything remotely that she expected. It was a lesson hard learned but if she hadn’t left she would have always been restless, wondering what she had missed.
She smiled at Hunter. “Thank you for the invitation, I’d love to stay for a while.”
Cindy scowled and stomped off toward the barn but the returning smile she got from Hunter took her breath away.
He downed the rest of his coffee and left the mug on the whicker table next to her. “I’m glad.”
She watched him stroll to the barn, probably to do some damage control. Cindy was not happy.
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