Muppet and I still didn’t have a solid plan for our future.
So instead of planning we decided to enjoy the last of the nice weather and head to the dog park.
Despite the fact that it was nearing late autumn, the trees still had their leaves and it was unseasonably warm.
So warm, in fact, that Muppet went for a swim while I grilled some freshly caught salmon. While we were at the park, I heard someone talking about the local stables needing riders to keep their horses in shape. I’ve never ridden a horse but I wasn’t about to turn down some easy money for a transient like myself.
I headed down to the stables and filled out the paperwork. They gave me some clothes and a “beginner” horse named Tiberius.
He seemed gentle enough.
The only problem was his speed and agility. This horse was made for competitions and he was flying around the track without me even telling him to go. I think he was enjoying my panic because he didn’t seem all that eager to slow down or stop. He didn’t throw me though…small victories.
I threw myself off instead. I gracefully tried to get off the horse…like I knew what I was doing. I promptly landed on my caboose. I made $150 though so it was worth it.
Since the stables pay based on talent and experience I decided to up my game.
The weather finally took a turn for the worse so I headed to the library to brush up on my riding skills. After I thought I knew a thing or two, I headed across the street to the salon.
It was time for a makeover. I needed to look sharp and ready to take on the world.
I think I succeeded. After my makeover I went downstairs to the tattoo parlor.
I told the woman I needed a tattoo that symbolized what I had lost but that I was ready to move on without forgetting the past and what it made me. I spent all my hard-earned $150 on it but it was worth it.
I got home from my errands and admired my new ink in the mirror.
A broken heart with angel wings right over my own heart. My shirt would cover it so I wouldn’t need to explain it to anyone but the person I decide to share my future with…if that ever happens again.
“What would the kids want me to do?” I asked myself in the mirror.
“Don’t be sad, Mama. We’re always gonna be here. Take us on an adventure with you…”
I printed out some forms online and took the University Aptitude Test. If the kids wanted an adventure, they were going to get it. I was going to go back to college and get my life back together. I decided on a business degree. What I would do with it I didn’t know but I’d work that out later.
I was just about to head out to another random gig when my phone rang.
“WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!?”
“Hi, Olivia. It’s nice to hear from you.”
“WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!?”
“Not at home…or in Starlight Shores.”
“I noticed that. I went and opened your front door only to find some random people living there!”
Muppet was concerned about me. She could tell I was agitated though I tried not to let Liv hear that.
“I moved. I couldn’t stay there anymore. You should understand that.”
“How am I supposed to keep an eye on you if you leave without telling me!”
“I don’t need a babysitter, Liv. I’m living in Eden Grove now.”
“Alright, well give me a month to settle things here and Mike will find us a house on his next business trip.”
“You can’t just move here?!”
“You bet I can! And I’m bringing Mom, Dad, Adam, Hannah, Uncle Ollie, Aunt Lanya, Grandma, Grandpa, and anyone else I can find!”
“If you say so. Nobody is going to pack up and move across the ocean because you tell them to…”
“It takes a village, Penny. Whether it is raising a new child or a grown one. We’ll be there for you.”
I hung up the phone feeling oddly relieved by the knowledge that some or all of my family would be arriving soon. I’m sure I could pull my life together on my own but it is always nice to have help.
I told Muppet all about my family. She was excited, too. Soon she’d have lots of cousin dogs and tiny humans to play with.
I had to leave Miss Muppet at home though because I was going to be late for work. I grabbed a few shifts at a bar down the street. Come in and tend bar when I wanted for as long as I wanted. Not great work but at least I didn’t have to interact with anyone longer than I wanted.
All I had to do was pretend to be a nice, normal young lady. That couldn’t be that hard…