In the middle of November, his brown hair glimmered in the light.
His soft red lips parted, he yawned, his arms stretched a bit. Allie bounced Michael Colin Gallaway, named after his father, Colin the Gardener, lightly in her arms as she fed him. ³You¶re lucky your mother is not here, Russ¶d wring your neck! The hospital is discharging you today, what are you going to do?´ Allie asked. ³I don¶t know. Can you just bring me home? Mom won¶t be back until tomorrow I¶ll figure it out then´ Ruth said wearily. Allie sighed and said nothing in reply. Instead she placed the baby in his car seat, a cheap one she got on her way over from Wal-Mart. As she packed Allie reflected on the happenings of the year that past. The secrecy she and Ruth kept from Russ, Allie¶s stepmom. Ruth¶d gotten pregnant one night she went clubbing. No surprise there, Allie thought to herself. Ruth was always carefree. She lived her life day by day. She took Carpe Diem to a new level, with her flashing wardrobe and her flashing modeling career. Contrary to Allie, who loved the Ranch they lived on, the same one she and her parents had lived on. It meant everything to her and she poured all her hard work into making it thrive. Sure it wasn¶t crazily furnished and crazily reeking profit like other Ranches. But Allie loved it, at least they were surviving. May be if Russ¶d stopped spending the money the Ranch earned faster than it was being made perhaps they won¶t be sinking to the ground so fast. Allie thought with a grimace. Allie pulled the car to a stop in front of the garage attached to the ranch house and sighed. Ruth gather all her belongings and the huge brown bulky purse she carried as a red sports car raced to a stop inches from hitting Allies car. ³Oh, Cash is here´ Ruth said as she made a move to exit the car. Allie grabbed her arm. ³Ruth, where the hell do you think you¶re going?´ ³Oh, you silly, I have a modeling gig tonight«now that I lost at least ten pounds, I think I¶ll be okay, at first I thought that kid wouldn¶t come out in time. But-´Ruth said with a shrug. ³What am I suppose to do, what about the baby?´ Allie said glancing at the back seat of her truck. ³Allie I don¶t care what you do with him. You convinced me not to get an abortion, and now he¶s yours.´ ³Ruth! You¶re his mother!´ ³No, I¶m not´ Ruth said as a she rummaged through her brown purse. She gave a triumphant sigh when she found what she was looking for. She pulled out a manila envelope opened it and pulled out a sheet of paper. She turned and gave Allie a snarl. ³I¶m not the that kid¶s mother.´ She repeated. She looked down at the paper one more time before throwing it at Allie. ³You are!´ ³What-´ Allie said, looking through the papers. She was the baby¶s sole guardian, the adopted mother, according to the papers. ³I waived all my rights; I don¶t ever want to look at him ever again.´ Allie looked at Ruth, ³You can¶t do this Ruth, he needs you!´ ³I can¶t raise him; do you know what he¶ll do to my career? He¶s already made me sacrifice so much. Don¶t you see? I¶ll be on the front page of People magazine: Ruth Gallaway had bastard baby by a gardener! Don¶t you understand? I stand to lose so much, but you, you¶re born and bred for motherhood, and and this´ she said pointing to the ranch house, ³I¶m not, I was destined for bigger things, I¶ll not have any more things tying me down.´ She said as she stepped out of the car leaving Allie shocked and speechless. Ruth leaned in, one hand on the car door, ³oh by the way, you should bring him strait to your place, mother won¶t want him either, so don¶t even try it.´ With that Ruth walked away and stepped into the red sports car. Allie leaned her head on the steering wheel and took a deep breath. Then cranked her keys in the ignition, the car roared to life as she lifted her head to back the car out of the drive way. She drove the short distance to the stable where her small, studio, if one could call it that was. She placed the car seat on the coffee table and sat down across from him. He was so beautiful. ³Hmmmm«having a nice nap there´ she sighed. ³Ohhhhkay«how hard could this be? There are plenty of single moms out there who do it all the time. We¶ll just have to work something out.´ A week later ³Allie you look like death on two feet´ greeted Roger one of the ranch hands. He plopped his hat back on his head, him and his grey hair looked perfect as usual. He reached out and took the car seat from Allie. He and Allie made their way from the stable to the rest of the crew, two other men. It was always this way for as long as she remembered just her and the guys running the ranch. These were the same guys that were here when her father was running the ranch. ³Why thank you, you try running a ranch and raising a baby and we¶ll see how handsome you look!´ ³Hmmm´ Roger grunted in warning, ³I just think--´ ³Now, now stop it right there, I¶m through with your µI just think¶ speech.´ ³I know I know«but I¶m concerned you can¶t just keep doing all this juggling.´ He said gesturing at the car seat. ³I can manage, don¶t you worry, plenty of moms do it, I can do it to.´ They¶d been working since before sunrise and now the sun has set leaving a dark starlit sky. ³You¶re a good person Allie, you deserve a good family.´ ³You¶re right I do deserve a good family and that is exactly what Michael and I are going to be together, whether or not Ruth wants to be a part of it.´
Russ was packing her cloths into her luggage. She walked up the stair to Russ¶ room where the sound radiated. I just don¶t understand. There were labeled boxes piled everywhere. Jackson or other and the lawyer was here today. I¶ve given your checks to Roger. it¶s my father¶s land we¶re talking about!´ ³They came while you were at the doctor¶s. She walked into the living room and place the car seat on the sofa.´ ³I¶ll cross that bridge when I get to it. what are you going to do when she sells?´ ³I know Roger´ Allie said putting a hand on his shoulder. At the bottom of the stairs she heard muffled laughter. Kyle¶s was all white. Contrary to Rogers grey hair. you know I¶m raising a family. took a deep breath and went inside. I need the income. and we¶re doing fine. Russ stopped folding her blouse mid air.³I don¶t want to talk about Ruth. he¶ll surely hand them out to you all. She made her way toward the ranch house. and it¶s not like you to greet us that way´ said another ranch hand. No answer. they stopped laughing. And he had a beard and mustache to match. I¶m sorry I can¶t stay. that Mr.´ ³What? When? I was here all day. I don¶t think you understand the hole you¶re in. on the other hand. stopping Allie from saying more. ³I¶m working on it. Russ won¶t take kindly to you having him here. away from the ranch hands who were gathered by the parked trucks.
. The door was wide open. which was sprawled on the bed. Besides I earn my keep´ ³About Russ¶ decision to sell the ranch. Ruth was beside it. ³I¶m sorry I just have a few things to take care of.´ She said giving each man a respectful peck on the cheek. ³Russ´ Allie called walking the whole of the first floor. ³Thanks Roger´ Allie said taking the car seat from him. I can¶t fathom why she would sell´ ³The reason why I mention at all is because the fancy gentleman. At the porch she gave one last wave. I¶ve known you all your life. she has no reason to sell. When the pair noticed Allie. as soon as you guys leave´ ³Allie. with Michael´ ³I¶m going to talk to her. that girls got a mind of her own. and that¶s another thing. Roger was last. ³Russ´ She called. There Russ said holding up her hand. You missy. Russ has to go over my dead body to sell this land. and if so many important people came why wasn¶t I called. young lady. The change in light made the baby wince.