I started walking towards the school doors to pick up my 8 year old daughter, Sage. “Mommy!” I hear my sweet angel yell. When I turn around I see her short little legs pounding into the ground as she rushes to get into my arms. I smile and picked her up, spinning her around. She giggled as I set her back down on the ground, my phone dinged. I looked at the notification to see that I’ve been matched with someone on the new dating app I downloaded or at least I think that’s what the notification is. ‘I’ll wait until I get home to check out who it is.’ I think to myself.
I buckle Sage into her carseat and get into the drivers side. I make my way down the road to my home. While I’m driving I pass by my ex’s house. He sat outside staring at my car as I drive by. I sped up and drove for another five minutes or so. When I reached the house I parked the car in the garage and looked at my daughter in the mirror. She’s already passed out. ‘Poor thing, must’ve had a long day.’ I get out and walk to her side of the car. Unbuckling her, I reach in and grab her, holding her against my chest like a babe.
As I placed her on her bed, she snuggled closer mumbling something that will always live with me. “Daddy don’t go, stay with us.” she whimpers. I lay down with her and pull her tight against my chest, pulling the covers over us. She immediately relaxes and I close my eyes. I slowly climb out of Sage’s bed and walk into the living room remembering about the match I got but it wasn’t a match it was someone booking a reservation for the ranch, but the person booking it wasn’t like everyone else who came, he was from Britain just wanting to go on vacation so I booked his reservation and walked out to go check on all the animals.
All the horses were well groomed and just had a check up, the ferrier also came by earlier today so they were all looking great. Sally, my paint was wining so I went to check out what was wrong only to see that she only wanted my attention. I laughed and shook my head, stroking her neck before I headed back to the house.
As I was outside working on my truck I looked up to see Callie drive by, I smiled and waved but she just sped up. I don\'t really understand why she won’t let me pick up Sage being as she is my daughter also. I finished working on my truck and went inside to try to get ahold of Callie but just as I figured she didn’t answer her phone.
As I put my phone down I went into Sage’s room and looked in, missing my daughter again. Memories flood my mind and I have to grab the door frame for support. I start falling forward so I rushed to her bed and that’s when I collapsed. My eyes shut without my permission and I fell into a dark hole. Memories of my daughter and Callie chasing each other as I bring them lemonade flashed across the black void in my head. Another memory floods in. This time it was when I left Callie and Sage.
Sage was crying, trying to get to me only to be shoved away. I looked at Callie and she had tears in her eyes. “Don’t make me go, Callie please it was a mistake.” I beg. She laughs a cold, empty laugh and looks me straight in the eyes. “I will never forgive you, I hurt now but I’ll get over it. You cheated on me with my BEST FRIEND, of all people you chose her. Now get out.” She said, her voice as hard as stone.
Then it all faded into a new memory. I stood in front of the judge as he made his decision. “Callie will have the child during the week, and you will have her during the weekends. You will split the holidays too. That is my decision.” As I started to fall to my knees I looked at Callie and Sage and saw that neither were crying but instead smiling at each other, then they walked out, leaving me on my knees.
My eyes snap open and I’m breathed heavily. ‘I’ll never forget that day, it was a mistake that ruined my life but I need to get them back, even if it kills me or other people. ’ I think to myself. Then I started making my plan.
Well I booked my time for the ranch, now to book my flight. I walked into Trent’s room to see if he was up. He wasn’t, shaking my head an idea popped into my mind. I walked back out of his room and into the kitchen. Spotting the basement door I walked down the steps hoping the halloween props were still down here. I looked around and spotted the fake spiders in the jar to my left. Smiling, I grabbed them and headed back towards his room. When I got there I opened the door and walked over to him.
I stood over him and I remembered the string on his desk, the fishing net there too. I grabbed them and returned to his bedside. Setting up my little prank I could barely hold in my laughter. Trent is absolutely terrified of spiders and these fake ones are very realistic. After I finished tying the string to his hand I backed out of his room, careful not to make a noise, and I shut his door. I waited a minute to make sure he’s still sleeping and once I heard his snore I banged loudly on his door. “Wake up! I got pancakes.” I shout.
Just as I hoped, the sound of his scream ran through the house. Laughing I opened his bedroom door to see Trent on the floor surrounded by the prop spiders, a wet spot prominent on his pants. He looked up and glared at me.
I woke up from my sweet dream only to be scared so bad I pissed my pants. I heard his laugh before I saw him and when I looked up I sent him a death glare. If looks could kill he’d be six-feet-under. I stood up then looked at him again walking out of my room and into the bathroom. He continued to laugh so when I got out of the shower, after using all the hot water, I walked out to the kitchen, making sure to shove Bentley when I walk past.
I grabbed the pancake mix and proceeded to cook myself breakfast, hearing Bentley sit down at the table. When I finished cooking I took my pancakes to the table and began eating. “Where’s mine dude?” Bentley said. “Make some. I’m not a personal chef and after you’re prank I don’t think you deserve to be handed a plate of food.” I say. I look up to see him scowling at me, I just smirk.
I finished up my food before taking care of my dishes and I walked out. I went out to my car since I had class in half an hour; I was already running late. I showed up to class only a few minutes late so the professor wasn’t that mad at me for it he just kept teaching, only giving me a slight look. Thank God Bentley and I are leaving for Texas tomorrow morning. I could really use the relaxation. I just have to hope that Bentley booked us a flight for tomorrow morning, I texted him to make sure , “Hey Bentley. Just making sure that you booked the flight and everything.” but just as normal he didn’t reply and I’m not even going to question what he was doing that would prevent him from answering.
I woke up in my bed with mommy gone. I giggled and ran out of my room, flying towards the kitchen. There I saw mommy on her phone playing a game. She was sitting at the table, her face fixed into a funny expression while she focused on beating the level she was on. I climbed into her lap and watched her.
After a minute or two she stopped playing and turned to me. “What did you learn at school today, baby?” she asked me, her bright blue eyes filled with love. “Well we learned about different animals!” I say, joy lacing my voice. “Really now? Well will you tell me about them?” mommy asked and so I did.
Mommy hugged me tight and I giggled. “I love you darling.” Mommy said. “I love you too.” I replied. Then my tummy growled. Mommy and I broke into a fit of giggles. Momma got up and started preparing dinner. She looked at me, smiled, and handed me a fruit snack so that I wouldn’t have to wait too long to eat.
I ate them and after about ten minutes I walked to the living room and turned on cartoons. My favorite show was on! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I relaxed and after twenty or so minutes mom called for me, alerting me dinner is done. I raced to the kitchen and sat at the table, the smell of baked potatoes and meatloaf filled my nose, causing my mouth to begin watering. My belly made another loud growl, mom and I began to dig in.
Sage walked out of room and jumped in my lap. I finished the round I was doing and looked down at her smiling, “So Sage what did you learn at school today?” I asked and she told me that she learned a lot of facts about animals and I have to admit that I am so proud of her, her stomach growled and I laughed, so did she. I stood up, grabbed her a fruit snack, and started to make dinner which was meatloaf with baked potatoes.
I looked into the living room to see her sitting on the couch watching her favorite cartoon. I watched her for a few minutes thinking about how lucky I was to have such an amazing daughter but that thought ended quickly because the timer went off which meant that the meatloaf was done cooking. I set the table and took the food out to cool for a few minutes before I told Sage that dinner was done. She came out into the kitchen and we ate dinner.
After dinner she asked me if we could go out and ride for a little so I told her that after I get the dishes done we could, knowing that by time I got the dishes done it would be time for her to go to bed. I began to wash dishes when my daughter started crying. I walked to her, panicking when I saw her on the floor in a fetal position. I immediately picked her up and rushed her to the hospital, all the while she was crying about the pain.
When I ran into the emergency room, I yelled for help. By now Sage’s eyes were closed, she stopped screaming, and her breathing was faint. I tried to go back with her but the nurses wouldn’t let me. I grabbed my phone, crying, and called Xavier. Five minutes later he was rushing in, his eyes wide with concern. “What happened?!? What did you do to my daughter?” he yelled at me. I stood up, grabbed him by the ear, and drug him outside.
“How dare you! It came out of nowhere, I didn’t see it coming. Just-just shut up for once in your life and stop trying to blame me for everything.” I yell, my voice cracking. “I’m taking full custody over Sage. Whenever she goes to your house, she comes home with a belly ache and not feeling good. You can’t take care of her. You can see her for a few hours on weekends but she isn’t staying with you anymore.” I say to him, my voice as calm as I could get it.
He stopped glaring at me and fell to his knees. “Please baby, I love you, it was a mistake, please don’t do this, we can be a happy family again.” he pleads. We’ve been over for 3 years now. I only look down at him with disgust. “No.” is all I say and I turn away, walking back into the lobby, leaving a crying man on the sidewalk.
I knew it hurt him but I only wanted what’s best for my daughter, he can’t take care of her no matter how hard he tries he just can\'t.
Just what I wanted, to get a call from Callie saying that Sage was in the hospital, that’s not really how I wanted my day to end. I jumped out of my chair faster than what I would’ve thought possible. Once I got to the hospital I started to interrogate Callie. She stood up and grabbed me by the ear, painfully I may add, and drug me outside. After she finished talking to me, she left me on the sidewalk. My heart was shattering. I need them back.
A few hours later Sage was discharged. She had developed an allergic reaction to potatoes. Callie only gave me a moment to talk to Sage before they took off. I started my plan. I got into my car and drove home. Walking into my room I began to gather the tools I needed. When I finished I decided to go to bed.
I’ll start my plan when the time is right but until then I’ll just see my sweet girl on the weekends but this time only for a few hours.
I wake up to the annoying sound of my alarm clock. Beep beep beep!!! It hollars through-out my room. I groan and look at the time. The clock reads five fifty. Our plane leaves in thirty minutes! I jump up and run around the house making sure I have everything. I run to Trent’s room and bang on the door. “Wake up. We have fifteen minutes!!” I yell. I received no reply. I yank open his door only to find his room empty. “I’m at the door!” yelled Trent. I rush downstairs, grab something to eat that I can take with for both Trent and I, and I ran out the door.
Quickly but carefully I sped towards the airport, Trent gripping the seat, his face as pale as a ghost. I laughed hard when I looked over at him. Sweat evident on his face. Rounding the corner of the airport entrance, I slow down. Trent immediately starts to jump out of the car and grab our things. I check my watch to see we now have 5 minutes to get our things, go through security, and get on the plane.
I tell Trent this and we start running inside, swerving to avoid hitting people. Once we get through security check we run to where we are to board our plane. They were just shutting the door when we called out. “Wait! We’re coming, just hold on!!” I hear Trent shout. The lady looks at us and opens the door again. Finally we are able to sit down and relax. We looked at each other with relief written on our faces. Trent ended up falling asleep on the flight and I slept for a little bit but mostly just watched movies and read. As I began to turn my page in my book my eyes became heavier.
I think I fell asleep for a few hours because I woke up to them telling us that we were landing. As we were landing I woke up Trent and he looked at me slightly angry until he remembered that we were still on the plane. Once we landed we both walked out to find our uber driver standing there with a sign that had our names on it. We followed him out to the uber and put our stuff into the back of his car then got into the back seat. He drove us to the ranch and once we got there it was an amazing look place.
I heard my alarm going off I looked at my phone seeing the time and I remembered that the people who rented the cabin where supposed be here any minute. I jumped out of bed throwing random clothes on. I looked in Sage’s room seeing her still asleep. I slipped on my boots and ran outside while putting my hair in a ponytail as I ran. Right as I got outside I saw a car pulling into the driveway. I sighed a heavy sigh of relief as I made it out before they showed up I grabbed the key to the cabin they were renting and walked over to the car opening the door, “Hi welcome Southern Dreams Getaway Ranch.” Two guys stepped out of the car. “ Hi I’m Callie I\'ll be leading your trail rides and making sure your stay here is enjoyable.” One guy pipes up. “ Hi I’m Bentley and this is Trent.” he points to his friend. “Right this way and I’ll show you to your cabin.” We started walking towards the cabins. “This is a really pretty ranch you have here.” said Trent. “Thank you, it originally belonged to my dad but he passed away a few years ago and he passed it down to me. I showed him to his cabin and gave them their key to the cabin walking back into the house. When I got back to the house Sage was awake and was sitting in the living room. “Morning sweetie.” I say to her. “Morning mommy. Were those the people who rented the cabin?” she asked. I nodded my head and started to make her breakfast. “Their names are Bentley and Trent, they rented out the cabin for a week.” I set the table then called their cabin to let them know that I had made breakfast and if they want to join they can. A few minutes later they walked into the house and went to the sink washing their hands then sat down, “ Gentleman this is my daughter Sage, Sage this is Bentley and Trent.” Sage smiles and looks up at them. “Hi.” After breakfast the men went back outside to their cabin, I cleaned up the table and washed all of the dishes.
Mommy had rented out another cabin for a week but I had to go to my dads the whole time because he was going to visit his mommy and daddy for a reunion or something so he wanted me to come so I could see them. I was only going to see my mom for a few hours until my dad picks me up so mommy promised we would go for a ride before I leave. Of course I confronted her about it.
We went outside, I tacked up my pony Honey, mommy tacked up her horse Slazzy, and we started to ride in the front yard field until I see my daddy pulling into the driveway. We walked the horses back to the barn and untacked them then I went inside to grab my stuff when I looked out the window I seen they were arguing again they argue a lot since they broke up I think it\'s because of me though. I walk back outside and get into the back seat of daddy’s truck putting my seatbelt on he got back into the truck angry, putting his seatbelt on too.
“Hi daddy.” I said to him but didn\'t get an answer he just backed out of the driveway in a bad mood still. We pulled into the driveway at his house and he got out and opened the back door for me picking me and putting me back on the ground shutting it behind us as we walked into the house. I sat down on the couch as he sat in his chair. “Daddy, why are you mad?” He looked at me and smiled, “I\'m not mad I’m just tired.” I looked at him “I’m sorry daddy.”
He looked at me once more and told me to take a nap. “But daddy I’m not tired.” He just gave me a look and I went into my room and laid down.
It was finally the day I got to see Sage again. It\'s really hard to not be able to see your daughter except for on weekends. I miss seeing her. I love her, she is my whole world. I went to go pick her up and when I pulled into the driveway of course Callie had to confront me. She came up to my truck I got out and said I miss her, all she said in response was shut up and that I need to move on from her but it was difficult seeing as we were together for 6 years I mean heck we even had a baby together. But after Sage was born is when our relationship went down the drain we tried to stay together as long as possible but she was just moody all the time and I couldn\'t handle her attitude, I cheated on her one night while I was drunk. It was with her now ex best friend. We split up about 3 years ago it\'s been hard for me apparently not so hard for her she runs a ranch that gets a bunch of money when she gets reservations for it. The week went by fast with Sage. When I had to take her home it broke my heart; I pulled into the driveway Sage seemed happy to be back.
I know I shouldn’t have, he’s a client but Bentley and I started talking after Sage left with her dad. He took me out to dinner and we just became connected. Too soon though, Trent and Bentley had to go back home. I gave Bentley a kiss on the cheek and told him to message me when he got home.
About a year has gone by and Bentley has come to visit me as often as he could. Just as I opened my front door, muscular arms wrapped around me and a scent all too familiar invaded my nose. A huge smile broke out on my face. “Darling I have exciting news.” Bentley says down to me. I take a step back and look him in the eye while raising a brow. “I live here in town now. I immediately jumped into his arms and kissed him. That’s when Xavier busted through the door and clear on his face.
I had to make a huge decision if I wanted to see Callie more. I looked at Trent, “Hey Trent, can I talk to you?” He looked at me with a concerned look “What?” he says in reply. “I think I want to move to Texas.” I look at him. “Lemme guess, to be closer to Callie.” he says back. I look at him and nod “yes”. He looks at me; “Go for it.” is all he says so I did but I didn’t tell Callie; I wanted to surprise her when I got there. The first thing I did was eat then went to the ranch to surprise Callie.
When I got there I knocked on the door, when she answered I gave her a bear hug seeing a smile break across her face Callie. I have something to tell you. “What?” she says. “I moved into town.” I reply she jumped into my arms again hugging me and kissed me, that’s when someone walked in, turned me around, and punched me across the face. I looked at the man who did it and punched him back.
Callie came running in front of us and split us up. She looked at him then at me with anger on her face. She pulled the guy outside by his ear. I couldn\'t hear what she was saying but I could tell she was mad. I took a step closer. That’s when the yelling took place. Little Sage came running up to me with tears in her eyes. I could tell she was scared.
I picked her up and started to comfort her. The man looked at me and Screamed at me to put his daughter down. Shock clear on my face I did as he said. I looked at Callie to see regret on her face. “Are you cheating on him with me?!” I say to her. The man began to say yes but Callie punched him in the stomach, successfully shutting him up. “No, he’s my ex Xavier. We’ve been broken up for 4 years now and he doesn’t seem to understand I don’t want to be with someone who cheated on me with my best friend AFTER I carried his child.” She says, fear in her eyes. “Oh.” Is all I said and I picked Sage up again, feeling her cling to me shaking. Xavier looks at me and yells at me again. I only walk over to Callie and hand her Sage.
He speaks up. “I’m taking Sage for tonight.” He said. Sage whimpered and I knew it was a bad idea. I go to say no but Callie lets up, seeing as he did just catch her with me. “Sage go with your dad for tonight I promise I will see you tomorrow baby girl.” “Ok..” Sage says, I watch Callie hug Sage then hand her over.
It’s been a month now and I have yet to find Sage and Xavier. Bentley has tried to comfort me and I know he loves Sage like his own daughter. Ring, ring, ring! My phone went off. I answer the phone and my heart swells as my daughter’s voice floats through the phone. The police already tracking the call. “Mama...Daddy says he’ll give me back. He says he’s sorry.” I let out a sob. She hands Xavier the phone and we set up a time and place to meet up.
When we hung up the cops and I began our plan. A week passed by and I met up with Xavier in a secluded area. Sage’s face was contorted on fear. I brought Bentley along for protection and as soon as Xavier told her she could come to us Sage came bounding over towards us jumping into Bentley’s arms and saying she missed us. That’s when the police came running out. They pinned Xavier to the ground and cuffed him. He struggled to fight back and eventually gave up.
Another month went by, Sage and I became even closer than before. I walked into the house and heard the voices and giggles of my daughter and Bentley coming from the living room. I snuck over to the area and my heart melted. This is why; “Daddy? Do you love my mommy?” Sage asked Bentley. I saw a huge smile break out onto his face at the word daddy. “Of course sweetie, she’s my southern dream.” he replied. A tear of joy and love ran down my face.
Later that night Bentley had proposed to me and of course I said yes. Months later we got married and we even changed Sage’s last name to his last name; Carter. When we got married I learned that Bentley has been rich this whole time. A month later we learned I was pregnant. Our life continued. That’s our story, our Southern Dream.