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Chapter 4

The Calamity Girl – The Promotion

Traffic was busier than normal, construction signs littered my path and then I remembered, that the street I was on was closed for the next two months, they were replacing the storm sewers.  Now what was I going to do?

I parked my car along the side of one of the streets; I would come back to it later.  I found the subway entrance. I clamored down the stairs; then I realized that I had forgotten my brief case in the back seat of my car. My laptop was in the briefcase with my presentation.

I groaned and ran back as quickly as possible to the car.  Grabbing my briefcase, I shut the door and started walking away. But then out of the corner of my eye I noticed that the window on the passenger’s side of my car had a gap in it. I always check my windows before leaving the car. How could I have missed that? I went back and closed the window, locked the doors of my car and put my alarm on.  I had forgotten to do so earlier and judging by the shifty looking chap running down the street I can be thankful that I showed up when I did.  I think he tried to break into my car to get at my briefcase. I am glad that he ran away.  The worse thing would be to be mugged on the most important day of my life.  I walked quickly towards the subway, paid my fare, and waited for the train.

Fifteen minutes had passed and a voice came over the sound system.  “Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to announce the trains will be delayed for an hour due to an accident.”

We all knew what that meant – Usually it was a jumper…  Why did people have to be so stupid? If you are going to kill yourself do it alone somewhere.  Do not jump in front of a bloody train and hold up thousands of people on their way to work.  It always pisses me off when it happens.  Then I feel bad for the person if they die.

I feel vindicated if they live and have to spend the rest of the year with broken arms, legs and back; it sucks to be you for trying to kill yourself.  Enjoy laying in the hospital feeling like a piece of crap and being bored to tears because you can’t go anywhere – Welcome to Hell on Earth! I think fate, at times, has a funny way of making us pay the consequences of our stupid decisions.  Some of us suffer for a long period, while others seem to get off scot-free. I walked a few blocks and I was passing the Grand Hotel.  By this time, my feet were killing me in my nice new black pumps that Michael had bought me.

Suddenly I heard his deep sexy voice, “If you keep walking in those shoes, I’ll have to buy you another pair.  Do you need a ride to work?”

I nodded ruefully and said, “My car is parked on the street a few blocks away. The subway is out of commission and they are doing construction downtown.  I need to get to work fast.  I have a presentation this morning.”

Michael smiled, “In that case you need to follow me. “

He made a quick phone call on his cell phone as he was walking back towards the Hotel.  He motioned for me to follow him into an elevator.

Michael said, “Our ride will be here in ten minutes.”

I asked, “Why the elevator?”

Michael said, “My pilot will be meeting us at the top of the building.”

I sputtered, “Your pilot?”

Michael nodded.

I said, “Cool, thanks.”

He looked at me, expecting me to ask him something, anything.

I said, “I had a dream about you last night.  It was cool.  You were a Knight and I was a fair maiden.  I was being robbed by two Spanish bandits.  You rescued me, and gave me back a bag of money and the bandit’s money as well.  The funny thing was that you asked if you could keep the horses.  I thought that was odd.”

Michael looked somewhat surprised and laughed. He was laughing so hard that he had tears in his eyes.

He grinned at me and said, “Somehow our minds connected last night.  I had the exact same dream.  I actually love horses; I have a ranch with horses on it.  Have you ever gone horseback riding?”

I looked at him, at first I thought he was pulling my leg, but then I realized that he was being serious.

I said, “The last time I was on a horse I ended up in a thicket.  The dam horse threw me in there on purpose.  You see we were having a school trip to a horse farm when I was about twelve years old.  I was the last one to get a horse and only two were left. The brown one was an old hag and the other one was a tall, shiny black stallion.  The farm hand asked if I was an experienced rider.”

Michael interjected, “And you said you were very experienced, right?” He had a twinkle in his eye.

I grinned, “Yes, I told him I could handle any horse so he gave me the beautiful shiny black stallion.  The horse was prancing around and I had to climb up on a fence to get on his back.  He was young, beautiful and very tall.

The farm hand gave me the reigns and said, “He’s a Stallion – strong – minded you will have your hands full with him.”

Then he handed me the reins. I sat there for a minute, and then I said, “Giddy up.”

When the horse did not move, I kicked him hard with my heel and then he took off like a shot.  I did all that I could to hold onto the holster, the reins fell to the ground.  The farm hand started yelling at me.  He was worried that the long leather straps tangling around the horses legs.

I was screaming, “WHOA,” but the horse refused to stop.  He kept running and headed towards one of the jumps. He sailed up, and over.  I was terrified and screaming, “Stop Please Stop!”  Suddenly the horse came to a stop, bent his head down then reared up on his hind legs and threw me right into a thicket bush. I swear he was smiling as he ran away. I crawled out of the bush and started walking back towards the barn. I was humiliated. The farm hand by this time had gotten onto his own horse and was chasing the stallion around.  Eventually the stallion headed back towards the stables. I was sitting there watching. I was worried about what would happen to me.

The farm hand gave me a lecture about not knowing how to handle a horse properly. Then he told me to go sit down and wait for the other students to return. I was mad because I had paid for my trail ride. I expected them to have a horse for me. I told him I wanted my money back. He blew up at me saying that I could have killed myself and damaged the horse. I sat there with my arms crossed demanding to see the manager. He told me that he would get his boss but it would take awhile. I said fine with me.

I sat there in the stinky barn fuming to myself for an hour and a half while the rest of my class was out horseback riding on the trail.  By this time I was pretty upset and crying. I really wanted to go for a horseback ride. I was feeling sorry for myself.

The ranch owner turned out to be a very kind woman. She must have felt sorry for me because she brought me a cup of hot milk with cocoa and marshmallows. She asked me if I had taken horseback riding lessons somewhere.  I told her I had never been on a horse in my life.

She was shocked then she asked, “Why did you tell Joe my farmhand that you were an experienced rider?”

I looked at her with my big blue eyes and innocently said, “I read several books on it and thought I knew everything.”

She looked at me in surprise then roared with laughter, the tears were streaming down her face.

She said, “Your lucky that you didn’t get killed you silly girl!”

She motioned for me to follow her and she helped me get up on Betsy the old nag.  She walked me around the yard.  Her reasoning was that if I didn’t get back up on a horse right away I would always be afraid of them.”

Michael grinned, “I’ll be sure to find you a nice quiet horse than, thanks for the warning.”

We had reached the top of the building and I was enjoying the view of the city when I heard the whirring sounds from a red, blue and white helicopter.  We got in and flew a few blocks over and touched down on the helipad. I was again thanking Michael for being my knight in shining armor.

I shook his hand and looked him in the eye and said, “You know you’re an incredible person, thanks for being such a Good Samaritan.  I hope the powers that be will reward you for your kindness.”

It looked like Michael was blushing, but then he said, “Remember always get back up on the horse if you fall down.  Keep in touch; let me know when you want to try riding a horse again.”

I smiled and thought not likely any time soon.

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