Brian stepped into the carriage where Sarah waited for him. He hadn’t been home in years and already the visit was having a pull on him. A feeling he hadn’t really been able to understand until now. He’d made a great life for himself in Boston, one that now included Sarah.
He could feel the warmth of her small hand on his as the carriage rolled away to take them to the station. A station he hadn’t seen since his younger days. As a boy he looked at it with much admiration; now he saw it as a step back into a past not visited for some time.
Brian looked out the window once they were seated on the train. He remembered as a boy smiling proudly as he told Dr. Mike about the things he saw, the endless plains that were followed by his great excitement when the train pulled into Boston. When he looked back, Sarah stared at him with eyes searching his own with questions.
“You seem lost,” Sarah remarked not even making it a question, she knew.
‘Memories,” Brian replied moments later. “Nothings the same anymore when I traveled by train so many years ago. Everything seems more luxurious than it was before.”
Sarah looked around the open train car, finding it hard to even remember what the old trains had been like. She hadn’t traveled in one much before. Her Ma stayed in Georgia during most of her life, except the few trips they took to Colorado Springs. Even then it had been mostly by stage.
Brian looked over at Sarah, studying her face for a moment as she looked around at the train car. He then went back some ten years to when little Katie was sitting across from him begging him to read their Grandmother’s letter for the millionth time.
“Brian, will you read Grandma’s letter again?”
He smiled to himself remembering Katie asking him to read about the galas and most especially the doll Grandma had described for her.
“I’ve had a wonderful doll made especially for Katie. No details. I want to leave something for surprise.”
“You have a lot of memories on a train?” Sarah asked this time as Brian seemed to be very much lost in thought.
“I do, not all of them good,” he replied before telling her about the trip to Washington and how he, Matthew and Colleen had started on a train home with an unopened letter and how they’d turned back to help Dr. Mike and Sully. He told her also of his first trip to Boston when his Grandmother was ill, how Dr. Mike was so nervous and he so excited to be going.
Now he was making a new set of memories on a train with a beautiful girl and with her headed back to the place he called home for so much of his life.
Katie waited nervously on the train platform trying not to let her anger get the better of her. She didn’t like waiting at all and a delay was not a part of her plans.
Lewis hadn’t been much help, at least to her way of thinking. He had tried his best to console her to no avail. Next thing he knew she was pacing back and forth.
Lewis looked up at his Uncle Horace for some reassurance, but all he got was shrug. “Ain’t no use trying to calm down a Quinn. There’s a lotta fire in those women.”
“You’re right,” Lewis answered. “I just hope for her sake that train comes in soon.”
“Me too,” Horace replied before going back to sorting mail. He had come a long way since Myra and baby Samantha had left him some years ago. Lewis had heard before coming that his suicidal thoughts had worsened so much that he really was going to kill himself. By some grace he had not killed himself that night as a lot of townsfolk thought he would. They all knew the story of the strange lady that had come and saved Horace’s life only later to marry him.
Katie wasn’t sure how long she’d been pacing back and forth biting her nails occasionally till a familiar voice broke her out of it. “Listen honey, bitin’ those nails ain’t gonna make that train come faster. So you’d best stop right now and learn some patience.”
Katie turned to see Heather standing there with a firm stance, very much like her ma Grace would. She always put things to rights no matter what. “Thank you for that,” said Katie as she turned to embrace her friend. “You know I hate waiting.”
“I knows, you got no patience.” Heather grumbled as she let her friend go.
“Oh what would I do without you,” Katie remarked just as a low whistle was heard in the distance.
“Lord knows you’d be going crazy. Thank god that train’s coming.”
Katie stood at watched as the train slowly came into view with its loud whistle and all the grey-white steam rising from the stack. Her eyes never left as it come to a halt in front of her and didn’t blink as all the steam billowed around her.
Katie’s heart pounded in anticipation as the passengers begin to exit from the train. She hadn’t seen Brian in so long and was afraid she wouldn’t recognize him at all. After all she had been young when they were in Boston, now she was a grown woman.
Brian stepped slowly off the train as he looked around him at spots that were once so familiar to him. The station had flourished and bustled with people coming and going. Gone were the days also of the platform being totally enclosed. Now most of it was covered over with waiting seats inside and even a place to freshen up.
Sarah was right behind him looking around too at a town she barely remembered at all. Yet still she was overwhelmed at everything she saw around her. “Is this the same Colorado Springs?” She thought to herself, “Or am I dreaming.”
Brian let his feet touch the
platform, before heading inside the station. Once inside he didn’t get much of
a moment of peace, before Horace spotted him.
“Brian!” So glad to have you home again.”
“Horace,” said a surprised Brian. The last he remembered of the man he was wallowing in the loss of Myra and Samantha. Now he was the picture of health with a beaming smile and rosy cheeks to match. “It’s nice to see you too.”
“Luggage should be in real soon. The boys are pretty good about getting it off in a timely manner,” Horace went on whether out of duty or nerves Brian wasn’t sure. “Oh and Katie’s been waiting for ya.”
“Katie,” said Brian, “Oh that’s right she said she was gonna meet me here. Maybe I missed her.”
“She’s practically a grown woman,” said Horace as he turned at pointed to the head of wavy brown hair with red streaks in it. “That’d be her. Best go and greet her.”
“Thanks Horace,” said Brian who then turned back towards the platform again to find Katie. Sarah bowed her thanks also before scurrying after Brian.
Katie was growing sick with worry as she watched more and more passengers get off the train and not one came to find her. She wondered if he was on this train or if he was coming at all, when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
Katie turned and found herself staring up into a young man’s eyes and one who knew her name. She was about to ask who he was when he suddenly embraced her in a warm hug. “It’s so good to see you, sis.”
“Brian,” said Katie. “It’s really you? Why I hardly recognized you. So glad you are here, Ma and Pa will be so glad to see you.”
“Can’t wait,” Brian replied. “Oh and I want you to meet Sarah.”
Katie then turned to the pretty blond who stood at her brother’s side. She was a picture with her pretty face and long curls. “Pleased to meet you,” said Katie as she stuck out her hand for Sarah to shake.
“You as well,” said Sarah with a smile.
“Did you tell Ma and Pa I was
coming?” Brian asked as Katie shooed them both towards an awaiting carriage.
“Whoops that detail must have slipped my mind,” Katie replied. “But don’t’ worry you know how Ma is and well Pa tends to see right through me at times. Side’s Robert E is helping me out so they won’t know a thing till we get home.”
Brian smiled to himself, his sister was quite something. She certainly had a mind of her own and wasn’t going to be stopped.
Sarah looked a little concerned, but Brian assured her everything would be fine. An intrusion like this would be most welcome.
Katie drove the carriage all the way home with a speed that worried Brian a little. He wasn’t sure how she could go fast and be at ease. Yet she laughed and talked the whole way there.
“Oh you’ll have to see the new device Ma had Pa install in the house. Pa about had a fit wondering what in the world she needed it for. But you know Ma there is a reason for everything that usually benefits her practice. Anyway after some arguments he did it. I still don’t think he’s used to it at all.”
Brian laughed to himself, “Sounds like Ma she was always so stubborn and headstrong about things. Always seemed to collide with Pa on things too.”
“I think it’s gotten worse,” Katie laughed. “Old age seems to bring that out in people.”
“My ma was like that too some, although I think yours wins a prize,” said Sarah finding a way to be added into the conversation.
Katie beamed, “Oh look we are almost there, goody. Shhh though,” she added later for effect.
“Right,” said Brian before he dove down under the seat taking Sarah with him. He was going to have fun with this too.
Katie drove the carriage right by the barn but not inside it as Ma would have liked. She didn’t particularly want to fuss with that at the moment. There would be time later to do that. For now though she had to put her plan into action.
“Wait here she whispered,” before dashing up to the homestead and right through the door.
Brian sat there huddled with Sarah until he deemed it safe to come out of hiding. He knew Katie would keep them busy until he got to the door.
“I’m home,” Katie called out the moment she shut the door behind her and began to remove her wraps. She was greeted by silence at first, until she hear shuffling from upstairs. “Where are they?”
Katie found this to be a bit odd but sure enough moment’s later one right behind the other like two “caught” children were her Ma and Pa. They looked at her and smiled as if there was something to hide, but she saw right through that.
“Hi Kates,” said Sully as he came the rest of the way down to greet his daughter.
“How was town?” Michaela asked curious if she had seen anything strange going on. She suspected goings on at the Gold Nugget Hotel and Resort.
“Wonderful, I invited a few
guests home for supper,” Katie replied without missing a beat.
“Guests? Here? Surely you could have given us more warning,” said Michaela in shock as she looked around her home. It was dusty and needed cleaning before she invited any guests over.
“Sorry Ma it was a bit unexpected,” Katie replied before going to give her Pa a hug.
Sully embraced his daughter as he looked over at his wife with a guilty look. They both knew Katie could be a bit impulsive, but on the other hand she did have good intentions.
Brian caught the last bit of the conversation between Katie, Ma and Sully before giving a sound knock on the door.
“Shall I get the door,” Katie asked as she looked at her parent’s faces. They were a sight but somewhere in there Michaela gained her composure and went to the door.
Katie stood back and waited in anticipation for the reunion about to take place. She couldn’t wait.
“Ma!” Brian exclaimed the moment she opened the door.
“Brian?” Michaela answered with a questioning tone as she looked up at the handsome young man before her. He hardly looked like the boy they’d left back in Boston all those years ago.
“Ma,” he said again before she
surrendered into his embrace.
“I can’t believe you are here,” she muttered into his shoulder. “And who is this?”
“You remember Sarah?”
Michaela took a moment to register all this, “Oh my goodness yes, Sarah how are you?” she asked in a rush.
“Quite well, thank you,” Sarah replied.
Brian stepped through the open door and made his way over to Sully, the man he’d so much admired as a boy. “Sully, good to see you again.”
‘Hasn’t been the same around here without ya,” said Sully as he embraced Brian. “I’m a bit outnumbered,” he added in a low voice.
Brian smiled to himself at Sully’s remark. Katie beamed at the reunion pleased with herself that it had gone so well.
Michaela was full of questions as she ushered them into the soft and inviting seats that surrounded a beautiful fireplace. She wanted to know so much, Brian thought his head was going to spin off.
Sarah did her best to fill in the blanks of her life that she wanted to share with all eyes on her. She hadn’t been in Colorado Springs for so long that she felt like a fish out of water.
Katie loved having most of her family back together again, minus Colleen, and Matthew. Both whose lives were filled with so much it was hard for them to get away. Colleen and Andrew thrived as doctors in Maine. There home as Colleen described it was by the ocean, something Katie still longed to see. Matthew had settled in Utah near a beautiful canyon.
Sully was glad to have Brian home again, and hear stories of Boston. Home was here in Colorado but a part of him would always have a soft spot for Boston no matter how much he didn’t care for society. After all that was where he went to claim is love all those years ago. Now it looked to him as if Brian had claimed his love there too, or at least found her again after all these years. For which now he couldn’t be prouder to see his youngest son beaming with pride at the beautiful young lady at his side. Love indeed they were in no question there.
Michaela was so glad to have her son back that she talked right through the dinner hour, until Katie gently reminded her about the guests she had invited for dinner. That brought on a flush and sent Michaela to the kitchen. Sully followed to help make sure they didn’t get into too much trouble; leaving Brian seated there with Sarah by the fire.
“Thank you so much for coming home with me,” said Brian softly as he took one of Sarah’s hands in his own. It was small against his large hand and soft to the touch where his was slightly rough.
“You’re welcome. I’d forgotten how lovely Colorado Springs is and how wonderful a family you have,” Sarah replied trying not to let tears get the better of her. Seeing such things brought back many memories of days gone by.
Brian saw the tears coming in her eyes and let her fall against him as he led her out on the porch for some air. He let Sarah shed her tears before he turned her to him, holding her face in his hands. His fingers dried the traces of her tears before he spoke.
“Sarah, having you here with me has been such a blessing after all these years. I had no idea how much I missed having you around. Things just weren’t’ the same and I can’t imagine some of the things you’ve been through. But I do hope that someday you will feel a part of this family with me at your side. If you will allow me the honor?”
Brian’s words were so sweet that he didn’t much care if the women inside heard as he knew both could be noisy. All that mattered to him was the woman standing right in front of him. He didn’t want to let her go and wanted more than anything to give her a family again if she’d only let him.
Sarah studied Brian’s face as she willed the tears away that threatened to fall. She had never felt this way about anyone, the way her heart pounded when she was with him and the knots her stomach was in when she thought of Brian. Now he was offering her the world and a family. To have that again meant the world but even more was that her love for him was not lost.
“Yes,” Sarah spoke softly in reply when her voice returned. “You may have that honor,” she added before the desire hit her full force when his soft strong lips covered her own. Her knees wobbled but no matter what he was there to catch her while her heart pounded fiercely in her chest.
Love had been found in Boston and come home to Colorado Springs to stay. Love for a man that started when she was a girl and he a young boy whose love for each had blossomed into something so true and beautiful like a delicate white rose.
by seb 1-2-08