April was all excited her mother was taking her for a ride. She was going to go and see real horses and have a chance to ride them. She watches as they drove down the highway. She had never been out of the city and this was her first time traveling. She loved seeing the cows and horses as they pasted them.
“Mommy look, there’s a brown horse and a white one.” She points her tiny hand towards them.
“That’s enough April. You need to sit back in your seat. Your mother is busy driving right now.” Frank looks back towards April. He never really liked children before and she had been taking up his entire wife’s attention these past few months.
As a matter of fact, April had been his sister-in-laws daughter. She had up and left her with them. His wife was nice enough to take her sister’s brat, but she wasn’t the motherly type. She didn’t mind visiting her niece every few months or even years, but to raise her was another thing.
They had talked about it and decided to abandon the child out in the middle of nowhere. Some place that they could easily use to justify leaving her. He would prefer a rest stop. Some place he knew a child could easily get lost and abandon, but be found by someone nice.
Day time turns to night and April falls asleep on the back seat. Jessie spots a rest stop that her and frank had talked about leaving April behind. She didn’t want to do this to her niece, but she just couldn’t deal with being a mother. She hated her sister for dropping off her brat, while she ran off with another guy that said he loved her. She pulls into the rest stop parking area and parks the car.
“Are you sure we are doing the right thing Frank?” Jessie turns to look at her husband.
“Yes, I’m sure baby. We’re not cut out to be parents. She needs more attention than we can give her. She needs a real family. I’m barely making enough to support us. I sure as hell am not going to ask the government for a handout.” Frank has never been the type to ask for a handout. You write the note and I’ll get her things and place her on a bench inside the rest stop.
“Alright” Jessie gets a piece of note book paper and writes a note telling whoever finds April that she had no choice in the matter and it would be better for her in the long run. She writes in the letter that April is a slow learner and needs glasses to read. She explains why she and her husband are leaving her niece here as well. She places the letter in an envelope and gives it to Frank to pin on April’s jumpsuit so it wouldn’t be lost.
Frank carries April sleeping form inside the rest stop and places her on a bench and covers her up with her jacket. He attaché’s the letter to her pink coveralls and leaves her suitcase next to her with the teddy bear she always carries around with her.
“Sorry about this kiddo, but we just can’t take care of you.” He grabs two bottle drinks and some chips and leaves April sleeping. He and Jessie pull off into the night.
April sleeps throughout the night. No one else stops at the rest stop. It wasn’t one that had a high traffic. At best it might get one or two people visiting it during the day. She shivers from the night air and pulls her jacket tighter around her. She doesn’t wake up and stays curled up on the bench.
April wakes up early the next morning and has to use the bathroom. She gets up and rushes to the bathroom. The one she runs into is the Men’s bathroom. She uses the toilet and then comes back out and looks around for her Aunt Jessie and her Uncle Frank. She doesn’t see them anywhere and figures they went to get her food or something. She does notice the letter pinned to her jumpsuit. She takes it off, but can’t read the letters on it clearly. She puts it in her pocket and goes and plays outside. She goes over to the children play area and slides on the slide and climbs through the shelter. Her tummy starts to rumble and she heads back over to where her suitcase was and starts pushing buttons to try and get a drink or candy bar. Nothing happens when she does that. So she gets a sip of water and goes back to play. It was hot today and the outfit she had on didn’t cover her bare arms. Her arms got a lot of sun, along with her face. She had fair skin so she burned easily. She drinks water throughout the day, since she couldn’t get any food or soda. When she gets tired from playing, she runs back to the bench where her suitcase was and lays down for the night.
When April woke-up the next day, it was raining outside of the shelter. She runs outside and hops and splashes in the rain and parking lot. She loved the rain. It cooled her aching sun burn skin. She plays for hours in the rain and comes back in and sits down. She was hungry and wanted something to eat. She looks around and finds some money people had lost. She uses that to buy herself a candy bar and eats it. She gets it all over her face and hands. She heads into the bathroom and cleans her hands and face. She goes back to her bench and sits there with her teddy bear in her arms. She was starting to get lonely and starts crying. She lies down on the bench and cries as she holds her teddy bear.
Kelly and Cathy had taken a wrong turn on their way back from the rodeo. Cathy was lousy with directions and Kelly was a little frustrated with her directions. As a couple they got along fine, but as pilot and co-pilot, Kelly made the better co-pilot while Cathy made the better pilot. They come down the highway and Cathy looks over towards Kelly.
“Can you please stop at the rest stop on this road please? I need to go to the bathroom.” Cathy was doing her I have to go dance.
Kelly just smiles.
“Okay! I’ll stop so you can go potty.” She gives Cathy a teasing smile.
“Thank you. This rain isn’t helping matters.” Cathy figures she should had gone before they left and shouldn’t had that soda she had a few hours ago.
Kelly pulls the truck and trailer into the rest stop parking area and parks it. Cindy dashes from the truck towards the ladies restroom. She spots something lying on the bench, but ignores it as she runs inside the ladies bathroom. Kelly gets out of the truck and starts walking towards the bathroom and notices a little girl sleeping on the bench near the ladies bathroom. She walks over towards her. She notices the girl’s arms and face were as red as a lobster and her clothes were dirty. Her strawberry blond hair was all stringy and unkempt. She gently reaches forward and gives the little girl a light shake.
“Hey, are you alright little girl?” Kelly had her hand on her covered shoulder.
April felt someone trying to wake her up. She opens her eyes and notices a woman dress as a cowgirl looking at her and talking to her. April sits up and looks at the woman.
“I don’t know where my Aunt and Uncle Frank are.” Tears were coming down her cheek.
Kelly saw how beautiful the girl’s eyes were. They were light blue and looked like the sky on a clear day.
“Do you know how to get in touch with them?” Kelly wonders who could have left their child behind.
“No ma’am. All I have is this.” She pulls the crumple wet letter out and hand it to Kelly.
Kelly takes the letter and reads it. Some of the words were blurry, but she understood it. The girls Aunt and Uncle had abandon this child here hoping she would be found by a nice couple and raise her, because they couldn’t.
Kelly looks at April “April how would you like to go with me and my partner. We live on a ranch not too far from here and you’ll be nice and warm out of the rain.”
“Do you have horses?” April was lonely and wanted her Aunt and Uncle.
“We sure do. Have you eaten anything since your Aunt and Uncle left you here?” Kelly wonders what the girl ate since being here.
“Just a candy bar, I don’t have any money to get anything else.” April’s stomach growls and rumbles just as she says those words.
Kelly heard the rumble growling of April’s stomach and smiles.
“Come on, let’s get you home and feed you up. Before we go, I need to use the bathroom.” She spots her partner coming out of the ladies room.
Cathy walks over towards her partner and notices that bundle she saw earlier when she ran into the bathroom. She looks down and notice a sun burn face little girl sitting there with Kelly sitting next to her.
Kelly looks up when she notice her partner standing next to her.
“So what did you find here?” Cathy kneels down to look at the girl.
April couldn’t believe it. She had two cowgirls talking to her.
“Are you a real cowgirl?” April saw the hat, belt buckle, the boots and her clothes.
“Sure am little girl.” She gives the girl a smile. She then looks towards Kelly and the letter in her hand.
Kelly hands the letter to her partner “would you mind taking April here back to the truck please while I go to the bathroom?”
Cathy looks at the letter and then back at her partner.
“Okay. Come on April, let’s go and get in the truck and wait for Kelly.” Cathy picks up April’s suitcase and escorts her to the truck.
Kelly ducks into the ladies room and does her business and washes her hands. She looks at herself in the mirror and stares at her reflection.
She and Cathy have been talking about adopting children. Now one has been placed in front of them and she hopes Cathy won’t mind being a mother. Kelly does her business and then heads back out to the truck and climbs in. April was just chatting up a storm as they drove down the road about horses and such. After about two more hours, they reached the ranch that Kelly and Cathy owned together. Kelly took care of the vehicle and the horses, while Cathy took April inside and got her settled in.
April helped Cathy in the kitchen fixing dinner. She was having fun with Cathy. She gave her bits of what she was cutting up to eat. While the food was cooking, Kelly took April into the bathroom and made her take a bath and change into some cleaned clothes they found in her suit case.
April was excited as she sat down at the dinner table and when the food was served, she was very hungry and the lotion that Kelly put on her sunburn to treat it, was feeling cool.
“So April, do you like horses.” Kelly looks over towards the young girl and couldn’t help to notice how hungry she was.
April looks over towards Kelly when she asked the question.
“Yes ma’am, I like horses. I think their pretty.” April gives her a smile and goes back to eating.
Cathy looks over towards April “sweetie, do you know why you’re aunt and uncle left you at that rest stop?”
April looks at Cathy “no ma’am, I don’t know why.”
Cathy looks at Kelly before she starts talking “they left you because they couldn’t take care of you. You’re Aunt and Uncle loved you, but they felt that they couldn’t give you what you deserve. They were hoping someone would come along and take you in and give you a home.”
Tears start to slide April’s angelic sunburn face.
Kelly could see how upset April was and gets up out of her seat and walks over and gathers April up in her arms.
“You’ll always be welcome and loved here sweetie.” Kelly places a kiss on April’s forehead.
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