Courage Chapter 10

“Wake-up sleepy head, it’s Christmas!” Carol Ann was trying to wake Susan up. She wanted her big sister to enjoy her first Christmas with the family.

“Ugh! Does mom know you’re this annoying on Christmas morning?” Susan looks at her little sister.” She wanted to stay in bed this morning.
She wasn’t feeling to well.

“Come on sleepy head. Cindy and her brothers are already in the living room unwrapping their presents.” Carol Ann finds Susan’s house coat and her bedroom slippers.

“Okay, Okay! I’m up.” Susan starts getting out of bed. She slips her feet into her slippers and puts her house coat on. She follows Carol Ann into the living room where the other kids were already digging through the presents. They were looking for theirs.

Carol Ann runs over and starts digging through the presents and pull a few out for herself and Susan.

Susan had taken a seat in her favorite chair. She starts smelling the aroma of fresh brew coffee in the air.

“Mom is up, sis.” Susan looks over towards Carol Ann. She notices she had several presents out and ready to open them.

Jake and Rachel come into the living room and notice everyone up. Rachel hands Susan her cup of coffee. Rachel had Susan on one cup a day. Instead of the two cups she had gotten in the habit of drinking, since she has been here.

“Thanks mom.” Susan takes a sip of her coffee. She was tired. The twins had been active last night.

Carol Ann holds up a present that was from Susan. She opens it and discovers it was a brand new IPad. Carol Ann had been mentioning that she wanted one.

“Thanks sis.” Carol Ann gets up and walks over to Susan and gives her a hug.

“You’re welcome.” Susan hugs Carol Ann back.

Susan opens her presents as they are given to her. She gets everything she’ll need for the babies and something to keep her occupied around the farm and house.

Susan had gotten some special presents for Jake and Rachel. It was tickets for Jake and Rachel to spend two weeks courtesy of both their daughters in Florida.

When Jake looks at Susan and Carol Ann “we can’t leave you two alone.”

“Dad, I’ll be seventeen in May. Carol Ann is sixteen. I think we can behave ourselves. Besides Gerald will be around to make sure we don’t burn down the property. Also, once the babies are born, you and mom won’t have any time to yourselves, because you’ll be busy playing grandma and grandpa. I’m going to run the office and Carol Ann will be available if I have an afternoon appointment. If I have a morning appointment, Elizabeth has volunteered to help.

Gerald is going to make sure all the crews are doing their work while you and mom are gone. I’ll be riding and training under Gerald to learn the daily activities around the ranch. You and mom need some time together dad.” Susan looks at Jake.

“Besides, if I don’t start doing something around this ranch to earn my way, mom’s going to send me to an old folk’s home.” Susan was teasing her adopted mother.

They had talked about her learning to do things around the ranch and Susan had to agree. She was getting bored sitting around the house and not doing anything. She has learned to deal with most of her panic attacks. She still has them ever so often, but she knows what the warning signs were and how to cope with them. She needed to get back up on her horse and ride him. Gerald said he would show her how to ride him using one hand, since her left hand still didn’t have the strength to be used.

“How about this, you start coming with me every morning and I’ll show you what you have to do? If you can handle the job after that, then I and your mother will go on this trip. If you can’t you’ll refund these tickets and put it towards something else for me and your mother? Is that a deal with you girls?” Jake looks at Carol Ann first and then Susan.

“What do you think Sis? Is dad making a good deal with us?” Susan looks at Carol Ann. She knew that Carol Ann wanted to prove herself to them both.

“I say he is going to lose sis.” Carol Ann smiles and looks towards her father.

“You’re on Dad. I think Carol Ann and I will be able to do the job.” Susan already knew that Carol Ann already knew some of the stuff needed doing first thing in the morning.

“Alright, we’ll start after New Year’s Day.” Jake knew Susan wasn’t prepared for this.

“Fine, we’ll start the first day of the new year.” Susan knew what her father was trying to do, but she wasn’t going to back down.

The rest of the morning went by peacefully as Susan helped her mother make Christmas breakfast for everyone. She spent time with her new relatives and played some of the new games with them. She had a hard time, since her left hand wasn’t up to par. She slipped her coat on and steps outside onto the porch and look out towards the fields as the horses played about in the snow. The weather was affecting her ankle and her wrist, because of the metal they used in them. Susan heard the door open again and Jake comes and stands next to her.

“Watch you thinking about half-pint?” Jake could tell Susan was thinking about something by her facial expression.

“That this is my very first Christmas where I have snow for Christmas. It’s so beautiful.” Susan inhales and enjoys the feel of the cold air inside her lungs.

“I forget where you grew up at.” Jake rest his hand on her slender shoulder

Susan looks at her adopted father and gives him a smile.

“My greatest Christmas gift was when you and mom took me in. I know it was under unusual circumstances, but you don’t know how much this means to me, to have a family and a little sister as well.” Susan stands next to Jake.

“Well, it might have been under unusual circumstances, but I had planned on you staying here at the main house with us. The bunk house isn’t a place for a single teenage girl to be or see.” Jake looks down at Susan.

“Even for someone as experience as you.” He wanted to get that out before Susan could disagree with him.

They stay outside standing on the porch for a while. Susan watches as her two horses play and run around in the field. She really loved her horses and couldn’t wait to get back on them. She knew she was going to have to be careful being almost five months along with the twins.
She heads back inside the house to help make lunch for everyone and spend time with the family. Christmas never really meant anything to her before. Sure, she would spend it with some friends, but she didn’t have the family experience she has now. She just watches as everyone enjoys their gifts and gather around the table for Christmas lunch and Dinner combine.

Throughout the day friends of theirs, would stop by and exchange gifts with them. Susan got gifts for everyone she has became friends with and with the twin’s grandfather. Mr. Garrigan stopped by to see how Susan and the babies were doing. He brought gifts for both and for his old friend Jake’s family.

By the time Susan goes to bed, she feels exhausted and happy. This was the best Christmas she has had. She just hopes that she’ll be a good mother and do the girls right as she brings them up.



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This story is 1352 words long.