Scarlett couldn’t believe what she was staring at. Stretched before her lay a large plot. Sure the grass was trimmed but other than the trash can and the mail box, the lot was empty. Nestled at the bottom of a hill with some trees scattered around the edge, Scarlett grudgingly had to admit it was pretty. If you liked that sort of thing.
But what was she doing here of all places? Nothing made sense. She had arrived on her Mother’s instructions. She had been very firm but clear that she was to visit 1007 Pomona Promenade on August 10th which was Scarlett’s 21st birthday. Oh yes and she was to wear old clothes and comfortable shoes. The latter of her Mother’s instructions had pained Scarlett greatly. Her motto was if it didn’t work with heels she didn’t wear it. But curiosity had got the better of her and so she had made the long journey from Belladonna Cove to Appaloosa Plains.
Scarlett wasn’t sure what she would find there, she had never been to Appaloosa Plains in her life and she had never heard her Mother mention it. Why send her here on her twenty-first birthday of all days?
Scarlett’s phone beeping interrupted her confused thoughts. An email. Once the email finished downloading (which took forever) Scarlett frowned. The sender was her Aunt Marion. But Scarlett rarely saw her these days, she was the type of relative she only seen once in a blue moon. In fact the last time Scarlett remembered seeing her was when she was learning to ride a bike.
Aunt Marion’s email was polite and wished her a happy birthday “I’ve attached something you would like to see” Scarlett’s Aunt had written. Even more curious now, Scarlett tapped her foot impatiently waiting for the attachment to download. Cell phone coverage around her was the pits. Screw nature when you couldn’t get online.
After what felt like an age to Scarlett, the attachment opened. It was a scanned letter with some familiar handwriting. Squinting in the bright sun light, Scarlett began to read:
My Dearest Scarlett,
Happy Birthday my precious girl. I’m so sorry I’m not here in person to celebrate with you. When you were a little girl you thought twenty-one was all “grown up” and you couldn’t imagine ever being that age.
You are standing on what is your birthday present. I know you are probably thinking “What the hell, have you lost your mind?!” but trust me sweetheart this is the best thing for you. You have given up the past two years of your life to care for me, you moved from a city you loved to a place you hated that made you miserable. Its time to put yourself first. The past two years you have been to hell and back, the worst is not over and I know that the best place for you to find yourself in this new phase of your life is here, not back in that grubby flat where you had some very questionable vermin as “pets” and the most unsociable neighbours. You said you didn’t mind but I know you did.
I have attached the number for my solicitor overleaf, this land is legally now yours. This land actually belonged to my Grandfather – Your Great Grand father, its been passed down from generation and it was in your Aunt Marion and Uncle Rob’s possession until they moved. I know it’s not much at the moment but this land will be what you make it. And I know my little girl can turn this lot into a vision of beauty.
This is a new chapter in your life, a new beginning. I don’t want you to dwell on the past but focus on your future. I know its terrifying but I think Appaloosa Plains is a better fit for you. I hate the idea of you going back to Bridgeport as I think temptation to resort back to your wilder ways will be too great and I don’t want to see you go back down that road again. It gives me some peace to know my only daughter is okay. I know you will be. You have demonstrated how strong and brave you can be. I need you to be those things moving forward.
Overleaf you will find as I said my solicitors number, I would give him a call. You will also find several numbers including the number for a local construction company. Don’t lose these. You will need them!
Just remember, greatness comes from small beginnings.
I’ll always be with you,
Love Mum xxx
Scarlett blinked back tears as she re-read the letter carefully absorbing every word. How why when had her Mum did this? Scarlett had been the one to handle her Mum’s affairs for her once she had become ill.This was her birthday present. This land was now hers? Scarlett couldn’t help but wonder why her Mother had never mentioned it. Her Mum wanted her to live here? Scarlett was a city girl through and through. She loved apartments, she loved having a balcony with a view of her favourite shops and walking distance to her favourite clubs and bars. If she wanted nature she went to the park. Appaloosa Plains was a whole other world.
But as Scarlett re read her Mother’s letter, she felt guilty. Her Mum had left her this for a reason. It may not have been clear to Scarlett what that reason was but surely she had to trust her Mum?
Dialling the solicitor’s number her Mum had left, Scarlett hoped he would have some more answers for her. Right now it just felt like a dream, a very bad dream!