The Red Barn
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Thunder rolled as a jagged bolt of lightning silhouetted the plains.
What a catastrophe it would be if the storm blew down the old red
barn. My heart sank at the mere thought of it.

I remembered that day, so very long ago, when we still lived in
Quail Valley.   I sat up in the hayloft writing in my diary. It was
so hot up there, it was like a sauna, so I took off my blouse.   I
hadn't seen Cody sitting in the haymow near the chaff-cutting
machine. Nor did I know for how long he had been watching me.

There is a day in my memory—I was out digging behind the corral
early one morning, when a cougar came down to drink from the
horse trough. I don't know who was more flabbergasted when we
noticed each other—me or the cat!

On that particular sultry summer afternoon by the harrow, who
blushed more?  Was it Cody or I?

And now all these years later, here we are sitting on the leather sofa,
in our new farmhouse, the children asleep upstairs.

Cody purchased the old red barn from the new owners when Mom was
forced to sell the farm after daddy died, and he had it shipped here
and reassembled as a surprise birthday gift to me. The place where we
first made love.

The windsock on the roof beam of the barn was dancing wildly in the
zephyr. Cold gusts of air swooshed down the chimney. And his satin
eyes looked right into me like an X-ray machine.

As he nuzzled my neck, he softly whispered in my ear.

"Don't worry, Love. If it falls we'll just rebuild it!"


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