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Broken Rider(8)

By´╝ÜSasha Stark

“Good morning and welcome to Bradford Savings and Loan, how may I help you?” The woman greeting them at the entrance was small, in her forties and wore a warm smile across her pretty face. “We’re here to see Mr. Coleman,” Wilson said. “We have a 9:30 appointment.”

“Certainly. If you would please have a sit right over here I will let Mr. Coleman know you have arrived.” She motioned for the two of them to take a seat in the lobby and they did.

Wilson said, “Before we go in there, I want to ask you one last time Are you sure you want to do through with this? Once you sign those papers there is no turning back.”

Erin had grown tired of trying to convince people she was indeed quite sure of what she was doing. First she had to convince Cindy and Christine she was serious about purchasing the place. Then she had moved on to the more difficult task of explaining her decision to her family. Her mother had proclaimed she was crazy and should have her head examined, but then admitted she’d been expecting a day like this for a long time now. Erin had done her best to calm her down and eventually she convinced her mom that everything would be ok and invited her down to check out the cabin herself. Her mother claimed to have no interest in watching tumble weeds blow across empty plains, but Erin knew she would be out to visit as soon as she was able.

“Yes Mr. Wilson, I am quite sure I want to go through with this. As a matter of fact, I can’t recall the last time I was this sure about anything.”

Wilson smiled and nodded. “I apologize for asking you the same question over and over, but I feel it’s my duty to make sure you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into. I know it must sound belittling, and I apologize for that, but I have seen too many people make financial decision with their heart, rather than their brain.”

“I understand and I take no offense. I know how crazy this whole thing looks to an outsider. I would like to thank you for all your help, by the way. I was a very scared about hiring a local attorney to assist me, but you have turned out to be a godsend. If it wasn’t for you I would be running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off."

Wilson laughed and Erin felt the tension leave her neck. The whole ordeal of purchasing the property was now coming to a close and soon Erin could begin the long process of renovating the cabin, which would surely provide another healthy dose of stress on her shoulders.

“Just doing my job, Erin. It's been a pleasure working with you as well."

The banker’s door opened and a tall man with silver hair walked out with his hand extended. “You must be Ms. Campbell. I’m Billy Coleman and it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Erin took the man’s hand in her own and smiled. “It’s a pleasure to meet you also.” The man looked like what Erin imagined Tom Hanks to look like at the age of sixty or so. He had a very welcoming aura about himself and as Erin began to relax she had to remind herself she was dealing with a banker. Her grandmother—and mother—had an intense distrust of anyone associated with a banking institution and as a result Erin herself was suspicious of them too. Christine and Cindy had told her Billy Coleman was a fair man and that he would treat her well, but Erin was reserving judgment for now. She watched as the two men shook hands and introduced each other and then followed Mr. Coleman into his office. He motioned for the two of them to sit and then got behind his desk and took a look at the paperwork laid out in front of him.

“So Ms. Campbell, everything appears to be in order. Your credit score is good and with you only purchasing 51% of the cabin it was easy enough to get you financed. All you have to do is attach your John Hancock where indicated and you will be the proud owner of the old Reardon Cabin…or whatever you choose to name it.”

Erin waited as her attorney overlooked the paperwork and Mr. Coleman leaned forward with a curious look on his face. “I don’t mean to pry, Ms. Campbell, but I have to admit to being curious. What made you decide to buy this cabin?”

“I don’t mind answering your question Mr. Coleman. I came down here to visit the Saddle Horn ranch and when we went out on the prairie and I saw the cabin, I felt a warm feeling inside me and knew I had found home. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s the God's honest truth. I never expected to come all the way out here and buy a cabin, but once I saw the place I knew it was the right thing to do.”

The banker smiled and nodded his head but Erin could see the look of bewilderment in his eyes. She was probably the only city girl within fifty square miles of here and here she was buying an abandoned cabin with the intention of turning into a bed and breakfast. Of course he thought she was crazy, and how could Erin blame him? Heck, when she viewed her situation through the lens of an outsider, she thought she was crazy herself. Still, that didn’t change the fact that it felt right. As right as rain, as a matter of fact.