The Trading Post... Final part
She stood by the tracks, waiting, as she had done every day for the past year. He would be here soon as he always was. She had made no friends in the school except for Daniel. It didn't matter to her because Daniel was enough. She had ridden her bike as fast as she could so she didn't miss him. The basket on the front of the bike was filled with snacks for her and Daniel. She squealed a little when she heard him coming. She wondered if daniel ever made the connection between her laughter and his entrance each day. She was full-blooded Iroquios and Daniel... Well.
"High Old Silver, Away!!!" She laughed and wondered if Daniel even thought about the "Cowboys and Indians" theme he created each time he rode in saying that.
"Hi, beautiful lady. I have come save you from the bad guys."
She laughed at his silliness and then spread the blanket down for them to sit on. As they ate their snacks, she read to them from her grand-mothers journal. Daniel listened intently as he stared into her Doe-like eyes.
"Why did your gramma leave and then come back to build a school? Seems like she could have stayed with her people and still taught the kids."
"She tried to be friends with her people and your people, Daniel. It wasn't alright to do that back then, I guess."
"Sort of like The Lone ranger and Tonto, Huh?"
Ellie laughed and touched his face. "Yes, sort of like, Daniel."
"Well, if I was back there, I would have stole you away and we would have lived far away from the wars and killing."
Ellie looked at Daniel, handsome and pure. She was already in love with him and she knew it. She looked up from him and smiled. Though he could not hear it, Ellie could hear the train in the distance. She stood up and walked towards the tracks. She had left her bike laying on them. As she approached it, she felt a tug at her long skirt. A rail-road spike snatched the bottom of it and would not let go. Daniel could hear the train now. He looked at Ellie as she fell forward, trying to pull free. The train was rapidly approaching. Daniel jumped up and started pulling on her arm. Her foot slipped in between the tracks and she fell to the ground.
"Daniel, get out of here!!! I can't get free!!"
"I won't leave you, Ellie, not ever."
Ellie saw the man standing near the tracks. She knew who he was now. She looked at Daniel, still trying to free her leg. She knew why he was here. "Full circle, Nizhoni. It can be no other way if we are to restore things to the way they were. I hope you understand."
"Please, don't make him go. We can make it right with out that!"
"Who are you talking to, Ellie? Are you so scared that you are seeing things?"
The train rounded the last bend. With steam and smoke bellering from it's frame, it was at full throttle. Daniel pulled and twisted her leg to try and free it. Finally, her foot slipped out of her shoe and she was tossed off the tracks. Daniel rolled to follow and slipped between the tracks. Ellie heard his scream as the train bore down on him.
"I will see you in another life, Ellie. Don't forget me!" And then, Daniel and the train, were gone.
Daniel sat behind his desk, looking out at the beautiful lady that had walked in to the office. He listened as she spoke to his partner.
"There was a school-house and I believe a Trading Post there. I was thinking of restoring them in memory of my grand-mother. She helped the white man and Indians alike, learn together."
Daniel stood up and walked out to them. "Hi," he said, extending his hand, "I am Dan..."
"Daniel Daulton, yes I know. I did a little research before I came here. I am Nizhoni- kimama and I was wondering if you could help me with a project."
They stood on the Bridge, as they had for 12 years. The tracks were barely visible, a rail-road tie peeking through the dirt here and there. The handle-bars from a bike, mangled by a train, laid below them. She looked out over the land-scape, taking in all of it's beauty and tranquility. She could now remember her past... all of it. Some of the memories filled her with joy and some brought her to tears.
Daniel pulled her close to his side. The bridge was tattered and worn and it bore the scars from battles long since gone by. There were no trains to run on this track any more. There was no camp nor was there a Trading Post. All of that had so many years ago fallen victim to Father Time. There was only Daniel and Nizhoni.
"I am glad you talked me out of reviving all of this out here, Daniel. I think there are many spirits of the past that just want to sleep in peace."
"Nizhoni, I have loved you I think, through many life-times, strange as that may sound. I think maybe this one is our forever lifetime." Daniel placed his hand on Nizhoni's belly and smiled.
"I will keep a journal and tell our little one about his or her culture and heritage. There is so much to tell."
Daniel felt a breeze begin to blow. He could hear the sand and gravel below them, as a wind stirred and two figures suddenly appeared. Daniel sensed their presence and he touched Nizhoni's shoulder and she looked down at the figures, rising from the ground to eye level with her and Daniel. Nizhoni looked into the faces of the Trading Post clerk and the Chief. Daniel held Nizhoni tight to him.
"We are not here to take anything from you, Daniel. A trade is a trade." The clerk nodded at them and smiled. "I have come for a moment to tell you all has been restored to it's original settings. You will not see me again."
"I too have come to say my farewells. You are my daughter and I have loved you through many lives. I wish for you and Daniel and my grand-daughter, all of the wonders of this world. Remember your past in your heart and it will always be near. I am just a silent prayer away, my daughter."
She reached out and hugged her father. As she did, he reached over her shoulder and touched Daniel. Suddenly, Daniel was looking in to the Chief's face. He turned to look at his beautiful wife. "I see you, my love and I thank you, Chief, for this gift."
"You have earned your sight, Daniel. Your trade was a high price to pay. Goodbye, daughter, I love you."
Both men disappeared and the wind died down. Nizhoni smiled at Daniel. "Ellie never came to be because I remembered who I was, Daniel. This is now our life, always and forever."
"We might even try and steal one extra precious day, after the forever is gone, My Love. And did your Father say "our daughter????"
"Shhh, let's just enjoy the view, Daniel."