It should have been the perfect day…… but Ryleigh was alone.
She had come to a place where no one could find her for a reason
She only felt the ending of a life and today she was trying her best to let it go
She let the tears fall
A part of her forever changed
My name is Ryleigh Carter. I am twenty-five years old and probably have more patience with the world than I should. There is nothing special about me, other than the fact that bad things seem to happen wherever I go. I am a dreamer. I have high hopes for my future and that everything will somehow work out in the end.
They say good things come to those who wait, and well, I have been waiting for quite sometime. My life has not been easy. Everyone has a story. And this, well…. this is one that nearly broke me to the point of never coming back. I’m not sure where it comes from, but somewhere deep inside, I possess an unwavering strength.
Perhaps there is something special about me after all.
For you to understand, we need to go back to the beginning.
The very beginning.
The sun will rise up again, it has too……
Targeted Age Group:: Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book was a healing book to write. I write out my frustrations of the world around me, and towards me. I have been told many times I should be bubble wrapped as I seem to have an invisible target on me, bad things always happen to me. So how do you survive that? My mother brought me my computer while I spent months in a hospital bed with just my music for entertainment, and she said, "Do what you do best, write" and so it began, an idea, a spark, a story unfolded. I have an underlying humor that keeps me laughing and it is presented in this story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Well, this one is based on me. If you want to know who Katt Rose IS, she is Ryleigh Carter in this story.I used traits from all those around me, and their characteristics were built on that. These characters couldn't be more real. Its like a seed planted, it grows and grows on the smallest beginning.
“Didn’t I tell you? It’s amazing here, isn’t it?” I could almost hear the
excitement in his voice.
“You’re right, I love it! Thank you for bringing me here.“
A broad smile would appear on his face. “You’re welcome. I’m getting to
know you pretty well.” I could see him extend a hand. “Come on, follow me.”
And I would. I would have followed him anywhere. In this particular
scene, I knew where we would end up; sitting on the tailgate of his truck,
music pouring from the open windows. He would hop up and pat his hand
for me to sit next to him. I would. And there we would sit, taking in the view
around us. It would have been the perfect day. But I was alone. I found myself
staring into the vast openness around me and grew cold. I looked into my
viewfinder one last time and took the final shot. I made my way back to the
truck and slid inside. I flicked the music on and listened quietly. I stared out
into the still confinement around me and let the tears fall. For today, I had
come to a place where no one could find me for a reason. I let my mind
wander and felt the ending of a life. Today, I was trying my best to let go.
I turned on the engine and carefully drove back to the main road. I had
nowhere in particular to be, so I made a last minute decision to take the back
roads home. As I drove past miles upon miles of farmland, I came to a
crossroad. I pulled off slightly to the side and got out of the truck. I breathed
in the sweet air and heard the faint mooing of cows in the far off fields. The
large maple trees swayed in the breeze, the tall green grass shone under the
late sun. My GPS lost it’s signal, but today, it did not bother me. To the right,
a herd of horses grazed peacefully, their tails swished in unison, trying to keep
the early spring bugs at bay. I watched them for a long while. I stared out into
the fork in the road. Where do I go from here? Will this ache, this hurt ever
truly go away? I knew I was lost, the question was, would I ever find my way
to where I belong? Or am I one of the unlucky few destined to always be left
searching for a way on my own?
My name is Ryleigh Carter. I am twenty-five years old and probably have
more patience with the world than I should. There is nothing special about
me other than the fact bad things seem to happen to me wherever I go. I am
a dreamer. I have high hopes for my future and that everything will somehow
work out in the end. They say good things come to those who wait, and well,
I have been waiting for quite sometime. My life has not been easy. Everyone
has a story. And this, well…this is one that nearly broke me to the point of
never coming back. I’m not sure where it comes from, but somewhere deep
inside, I possess an unwavering strength. Perhaps there is something special
about me after all. Like most good stories, mine involves a very special man.
But before I can introduce him, we need to go back to the beginning. The
My life wasn’t going as planned, but this is not unusual for me. I was fresh
out of University and work had been hard to find. I grew restless in my daily
life and struggles. Change was on the horizon, I could feel it brewing from
within. I was stuck working a job I hated, and my hours had been cutback,
yet again. The routine was always the same; once my shift was over I would
race home, kick off my shoes and curl up on the couch with a steaming mug
of tea. Today was no different.
I closed my eyes and listened to the world outside. The noise from the city
filled my ears and I sighed heavily. I was a country girl who was stuck living
amongst the madness. The concrete buildings and house to house
neighbourhoods held no draw for me what-so-ever, it felt slightly suffocating.
The lights were always on, and the noise never stopped. Nothing ever
stopped. The world I longed for was no longer here. For me, freedom comes
from the peace and quiet nature has to offer, somewhere you can hear the
frogs croak in the summer and the crickets sing their night song. I ached for
a place where I could see the stars at night, and let the horses run. That was
home for me and always would be. I tapped my fingers impatiently against
my mug. There was nothing holding me here; I could pack up and leave at
anytime, and that’s what I chose to do. I muttered a silent prayer, packed up
my truck with only the bare essentials and decided it was time to go to Alberta
and start my life. I arranged with my mom to look after my horse, Tess, and
my blissfully happy dog, Maggie, while I ventured into the world in search of
a new beginning. Before I left BC, I got in touch with an old high school
friend. and arranged to stay at her place while I searched for work and sorted
out a new home. It was now time to set off into my own little adventure. It
was just after 4:00 a.m. and the world was still dark. I hopped into the truck’s
drivers seat, plugged my Ipod into the stereo, and away I went toward the
open road. Unfortunately for me, my ‘little adventure’ would turn into a
nightmare that would set me back a whole year, but I did not know this at
the time. Thirteen hours later, I appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. I
drove along the lonely gravel road until I came across a long, winding
driveway. The address matched what Katie had given me, so I pulled in.
“I don’t see a white barn anywhere,” I muttered under my breath. I
stopped the truck and checked my text message from Katie one last time.
“Head down the driveway and you’ll see a large white barn. Keep going past
it. There’s a white house on a hill. That’s us.”
I pressed the gas and proceeded down the drive. This had to be the right
place. All I wanted at this point was to eat and have a good sleep. As luck
would have it, a large white barn stood in the distance. It over looked fields
that appeared to go on forever. I made out a herd of a dozen horses in the
distance. Ahead sat a cute, white house up on a hill. Next to the house stood
a chicken coop and a large dog run. I recognized Katie’s black pickup. I had
finally made it. I opened up the truck door and stiffly stepped out. Fresh air
hit me like a good hug from an old friend. I clasped my hands together and
stretched out my tight muscles.
I turned to the excited voice and smiled brightly. Katie hopped her way
toward me, blond hair bouncing, blue eyes brightly shining.
“Katie!” I met her halfway and we gave each other a quick hug. We hadn’t
seen each other since high school, and that was nearly six years ago now.
Katie’s eyes sparked. “Do you want to go for a ride?”
I tapped my finger against the side of my cheek. “Hmm,” I said slowly,
“do you even have to ask? Yes!”
“Excellent! Let’s find you a horse!”
Katie and I caught up with each other as we wandered the fields and chose
our horses. I settled on a steel gray gelding who seemed like a good guy. He
was honest enough and he knew the lay of the land. We saddled up quickly,
and as I placed my boot in the stirrup, I wondered if I was making a terrible
decision. I had just spent nearly thirteen hours stuck in the confines of a
vehicle. I should be stretching out my muscles with a good walk. However,
once I swung myself into the saddle and heard the creak of leather beneath
me, my earlier thought was forever erased. We turned the horses down the
treed lane and picked our way up the hill, letting the horses into a gallop along
a flat stretch. I leaned forward in the saddle, settling into the rhythm of the
horse beneath me. Life could not get any better than right now in this
Four hours into the ride we let our feet hang out of the stirrups and
laughed as we talked about old memories. The horses walked in unison side
by side down the range road. For miles, I could see nothing but farmer’s fields
and trees. The sun began to set and a shade of bright pink filled the dimming
sky. A small lake nearby pulled my attention. The reflection of the glowing
horizon set the water on fire. Mosquitoes danced above the surface and sent
the pink water rippling softly below. Crickets began to sing, welcoming the
promise of night. It was a perfect ending to the day.
Since Katie’s house was quite small, I got to bunk in the barn loft, which
was rather large and suited me just fine. The loft had a decent kitchen, a
bedroom that led into a sunken living room, and a sitting room. There was
next to no furniture, except the fold out couch that would act as my bed for
the next few weeks. Many pictures hung proudly along the walls of champion
race horses bred and raised on the farm many years ago. I admired the photos
one by one. A lot of love and dedication had gone into those horses, that
much was clear by the smiling faces looking back at me within the frames.
As charming as the loft was, there was one downfall to the lay out; the
bathroom. It was nestled downstairs in the main barn, two flights of stairways
below. Not exactly fun in the dark, especially in an unknown setting, and
with more than half of the light fixtures not in working condition. But I was
not complaining. At least it was a place to stay, and so close to horses at that.
It didn’t take long to figure out that phone reception was pretty spotty around
these parts. There were very few places on the farm, the loft included, where
I could get cell service. There was one particular spot, if I laid in bed, arm
outstretched at the perfect angle, I could get a live feed. It was nice to keep in
touch with those I had left behind.
I landed an interview, actually quite a few of them. It was so nice to be
able to pick and choose from which job I would want rather than waiting for
months on end to hear from someone, anyone. I landed my dream job at a
Vet clinic. I was head over heels. Now it was time to find a place of my own,
one that must be dog friendly. I also had to find a spot for Tess to stay. If I
was really lucky, I could find a place to rent on acreage and kill two birds with
one stone. Life looked good. I had a new social circle, a fantastic job, and I
was in the province that had my heart. What could go wrong? Well,
apparently my body had a mind of it’s own.
It was a great day. We had spent the entire day at a nearby ranch and most of
it was spent in the saddle or behind the lens of the camera. I settled down for
the night when out of nowhere I began to throw up. And I couldn’t stop. It
was odd, I didn’t feel sick. The motion finally settled and I got slammed with
a sudden, splitting headache. I shuffled my way back to the bed when a sharp,
tearing pain hit my lower stomach. It knocked the very breath out of me. This
was bad. It was unlike anything I had ever felt. A voice deep inside said to call
for help, that this would not end well. Another sharp, fluttering wave tore
through me that caused me to hunch over and grab my side. The pain
intensified at an alarming rate. I reached for my phone only to find there was
no service. I took a few agonizingly painful steps in another direction.
Nothing. I tried another spot, no dice. I yelled out in frustration. Work! Work
for me, baby! And then it happened. A sharp spasm ignited deep inside. The
pain was too much, I cried out in surprise. The next thing I knew, my world
went black, and I hit the floor.
Ow. Ow. Ow. I opened my eyes groggily and spit dust out of my mouth.
I pressed my hands flat onto the cool floor below and began to lift myself
upwards. I could still feel the stabbing aches as they tore through my gut. My
eyes landed on the bed and I proceeded to delicately make my way toward it.
I gingerly sat on the edge of the mattress and let my head fall onto the pillow.
I was out like a light.
The warmth of the sunlight caressed my skin. I opened my eyes and saw
it was morning. I wiggled my toes, and to my dismay it sent a lightning charge
throughout my stomach. I gasped in pain. I attempted to sit up but couldn’t
on my own. I held onto the edge of the mattress and slowly, painfully I pulled
myself on to my side. It felt like my stomach muscles were being torn out of
me, piece by piece. What’s going on? This has got to be the strangest flu I have
ever had. My mouth was dry. I had a stash of fluids by my bedside and I
reached for the orange juice. I took a long, cool sip. Something didn’t feel
right as the liquid settled into my gut. I let the drink fall to the floor. I studied
the room around me and something was off. The room swayed side to side. I
rubbed my temples and closed my eyes, and took a long, slow deep breath.
Bad move. A stab of pain kicked at my ribs. I laid my head onto the pillow
and closed my eyes once more. I needed to sleep this off, whatever it was.
When I wake up, please let the pain go away. Sleep, take it with you.
“Ryleigh? You alive up there?”
I blinked my eyes a few times. “Katie? Is that you?” The stairs squeaked
from someone’s weight.
“Yes. Are you okay? You’ve been up here for two days.”
Two days? That can’t be right. “Ugh, I think I have the flu. I am down for
the count. I feel terrible.”
Katie furrowed her brows together, and studied me. “You look awful. Can
I get you anything?”
“No thanks, I just need sleep.”
“Okay. I just wanted to check on you. Jamie and I are taking off for a few
days so the place is yours.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled from under the pillow, “have a good time.”
“We will. Call us if you need anything, okay?”
I waved my hand in acknowledgment and closed my eyes, letting the
tiredness wash over me. Sleep was peaceful, heavy, and strangely comforting.
The pain was now constant and growing worse. Breathing became difficult,
and my heart rate climbed. I grimaced as cold sweat soaked through my
clothing. I needed a shower. I sighed in defeat as I thought of all those stairs
I’d need to go down, but it wasn’t just the stairs that would be the problem.
There was no shower in the barn washroom. The only shower was nestled
away in Katie’s house. So that meant not only would I have to get down all
those stairs, I’d need to make my way up the little hill, which was more like a
mountain in my current state, to reach the house.
Almost twenty minutes later I had only conquered going down the stairs.
I wrapped my arms into my sides and continued to place one foot in front of
the other. Every once in awhile I’d see a flash of blinding white light as the
pain intensified. I took small, quick breaths and continued to move forward
until, finally, I stepped into the safe confines of the house. I fell on top of the
washing machine and pressed my damp skin against the cool metal. I was in
trouble, and I needed help. My eyes landed on the calendar, it read September
15th. That can’t be right. I counted the days in my head. I had lost seven days,
a whole week. I closed my eyes in defeat. I needed to go to the hospital. The
shower lay six feet in front of me. I just about burst into tears for those six
feet seemed like an eternity. And that’s when I broke down. Sobs escaped my
lips and the salty tears streamed down my face. I was scared. I had no idea
what was wrong with me. I had no appetite what-so-ever, I did not even have
a thirst. I felt weak. My limbs trembled with each movement I took, my heart
rate shot up by even the slightest jostle. Not to mention the pain, the blinding,
constant pain. It felt as though someone repeatedly stabbed my gut with a
burning hot blade.
I managed to take a hot shower. I collapsed my tired body against the wall
and let the steamy water caress my aching muscles. At one point I had
dropped the conditioner, and as I reached down to pick it up I screamed out
in pain as the jolt tore through me. I couldn’t move, and for ten long minutes
each breath was a struggle. Getting dressed was no easy task either. I had to
mentally prepare myself to lift each leg, for I knew the pain it would send
shooting through me. Finally, with clean clothes I made the slow journey to
the barn. I stopped at my truck and leaned helplessly against the hood. I
needed to head back up to the loft to gather my things and load up the truck.
Could I do this? I really don’t have a choice, do I? Suddenly, in that moment I
wished Mark was here next to me. Mark and I went way back, we met just
over two years ago on my birthday. He had caught my eye from across the
room and I his. The moment I saw him, I knew he would always be in my
world. And I was right. We grew close over a summer I wished would never
end. However, the timing just wasn’t right. Life took him in one direction,
and I went the other. We had both decided to stay in touch, neither of us felt
right about cutting each other out of our lives. We made plans to meet up in
the coming few days. He lived an hour away from where I was currently
staying, but for the time being, he was gone on yet another work project.
I gave myself a pep talk and pushed my head off the hood. This was it, it
was now or never. By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I felt like I had
just completed a marathon. My heart pounded against my chest and I was
drenched in sweat. So much for my shower. The bright lights appeared in my
field of vision and I was forced to sit on the edge of the bed. I felt nauseous. I
bent forward and let my head fall between my legs, breathing slowly. I stayed
in that position until I could see straight once more. Standing slowly, I
gathered my belongings and headed downstairs. I sighed loudly and leaned
helplessly against the truck door. Damn, my door sure looked high. I sucked
in another careful breath, opened the door, and grabbed on for dear life to
the handle that lay above the window. I hoisted one half of my body inside
and let it fall against the seat heavily. Oh, shoot me. That hurt. I stared
helplessly as my left leg still hung outside my door. Shaking my head, I
wrapped both hands around my leg and swung it inside, squeezing my eyes
shut tightly. At last, I was in.
Screw you GPS. If you tell me to make another U-turn when available you are
going out this god damn window. I gripped onto the leather steering wheel
tightly and muttered some choice words under my breath. I was lost. How
hard could it be to find a hospital? Apparently a lot harder than I thought. I
had left the small town I started to think of as home almost two hours ago; it
was a long drive into the city. And now that I was apparently ten minutes
from my destination I found myself circling the block aimlessly, growing
more and more impatient. Like a shining bright light ahead, there it was. The
tall, off white building loomed over small houses nearby. My beacon of hope,
the hospital. I pulled into the parking lot and found a space to pull into. I
paid for my parking in somewhat disgust, and shuffled my way through the
main doors, arms wrapped tightly against my torso. I glanced at the time on
my phone, 8:30 a.m. Hopefully I beat the rush. I registered at the front desk
and a nurse called me over to take my vitals. She asked me a long list of
questions and I answered somewhat hopeful that this would all be over soon.
A good dose of antibiotics and I should be out the door to get back to my
“Hmm. I think we’re going to draw some blood. I’d like a urine sample
too.” The nurse looked at the thermometer and shook her head slightly. She
bustled to the cabinet, handed me a cup, and gestured me to the washroom.
“Okay,” was all I could manage.
I came out of the washroom and a tech stopped me to draw blood. As I
waited for my results I sent my mom a quick text, sending her a brief,
reassuring message that all would be okay. In and out. I sent Mark one too as
he would be in town later this evening and hoped to see me.
I looked up toward the man calling my name. “Yes?”
“Come with me, we’re sending you for an x-ray.”
“Oh?” I furrowed my brows in confusion. “Um, sure.”
I followed slowly as he led me into the diagnostic room. A few minutes
later I was taken into a waiting room with a bed. I was assured a doctor would
be in soon to examine me. With each minute that passed my suspicion began
to grow. The curtain flew open and a chipper, gray haired man walked in.
“Hi, Ryleigh. Can you please lay down. Let’s see what we have going on
The doctor took my hands and helped lie me down. He lifted my shirt
and gently pressed my torso. I flinched in pain and glanced down, my eyes
widened in horror. My stomach did not look my stomach. It jutted out like
a pregnant belly. I couldn’t resist the temptation, I let my hand gently rest on
top of my midsection and pressed down. It was hard as rock.
My voice filled with panic. “What’s happening to me? That’s not right.”
“Unfortunately, the x-ray didn’t give us a clear image. Your urine and
blood show your white blood cell count is very high, which usually indicates
an infection. We’re going to send you for a CT scan and hope that gives us a
clearer picture of what’s going on.”
My heart slightly dropped. This did not sound good, so much for a good
dose of antibiotics and out the door. “How high is high, exactly?”
The doctor pursed his lips. “Well, the average persons white blood cell
count remains at ten or eleven. Yours is twenty-three.”
Crap. “I see.”
The doctor gave me a small smile. “Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out.”
With that, he gave me a quick tap on the shoulder and left. I lied back
onto the hard bed and stared at the white, bland walls around me. I had a
very bad feeling.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy The Loss Print Edition at Amazon
Link to Buy The Loss Print Edition at Barnes and Noble
Katt Rose is an aspiring young writer who has a love of music, animals (horse lover) and writing. Katt is a true country girl at heart and would always rather be outside in her garden, on the beach or somewhere in the woods on her horse with her faithful dog by her side.
Katt studied Creative Writing and Journalism in University but decided to step into the health care field, after nursing her Oma back to health.
Years passed, but Katt could not silence the stories in her head. Once she began to write, she knew there would be no turning back. She was home. She is most proud of winning best fiction Apple Award of Excellence.
Katt Rose aims to be a well-known best-selling author, from the perfect stranger to someone you know. Remember, no dream is out of reach