But right now I can't seem to remember why I said those things. I don’t have any bad memories of this place. The farm was always my escape. The only memory that really sucks is the day I left.
So why have I fought so hard to forget this part of my life? It's not making sense right now.
“Okay, okay, I think we're done here. How about we get lunch, and you can try to convince me why selling this place will be worth it for me.”
Finally. This is what I've been waiting for. If he listens, I think he'll see this as a no brainer. Ryder makes a few peanut butter sandwiches, and we sit a picnic table in the back.
“I’m ready,” he says, taking a bite of his food. “Show me what you got.” Wiggling his brows, he leans back and smiles big.
“Well, you know my step-father owns the other two lots on either side of this property.” Ryder nods in agreement. “So, I'm sure you can understand how hard it is to plan a build when there's something sitting right in the middle. If you let us buy this land, you'll never have to worry about money again. I can promise you that. He's willing to go big on this, and that's not easy for him to do.”
“Was that it?” he asks.
“Yeah. What more do you need?”
“That was good, but I'm not convinced. You'll have to do way better than that.” He stands from the table, clearing our plates. “But your time is up. Back to work we go.”
Nodding his head for me to follow him, I can't stop myself from just blurting out the one question that's bugging me. It's not about the farm, it's not about my pitch, it's about the elephant in the room.
“Why did you kiss me last night?”
Flicking his head over his shoulder, he cocks a brow confused, and then I see it hit him. The memory rolls down his face like a curtain. He stops moving, his body stills, and then as it quick as it came, it's gone.
Two trucks pull into the driveway, causing Ryder to straighten his back and stand taller. He doesn't answer me, he simply ignores the question altogether, and walks to the vehicles like I said nothing at all.
I'm left with a mess of questions and no answers.
He's down there for a few minutes, laughing and chatting with someone. I'm tired of standing alone, so I make my way down to him.
“Jenna, you remember Mark right?”
I eye him for a second, and it doesn't take long for me to recognize him. “Yeah. Hey, how have you been?”
It's strange. The longer I'm here, the easier it is for me to remember things. My memories are coming cack quicker and clearer.
“Good, I'm doing good.” Looking at Ryder, he asks, “How's that tractor running? Still kicking?”
Ryder smiles and nods. “Just like new. I've got another one that's sputtering a bit that I might need you to take a look at it soon.”
“Just give me a call and let me know when. I have a few other projects going on, but nothing I can't step away from for you.” Mark slaps the side of his truck and gives Ryder a look. “All right, you have your truck back, and I need to get going so I'm not late. It was good to see you again, Jenna.”
I nod and smile as he drives off. “You guys are still friends, huh?”
“Yup. Some people are still loyal to their roots.” He arches his brows at me, brushing his shoulder against mine as he turns and walks back up toward the barn. “Time to clean the pig pen,” he says.
Dragging my feet, I follow him back to work. I'm doubting myself now. Wondering why I ever agreed to this. He's not interested in selling, he's made that clear. But I'm not a girl who gives up easily.
Maybe this is a big mistake and I'm wasting my time. Why bother trying if I already have his answer? Because I won't give up that easily. That could be what he wants. To see me crash and burn.
There's no question in my mind that he's trying to break me. He wants me to run away screaming. I'm not going to do that. He's underestimating me, and that's a bad thing to do.
“All right, grab that shovel and start clearing all this slop,” he commands.
“I know what I'm doing,” I say, picking up the shovel and throwing it over my shoulder.
He holds up his hands, folding his lips down into a heavy frown. “Fine, I'll let you just do it. You know what you're doing.”
“I do. You act like I've never done any of this stuff. It makes me wonder who forgot about who.” Flaring my nostrils, I jam the tip of the shovel into the ground and attempt to slip it under the soiled layer of earth and hay.