It has been a bad month for me. I started out in what I thought was a good relationship and then it went to hell so quickly. Finally I spent the money I had in hopes of getting away from Brad and bought a pilot to fly me in a Piper M350 from Boulder to Helena where I have family to safety.
What I didn’t count on was how obsessed with me Brad had become…
Over Wyoming, we crossed over a forest area that really didn’t have a name when an engine blew up. Moments later, the last engine blew and the plane went down. My vision went black as the plane fell from the sky.
I thought it was the end.
It should have been the end.
Instead I wake up in the arms of someone and the world is white around us. He has me wrapped up in a fur lined blanket and it is really cold on my face. His hair is dark and neck length. He has a five o’clock shadow that matched his hair. He isn’t straining at all as he carried me which could only mean he has the muscular capability. He wears a bulk pea coat style jacket with the hood up.
As I move slightly, his storm grey eyes looked down on me. “Hey, green eyes. I almost have you back to my cabin, bear with me just a bit longer and we will see about getting you warmed up.”
All I can do is nod to him.
After a few more minutes, he rocks open the door and carries me into a cabin. There isn’t much in amenities as he laid me down on a cot that is not too far from a fire place that is still a blaze. He steps away and lights up a few candles around the room and I begin to see.
There is no electricity which means no phone or internet. There is spacing to judge different rooms and a secondary heat source is what he starts working on in what could only be a kitchen. It looks like an old fashion wood burning stove. The windows are covered in tarps and there are a few chairs but overall it is a small cabin.
The man pulls off his jacket in the kitchen to expose a brown flannel shirt and he wears jeans. I also notice the rifle he slips off his back as well.
After boiling up water, he returns to me and sits down the water and a washcloth. “I know this is sudden and unorthodox”, he says, “But I am going to need to get your shirt off so I can clean up some of the wounds you have.” I cooperate and let him tear the shirt off. What more can I do in my condition?
“My name is Kenny Nixon, what’s your name”, he asks as he begins to clean up a cut that is on the right side of my chest just above my breast. Strangely my bra is still intact after all of that.
“Kaitlin Riley”, I manage with a wince.
“Well Kaitlin”, he says as he pulls a lock of my red hair off my wound as he unsticks it from my blood, “You are lucky. I was out hunting when I saw the plane go down. I went to investigate and hope it wasn’t a complete loss. When I got there the pilot was dead but then you moaned. I pulled out my emergency blanket, wrapped you in it, and brought you back here. You are not that hurt over all. You just have some deep cuts and bruises. Maybe a concussion at the most, but I think you are going to be alright.”
Realization hits me and tears slid down my face.
Kenny stops what he was doing to wipe the tears from my face. “Hey, why the tears, you are alive?”
“He really tried to kill me. My ex sat a com system to go off on board the plane just before the engines blew. He said that if he can’t have me then no one else will either. Then the engines and now.”
He leans over me and hugs me a moment, “Kaitlin, if he thinks you are dead, then he won’t hurt anyone else around you, right?”
I pause, “I think you have a point, but what if someone comes out to investigate the crash?”
He shook his head, “There is a major cold front moving through and the plane will be buried in a night with the blizzard it is bringing with it. It would just be chocked up to as a plane that vanished over the wilderness and they may not find anything until the melt happens. He will no doubt call you dead and walk away.
“I know this cabin isn’t much and you can keep the cot even after you heal up, but why don’t you just stay out here. I don’t mind the company and since neither of us can go anywhere until spring anyway because we are snowed in, it would be making the best of a bad situation.”
The idea of an extended winter vacation in the woodlands actually seems relaxing to me as well as an adventure. “You would have to teach me something about cabin life off the grid.”
Kenny gives a belly laugh at my comment, “So you are a city girl?”
“Close”, I say, “I’m a small town girl.”
He smiles, “I will have no problems teaching you how to live off grid. In fact I think it would be fun actually. However I am more concerned about nursing you back to health right now, so let me do that and once you are I will be your teacher.” He offers me his hand as if we are making a business arrangement.
With a smile, I reach out and take it. Rather than shaking hands he kisses mine.
It takes me a month to heal up fully and then Kenny begins teaching me small things about cabin life off the grid in the wilderness. It is an all new experience to learn how to chop wood, work a fire and stove, as well as hunt and ice fish. It was as he said, a relaxing time and one might say I fell for my teacher over time.
When the winter ended, I choose to stay and Kenny welcomes my choice with a welcomed kiss. To the world, I may be dead, but in my heart I found my way home.