Mimi lived a vagabond lifestyle, a no holds barred kind of life, free-spirited for the most part, following a new path whenever possible. No need to regulate a life meant for living! That had been her motto for fifteen years and had served her well. She’d travelled through the country meeting interesting people while experiencing a fascinating life that offered her, well, the world, on a plate.
Her parents hadn’t agreed, after all, they’d paid for a top-notch education, as a vet, a career she’d chosen. She’d received her degree and she’d loved it.
She’d put that knowledge to good use and was what had carried her across the country for the past twelve years. She’d answer an ad for a veterinarian and stay until they hired a permanent vet and she’d then move on. The experience she’d gained in learning new and different techniques along the way had proved invaluable.
Now, however, it was time for that path to take another turn. After applying to an ad in the paper for a full-time permanent vet in Hollyhock, she’d aced the interview and carried her meagre belongings into the attached home located on the easterly side of the hospital.
It wasn’t large by any means, but it was spacious enough for two people, maybe three in a pinch, and was outfitted with beautiful handmade hardwood floors, with plenty of windows for light decorated lovingly. A beautiful brightly coloured tapestry someone had donated hung on a large wall, nearly floor to ceiling and it was meticulous perfection.
As she unpacked, she surveyed what items were already stocked and what she’d require, made a list and meandered outside to the beautiful red truck that sat gleaming in the sun, an exquisite antique lovingly cared for. Unlocking the door, she hopped in enjoying the beautiful well cared for leather and wooden dashboard. When Mimi plugged the key in the ignition, the old girl coughed and wheezed a bit then caught and the engine hummed with promise.
Stopping at the local grocery store, she was delighted to find it was well stocked. Grabbing a shopping cart, Mimi wandered the aisles grabbing the items she required before browsing beautiful photos of the local area depicting a genteel countryside and beautiful gardens and chose several she knew would appeal to friends she’d promised she’d keep in touch with.
Paying for her goods, she was hauling them outside when a man walked up to the truck and ran his hand the full length from back to front with what she could only describe as an affectionate smile on his face.
Mimi halted a moment before continuing, “From the look on your face, I’d say you just saw the love of your life.”
He turned and grinned, “Yeah, you could be right.”
Unlocking the door, she tossed her wallet inside then grabbed the groceries from the cart and gently set them in the long-box.
“You must be the new vet.”
“I am. And you’d be?”
“Mark Carson, local dogs-body.”
“Mimi Henderson.” She proffered a hand which he shook enthusiastically.
“I generally take care of old Betsy here, so if you have any concerns or issues, let me know, I’ll take a look.”
“Good to know.”
“There’s a local dance out at the town hall tomorrow night if you’re interested in meeting a few of the locals,” he said.
“Thanks.” Her response was noncommittal. Mimi could dance with the best of them but she was undecided on whether a social gathering was the best place to make a first impression.
“Most of the locals are pretty laid back. No one stands on ceremony here, if you get my drift.”
“So don’t be shy, come meet and greet. With this lot, it’s the best way to gain acceptance.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Mimi responded after pushing her cart into a nearby slot and hopping up into the truck.
“Take care now,” he said on a wave turning toward the store with a slow saunter she couldn’t help but appreciate, a beautiful specimen of manhood that had her gaze following him into the store.
“Phew, now that’s a man!” Starting the truck, she laughed at herself, “Where the hell did that come from, you idiot? It’s not like you’re in the market or anything!”