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Heartland #16: Holding Fast

"I think it would help if you could drop by whenever you have the chance," Amy told Eloise as they walked back to her car. Amy had taken over join up in order to leave Molly with a sense of trust -— but her renewed faith was not in Eloise.

"Do you think that will help?" asked Eloise.

"Yes," said Amy firmly. "It's important that we work with Molly together. We'll start by having her walk over poles and such, then, as she improves, we'll try her over puddles and other troublesome surfaces. As she takes on new challenges, her trust in herself and others will grow."

Eloise smiled, still looking a little pale. "I hope so, Amy," she said. "I think you're doing a great job. I don't want to mess it all up."

"She's your horse," Amy reminded her gently. "It's your relationship with her that we need to put back on track. But we'll get there, I promise."

Eloise drove off, and Amy went inside for Sunday brunch. Lou and Ty were already sitting at the table, while Nancy was helping Grandpa serve scrambled eggs and fried tomatoes. Ben had gone to have lunch with his mother, which made it easier to talk about his departure. It had come as a shock to everyone.

"I'll put an ad in the local paper for a replacement," said Lou, pouring more coffee. "And on our Web site as well. We'll probably get the most responses that way."

"Good idea," agreed Jack. "But I don't imagine we'll be short of applicants."

Amy sat down, suddenly feeling sad again. Ben had been through so much with them all. How could he just walk away?

"You're going to be busy, Lou," said Nancy, handing around slices of toast. "it's not going to be easy, making wedding plans on top of recruiting new staff."

Amy looked at Lou with a jolt, remembering that she, too, would be leaving when she got married. She felt as though the legs on her chair had given way. Everyone was abandoning Heartland!

"I'm sure I'll cope," said Lou politely.

"Oh, yes," said Nancy. "You're very capable. But I'm sure you'll appreciate some help, just the same. I've been thinking - I'd love to make you wedding cake for you. That would be one thing off your list, wouldn't it?"

Lou frowned. "It's a bit soon to be thinking about that, isn't it?" she began.

"Oh, no," insisted Nancy. "It's much better to plan things early. I've brought some books for you to look at. You'll want to choose the recipe yourself, I'm sure. Most brides do." Lou took a deep breath. "Thank you, Nancy," she said, clearly trying her best to be gracious. "I'll take a look when I've got a minute."

Amy realized she'd been holding her breath and let it out with relief. For the time being, it looked as though Lou was still concentrating on Heartland. Right now, Amy didn't want to face the thought of her sister's mind turning elsewhere.

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