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 Me And My Daddi 

Season 5

Episode 8



The rest of the day was spent meeting the children who showed up by the busload and getting them situated in their cabins. Several of them related with Riley right away. They followed her around and asked a hundred questions, and she answered every one she knew.

The children ranged from ages ten to fourteen, and they were all from poverty-ridden, sometimes dangerous areas in the city. They’d never been to the country before, especially a camp in their lives. A lot of them grew up with single parents who fought to put food on the table every day.

When they got to pet a horse for the first time, the look on their faces was something Riley would never forget. She was connecting to the kids more than she ever thought she would. She’d never in her life had people look up to her. It made her feel like a real person—an adult. Someone people could respect and look up to. She felt smart and needed for the first time in her life.

Later that night, when she got back to her cabin, she was able to ignore the other girls for the most part.

Just before she fell asleep that night, she smiled. Although she didn’t like a lot of the adults, she enjoyed the children and was excited for the first time. She really believed she could make the summer into something special.


The first week flew by. Riley kept busy with the horses and the children who wanted to learn how to ride. She enjoyed the fact the majority had never seen a real horse in their lives. Every day, she felt stronger that she was making a difference in their lives.

She looked forward to the next day. Something she never thought would happen.

The only thing getting her down was the fact she hardly got to see Noah. She caught only glimpses of him as he walked by. It saddened her that he’d never stopped to talk to her, but she also understood because he was always with someone and busy. It felt like that time in the office when they’d shared that special moment hadn’t happened.

Another thing were the girls in her cabin. They were awful to her and liked to put her down. A few times, she’d gone back to the building to find they’d hidden her blanket and pillow or something else she needed.

It was frustrating to have to live with their malice and disrespect. She had tried on more than one occasion to connect with them, but it never happened, and Riley knew it never would. Although they all came from privileged lives, they were from two different worlds, and neither would be able to fit into the others.

Before she’d go to Noah, she needed to give it more time, but she was afraid that if she did, he’d have to send her home. Leaving the kids she was helping was something she’d hate to do. She finally felt like she was a part of something and doing something useful.

“Hey, Riley,” Tucker, one of the younger campers, call out.

“What’s up?”

“Can you show us how you jump the horse again?”

Riley looked around at the excited faces that were lined up on the fence. “Sure.”

Cory, one of the stable hands, handed her a helmet and the reins to one of the better jumpers they had. He booted her up into the saddle and then stood back.

Riley rode around the ring a few times before she started jumping. The kids who gathered around on the other side of the fence cheered.

A few of them even wanted to try, so she and Cory set up low jumps to let the kids get a feel of what it was like. Riley tried to spend as much time as she could in the stables because it was calm there, and the stable manager, Stanley, and the stable hands, were kind to her.

There was one girl, in particular, she had bonded with right away. Her name was Siena, and she was the sweetest little thing. Sienna reminded Riley a lot like herself at the age of twelve.

The two had a lot in common. The girl lived with only her mother because her father had passed on. Losing a parent was something Riley knew about. Sienna was really smart, but girls in the Mexican culture in that area were taught from birth what their place would be. A wife and mother. So reading and learning were frowned upon in her neighborhood. Sienna had ended up hiding that part of herself from others to fit in, much like Riley did with her way of looking at the world.

The only difference was Siena came from the inner city and Riley from wealth. Riley had to learn early on to pretend she was something she wasn’t, and it made for a sad childhood. When she’d graduated from high school, she’d been relieved to be able to stay home, but that quickly got boring. She lived every day for the time her father got home, so she had someone to talk to with. It irritated her dad more than naught, but she couldn’t help it. He was the only stability she had, and she held on tight to it.

Siena also liked the same things Riley did. She still wanted to color and play with dolls and watch cartoons. Getting dressed up, wearing makeup, or having a boyfriend didn’t interest her.

She would rather watch Beauty and The Beast than the Bachelor, Jersey Shore, or the Kardashians that people her age were into.

About the second week into the camp, she’d been sound asleep when she felt hands on her. Jerking awake, she found one of the male counselors trying to get in bed with her. She yelled at him to get away from her, but he just chuckled and kept trying to grope her.

As she looked for help from the other girls in the cabin, they all watched with different degrees of amusement on their faces. Then she screamed and then bit down on the hand that tried to cover her mouth. When that didn’t work and just made the guy mad, she kneed him in the crotch.

He’d fallen off the bed holding his genitals moaning.

One of the girls finally told him to leave when he got up angry and lunged for her.


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