~ 8 Second Ride ~
by Roughrider728

Disclaimer: Memories are powerful thoughts that tumble nearly uncontrollably around in one's mind. Some can be good and healing while others can be dark and destructive. Stop sometime and analyze your own memories. See what your mind is trying to tell you.

Feedback to roughrider728@yahoo.com

I shoved the door open with my boot, one quick flick and my cowboy hat flew across the room and settled down on the peg of the chair. I let out a low whistle and poured some dog food in the dog's dish as I flicked on the stove to heat up some water for tea. Watching as my cattle dog wolfed down her supper I lowered myself down in a kitchen chair staring out the large kitchen window. I watched a mare and her baby frolic across the vast pasture, my thoughts drifting to you. Why is it this time of night after a long day in the saddle I return once again to thoughts of you?

All day long I can go without thinking of the time we shared together. Yet when the day was done and the night crept in, the memories of you haunted me. The guilt ate way at me every night, some how I just knew I had let you down.

Removing my spurs and boots I loosened my leather chaps, pulled them off along with my belt buckle, unbuttoned my jeans and slid lower in the chair. The nights were so long without you here. I came out of my fog when the tea kettle began screaming. I slowly pulled myself up groaning in pain of the abuse my body had taken today, breaking horses for a living was hard on this 44 year old body.

Pouring a hot cup of tea I added a two fingered shot of whiskey and settled down in my favorite chair. The guilt flooded me once again, I had let you down. I gave up on you when I should have remained strong. But I just could not live with the anger or the lack of trust you had for me. I did nothing to prove I would be unfaithful to you, right to the very end.

I reached behind my chair and pulled out a flask I kept hidden there now, poured another good size dose into my now luke warm tea. Slowly but surely I drained the large flask of its mind numbing liquid. As the night wore on so did your memory.

I gave myself completely to you, from the first time we made love to the last time we made love. I knew I would always love you without strings. I wanted so desperately to show you what love; real love was like. It wasn't abusive or cruel. It was unconditional love.

I worked hard to show you I was for real and not just false feelings or unjust lies. I was for real giving you my love without motives. Yet my love for you was questioned, there was no trust in my love.

I lifted the flask to my mouth only to realize it was empty. I staggered to the kitchen to pull a bottle of whiskey from the cupboard, twisted off the cap and drank slowly from it. It hit me. I had shut out everyone that meant anything to me. I closed up and shut down; gone was the laughter and trust I had for my peers. I had even shut out my best friend.

I glared at the clock on the wall, it was well after midnight and I was only half drunk. I knew I would not sleep. I returned to my chair drinking deeply from the bottle. This chair had become the bed I slept in every night since you walked out. I knew there were plenty of hours of suffering with your memories, your laughter, your smile and your voice echoing around in my head until daylight brought the relief of the exhausting ranch work. In only a short month I had developed the habit of nightly drinking myself into unconsciousness. Each night it got harder and harder to achieve. The darkness that surrounds you now eats at me, slowly over taking my every thought.

I turned to the tin box I kept on the stand next to my chair, opening it with shaky hands as I pulled out the small pipe and canister of pot. I filled the pipe as full as I could get it for there's nothing better then your own homegrown pot. The first toke I took I held as long as my lungs would let me. It was only when I started to choke that I let the smoke billow from my lungs. A quick drink from the bottle of whiskey and it stopped the coughing fit. I repeated this several times, the pipe was empty and the bottle was down to nothing but a sludgy backwash.

Morning came and woke me with a pounding in my head. I knew I had finally slept at some point. The abuse I put my mind and body through each night did not even compare to the abuse you put my heart through. Yet it was me who let you down. I gave up when sickness over took you. If I had only been stronger and not let your anger get to me, maybe then things would have been different. But I can never go back and not think of the love I had for you nor the guilt that eats away my heart and soul day after day.

I waited on the coffee to perk. While I waited, I tugged on my boots, strapped down my spurs, and refastened my chaps on my hips and thighs. Pouring a cup of straight black coffee I headed outside to face the day one more time.

Maybe this time I would get lucky and tonight your memory wouldn't kill me but the drinking would. This was the longest 8 second ride of my life or maybe it was a never ending 8 seconds? You know the one, where the rider gets bucked off and trampled to death by the animal they had tried to ride. Only the 8 second clock would prove to be the end.

Copyright 2004 by RoughRider728. All Rights Reserved.

This story continues in 8 Seconds...Retribution

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive