Mid-afternoon my father came up to the gate where I was training, “Jesse left?”
I nodded, “Yeah, he won’t be coming in for a couple weeks.”
“He needs some time off,” I said not making eye contact.
“That’s all he said?”
I nodded finally going to meet my father on the other side of the gate, “There is something else I need to tell you.”
“Is everything okay?”
“Jesse and I talked last night and we decided that it would be better if we were just friends.”
“Just friends?” he squinted his eyes, “I don’t think I understand.”
“There isn’t anything to understand dad, we just are not going to be together anymore.”
“Did something happen? Did he hurt you?” he asked.
I shook my head hoping he couldn’t read through me the way Jesse did, “No, nothing happened but we don’t want anything to ruin our friendship.”
“How do you know it would get ruined?” my father was asking too many questions.
“We don’t but something is bound to happen dad, something always happens in relationships and I like Jesse so I do not want to lose him as a friend.”
“So why don’t you guys just put your friendship first and relationship second? You don’t have to end it just because you don’t want to risk it. Life is about taking risks.”
“Dad, I have a lot of work to do and I really don’t want to continue this conversation.”
“Is that why he took two weeks off?”
I nodded, “We just need to get back to normal, the way things were when he first showed up so we decided it would be best to spend some time away from each other.
“I don’t understand this generation anymore,” he said under his breath, “You guys make things so complicated. When I met your mother I knew right away I wanted her to be mine forever.”
I smiled, “You guys were soul mates.”
“I thought you and Jesse were too, I mean the way you guys looked at each other.”
“Dad,” I huffed.
“Alright, fine, I just hope you thought about this long and hard because you don’t want to let a good guy go out of fear of losing him in the future.”
As I watched my father walk away slowly shaking his head I muttered to myself, “If only you knew who he really was.”
When I got back from my ride with Snowflake, Sara was waiting for me on the front porch.
“What is this I hear about you and Jesse breaking up? After one month? Surely your father is incorrect,” Sara said with her perfect English.
“He is not incorrect,” I said taking a seat next to her, “Jesse and I are better off being friends.”
“What is wrong with you child?” she sounded like the mother I didn’t have.
“Look, I already have to hear this from my dad so can you not lecture me.”
“I just don’t understand, when you guys came out with Frank and I, it was like he was your match made in heaven. He couldn’t have come at a better time if you ask me.”
“That is why we have decided to be friends,” I said again getting tired of hearing my own voice saying the same thing.
“Okay, fine I will let it go but if you ask me, this is a mistake,” she got up, “Without him you may not be training right now, the way I see it, you owe him big time.”
Sara had a point, “We are still friends, this was a mutual decision Sara, owing him has nothing to do with this. Yes, I am grateful for what he did and one day I will pay him back somehow but I don’t see how that has to do with our break up which I might add again, was mutual.”
“So you say.”
“Sara come on, are you seriously mad at me?”
She shook her head, “No, of course not. I just don’t understand.”
“You don’t have to understand everything, I do.”
“I came by to see if you wanted to go on a double date again tonight but I guess I got my answer,” she made her way off the porch, “I have to go, I start my volunteer shift in a bit.”
“Okay well maybe you can come by one of these days when you’re free and we can go for a ride.”
She nodded, “I will.”
I had trouble sleeping again that night; I tossed and turned all night, stealing a glance at the clock every few minutes. It seemed like the time was never going by.
I was angry, I couldn’t remember the last time I was this angry. Actually I could, it was when I was ten years old and I had just found out my mother died. I was angry with her for dying and I was angry with my dad for telling me she was going to be okay, when she wasn’t.
Now I was angry with Jesse for lying to me about who he was and thinking I would just give him a second chance. I was angry that he couldn’t trust me but I was angry at myself for falling for it. I ended things with Eric to be with Jesse and yet all Jesse brought me was drama.
I still had difficulty believing the truth, it felt too dramatic, as if it was an action packed movie, only it wasn’t. It was my life. I didn’t know what I was doing; I didn’t know whether allowing Jesse to keep his job was smart.
Was two weeks going to be enough for me to get over him? And how would I not fall for him all over again once he returned to work? Could I ignore him all day and pretend nothing ever happened? Not likely!
I turned on the lamp at four in the morning and began to read the Bible, something I often did when I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night. It often had answers that I was looking for, only tonight it didn’t. However it did give me a peace of mind as I knew that whatever was going to happen was in God’s hands; He is in control.
“I wish I could talk to you mom,” I sighed as I put my Bible away, “But I know you are in a good place.”
I shed a couple tears that dried up on my pillow, “I love you mom, help me, I need you mom. I don’t know what to do and I can’t talk to anyone because of this secret that I have to keep now.”
I turned the light out and began to pray for guidance, God knew what was happening, He knew my heart was broken and He would take care of me. I wasn’t alone! I would never be alone!
Keep reading for a preview of Truth Be Told, the next installment of Bailey’s Ranch series….
After the speeches had ended the dance floor was opened. I watched all the kids on the dance floor running around and some of the girls twirling in circles watching their dresses flare. I smiled remembering all the times I used to do that.
I barely noticed when Jesse sat next to me, “What are you thinking?”
I shrugged my shoulders then saw my father watching us from afar, “I’m wondering why anyone would ever want to get married.”
“I’m serious. I mean as a girl, you grow up picturing your wedding and the man you’re going to marry who is going to stand by you for better or for worse but then you grow up and realize that there is no happy ending.”
“You don’t believe that do you?”
“Yeah, I do. It’s pretty clear that marriage never works.”
“I think you are very wrong, look at Mary and Sam on the dance floor, they couldn’t be more in love.”
“Yeah, today they are. We’ll see how long it lasts.”
“I can’t believe this is coming from you, she’s a close friend of yours.”
“I never said I want anything to happen, I’m just saying whether they get a divorce, or have a tragedy occur or something else, it won’t last.”
“This is a side of you I haven’t seen before.”
“Welcome to the new me,” I said getting up and walking away.
I met my father in the middle of the dance floor as he held out his hand and began twirling his little girl around the dance floor. I started to laugh as he dipped me.
“There is that laugh that I love so much. It has been a while since I’ve heard it,” he commented leaving me speechless.
“You know you are the best father anyone could ever have right?”
“Of course I am,” he winked, “Who else would put up with your craziness.”
“I keep you young daddy.”
“Maybe it’s a good thing you don’t want to get married,” my father mentioned, “This way I get to keep you a little longer.”
I smiled, “I won’t be leaving you anytime. Don’t forget, the ranch will be mine one day.”
“You are right and it will be in great hands.”
“May I cut in?” I frowned as Jesse interrupted us.
My father always glad to see Jesse smiled handing him my hand, “Of course.”
I unwilling let him pull me closer as we began to dance in a slow circle. It was testing to allow him to have his hand on my lower back, it was challenging to just keep my hand in his and it was torture to be standing on the dance floor with Jesse who I want to hurt.
I slowly pulled my hand away and took a step back, “I can’t do this.”
“We’re just dancing.”
I frowned shaking my head, “I know but, I can’t.”
I slowly made my way of the dance floor.
Sara spotted me and came over to sit next to me, “Is everything okay?”
I forced a smile, “Everything is great.”
“I sense the sarcasm.”
I rolled my eyes, “Honestly, I’m just tired. I think I’m going to get a drink.”
“Are you sure you are okay?”
I nodded making my way to the bar.
“Hey,” Ben said as I asked the bartender for a drink.
“Hi,” I said.
“You look a little upset, are you letting my brother get to you again?”
I huffed wishing he would have ignored me. Ben was the only one who knew everything that went on between Jesse and I.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“I can tell you would rather drown your sorrows with a drink. Maybe you should come visit me when I’m working; I’ll buy you a drink for free.”
Ben works part time at the local pub which I went to a couple times a month, “I think I will pass.”
“Your loss; that was only a one time offer. You are going to have to pay full price next time, no discount.”
I giggled wondering what he said that was so funny, “Can I just have my drink in peace?”
He watched me, “It’s not good to keep things in you know? I am the only one you could actually talk to.”
I sighed, “Yes, but you are also the brother of the guy who broke my heart and lied to me so how could I possibly trust you?”
“I am not my brother.”
“That’s a little harsh.”
“Yes, but I’m wondering how a girl who is so deeply wounded would defend the guy who did the wounding.”
“I am not defending anybody; I was just making a comment.”
Ben mumbled, “Well that offer still stands.”
“Which offer was that again?” I asked.
“If you need anyone to talk to I am here, and no, I won’t tell my brother everything.”
“Everything?” I asked.
“Okay, I will not tell him anything,” he corrected.
I glared at him, “Really? Why should I believe you?”
“Because you have no reason not to, you have been working with me for a while now, you know that I was the one who told my brother he should tell you the truth and you also know that I am a sucker when it comes to romance.”
I laughed, “What does romance have anything to do with this?”
“It doesn’t, I was just trying to make you laugh.”
I smiled, “Well it worked.”
“So as you can see, you can trust me.”
“Maybe if you told me something about yourself first that would convince me some more.”
“There really isn’t much to tell you.”
“Nothing? I don’t believe that.”
“Okay,” he thought about it, “I’ll tell you a secret but this is very personal and I have never told anyone this.”
“What is it?” I got closer to him.