He never thought he’d see her again. Walked away years ago. Drove out of town leaving her behind. There was no letter, no note, not a single phone call, just silence. Nothin’ between em anymore. He stopped loving her and she stopped loving him. That’s the way these things go.

And he didn’t cry over it. Nor did he feel a pit in his stomach. He just felt numb. There was no pain, no sorrow, a ring was pawned; brass didn’t get that much.

Stopped in a bar outside of Dallas. Talked to a real pretty girl. Didn’t bring up the past. To him the past was just that, the past. He had erased her from his mind. She no longer existed. Told the brunette he was heading West. Going out to California to see about making it out there. Maybe stop at a ranch for work near Alberqurquee. He knew how to ride a horse. Knew how to say yes sir and took orders real well. Most important part of being a man; taking orders.

Asked her if she’d like to come along? She smiled and flipped her hair. Said she didn’t think her husband would mind. Said he never paid attention to her. She was real tempted, then she shook her head, no. Told him, some people like bein’ miserable. They plan their whole lives on a subconscious misery. Just get used to it, she said.

So, he took her in his arms and kissed her goodbye. Got into his truck and took off. Some people like misery, he whispered. I’ll be damned.

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