Western Short Story
Soul Search
Scott A. Gese

I hung around until the train was out of sight. Image source: Unsplash

With his marriage on shaky ground and his wife leaving town, now was the time for some heavy soul searching to be done.

Western Short Story

I had some time to myself and some things to think about.

My wife of twenty-five years boarded a train this morning bound for Denver. She was off to visit her sister who she hadn’t seen in a couple of years. She felt it was time to do some catching up. That may have been true to some degree, but my intuition, such as it is, thought better. My guess is she needed a break from me. Hell, truth be known, I probably needed a break from her as well.

We said our good-byes and I hung around until the train was out of sight. As I left the station and headed back to the house I thought about how things were with us. Like most folks we’ve had our ups and downs. The homestead we started here in Oregon and the three wild boys we raised was surely on the up side. The one we buried, not so much.

He was shot in the back by a coward who went by the name of Roy Jack. My wife and I showed our grief in different ways. She turned inward. I lashed out. I left her alone at a bad time, I know. But I had to. I felt I had no choice. I tracked that bastard for over a week. I caught up with him in the middle of nowhere, and that’s where he remains to this day. We don’t talk about it.

In our eighteenth year together we rode all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Neither one of us had ever seen an ocean so it was quite a site. Big and blue. I never seen so much water in all my life. It was well worth the three day ride.

Not sure what’s been happening with us these days. Most recently our affections for each other are on the wane. Life is funny that way. In the beginning we couldn’t get enough of each other. We did everything together, both work and play. Nowadays it seems the tables have turned and we’re slowly going our separate ways. We both know it, but neither one of us seems to have the strength or the will to do much about it.

I stopped at the Merc. on my way out of town and had the proprietor, Miss Lindsey Wade, help me pick out a beautiful blue Summer dress. I plan to give it to my wife when she returns. Something inside me makes my stomach turn when I think of the possibility that she may not. I surely hope that isn’t the case.

I don’t like this “time to myself” shit. I really do love that woman. The fire may be burning low but there are enough hot embers left to start anew. We both just need to get our second wind. If the return train is short a certain passenger I’ll need to plan a trip to Denver.

I’ll have to. I have a dress to deliver.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.