“Well, it could have gone differently, I believe, but seeing how well it’s turned out, I’d say she dodged a bullet.”
Idiot. What did he know anyway, ‘how well it’s turned out’, give me a break!
His tires barked as he slammed his foot down on the gas pedal. Requesting the song, he shouted out to his car and flipped the volume way up. He wanted that song now! The music quickly started and everything his father had said began to drown out. Finally, now it didn’t matter where his car took him. His pulse began to lessen.
Turning left or right wasn’t his concern, frankly he couldn’t give a damn, as long as he put distance between them.
Kyle knew his father had said that to agitate him. How many times had he allowed that man to run his life? The man had him by the prodigious family wallet. Kyle’s phone began to ring. He saw the screen light up from the corner of his eye. He was thankful that the music could obliterate the constant ringing.
It only takes this one song to remind him of her, if he picked up that phone their time together would be over.
There was just something about the beat and he needed every bit of it tonight. She had a way of convincing his desires that she was somewhere close, as if he could possibly reach out and grab her with his own hands. She teased him with the words she used in her song. He reminded himself that she’d offered to help, as he pulled into the empty parking lot.
Dark and secluded parking lots worked best. He escaped here when he wanted to remember her.
He slid down in his bucket seat, pulled his Cardinals ball cap down low, and closed his eyes. His vivid memory took him back to Rider’s Bar. A small bar, which had been given the opportunity to hold on to the woman that he was destined to eventually find. Is it possible to be envious of the building that had been given more time with her than he was allowed? It was essential that he found her again.
The one who changed the course of his life, forever.
It wasn’t convient for Kyle to be so far away from what he understood, but he hadn’t been given a vote in this particular decision. He often found himself out of town. He’d learned how to cope with new surroundings. Call it instinct, but he’d gone a long way relying on it. The city was his home, but work required that Kyle go where the story ushered him.
This lead hadn’t brought him and closer to a conclusion, it seemed. Yes, the tip had proved useless. He was none the wiser after two long days of asking for information around town. He’d warned his father or boss about this happening yesterday. Actually, even before he’d left the city.
Things just didn’t add up, but none of that mattered right now. He was already here. He’d departed yesterday morning on an early flight and had driven over a hundred vacant miles to get somewhere outside of Bull Mountain, Montana.
He’d pounded the pavement all over Billings, then made the trek out to Bull Mountain. Yes, he was chasing a wild goose, he’d admit it, but nothing would prevent him from uncovering the truth. When he started a job he made sure to finish it. Nothing would hinder him completely. Certainly, not this small chance anyway. He’d heard that a few times from the old man.
“Son, you’ve got to go where the story leads you. Every small bit helps. You mustn’t back down and never take no for answer.”
Kyle often questioned whether or not his father ever came up with his own bits of wisdom. He didn’t mean any real disrespect, of course, his father deserved his recognition. The man had accomplished a lot for himself and his family. They’d had a good life. It was just Kyle’s position that he, on more than one occasion, had requested to have nothing to do with the family business.
His father disagreed and told him he’d learn to appreciate what it could do for him.
Chasing people down and threatening them didn’t sound like much of a life. His father may enjoy threatening people and throwing his weight around, but Kyle wasn’t looking for a fight. He wanted out. He didn’t have demons to chase, as his father did. He hadn’t felt the need to pass on the family’s iron fist.
The man had been driving all day, his eyes began rolling into the back of his head. It was time to pull over, maybe sleep, at the very least wake himself up. He was headed inside that wornout establishment on his left, if he didn’t end up driving by it first. He was going to order a beer. He’d earned it after a day of knocking on lonely doors.
Behind those doors were people who didn’t want to talk, but he’d go back.
Pulling his car into the parking lot served as a bit of a challenge, as it was all dirt. This meant there was no way to determine where one would park, if they’d wanted to follow the rules, out of respect. Kyle went for the radical choice. Sideways. That ought to annoy someone around here, maybe they’ll egg the car. He could make the boss man write that off, as well.
Kyle rolled his eyes, yeah, he knew his attitude sucked. It’s what comes after being constantly reminded of his lack of ambition or performance. It tends to put a person in a bad mood.
Walking through the doors instantly made Kyle feel like John Wayne. Saloon doors, go figure, he just smiled and busted right through the entrance. His Nikes made a permeating squeak on the shiny floor. This made everyone who happened to be finding relief inside these four walls look up.
Kyle muttered “Whoops. Sorry,” and tilted his head with a smirk as his hands went into the pockets of his jacket.
Seriously, John Wayne in sneakers. He smirked again.
There was no way of knowing that the bar would be so quiet. It was early for a Friday night, but isn’t that the day most people started unwinding a bit early? What did the sign say outside, Rider’s Bar? Well, he’d hoped Rider was there today tending bar, or possibly walking about introducing himself to parishioners. He could stand to hear a few local hero stories. Cowboy ones, he’d guess.
A woman caught Kyle’s smirk right away. She’d decided that it suited the man well, however she’d need a closer look. She’d eventually find that his grin was willing to come out more often with just a little effort.
“Go get your beer and then sit with me. You’re not hanging out alone, it’ll feel like an acquisition. Well, that’s always been my experience, anyway,” she said as she turned her head back around and focused on the papers in front of her.
Kyle looked up with his smirk still lingering. Where’d that voice come from? His eyes rested on the redhead in the corner booth.
“A beer? Right? It’s why you’re here. Go get it.”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Kyle said while shaking his head “Thanks for the offer, I think.”
“You can thank me later.”