The Longest Day
by  Becky W.

Scott leaned back on his seat in the stage coach and closed his eyes. He had tried to focus on the book in his hands, but his efforts had turned out to be futile. He couldn’t read anymore, his eyes burned. He couldn’t concentrate anymore, he couldn’t sit any longer - he was completely done. His body felt like a herd of buffaloes had trampled over it. His suit was dusty  and disheveled. Would  this journey never end?

He had been traveling for weeks now, the journey by train had been strenuous, but the travel with the stage coach was pure torture. This was the last day of his journey and it seemed to him like this day  would turn out to be the longest.

He was spent not only physically but also mentally. This evening he would meet his father for the first time in his life.  His heart pounded. How would this encounter end up? What was  his father like? Had it been a mistake to accept the invitation? Sometimes he thought he should have stayed in Boston,  and then again he couldn’t wait for the end of the journey  to see his father face to face. To ask him all the questions that actually added up to only one: "Why?”

He shifted in his seat in an futile attempt to balance the bouncing  and jumping  of the damned coach.

Suddenly the coach stopped with a jolt, nearly throwing him onto the lap of the lady sitting on the opposite bench. With a polite apology he sat back again, his nerves on edge.

‘Oh no,’ Scott thought resignedly. ’Not another delay!’

It seemed to him there had been more delays than he was able to count ; caused by broken wheels, limping horses, sleepy way station attendants, deep rivers, steep slopes………..

‘What is it this time?’

Unnerved, he stretched  his blond head through the open window and narrowed his eyes. There was a strange looking young man with raven black hair standing  at the side of the coach, talking to the driver.  He carried a saddle on his shoulders, but where was his horse?  The cowboy  wore a ruffled pink shirt; he had never seen a shirt of this color on a man. The man was covered in dust but nevertheless his behavior was of an arrogance  and self -confidence that amazed and irritated him. There was also a hint of danger radiating from this man.

Not that Scott was impressed. He had seen more dangerous men in his life.

Watching the scene before him Scott sighed impatiently.  Finally the stranger handed his saddle and gun to the coach driver, then opened the door to the coach and entered the wagon.  

To make things worse the coach lurched into motion just in time to let the dusty young man stumble onto him and nearly fall into his lap. 

Mumbling something about his outfit that was meant to be an apologize the young man sat down by his side, giving him a somewhat bold, but disarming grin.  The cowboy had the bluest eyes he had ever seen.

“Can’t be helped,”  Scott snapped, not impressed by the boy's charm. He readjusted his Bowler hat on his head and shifted his gaze away.

What was the matter with him to snap at a stranger like this? Normally he was a patient and composed man. This had not been the young man’s fault and actually  his "outfit" couldn’t become more "messed up" than it already was.

The thoughts of his father seemed to confuse him more than he would admit. His mind was in turmoil. His father was waiting for him, wanted to see him. So what? Was he worth all the trouble he had gone through for the last couple of weeks?  He didn’t know.

Adding to his problems a fierce headache began to make itself known, creeping from his stiff neck up to his temples.

If only this journey would come to an end.

And there it was, it had only been a second, but he had seen it, the small sign near the road: “Morro Coyo, 10 miles“. Only a small sign, but it meant everything to him. Letting out a long breath he leaned back.

Finally, this long day came to an end.  Finally, he would meet his father and know if he had done the right thing.


~ Fine ~

Becky W., September 2009






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