The 4th short story in the 8 Seconds to My Heart cowboy series.
Raising three girls on my own wasn’t easy. Structure and boundaries helped me survive after my husband left us for a groupie. He’d been a top bull rider and let his ego get ahead of his responsibilities. I kept attending rodeos for the girls, but once they were out of the house, I moved to the city and never set foot on the dirt or bleachers again. One last way to distance myself from my ex.
But after several years of city life, I was yearning for my rural roots. It was time to take control of my painful past and do the things that had always made me happy.
It was easy in my mind. My daughters were all doctors and volunteered at rodeos. I could hang out with them and see if the thrill of the events still stirred my soul.
Running a ranch, making a living off livestock, and having three rodeo cowboys as sons taught me to enjoy every second of my life. Every day was a blessing and an opportunity.
The only way it would have been better was if I’d found a way to do it with a good woman by my side. Our lean years had been too much for my wife and she’d walked out on me and the three boys. Flexibility and spontaneity kept us sane.
Long past any thoughts of sharing my ups and downs with a woman, I spied a rare beauty sitting alone at the rodeo. Her boots and jeans were far too pristine to be a real cowgirl, but she wanted to look the part and I wanted to teach her what cowboys were all about.
After a couple of rejections, I could have accepted that she wasn’t looking for a man to save her. But I sensed her control and distance were a facade. There was a woman underneath her carefully crafted demeanor who yearned for the simple life.
Whether she saved herself, or let me help, she deserved to be happy. And I wasn’t about to let her accept anything less.