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A Mare and Bilinguals Ch4Ironically enough, the next time I saw Tristan was at the racetrack. No, not the raceway, the racetrack. The one with horses and betting and tiny people in funny outfits.
At sixteen, I still wasn't allowed to bet or drink or smoke. So, I did something that brought me back to my childhood on the farm. I went to see the horses.
There were jockeys all around the stables, so short they made me feel like an Amazonian warrior. On the other hand, almost all of the trainers were obnoxiously tall.
I passed the stables and walked straight to the small, fenced-in ring where a chestnut mare grazed on a small patch of grass.
Climbing onto the bottom slat of the fence, I leaned over, holding my hand out to the horse on the other side of the ring. "Here, lady. C'mere pretty girl." Slowly, she trotted over, cocking her head to the side as if studying me. I put my hand on her snout, stroking the small white patch that she had there. Closing her wide brown eyes, she leaned into my hand, nu
A Girl Departs Ch3Looking back, the summer of 2003 was one of my favorites. My father had gotten partial custody of my little brother and I finally had someone close to my own age to play with.
It was a whole year after the crash that had brought my dad's career to an abrupt end and Tristan had long since been forgiven.
I still remember the day I left as if it happened only yesterday. I was eight years old and therefore old enough to fly as an accompanied minor. There was a large crowd in the airport to see me offmy father, uncle, brother, and grandparents as well as Tristan and his mother.
I didn't know why, but everyone seemed sadder than in years past. There were hugs all around, then a flight attendant in a sky blue blouse and pencil skirt came to take me to my gate.
"One of you can go with her, you know," she told the group. "To the gate, I mean."
My dad smiled almost dejectedly and patted Tristan on the shoulder. "You go, son. I have to be getting back." With this, he turned and left the air
The Mind of a Young Girl Ch2The crash wasn't bad exactly. Just a little run-in with the median that ran along the side of the track. My father's Chevy was totaled, but he walked away with only a broken arm and a few cracked ribs.
Tristan's radar had kicked back in after the first accident and before I knew it, I was on his back, running down the bleachers.
"Tristan, where are we going?" I shouted over the roaring din around us. Due to a recent event involving Milk Duds and the Tooth Fairy, my question came out as, "Twisthtan, whewe awe we gowing?"
He laughed at my temporary lisp. "We're going to get ice cream!" he exclaimed.
"What about Daddy?"
Hesitating, Tristan crouched down so I could hop off of his back. Turning, he rested his hands on my shoulders and smiled a little sadly. "Your daddy said you could spend the night at my house. Won't that be fun? We can watch scary movies and eat junk food all night."
"Yeah! scary movies!"
* * *
A few hours laterafter sitting through Nightmare on Elm Street 1 and 2
The Daughter of a Man Ch1I met Tristan on one of my visits to upstate New York. He was a volunteer at the recreational center where I spent most of my summer vacation. There were tons of kids my age at the center, but even more teenagers. I was lumped in with the "ten and under" crowd, so it was decided that I needed a "buddy."
I watched dejectedly as the big kids partnered up with their little brothers or sisters or cousins. They all lived there year-round and everybody knew everybody else. . . except me. I daydreamed about older siblings and having my own "buddy."
"Teagan!" From her tone, I could tell that is was not the first time that Mrs. Gram had said my name.
"Yes, ma'am?" I had learned very early on to respect my elders.
"Tristan here is going to be your buddy. Is that alright with you, young lady?"
Turning, I gazed curiously at the boy in question. He looked to be about sixteen or so with dark brown hair slightly longer than present fashion, hanging over his eyes.
In all of my memories of him, that's
Leaving Southampton She was in the kitchen when he stumbled in noisily, tripping as he went past the shelves and catching the edge of the table to keep himself from falling.
Pretending not to hear the stream of curses that followed, she kept her eyes fixed on the dishes, letting her hand trail in the soapy water. There was a loud scraping of wood against grimy concrete as he drew a chair and collapsed into it. At this she looked up, and after a moment's hesitation, she said, unnecessarily, "You've been drinking."
He clutched his head and said nothing. He hadn't shaved in weeks and stank of sweat and alcohol; he looked much older than his eighteen years.
They sat in silence for a while. Then he announced, loudly, "Fuck."
She didn't bother to tell him off. She just waited. And jumped when he suddenly brought his fist down, hard, onto the table.
"Our lives here are s
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