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|When Dreams Die And Come Again (standard:romance, 4668 words)|
|Author: Billy Jack Baxter||Added: Feb 09 2002||Views/Reads: 2309/1500||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Love is found and lost in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico.|
"Do you believe in reincarnation?" she would ask. "What about predestination?" "I don't know," I'd say. "Guess I haven't given it much thought." "Well, I have, but I can't make up my mind what I'd like to come back as...I guess I'll know it when I see it." Then she'd just sit there on our rock and gaze off into the distance. She was always full of philosophical questions, and mystery. I knew I loved her the moment I saw her. She was sitting at the bar, struggling through a bowl of green chili stew. It was like walking into another life. I always stopped by the Los Ojos Bar after work; it was a ritual of mine for as long as I care to remember. I build custom adobe homes, and for once I was building one locally. I guess if I'd been building in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, I might have missed her that evening. I always love building local, here in the Jemez Mountains; it gives me more time to enjoy this beautiful river valley. The bar was deserted that evening when I walked in, which wasn't all that peculiar for late October. It gets cold up here sooner that down in the desert closer to Albuquerque, and the tourist stay away more. She was sitting on a stool at the bar. Her hair was dark brown, with a tinge of red that seemed to glow in the late afternoon sun shining through the front door of the bar. It was the color of roasted pinon nuts and hung just to her shoulders, and her eyes were brown, sprinkled with golden flakes the color of a New Mexico sunset. She had high cheekbones that gave her face a cut, a well-defined wedge. Her cheeks were rosy red, but green chili stew has a way of doing that sometimes. I'm not good at describing peoples' clothes, so I'll just say she was dressed in a mountain girl sort of way. God, she was beautiful. She was about halfway through her bowl of chili; saltine wrappers cluttered the bar top around her. I guess I could have sat anywhere along the bar, being it was deserted, but I chose the stool right next to hers. "How's the chili, Don?" I asked. Don grinned and said, "Ask the young lady, she's the one with a mouthful of it." He nodded toward the young lady. She looked at me, her head cocked sideways in a way that would soon dissolve every defense I had, and said, "Here, try some of mine; the green chili seems awfully hot to me." She scooped up a big spoonful, held her hand under it like she was feeding an infant, and eased it to my mouth, nodding toward the spoon. And like an infant being presented with chocolate pudding, my mouth opened wide. Don was leaning against the bar at his usual spot, taking all this in. He must have found it quite amusing that a total stranger was spoon-feeding a local because he slapped his grungy-white bar rag on top of the old bar and let out a roar that knocked dust off the old moth-eaten elk's head hanging over the rock fireplace. "Hot damn, I've seen it all now!" He said. "Will Davis, being spoon-fed like a highchair baby." I swallowed the chili and quickly realized why the young lady's upper lip wore tiny beads of sweat. "Damn, Don, how come you used so many Barkers in the stew?" I asked. "Just trying to get rid of last year's supply. You know, out with the old, in with the new. "Good, isn't it?" Click here to read the rest of this story (451 more lines)
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