By Maz McCoy
Maybe it was the cold rain blowing in sideways that struck our faces like a handful of needles. Or maybe it was the trickle of ice cold water running down my neck or the constant drip, drip, drip off the end of my hat. Maybe it was ‘cos we were both so tired of running; tired of looking over our shoulders every hour of the day.
Or maybe it was the hardness of the ground we slept on or the chill of the early morning air. Maybe it was the lack of a hot meal as the relentless rain made keeping a fire going damn near impossible. Maybe it was the lack of food that made our stomachs growl or the leathery taste of jerky long past its prime.
Maybe it was the lack of a permanent home, no prospect of a family and the lack of hope for the future.
Whatever it was something proved the final straw that day. Something came between us like an axe splits a log. Something made continuing on together unbearable. I said things no man should say to his best friend and he gave some just as good right back at me. We said stuff we never would have voiced had the day started out differently. But the words were said and we couldn’t take ‘em back.
I rode away. Said my piece, turned my back and urged my horse on. I didn’t look back although I wish I had. Wish I’d got one last look at him. Maybe I’ll never see him again although I hope I will. I hope he’d like to see me too.
Maybe we just need some time apart. Maybe we can put things right between us. Maybe if we meet up again it’ll be okay.