Bull rider

12 Apr

I bet five dollars on her. I put up the money so she could show those rodeo boys that she can ride just as good as them, even if she is just a tiny slip of a thing. We protested that she didn’t need them hold her on; she’s got surprisingly strong thighs.

That night, I stood on the dance floor amid cute boys in plaid shirts and cowboy hats. I was in a time machine that took me back to the early college years, when I would go home for a weekend and end up at the Ranch. Showing the tiniest bit of cleavage and batting eyelashes would get me spun around the dance floor by some dimpled farm boy with sparkling eyes. I felt a familiar pang in my chest for home.

Erin and I had been through so much that summer; the season we’ll forever deem “the break up summer of bliss”. We both worked at least two (and sometimes three) full-time jobs; I was in school full-time; and somehow, going to sleep at 3 a.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. had become the norm. There was no way I’d miss her birthday, but I’d have to entertain myself for a bit while she made out with faux farm boys on the dance floor.

I held Krista’s purse, threw her dangly necklace around my neck, and played with her earrings and ring in my left hand. She kicked her heels by my feet and smiled nervously. “You can do it,” I assured her. She crawled over the barriers, threw her leg over that mechanical beast, and held on for the ride of her life. We screamed and cheered, lights flashed, and it felt like far longer than eight seconds.

Erin and I cuddled in her ridiculously plush princess bed, recapped the night, and it hit me. One of the biggest things I learned when I moved across the country is that your real friends are those who bet on you when the odds are stacked against you. They’re the ones whose voices you can hear over the music, and whose encouraging smiles you see past the lights as they cheer you on.

And if a dimpled pseudo-celebrity in a black cowboy hat tells you that you’re gorgeous as you stand ring-side, then hey, that’s just a bonus.

Before Erin joined me permanently in the wild wild west, Stampede 2007


3 Responses to “Bull rider”

  1. mandy April 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Those are most definitely your truest, dearest friends.

  2. Emily Jane April 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    “One of the biggest things I learned when I moved across the country is that your real friends are those who bet on you when the odds are stacked against you.”

    It’s one of the biggest things I’ve realised in life. When things get tough, you really see who your true friends are. And it makes me happy that even though I’ve been gone from England for ten years, the ones back home are still rooting for me no matter what.

    Sidenote: I rode a bucking bronco once!!

  3. Kyla Roma April 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    It sounds like you guys are kinda destined to be there for each other, doesn’t it? =)

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