It’s been months since Johnny died. Outside of work, I’ve kept to myself a bit. I admit, it hit me harder than it probably should have. Still, I’m trying to do better. I kept telling everyone that I’m leaving soon, that I won’t be around much longer. But maybe that isn’t such a good idea. I travel around a lot, sure, but Tombstone has been the longest I’ve been in any town since I came out West. I do like it here. Maybe I will leave eventually, but not as soon as I thought.
Anyway, I decided to catch up with some old friends instead of hiding away like a hermit. My old friend Talie agreed to come over for dinner, so I’m preparing a meal. Steak and potatoes, something I think she’ll enjoy. It’s a favorite out here, since half the town has cattle of their own. Not as expensive as where I’m from, either, which is nice.
Talie is one hell of a cowgirl, always keeps you in check. She makes sure everyone is taken care of, especially recently. I haven’t reached out to her much, but I caught her the other night while she was making her rounds in Riza’s saloon, my new place of employment. She accepted my offer (after joking about whether I even knew how to cook) and we agreed to tonight at 6. She’s got some things on the ranch to attend to, but I suspect she’ll be on time.
I set the table while the food is cooking, making sure my little house is fairly tidy. I take care of myself better than I do my surroundings, and it certainly doesn’t help that I hardly ever have anyone around to keep me in check. Hopefully it looks clean enough to house a guest. The dining room is spotless, anyway. I even have some tea waiting to be brewed for after dinner. This is the most organized I have ever been.
Talie gets here at six o’ clock sharp and thanks me for inviting her over. She gets comfortable and we sit down for the meal. She compliments the food (but part of me wonders if she’s just too nice to tell me it’s no good) and we get to talking. True to her nature, she gets right on asking how I’m doing, just in the way that she does with everyone – kind, really concerned about your wellbeing. I tell her I’m fine and apologize for being so withdrawn lately. She asks if I still plan on leaving, and if I need anything. I tell her I’ll be around a while longer, and she brightens up, grins, tells me that we have to go drinking sometime if that’s the case. Next night I’m off, she makes me promise to come and hang out with the Gals again. They were planning on some cards sometime, too. I’m terrible at cards, but she knows it and asks me to play with them anyway. I agree to it and I can’t help but smile. Talie knows how to make anyone’s day brighter. It’s just part of her nature.
I make the tea after we clear off the plates and she tells me all about the ranch, how the new calf is doing, what her plans are for the summer festivals. She always wins at least one or two awards for her cattle each year, but she still puts in her all to make sure her cows and bulls look prime for the shows. I tell her I heard rumors that she was going to be part of the rodeo this year, but she waves me off and I just smile. I don’t know if she would, but I know she’d be good at it.
Soon enough, the tea goes with the daylight and she has to leave. A cowgirl’s work is never over, she says, and I get her hat and coat for her. Along with our farewells, she makes me promise again to join her next Thursday for a night out with the Gals. I tell her I’ll be there, no doubt about it. She smiles, gets on her horse, and waves goodbye as she rides off.
With friends like her, it’s hard to imagine leaving this town.
I wrote this story in accordance with an assignment in which you imagine having dinner with an old friend. For this week, we have to include other characters into our works, so I thought I would continue the story after the radio show (again) and have an old friend of Danny’s come over for dinner after the events of “Turning Tumbleweeds”. Talie is a cool character, and definitely one who I think would be a good dinner guest. Hopefully I portrayed her well!
I love writing, so making this story wasn’t difficult. The most difficult part is judging how a completely different character might respond to the prompts I give throughout the story without losing the personality of the character at all. I really enjoy writing collaborative stories, so the challenge was fun to take on anyway.
P.S. Be sure to listen to the radio show tomorrow (Thursday) to find out what happened! We worked really hard on this show and I’m very excited to have everyone listen in, so get ready!