From Farm to Fame- Chapter 23

"Stupid truck."  I muttered to myself, my truck had broken down on the side of the highway. Not far enough from Appaloosa plains, but not close enough to the next town. My phone was dead, all the desperate calls from Gaige that I ignored drained the battery. I couldn't call for help, I didn't want to try heading back, and it was way too far to walk into the next town. I could hitchhike, but there weren't too many cars coming could take a while.

I felt a moment of relief when a car pulled up in front of me, somebody had stopped to help. That feeling went away when I realized it was Gaige's car. I tried again to start the truck, I hadn't changed my mind, and I didn't want to see the look on his face again. I hated that I'd hurt him. "Oh come on you piece of crap. Damn it!"

I kept my window rolled up, and stayed in the truck trying to ignore him, it still seemed easier. It wasn't really possible to ignore him however, and I could still hear him through the window, desperate for my attention. "Rachelle, at least roll down the window. Please? You can't stay locked up in there forever. I'll wait right here for as long as it takes."

I tried to ignore him a little while longer but eventually gave up, and rolled down the window. "You came chasing after me, really? I don't want you to follow me, I want you to go away. I don't want to see you again. Ever. Just go." I knew I would only be hurting him more, and I felt horrible about it. I just hoped he let me go easier, and we wouldn't drag it out. I didn't want to drag it out, in the end it would only hurt us both more.

"I hoped you would have thought things over and changed your mind. I don't want to lose you, I don't want you to leave. I love you. Please... just stop this. We've made it through so much together already. We can make it through this, we have to. We can't just throw this away." I could hear the hurt growing in voice.

"Gaige..." I tried to fight back more tears "I'm really sorry, I am. I'm not changing my mind though. You'll be better off with out me, you'll see. Just let me go. It will stop hurting sooner if you let me go sooner."

"It's never going to stop either way." He paused for a moment, and sighed. "At least let me take you into town or something. Please, I want to at least know you are safe...and if you still want to leave by the time we get there, I'll let you go. If it's what you really want, I just want you to be happy... though I'd be happy if your happiness included me."

"Just let me use your phone. I'll call for somebody else to come get me."

I called my dad, the farm was where I wanted to go anyway, and I knew I could count on him. "Daddy... I want to come home. Can you come get me please? I'm stuck on the highway towards home, a little ways outside of Appaloosa plains. There's a reststop I can go back to"

"You're crying, why are you crying? Is it that husband of yours, I'll kill him."

"Just please come get me. I don't want to talk about it right now, it's complicated."

"I'll be there as soon as I can."

"Thank-you." I hung up and gave Gaige back his phone. "There, you can go now."

"Let me take you back to the rest stop at least, it's a long way to walk."

I let him take me back, I figured it couldn't get more awkward anyway. He still wouldn't leave after we got there. "Now what is your excuse? Why won't you go away?"

"I'm not going to leave you here alone. It'll be hours before your dad can get here, I'll worry about you."

"You should worry more about you... you should leave before he gets here."

"I didn't do anything, why should I worry? I'm just trying to keep you safe."

"You're waiting around hoping I'll change my mind. I won't."

"That too. I really do want to make sure you are safe though. We don't have talk or anything, just stay in my car where you are safe."

I waited in his car until my dad came, we didn't speak at all, and it was very awkward. I just knew it would be no use to argue with him, and I did feel safer with him there. Even with Carlos dead, I still worried about there being other people like him chasing after me.

I was so relieved when I saw a flash of headlights and looked back to see my dads truck. I could finally get away. Gaige wouldn't be able to follow me anymore, my dad would make sure of that. I wouldn't have to see the hurt look on his face, or hear the hurt in voice as he tried to get me to change my mind. I took a depth breath before opening the door to get out. "I guess this is good-bye. I'm really sorry" I started to cry again. "I'm going to miss you so much. Please make sure they know I love them... I only did this for their good, and yours. Not to hurt anybody."

 I'd gotten out of the car but hadn't yet shut the door when Gaige spoke, this time he sounded more angry then hurt. "Well that didn't go very well did it? I can't tell them you love them, you have to show them... you have to show me. You don't love them, or me. If you did you wouldn't be leaving, so stop saying you do, stop saying you're sorry... because none of it's true. You don't know how to tell Haylie and Ian that their real dad is dead, and you can't handle that it might hurt them because they won't get the chance to know him, which they wouldn't have anyway... but you are going to take yourself out of their lives. That isn't any better, it's worse. You chose this."

"Carlos made the choice too, but he didn't do it with any good intentions. I do mean well, trouble just finds me, and when it finds me it finds the people I care about."

"I'm not done. I'm not listening to excuses, I'm not giving you the chance to redeem yourself. I've been fighting for us since you decided to leave. I've tried call you and work things out, I came and found you trying to work things out. I've waited here until you could leave safely, hoping in that somewhere in that time, you'd come to sense. I've proven how much I care about you...and you still want to leave.  You can go, I'm done fighting for you. I need people who are going to stay in my life, I'm not fighting for someone who doesn't want to stay. Everybody leaves me... you are the first to do so by choice, and I never thought you would do so. I thought forever meant forever, and I'll never forgive you. You made your choice, you had your chance to change your mind. Don't think that I'll still welcome you back if you ever do, I won't."

It felt like someone shot through my heart and it got blown into a million pieces. I knew I deserved what he said to me, but it didn't make it hurt any less. I couldn't even move the pain had complete control. I don't remember when he finally drove away, or anything that followed.