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By James Exparza
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013James Exparza
All rights reserved.
"I will never let a wild horse throw me again. It's too damn embarrassing."
I was sitting leisurely at my desk, one leg resting on top of the desk. Slowly sipping on my morning coffee, I was reading the morning paper and carefully reviewing the latest Professional Rodeo Cowboys results. This and other news helped me to relive the days. It also kept me abreast of the days when I rode the circuit and to keep up with my former competitors. This was my daily routine. I wanted no one to interrupt these precious moments of relaxation. For once I began work, I did not take breaks not even for lunch. A slight "Knock, Knock, Knock" on the office doorframe really pissed me off. Obviously this guy knew nothing about my routine and could care less as he opened the door and began approaching my desk. I could feel the annoyance seep into my brain which caused me to raise my eyebrows, glare over the top of the paper, and communicate to the man an unwelcome attitude. Before I could set my coffee cup down, the fellow marched further into my office and questioned me and I answered, "Mark Williams?"
"Yes," but troubled that the guy didn't know who I was. Who was this unwelcome visitor and what did he want; uninvited and pressuring himself into my office? Though irritated, sarcastically I managed a, "Why not come in? You're halfway to me now."
While still aggressively approaching me, he shoved an envelope toward me, abruptly turning to walk away. I did not take the envelope and the intruder turned toward me. Reluctantly I reached out to accept it but withdrew my hand. I remembered that I accepted nothing handed to me unless I knew what was being offered. This even included food. Squinting at the envelope, I attempted to determine what it was that was being shoved into my face. I tried to ignore the intrusion and reached for my cup and raised it to my lips, questioning him directly with as much politeness that I could muster, "Who are you? What are you holding in your hand?"
"A summons server and this, my man, is likely a summons. I think you may be in some kind of trouble," now sounding supremely sarcastic.
"A summons? For what?" My foot, propped on my desk, hit the floor with a huge thud, surprising even me, as I sprang upright. I knew I had no outstanding traffic fines and I had had my share of those because of an extremely heavy right foot. Further, I questioned myself, "Shot someone? Not lately! Rustled any cows lately? Nope! Punched anyone in a bar—not since I was home last in the bar in Buffalo Gap and Clayton threw the first punch? That was settled with a handshake and a beer." My impatience now began to grow and aggressively I barked at the stranger, "A summons for what?"
"Like I said, man, I don't know. All I do is deliver the envelopes. Good day and thank you." He recognized that I was not going to take the envelope. He threw it on the desk and stormed out of the office.
I cocked my head and stared at the envelope. The envelope only had my name on it with a return address that read, Petersons and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Jesus, what the hell is going on, I thought to myself. I ripped open the envelope and was stunned. The heading read "Petition for Divorce." Now I was not just stunned, I was becoming dizzy with bewilderment and anger that suddenly engulfed me. The opening line read, "Mary (Boyett) Williams vs. Mark Williams, in the matter of filing for divorce." I stopped reading, but noticed the date, April 12, 2002. I crushed the paper and shoved it deep into my pocket along with the envelope. As I ran from the office, John yelled out to me, "Where are you going?"
"What about the B&R contract?"
"To hell with it. I'll catch that later."
I couldn't get to my car fast enough, and when I did, I slammed the door with such force the window rattled. Without looking, I backed out only to hear a howl of screaming tires braking on the concrete, a blast from a horn, followed by a few curse words, all of which I ignored. The streak of black I left on the concrete was at least four-foot long. The Turquoise blue Mustang was now growling and it literally galloped out of the basement parking lot. Freeway traffic always annoyed me but today it was intolerable. I remembered now why I bought the car. The 225 hp engine was something I had to have. When I stomped on the gas pedal, the car's reaction was the same as spurring a horse in the flanks. It was the thrill of the burst of speed that I had to have to remind me of herding and cutting cattle. Quick cuts and turns came fast and furious as I hit 80 MPH. In record time, I rammed my way into the exit ramp and almost plowed into a pick-up truck idly moving in the lane. "Dumb rancher, I thought to myself. Get the hell out of the way." With a quick turn to the right and then left, I cleared the truck and saw the fellow flip me the bird but now I was faced with a red light. Slowing enough to see that traffic was clear, I launched my thoroughbred into the right-turn traffic lane. My home street could not come into sight quick enough.
Cutting the corner at a high rate of speed, I almost slammed into an oncoming car. Another flipped bird and a yell revealed the anger and cursing of the man behind the wheel. The Mustang came to a neck-snapping stop, missing the garage doors by a gnat's breath. I jumped out of the car quickly, but had to return to the car to get my keys from the ignition. The engine shut down with a growl as I turned the keys and jerked them from the dashboard. Fingering for the front door key and finding it, I attempted to turn the lock but to no avail. Thoroughly frustrated now, my anger turned from red to white hot. When I feverously rang the doorbell, there was no answer but I knew Mary was at home, as it was not time for her to leave the house. With a forceful kick, the door slammed into the wall hard enough to break the baseboard and punch a hole in the sheet rock. Yelling for her and dashing from room to room, I became more infuriated with her not answering. Finally, a feeble voice came from the master bathroom upstairs, "I'm in here," Mary coyly sang out, but bracing for the storm that was about to hit. I realized that his sudden appearance meant that he had received the Petition for Divorce. I was still putting the finishing touches on my makeup. As he appeared in the mirror, I took a deep breath and forced myself to relax. I could feel his anger on the back of my neck as he approached. This was no time to be coy or cute. The vessels swollen in his neck were something I had never seen before as I stared at him in the mirror. It's best to let him rant and rave, assuring myself that he had never hit me in his anger. We had had many fights in the past, but this anger was roiling with sediments of fury I had never experienced. "Stay cool," I whispered to myself.
"What the hell does this mean?" Mark shouted, shaking the paper behind my head.
"It means what it says. I'm filing for divorce," as I calmly continued putting on my makeup trying desperately to ignore his fury.
"You didn't have the guts to tell me face to face? Did you think you would get away with this without a fight?"
"There is no need for a fight over this. All you have to do is agree to it."
"Agree to it. Why? Woman, I have loved you with a passion you don't know. As I heard my own words, I flashed back to our days before marriage. Carefree, loving, and tender were poor words to describe my love for her. I longed for this woman as a deer satisfying its thirst from a cool spring, a love deeply engraved in granite. The moment I first met her, I fell in love immediately, though it was weeks before I introduced myself and asked for a date. But now? Who was this woman standing before me—the woman to whom I
Excerpted from BOLD VENTURE by James Exparza. Copyright © 2013 by James Exparza. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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