Jersey

Jersey

by Steven Thomas Dykes

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781463400880
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 11/14/2011
Pages: 84
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.20(d)

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Jersey


By Steven Thomas Dykes

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2011 Steven Thomas Dykes
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4634-0088-0


Chapter One

"Love at First Sight"

As I sit on an empty train that was headed to El Paso, Texas, I think about how fast my life has been leading to this escape. To Mexico I ran ... yet kindly, for I knew I could never outrun my conscious.

"Can I get you a blanket?" the attendant asked as I quietly answered no. She was the friend of my life, and she wanted nothing more than to have a shoulder to cry on. Yet – I had to leave her, along with my life.... flying in the dust.

I can still remember the first time we met....

We were both at the tender age of 14 (freshmen in high school), at our first high school party at 89th and Green Road. Two kids from Kansas - underneath the moonlight.... that was a wonderful night – meeting Jersey Leah Adams.

To 89th and Green we go..... we were both waiting on the keg, as she grabbed the tap just as it ran out of oxygen.

"Need me to pump it?" I asked nervously, for she was the most gorgeous girl in my class.

"Yeah.... I think so," she replied, as I pushed the tap down with ferocity, trying to impress her.

"Thank you so much – my name is Jersey," as she first introduced herself, holding out her hand to me.

"I'm Scott".

"Well, Scott.... I'm going to take a lap..... maybe I will see you later", she told me while walking away with a graceful stride. It was something I had never seen before in a woman, watching her walk away – it was as if she was floating on air. I felt trapped in time.....and did not even realize that my drink was overflowing.

I took a drink and began to do the same as she, by taking a lap. You see, this is what we did on Friday and Saturday nights in the country. Someone would get a couple kegs and take them to a certain field spot, and the entire underage community would meet to party away the night. We were from Kansas, and there was no place like home. The biggest misconception of the field party is that its' simplicity escapes the excitement of the big city life; open to the stars, a burning fire to keep us warm. The ladies were beauties to fit all of mans' palates, and it sure helped that I had an older brother who was close to some of the finest ladies.

"Little bro," he said as we shook hands and hugged.

"What's up?"

"I want you to meet Heather, Nichole and Amber", he said while introducing me to the girls around his arms. A brunette, a blonde and a fiery Latino!

"I told you ladies......isn't he cute?" Richard said as they all shook their heads. I could only smile in embarrassment.

"Hey little bro, let me talk to you," Richard said, pulling me away. We walked and talked.

"Listen.....I'm going to shack up with Nicole tonight.....Heather is going to be there and she is single and ready to mingle. So – you are more than welcome to stay with me, but I need to know soon."

"How soon?" I asked as a pair of green eyes stared at me smilingly, and their owner walked gracefully towards us, leaving me without an answer that was truthful.

"Hey Richard," Jersey said while tapping him on his shoulder. "Do you have a joint?"

"Fresh out," he responded, giving me an opening.

"Well.... shit!!!" she responded.

"You're in luck – I have a joint", I told her.

"You want to smoke?"

"Sure......where?"

"Go in my ride", Big Bro said, while handing me his keys with a grin across his face. "Let me know. ... soon...." He concluded as we began to walk to his 1996 Dodge Avenger that was parked about 20 feet away from us. I walked behind her, admiring her legs....with an ass you could bounce a quarter on....tall and thin....each step looked like she was gliding.

"I'm driving."

"Alright", I said as we arrived at the car, and I threw her the keys as we both got in and I put in a CD. It was disc one of Tupac Shakur's 'All Eyes On Me'.

"Spark it up", she said. I lit up the joint and let the beat ride. Puff.... puff.... pass.

"So we are in the same class?" she asked me.

"Yeah.... we actually have Freshman English with Mrs. Richards in 5th period together", I informed her.

"Oh.... sorry", she responded as I passed the joint and she began puffing away, passing it back to me.

"Don't worry about it.....I sit behind you.....so....."

"No", she interrupted me, "I know your brother, so I should have known you."

"Everyone knows Richard", I laughed as her cell phone rang.

"Hello....what??? Where???? Now!!! Okay, I'll be there....bye", hanging up the phone with her emotions running distraught.

"Can you take me to the hospital now?"

"Yeah....well....", I stuttered.

"My dad had a heart attack", she cried as she started the car and we headed into town. She was crying, so I put my arm around her while she drove my brothers car without his knowledge.....without a drivers licence......without insurance....she just drove, and I never thought twice of the beating I was going to receive from Richard in the morning......she just drove.

We arrived at the hospital:

"Come in......please", she pleaded with me to enter the hospital. She reached out and held my hand, pulling me down the hallways as we ran toward the first floor emergency room desk.

"Where is Papa.....Mom!" she asked as her appearance down the hall left them sprinting towards each other to hug. I walked slowly and cautiously towards them, thinking I would become a statue on the wall.

"Jersey", her mother explained, "your older brother is not home, so I need you to go home and watch over your little brothers. I'll call you and give you an update every three hours or so, honey. I love you". She spoke with sentiments as they hugged, after which Jersey put her arms around me and I held her tightly, wiping away her tears. We walked arm in arm back to the car where we briefly exchanged thoughts.

"Thank you Scotty....really....I won't ever forget this".

"No problem", I responded with complete support. She needed someone....and I could not walk away from her.

"Will you stay with me tonight? I can't sleep or be alone tonight".

"Of course", I answered with a sense of purpose, or maybe even destiny. It was as if I was chosen to become her closest friend from this day on. We spoke about her brothers, which reminded me that I had yet to explain to Richard why I had stolen his car.

"You better not fuck it up", I could hear his voice.

I came to learn that Jersey lived right down the street from me. Well......in the same neighborhood. Our drive was spent with me consoling her, while she spoke about her father in despair. Her house was on the end of our complex, and I pulled up into the three-car garage next to a Mercedes Benz 350CL, underneath a roof covered with Spanish tiles. As we opened the garage door to enter the house, there was an aroma of pure decadence, as if you walked through a sprinkler on a hot summer day. She went upstairs to put her brothers to sleep, while I sat down on a leather chaise lounge and turned on the television.

"I will be back in awhile....make yourself at home", she told me, so I did. Turning the channel to AMC where they were playing 'A Streetcar Named Desire', I thought about what it must be like to be her. Confessions in the car were that of plenty; you see, she had a lot of acquaintances, but not a lot of true friend. Some of her quotes were 'loneliness is better than being unsatisfied', 'faith is the key to the door of nature'. Her attitude was so damn optimistic that her truth simply frustrated me, only because I knew how right she was. She asked me about my life, and I told her about my favorite artists to keep her mind off her father. We even debated the designated hitter rule in Major League baseball. I felt a connection like no other, and I never wanted to lose it!

Kicking off my shoes and taking off my belt, I laid on the chaise for about a half hour before she joined me. She walked down the stairs in a silk robe, with each step she took closer towards me making my heart beat faster and faster. She shut off the light and came towards me.

"Let me in", she asked, wanting to rest inside the faux cover on the chair next to me. I opened up the blanket and she crawled in. Wrapping both legs and arms around me, I did the same, as she was shivering.....and I could not tell whether it was out of fright or from the temperature.

"I'm scared", she said while dropping a tear on my shoulder.

"I know", I consoled her while running my fingers through her hair.

She then began to kiss me.....and I pulled away.

"I can't".

"I thought....." she paused in puzzlement.

"I just wanted to make you stop shivering.....I don't want anything else from you", I explained. She held me tighter and we did not let go of each other until the sun rose.

Chapter Two

"A Prince for Christmas"

Finding individual solace is a deeply personal and spiritual quest that we all must journey to find; for it is our heaven on earth. To understand Jersey better, we must travel back to her childhood, beginning with the Christmas present she received when she was six. Her father blindfolded her, taking a short drive, to finally uncover her sight to see what stood in front of her – a Brown thoroughbred stallion with a saddle wrapped with a red bow-tie.

She gasped with excitement, for she had been asking Santa Claus for this since February. "Is he mine?"

"Yes, dear, Merry Christmas", he told her, holding out his arm to give her a hug.

I believe it is every little girls' dream when they are little to someday have a pony, but this horse was something more than that. It was an ex-racing horse.....once upon a time.....

Three years earlier.........

The horse was once owned by a prominent breeder from Texas by the name of Jerry Switzer. Promethius was his name, and his pedigree spawned through a former Kentucky Derby winner. He showed all the promise of being the next great thoroughbred. As he grew to his full stature, he trained strenuously for two years with jockey Ricardo Mayorga from Spain, who had won the Preakness with Switzer's last horse of promise. Naturally he was entered into the Breeder's Cup (which was held at Arlington Park that year), which was an opening season race. His track time placed him in 6th position, which was among the middle of the pack. Current odds were 20 to 1, and Promethius' strength came in his late break after the second turn. Ricardo was well versed in how to handle this horse, to make crossing the finish line in first place a greater probability than the odds. The race was set to begin. They lined up and waited for the gates to open. Joining Switzer in his owner's booth was his close friend Kim Richards, who was constantly mistaken as Jerry's spouse. The truth was that they were only high school friends who grew up in Texas, riding horses together.....both holding the true love to simply ride, letting the horse take you where he wants to go, the definition of freedom.

"Alright Kim, the race is about to begin. Let's cross our fingers", Switzer said as his nerves brought him to the front row of the tracks seating. The whistle rang, and then the gates opened as the announcer started to call the race:

"It's 'Yellow Tree' off to a quick lead....followed on the outside by 'The Garden Of Eden', who just crossed into the middle of the pack, closely tailed by 'Promethius', who is moving to the outside as they approach the first turn......passing by, 'Yellow Tree', holding the lead, with the 'The Garden of Eden' swiftly closing in, while 'Promethius' is staying in contention. Approaching the second turn, it's 'The Garden of Eden' taking the lead, with 'Yellow Tree' barely ahead of 'Promethius', who starts to make a break on the outside..... 'Promethius' is breaking late. He surges past 'The Garden of Eden', as they approach the third turn, heading towards the finish line. 'Promethius', on the outside, is taking huge strides, granting his lead, four stretches ahead....he crosses the finish line in first place, followed in second place by 'The Garden of Eden', and in third place is 'Yellow Tree'.

And.....it is 'Promethius' who will win the Breeder's Cup, with Spanish born jockey Ricardo Mayorga, as he takes his winner's lap, concluding to meet with the horses' owner, Jerry Switzer. Jerry has been in this position before, celebrating a big win. If you remember, his horse "Alexander" won the Preakness only four years ago under this same jockey, and this win gives great promise for the upcoming season. Of course, only time will tell, as the Santa Anita Classic is next, before the Triple Crown begins. I am your host, Brian Jones for NBC, signing off. Until 'Promethius' takes us to California".

The Owners Gallery was going nuts, Mr. Switzer was squeezing Kim's hand, as Ricardo slowly started to dismount and greet Jerry with a celebratory embrace.

"WE WON JERRY!", he yelled.

"No Ricardo, you won! We are going to have a celebration tonight!" Switzer screamed with joyful pride which could not be muffled over the thousands of spectators.

"I will go change", Ricardo stated, as he followed suit in order to dress appropriately for a Breeder's Cup winner. They agreed to meet at the stables in 15 minutes. The quarter hour quickly passed and they were soon reunited for the ritual of sipping on Moet champagne! It was not only because of this accomplishment that the bond existed between the owner and his jockey, after 21 years of his service. Ricardo was the first jockey Jerry hired when his father, Theodore Switzer, first purchased "Run Away" 21 years ago. Not knowing his breeds, he first raced "Run Away" a year later after his purchase. Hired originally, then victoriously; Karma was the complexity of another circle around the track each day.

The two (owner and jockey) joined each other, rejoicing at 'Chaucer's Sushi Restaurant and Bar' to feast on volcano rolls, swallowed down with Dom Perignon, as well as some Tattinger champagne.

"So Ricardo....how about Santa Anita this year?" Jerry asked his jockey two hours after holding their first trophy high, basking in the bliss of this moment.

"We've got three weeks. But we won today on the outside, because of his pure speed. It was a longer race that we won today....so we could win Santa Anita this year", he responded in the tone of a man determined to outsmart the race. Jerry's father always told him to never bet the horses, always bet the jockeys. The spread for their horse would be marginalized due to the Breeder's Cup win, but would still create gambling odds followed by placing a bet with a certain comfort level – like that of a babies' pacifier.

"Cheers.....to step one!", Switzer toasted as he paid the waitress for their tab, and the two parted ways around midnight. Training was a five day a week job, and it was after the first week when Jerry sat Ricardo down at a private booth at a Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins game at Texas Stadium. They were both lifelong Cowboys fans, and each year Jerry would invite Ricardo and his entire family to join him in his private booths, this had become their tradition for the past 15 years.

Jerry and Ricardo sat next to each other on the edge of the booth, looking over the half-wall through the glass and onto the field. They discussed their racing strategy for the up and coming season, however, the owner/jockey relationship meant much more to both of them after all these years. Switzer knew how to train his horses to break late, and Ricardo only needed to figure out whether he would break from the inside or the outside of the track, knowing that the middle of the pack was only an advantage when it comes to the starting position. More than being only what bonded them, their strengths also allowed each other to create their own strategy.

These annual Cowboys games were a time when Ricardo could bring his wife Jasmine, twin sons Israel and Carlos, who were four year old, rounded out by their newborn daughter, Brianna, who was only four months old. Friendship, loyalty and honor was the glue holding this business together, and their partnership was that Jerry truly considered Ricardo a son, and even Ricardo's children called Switzer "Papa".

"So Ricki, what do you think about our "Boys" this year?" Jerry's voice rang with an air of confidence that flirted with arrogance.

"It's hard to say, not having Staubach under center or Dorsett in the backfield really makes it difficult to win even six games....." was Ricardo's response, delivered with a tone of hopefulness, for the 1980 Cowboys were not America's team.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Jersey by Steven Thomas Dykes Copyright © 2011 by Steven Thomas Dykes. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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