Women Lie, Men Lie; That's The Simple TruthErrybody just be arguin and shit
The tap on the door brought me out of the crying state I'd been in, I knew right away it was going to be one of two people; Rachel, or Travis.
I got up off the bed, wiped the tears away with the backs of my hands, and jerked the door open, prepared to bitch at whichever one it was that had taken it apon themselves to come up here.
To my amazement, it was Conrad.
"Can I come in?" He asked sounding a little out of it.
"I.. I uh, I guess." I said moving out of the door way allowing Conrad to pass through the threshold and into my room.
He was shirtless, and his shoulders were red with sunburn. He was wearing a pair of faded wrangler jeans that had a Skull ring on the back pocket. His boots were old and worn out from the work he'd done with his brother, and his daddy.
"Why are you up here?" I asked coming off a little harsher than I originally intended.
The question seemed to Jarr him a bit because he shrugged.
"I just thought I'd come talk to you, I tried talking to Dallas, but all he did was bitch and raise hell about everything, and with you, I figure you might cry or somethin, but I can handle crying alot better than I can his mouth."
"Oh.. well.. what do you wanna talk about?" I asked sitting down on the Lay-zee-boy that sat up against the oposite wall from where he stood.
"Look Candi, I didn't mean to open my mouth like that. If I had known yall didn't know, I wouldn't have said anything.. honest. I didn't mean to start nothin'.."
I cut him off mid sentence.
"I'm glad you said what you said, because they sure as hell wasn't gonna tell anyone!"
"That's just the thing though! They didn't want anyone to know cause it was a mistake! Travis was drunk that night, it was right after Boomhauer got killed." Conrad said.
Boomhauer was Travis's dog. He was a big walker coon hound who always wore a bandana around his neck. He had been Travis's dog since Travis was 2, they got Boomhauer as a present for Travis on his birthday, he was just a puppy then, and as Travis grew, so did Boomhauer. He got his name from the hit tv series "King Of The Hill" because Travis's favorite character off that show was infact, Boomhauer. His mama had said many times that Travis used to run around talking like Boomhauer. The dog was Travis's first best friend, and up until he died, he went everywhere with Travis. You didn't see his truck without that old hound riding shot gun, or in the truck bed. Boomhauer had won Travis many of trophies for coon huntin. He and the dog were unseperable. Then one cold rainy night, Travis and Boomhauer were scoopin' their spots, lookin for the coons. They found a nest of about five or six, Boom had them tree'd; right as Travis went to fire his gun, a crack of thunder hit and startled him. He missfired the gun, and shot old Boomhauer. The dog didn't make it, and it really killed Travis to know that he'd shot his first best friend, his partner. They buried the dog beneath the big oak tree in their back yard, Travis kept the bandana, hung it up on his rearview mirror, where still to this day hangs.
"He went to Mackie's Bar and had a few with the boys, Dallas wasn't there because he was outta town with his folks on vacation. Rachel came along, she was only there because she thought Dallas would be there, she too had a few drinks, and that's when it happened. It was an accident, and no body meant nothin' by it.. I think the only reason they kept it hidden was because they didn't want anyone to get their feelin's hurt over somethin' stupid.." Conrad said sitting back on the bed.
I sat there for the longest time, trying to understand, and in the end, I realized it wasn't that big of a deal, hell I wasn't even mad about that. What I was mad about was the fact Rachel hadn't told me. She was my best friend, even over Travis, she should have atleast told me.
I stood up from the lay-zee-boy and sniffled.
"I'm gonna go talk to them."
Conrad nodded and then he did something totally unexpected, he closed in the space between hiself and I and gave me what seemed like a five minute hug.
"Everything's gonna be alright." He whispepered in my ear before letting me go.
"Thanks Conrad." I said and headed towards my bedroom door. When I opened it I found Rachel standing there about to knock.
"Oh uh hey.. " I said trying to sound like I hadn't just been whaling like a big baby.
"Hey..." She said awkwardly looking at me, wondering when I was going to explode on her or what I was going to say to cut her as bad as she'd cut me.
"We need to talk." I said and stepped out in the hallway with her, forgetting that Conrad was in my room, I closed the door.
"Rachel, why didn't you tell me?" I asked leaning up against the banister in the hallway.
"Because he was your best friend, and I'm your best friend.. and I always knew it was going to end up like this one day. Y'all would get married, and that'd be the end of it. I knew that and I didn't want to ruin anything. Besides I don't remember anything about that night because I was drunk; so was Travis." She said sounding so apologetic without using the actual words "I'm sorry".
"I just wish you would have told me, but I guess you were only saving me from heartbreak, I would have been heartbroken then too. I guess I always had feelings for Travis but I never admitted it. That would have killed me."
"If it helps," She started to say "I was thinking of you the whole time..."
I couldn't help it, and neither could she, at the same time we both cracked up laughing so hard that I could feel a six pack forming and tears streamed down my face. Only, these were happy tears. The happy tears you only get when you know you've got the best friend in the entire world.
We stopped laughing finally and then she did what only a best friend does after a fight, she gave me a long sisterly hug that made me feel at home once more. Rachel had a funny way of doing that.
"How's Travis taking all of this?" I asked knowing she'd been talking with him the whole time.
"Don't know, he took off in his truck about ten minutes after Dallas hit him.. I guess he needed to calm down and recollect himself." Rachel said pulling away from.
"Gheez, I guess I better go find him, have you talked to Dallas?"
"Yeah, I talked to him on the way up here, I explained the whole thing and then he said he felt bad about hitting Travis. I don't know if he went after him or not."
I nodded and then headed down stairs where I found Dallas sitting on the couch.
"Couldn't find Travis?" I questioned.
"Naw I didn't go look.. usually when he's upset he goes off for about a hour or so, then he comes back.. he's just clearing his head."
I nodded although I already knew Travis well enough to know that about him.
"Well I'm gonna go look for him. I need him to know I'm not mad at him and neither are you."
Dallas nodded and I headed out the door.
The air was cool and damp it was already going on 7:30 and the sun hung just about the tops of the Virginia trees leaving everything in a orange color.
I followed the path of Travis's tires up the river bank that wrapped around the woods and back towards the mud pit.
I found his truck sitting on the embankment with the tailgate down and Travis with his head hung low looking at the mud below where he feet hung off the side.
He hadn't heard me walk up so when I called his name he jumped.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." I said and he shrugged.
I headed over to the truck and pushed up on the tailgate but I couldn't quite get up there on my own because of it being so high up.
Travis reached down and helped me up beside him where he scooted over to give me room.
"Figured I'd find you here." I said staring down at the same mud he was, it was a dark brown chocolate color.
"Well you did." He said sounding a little lost and confused.
"I talked to Rachel."
He lifted his head and raised his eye brows.
"Well after I stabbed her twice and fed her body to sharks.. we laughed and hugged." I said hoping to get a hint of a smile to tug at the corner of his lips. When it didn't work I blew out a puff of air.
"Travis I'm not mad at you. I understand now. What happened, happened. It was an accident."
"I know it was. But, I can't help but feel like I hurt you."
"I've been hurt plenty of times before. I'm a big girl, I can handle it."
When he didn't say anything I scooted closer to him and swiped his hat off his head and tucked it down over my hair, like I used to do before when we would hang out together.
He smiled then, and I felt my heart slow knowing everything was going to be alright.
"Hey Brantley. How about you give me a lift back to the house in this truck of yours?" I said and hopped down off his truck but loosing my footing and falling face first in the thick mud.
I heard Travis laugh and I wiped the mud free from my eyes and sat up to face him. He extended a arm and I reached to grab it but instead I yanked him down into the mud with me.
He couldn't believe what I'd done, but he began wrestling with me in the mud. All the while we were both laughing like little kids, and for a minute it felt like it did when we were just kids. Best friends who hung out every day and caught frogs and turtles, who played in the mud and built forts until sunset where we had to go inside and eat supper with our families and do it all again the next day.
In that moment it began pouring rain, so hard that the water pellets hitting our backs and faces stung.
We ran and got in the truck where it began hailing and hitting the roof so hard it made a "Ka-plink" sound.
Travis turned to me and smiled.
"You always knew how to turn my mood around."
"Is that why you love me?" I asked and noticed and I was still wearing his hat. His hair was wet and plastered down to the side of his head. His big green eyes were sparkling and he looked absolutely adorable.
"Naw, I love you because you're wonderful and amazing and no one else in the world makes me feel like you do."
I reached forward and pulled him into me connecting his lips with mine.
A kiss that started out as a simple playful kiss ended in a steamy makeout session that left my head spinning.
When Travis pulled away he took his hat back and tucked it back on his head.
"My hat." He said smiling a devilish grin.
I scooted over and put my head on his chest.
"My heart." I said listening to his heart beats rythmic pattern.
"It beats for you." He agreed and kissed the top of my head.
"I love you." I said and he wrapped his arms around me.
"I love you too."
We stayed in that position listening to the rain and the simple breathing between the two of us.
The rain didn't let up for at least an hour or so, and by that time the sun had almost completely gone down.
"I think we outta head back to the house before they send a search party." I said.
He turned the truck on and put it in drive then headed back towards the house.
When we got back everyone was sitting on the porch and when we got out of the truck Rachel shouted "Finally!" at us.
"Sorry, we just got caught up in the rain and waited until it let up." Travis said.
"Looks like you got caught up in other things.." Billie Gene said taking note to the fact that we were, once again, covered in dried mud.
I laughed and started to explain but Rachel cut me off.
"You ain't gotta tell me nothin." She said laughing.
I rolled my eyes and flicked her off.
"Tonight?" She said winking. Travis pulled me into him.
"Sorry sister, this seats takin." He said and we all laughed.
I took notice to Rachel and Dallas holding hands.
"So, this is all nice and dandy but I'm starved, how's about we rustle up some grub?" Dallas asked and headed into the house.
"I agree." Travis said and hopped up on the porch following behind Dallas. I heard a couple of muffled words and then I heard some laughing and I knew then that everything was going to be alright between us again and that was a good feeling.
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