Trials of the Heart

By Kirsten Page
Copyright 1998

"Jimmy, just back off. If I needed your advice I would have asked for it. I asked you a simple question, but you have to go adding more to it then then there was!" Lou slammed the bunkhouse door in his face and stomped outside. It was growing dark and in Lou's anger she unknowingly walked past Kid who had just arrived back at the station.

"Lou, what's wrong"? He called after her.

She kept walking towards the barn, not even hearing him in her anger. A few moments later Jimmy burst out of the bunkhouse following her.....again walking right past a very confused Kid, and oblivious to his existence.

Cody stepped out and called after Jimmy, "Get back in here and leave her be, she doesn't need you going after her!"

"What's going on"? Kid looked over to Cody.

"Oh nothing, but it might be something if Lou get's her hands around Jimmy's neck." With that Cody turned and went back to bed.

Kid dropped his saddle bags on the porch and followed Jimmy who was in turn following Lou. As he approached the door to the barn Kid stopped as he overheard their conversation.

"Lou, I didn't tell you that to make you upset. You asked me if he said anything about what went on and I was just telling you. He didn't say nothing to me." Jimmy was almost pleading. He knew that once you upset Louise, it could be hard to work your way out of her "little black book."

Lou had turned her back to him trying to hide her face, which now had tears running down it. "You didn't have to aim at my heart, Jimmy."

Seeing her in such heartache, Jimmy took a few steps closer and wiped his brow trying to figure out what to say next. "Look, all I said was that sometime's once a man has tried something with a woman and if don't work out right away, he tries other ones. It ain't always fair and don't always make's just the way it is. And it don't mean he doesn't care. So I was just telling you to think about maybe being more careful. I just don't want to see you get anymore hurt then you already are."

Lou wiped her eyes and turned around. She crossed her arms and looked at him. "I'm just so confused Jimmy. I thought I meant something to the Kid, and now he turns and starts flirting with another woman. I know Samantha's gone and all....I just can't help wonderin' what's going to happen when the next one comes along and stays." She stopped as her voice quivered.


Kid looked toward the bunkhouse and started walking slowly away. He never wanted to hurt Lou, not for anything. It was just that she wasn't ready for things to change. He had only been interested in Samantha because he needed something to fill in the empty feeling that had been left behind when he and Lou had broken up. I've got to talk to her. She can't think that I don't care. Kid thought to himself.


Jimmy walked closer and hugged her. "Lou, take it a day at a time. Everything's going to work out fine."

She took a deep breath and gently pushed him away. "Thanks Jimmy. Thanks for caring." She pushed the door open and stepped outside. Lou knew she would always love Kid. I've even tried to stop loving him! Looking up, she was in time to see Kid take Katy's reins and start leading her back toward the barn.

"Hey Kid. Did you have a good ride"? She called quietly.

He looked up briefly. "Lou, we gotta talk." Her face fell. He must have heard us, oh gosh why did I have to bring it up!?

She smiled innocently hoping that he wouldn't know that she was suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. "What about"?

Jimmy walked past them. "Hi Kid." Suddenly he too felt very uncomfortable and decided to walk on by and let them discuss whatever it was that still needed to be worked out. Don't wanna get caught in that mess.

Kid turned to make sure that Jimmy was out of earshot. He wasn't sure if he was mad or hurt that Lou would think he didn't have his own feelings too. He motioned his head for her to follow him.

Dragging her feet Lou kept her distance behind him. She wasn't sure if he was going to kill her or kiss her. I'd prefer the kiss, but somehow I don't think that's going to happen. In fact, I'll probably be lucky if he ever talks to me again.

"Lou, I heard you and Jimmy a few minutes ago. I think there's something we need to talk about." He looked over at her. "Things are bothering you, so don't go telling me there's nothing."

She couldn't help but smile slightly. He already knew I was going to resist this. "I'll be fine, Kid, honestly."

"Talk to me about it Lou. You don't have to drag Jimmy into it. I would tell you the truth."

Lou stepped between Kid and his horse and looked into his eyes. "I only asked Jimmy if you had said anything to him about that school teacher. I didn't mean anything by it. Jimmy was the one that went and added more to it. We don't have to talk about it."

Kid took her arm and they sat down. "Lou, it's all my fault. I should have told you myself." Lou braced herself for the worst. He cleared his throat, and she knew this wasn't easy on him. "Samantha never meant anything to me, you have to believe that. I don't know Lou, I've just been so confused lately. I care about you so much, but I couldn't go on like we had been....especially with us all working together. I guess I was just looking for some way to run away from how I was feeling."

"So you go running off with the first woman that comes around....that ain't fair Kid, that's just trying to hurt me!" Lou paused and looked at the ground shamefully. "I'm sorry Kid I shouldn't have said that. You've just got to understand that I feel the same way. I just don't know what to do about it right now."

He gently her chin up and forced her to make eye contact. "You don't have to apologize Lou, you're right. I shouldn't have. We've gotta believe that things are going to work out, but for right now I know you can't give up working for the Express, so we got to try and keep things the way they've been. I wouldn't ever want to hurt you for the world." He smiled at her and she returned the expression. They sat in a few more moments of silence.

"How was your ride"? Lou asked trying to change the subject before anything else was said.

"It was good."

"Good." She started to stand up. "Welp, I guess I better get to bed. I've got to ride tomorrow."

Kid grabbed her shoulder. "Come to me next time Lou, I want to be here for you when you need me."

She nodded appreciatively and bent down to kiss him on the cheek. "You always have been Kid, I just haven't been coming to you like I wanted to. That's my fault, you've done nothing wrong." With that she turned and walked away. Kid watched her leave and then he stood up shaking his head, Why is love so confusing?

The End

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