I thought I would find her by the sea. Definitely by the sea. She always spoke so highly of it: the lapping of the waves against the shore, the long sandy beaches perfect for running on when the light of the sun barely touched the shore. But I didn’t find her there.
I thought I would find her in the north. Definitely up north. She hated the humidity, the heat. She felt frail and fragile those times she was wrought with pain from the heat. Those times she found it hard to breathe, and wanted only cool air filling her lungs. But I did not find her there.
I thought, for sure, I’d find her on the East Coast. She hated the West Coast, for their pompous attitudes and their laid back ways. She was a get-it-done kind of girl, not one to just sit around and do nothing for days on end. But I did not find her there either.
I found her where I never thought to look: on a cattle ranch deep in the south of Texas. In the wet heat, away from the beach and definitely with a laid back attitude, there she was. She had accepted a southern drawl, mostly to learn to communicate without looking like an outsider. She found herself there, too.
She was happy, in those boots, covered in dirt and God only knows what else. She held those reins, and led the tour as if she had been riding horses her whole life. And I had given up on finding her. But she stood before me, her head cocked to one side, a question on her lips.
In the night, she whispered, “How’d you find me?” And I told her my tale.
In the morning she was gone.
As I contemplated what this meant, I realized that I had already known if I ever found her, she would be gone again, like a whisper in the wind. She wasn’t my puzzle to complete.
So I let her go. And often, I would dream of her: sometimes at the beach, sometimes on the West Coast, and sometimes on that ranch, down in southern Texas.