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*Ive stayed outside for the most part of the last few days. Inside
                        is too close to the phone, too close to the car keys. Too close to
                        everyone. They seem to be searching for something, and perhaps
                        theyll find it. Find out where the Big One is hidden. The secret to
                        end everything. Ive even felt spiteful enough recently to consider
                        telling them. But I have to remember, they have their lives, they
                        learned to move on without me. Like I had once moved on
                        without them. The test now is to find out if I can let go, and truly
                        start over. If Im an honest man, and find a way to tell my wife. If
Im as big a cad as the father who didnt acknowledge me until I was grown and keep it inside, or even
continue until we're found. I just dont know. Ive no one to blame. OH, Im sure I can blame Jordan, for
never being a father. I could blame Chan, for never telling me the truth. I can blame my kids, for filling up
my head with noise. Oh, hey, I can even blame society, for making my situation that much worse. But in
the end, its my fault, I had judgement and I used it poorly.*

*Frowning, I sit down hard on the bench outside the "barn" or whats left of it, and put the ax down blade
first. Leaning my head on the handle, I stare for a moment, resting, and trying to work through my own
*For what reasons I never finished the whole ordeal, I dont know. Mostly because it was easier to keep
lying than it was to finish it, and admit I was wrong. Maybe I needed warmth and comfort when the
world rushed its way around me. Maybe I still do. I dont know any of these things. All I know is, my
feelings are still ravaged. I still want her, and I still want my wife.*

                        *Sixteen years really cant be referred to as an affair. She and I
                        were both a part of the rodeo. She was contracted as the
                        after-event entertainment, and did a good job. Id hang back and
                        watch from the bullpens, and the crowd loved her, and I did too.
                        She rode with us for two years, and in that time, I got to know
                        her. Probably more than I ever should have. No, theres no
                        probably. I should have walked away, and kept my hands to
                        myself. Instead, I courted her, I took her out to dinner, drop her
                        off at her hotel, then call Chan and tell her I loved her and good

*Her name at the time was Danielle Schaefer. The world would come to know her as Dakota Schaefer
when she became famous. Shes had a long career already. Everyone loves Dakota. Shes beautiful, in a
timeless way, like Chan. Shes vibrant, energetic, strong. All of those things attracted me to her. I wanted
someone who was what I wasnt. She was sure of herself, and made me feel strong. I was a moth to the
flame, and still am. I see her, and my heart skips a beat. She has me where she wants me.*
*It wouldnt be so bad, but she even tries to push me away, make me go home to my wife, never asked
why, never made me feel guilty. I dont understand her, even after all these years. But I dont think I want
to either.*
*Its times like these, I want to call, and hear her voice. Thats all I
                        need. Just the sound of her surety, the note of something
                        grounded. Shes in Denver tonight. Performing in front of a
                        near-sellout. I keep up with her career. I always have. Thankfully,
                        we've kept the picture taking people away. She has a way of
                        doing that. I need to stop this. Stop thinking about her. Let her
                        move on. Forget I ever existed. It isnt an affair, its a relationship,
                        and one that will never ever reconcile. Im hurting her as much as
                        Im hurting my family. Picking up the ax, I lay it against the barn
wall left standing at a slant. I need a walk. Clear my head. If I dare go back inside with these thoughts,
Chan will see it. Shes good at that.*