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Lily was in love with a boy who chased freight trains. Rode his big blue horse like a big blue rocket, shouting: Go wonder, get’em boy, and chased those trains and caught them.
The boy looped his mighty lasso above his head, and tossed it over engines sputtering along, coughing black soot and faraway ideas all over the town s they roared past. When that lasso caught, he yelled: Here we go boy, and holding on tight, got yanked on board to ride into the day ahead, with the whole open sky all around and the horizon unfolding like a clean new map. He rode until the land was chopped up by roads and he felt mankind spread in every direction like a crazy kind of kudzu, then he whistled and wonder, who’d been galloping faithfully along, was right there for him to leap back onto and off they went. He wiped his brow and said: That’s it boy that’s the way to get’em.
Wonder was faster than memory or scent, faster than hunger or illness or regret. But not as fast as love. No, Wonder was not a horse that could outrun love.
Once she asked him: Why not passenger trains> Why not chase s train with people inside? And he said; Nothing doing, and his mouth became a jumpy line and his brows became furrows erupted across his face and she saw how tired he was and she was afraid she loved his even more.
Though she didn’t know how to tell him so.
It had taken Lily years to come to the conclusion that she loved with this crazy cowboy. Since childhood she had always admired his free spirit, his kind voice and sweet face. She had always found him mesmerizing. Lily envied his freedom. Not a care in the world; of course Lily had fallen in love with the boy she couldn’t have.
That boy is going to wind up dead one of these days, Ma said disapprovingly as he was riding by the house again, back from one of his adventures. Lily sat in the damp dreary room once again, performing the same tedious task that she did day in and day out. Sewing garments for her family’s shop. She pushed the fabric through the machine vigorously frustration and longing ran through her. It took all her self control to restrain herself from running out the front door.
The door slammed and in walked Pa: can’t a man get some food he shouted at his wife. I’m sorry sweetie I thought ...I don’t care what you thought. Do I have to do everything for you women? Hey Lily what you staring at. Get back to work.
Lily was tired, her fingers ached and so did her heart. She was fed-up with her parents, her house, her life. He would never speak to me that way she cried. And without another though Lily turned and took off with no intention of returning.
Out in the field she found him. Her eyes had stopped tearing, and she knew she had to tell him. She ran fast as she could across the field straight towards the boy she loved so dearly.
I knew you’d come soon enough, he said calmly with his little smile that have hr heart butterflies. Climb on. And he lifted Lily onto Wonder and took off towards the next arriving train. The galloped closer and closer towards the train. Lily had seldom ridden horses and never one as fast as Wonder, but she wasn’t afraid. Suddenly he turned to her: you ready? The next thing she knew she was hoisted into the moving freight train.
Once inside Lily felt comfort and satisfaction. So this was what it felt like to be free. She understood the boy, and the boy understood her and without a single word they both knew they were in love. With his arms as a blanket, and shoulder as a pillow Lily shut her eyes knowing that she had not made a mistake.
Lily awoke with the boy pulling her up. He wore an expression that Lily had never seen before. It was worry. Lily, Lily we have to get off now he cried. With the coziness of her embrace and the soothing sound of the train he had drifted off. The train had stopped and soon he and Lily would be discovered. They got off as fast as they could and began trekking back in the direction they had come from.
Neither of them said a word the entire journey back, but both had a common worry. Where was Wonder? The faithful blue horse that had always been come along on the journeys, had been forgotten about.
There he lay not far from where they’d gotten off. Even Wonder cou;d only go so far. He had tagged along for hours, maintaining the speed of the train, waiting for his master’s whistle so he could be there. But there was never a whistle or a call. Entranced by Lily’s love, the boy had been distracted, and temporarily forgotten about his trustworthy companion.
Wonder had struggled to keep up, awaiting his master’s call. But ever a horse like Wonder could only continue so much. Wonder was faster than memory or scent, hunger or illness, but not as fast as love. Hard as he had tried Wonder could not outrun love.