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Seventy-five dollars was a hell of a lot of money to pour into a hope.

It was everything Cade had saved up in the six months he’d worked at old man Rogers’ mine.

And that was just for the ticket east … didn’t include the wages he lost during the time it took him ride to San Francisco. Cade didn’t even know if he would have a job when he came back.

But he was tired of how every snatch of yellow made his heart jump. Mary always wore a yellow bonnet, and lately it seemed that everyone around him had taken to wearing yellow just to irritate Cade.

And he was tired of the lonely nights and the dark dreams that left him spent in the mornings, feeling like someone had cut a hole right in the middle of his chest.

So he had to try.

Had to try and find Mary back in Boston. Had to try and explain that he hadn’t meant the things he said to her, even if he truly believed them at the time.

Did he need a woman? No, he didn’t.

But he needed that woman, and he couldn’t hide from his feelings any longer.

So there he was, dancing nervously on the train platform, waiting for the westbound passengers to unload so that he could climb on board. It was all a fool’s errand, he was afraid, but he was ready to run it.

When about a dozen souls remained in the car, Cade’s heart jumped as a swatch of yellow moved toward the door. Jostling among broad shoulders and pinned hair, a dainty bonnet emerged at last.

Beneath its white brim, Mary’s endless brown eyes watered, and she smiled as Cade’s legs buckled, then caught and propelled him toward his love.

Published inFlash Fiction

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