Within the vast field and stretching horizons of the western planes, amidst the bitterness of the wildlife and Indian tribes, those that survived the brutality forever carry their scares. And in their darkest moments, each one begs God for mercy. God's mercy is a mystery, to allow such atrocities to befall man, to allow the pain to linger before he lets the wounds mend. Yet he mends them nonetheless.
Neither thought of remarrying. The very thought felt like a betrayal to their fallen loved ones. A betrayal to the vows they made. Their futures had been cut short by the vile and unfairness of the mending country. Even their first gathering was less than fortunate. And upon every gathering after such, they maintained the stale tone and coerced politeness, there seemed to be no bitterness or ill-will meant from either party.
Still, with both living with such a short distance from one another, it was only the passing of time until they met throughout their days. Their banter was short; often resulting in one party outwitting the other. A few stolen glances whilst one party was unaware; often taken upon a chance sighting. And a brief moment of physical contact; a brushing of the hands, a protective arm. Rarer even more than a chanced glance.
Their brief, outwitting conversations became frequent, even premeditated. Often taking place before the workday or after the setting of the sun. Conversations itself evolved; England, Mississippi, the railroad. The stolen glances of the brief moment of sight grew. No longer were there days of lapsing sights. No longer were the glances brief, or unseen by either party. No longer did their hands meet by accident. Their hands met out of fondness. When he walked her to her tent, or brushed a wary lock of golden curl from her face.
He found his anger toward the Yankee's lessened; his vengeance fleeting. His coarse mannerism toward his fellow workers and men seemingly relieved, to an extent. His gun hand only moved out of protection, no longer out of rage. His nightly visits to the saloon had dwindled to a weekly visit, if he desired. The scorch of the whiskey's touch had all but vanished from his memories. He even discovered a smile. Laughter even dared to find him.
Her harbored bitterness toward the Indians seemingly melted away. Her chest felt light with every breath she took; a gift she treasured. Nightmares that had plagues her sleep plagued her no longer. She often found herself walking around the camp, unconsciously walking toward his post if only to catch a momentary glance. She no longer forced herself to smile as she moved through the camp. And her newfound laughter seemed to drain all vulgarity and barbarities of the camp.
They had both seen their fair shares of death. Far too much for both lifetimes, and still far more left to see. They had allowed themselves to be consumed by their pain, their vengeance, to fully see the gift they'd been granted. A second chance that came about by tragedy. Yet in the midst of their pain, their bitterness, they still found one another. No, neither one ever thought of remarrying. But they did.