My name is Cheyenne Kaylin Williams, and I can speak to horses. I had no idea at first, though.


HOMECOMING

JUNE 2ND 1995

I pushed my short auburn bangs behind my ear. I was looking out the window of my dad's Dodge Ram. I was finally going home after spending 2 years with my Aunt Joann in South Dakota.

I had changed over those 2 years, I discovered. Old me, as I refer to her, was a real girl. She had freckles splayed over her nose and cheeks, a nice addition to her tanned face, her smile was bright; made out of sunshine and the kisses placed on her cheeks by her loving mother, she had greenish-gray eyes, warm and alive with excitement and wonder. Her long auburn hair shone in the Texas heat, flying behind her every time she rode her horse. That was when mom was still in the land of the living.

New girl, as I refer to my present self, is not really alive. Her freckles looked out of place on her white face, pale from the long hard winters in the North. She did not smile so much anymore, and when she did it was fake, it didn't reach her eyes; now more gray than greenish. She had large dark circles under those eyes, which now looked haunted and dead. She childishly cut off all of her long auburn hair before her father came to pick her up; she wanted to look different, older. It now hung just past her shoulders, unhealthy and miss-cut.

My dad shipped me off to my Aunt's house after my mom died, right around the time Old me got lost. He thought I needed "a fresh start," "fresh start" my ass. He was just too afraid of New girl to be around me anymore, so he thought if he sent me to my insane Aunt's house with her three 'perfect' kids and story book marriage, I would become Old me again. Well that plan definitely backfired; I rebelled harder than I ever had, got in fights, got suspended from school twice, stole, cursed, and even tried smoking once (Never picked it up, it was awful.)

My Aunt was what you'd call a "good Samaritan" she was just trying to help her poor big brother out. She made me get up for church every Sunday, got me out of mall-jail when I got caught stealing, tried to home school me when I got suspended, and didn't yell at me when I accidentally swore around her. But when I started to "corrupt" her three angel children, I HAD to go. I liked my 3 cousins alright, and I didn't even tell Joann that it was her 15 year old son, Hayden, that had offered me the cigarette; that kid was a chimney.

It's not like I was trying to get her to kick me out, I wasn't, but I was sure glad when she finally did. Though my dad wasn't too happy about the trouble I caused his dear old sister. He ignored the fact that I still resented him for just getting rid of me without a second thought, but for now, I was finally going home to Texas. I smiled in spite of myself, a bit of Old me peeking past the dark veil; the thought of going back to the Ranch to see my horse and dog was fantastic.

"What are you smilin' at?" my father, Roy, said looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

"Nothing." I said blandly and let the smile slip back off my face.

"Well we're here." He said frowning and looking straight ahead as we pulled up to the high white gate I've always known and loved.

As we went through them the Big silver letters seemed to shine brighter, proclaiming to the shining sun; "The Pioneer Ranch." I almost squealed in uncharacteristic excitement when I saw the ranch house and monster barn sitting on our lush green pastures.

I started crying a bit when I spotted my 17 year old brother, Blake, standing in front of our large white house. Blake was golden, a spitting image of my mother; with his wheat gold hair, large grin, and shining chocolate eyes which always had the same reckless love of life in them. He wore his same dusty brown Stetson, dirty old cowboy boots, and the small leather bracelet mom got him the Christmas she passed.

I missed Blake almost as much as I miss my mom; he never wanted me to go. He begged my dad for days not to send me to Joann's house; he always had my back. Sitting next to him was my 4 year old Blue Healer, Oakley. Mom got Oakley for me on my 11th birthday. He was just a chubby gangly pup then, tripping over his own paws, but now after years of training as a cattle dog, he stood tall and lean; muscles showing through his smooth coat, and scars covering his muzzle and face from the countless incidents he's gotten himself in. I only got 2 years to spend with Oakley, only half the time he was on this Earth. But I could tell he loved me as much as I adored him, and that was enough.

As soon as my father's truck rolled to a stop, I leapt out of the car and ran to tackle Blake. He towered over me just like I remember, he was a good 6'1 and I'm only a measly 5'7.

"Hi there, Cheye-bear!" he said with a smile in his tone.

"Hey Blakey-poo!" We were using our child nicknames for each other. I looked up at him and managed a real girl smile, just like the old days. Quickly letting go of him, I kneeled on the ground next to an over excited Oakley. I gave him a good belly rub, and he wiggled like a side winder under my touch.

"Hey Oakley boy," I said in a high pitched tone, just to excite him more. He started going nuts, barking and squealing, and I almost giggled like a real girl.

I stood and walked back to the car to get my bags with Oakley trailing me the whole way. As soon as I got all three of my duffel bags and my suitcase I jogged for the front door, now excited to get inside. Oakley barked chased after me just like he did when I was a real girl.

Blake pulled open the door and I slid past him with a quick thanks. And without much thought I sprinted towards the stairs, tripping a couple times, as I zoomed to my room without another word.

I gasped after I pushed open the door. There was my room, exactly how I left it two years ago, with every knick-knack and picture frame in place. I wiped a thin layer of collected dust off the small gold horse on top of one of my many accomplishments; my barrel racing trophies and medals. I threw my suitcase haphazardly onto my small twin size bed, looking around and admiring everything I had lost.

I almost started tearing up again as I skimmed everything with docile fingers, the nostalgia of all that had happened in this room was hitting me full force; the laughs and smiles shared between my mom and Old me were unforgettable.

My mother was golden and beautiful, an angel; I couldn't forgive God for taking her back that night. She was the one that taught me how to love big, forgive when needed, cherish all, and live in the moment. She succeeded, Old me knew how to do pretty much all of this, but New girl must have forgotten.

An unpleasant shiver went through my body as I turned away from the memories; I walked over to my closet to pull out my old raggedy clothes (I couldn't wear my clothes from South Dakota because they were basically all winter coats and "city slicker" clothes.) that fit too tight, and my shit kickers. I called these old boots I had my "shit-kickers" because they were as old as they were dirty, and super small for new me I discovered.

I went and looked into the dingy full length mirror made out of antique shells and glass that my Great Grandma hand crafted when I was born. I looked at my reflection and sighed, running my fingers through my butchered reddish brown hair and tried to make myself look decent. When I discovered that would be next to impossible, I just went quickly down the stairs with Oakley still on my heels. Seeing my horse, Phantom, was the only thing in mind.

"Cheye!" my dad beckoned from across the house.

I groaned as I once again was stopped from seeing my horse, but all the same I turned and headed toward his office.

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AN: This chapter is completely redone. I've decided to re focus on this story, I'm trying my best to finish it, but I couldn't move on with the writing of the first chapters the way they were. SOOO hence the redo. more chapters on the way! ~Kay .xx