The woman sits across from her and goes on and on about her grandkids and her husband. Alexandria smiles and nods her head, even though she’s not listening to a word of what the lady is saying. Putting on a happy face is difficult when your insides feel as though they’re being ripped apart. He’s probably dead by now. She runs her fingers through her hair and crosses her arms. After finally reaching the bus station, she approaches the lady behind the counter.
“Hello, can I help you?” she says with a smile.
Alexandria scans the room and whispers, “Yes, where does the next bus travel to and what time does it leave?”
The clerk looks down to check her computer. “In forty-five minutes the next bus leaves for Topeka, Kansas.”
“Then I would like a ticket for Topeka please.”
She takes the ticket from the clerk and strolls to a nearby bench. She’s relieved that not many people are traveling that morning. Waiting for the next bus gives her quite a bit of time to think. She remembers the first day she and Cash met and how much they went through just to be together. One of the first memories she has of him was his handsome features and tall frame, and how she loved his long silky hair.
She convinced her parents to let her start college in the Spring at a local University in San Antonio. On the first day, she spotted him on her way to class. She walked past him and his coworkers, who were doing construction on a new science building. He was only in town for work and had to go back to Stillwater when they finished.
When their eyes met, it was as if a bright light shone down and showed her a much clearer version of life. She remembers him stopping what he was doing and casually walking over to her, as if in a trance. It almost seemed like he’d been waiting for her to walk by, even though they’d never seen each other before.
As he chomped on a piece of gum, he said, “Hey, blue eyes, what’s your name?”
She was so nervous but somehow managed to reply, “Alexandria.”
He smiled. “Beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”
“What’s yours?” she said, giggling.
“Cashesegra, but call me Cash.”
“What kind of name is that?”
“It’s a family name. My mother liked it, I guess.”
He proceeded to tell her he was Osage Indian. She didn’t care what he was—he was good-looking. When he asked her what ethnicity she was, she told him that her mother is French and her dad is African American. From that day forward they met every day at school. They loved talking to each other about future goals, politics, and life. Most of the time, Alexandria didn’t go to class because she just wanted to be with him. Sometimes he’d miss work and spend his day talking to her. She couldn’t believe how quickly they fell in love and found every excuse in the book to be together. They would leave the campus just to hang out and eat or go for a stroll in the park. Her life felt so complete with him in it. Maybe it was because she was an only child and was raised by wealthy and very strict parents. She was denied her chance to go to her high school prom because her father didn’t allow boys anywhere near her. But Cash wasn’t just some boy. He was everything to her.