Jesse barely recognized Rico when he saw him at the grocery store. He guessed his cousin wouldn't know him, either. After all, he was in his grocery store vest, holding a price tag gun.
It had been a long while, and Jesse had wondered when they'd meet by accident and what he'd say. After all, Jesse took Rico's girl. But that seemed ages ago..even if it happened last summer.
Oh, how he missed the waves and sunny wind. It was a cold one in Omaha. And he'd had to brave the elements and Caitlin's moods.
Well, he was married to her and she looked so...pregnant. Actually, about to pop. She waddled, but usually stayed put.
It looked like she might never work. And if the baby did get here, Jesse knew it would be Caitlin's mother, who would take care of it.
No, it wasn't perfect, but he'd wanted her and he'd lost a lot, doing it.
It wasn't until now, he realized he'd probably have to have a knee replacement, some day. Yeah, he'd jumped off a lot of horses and bulls during his rodeo life. But it hadn't felt so bad then. Now it was the bending and lifting. Life was sure enough gonna make you old, no matter what (Jesse decided). But he didn't know then what he knew now.
He was tied down. Lived with his in-laws. Yes, he guessed, it beat prison, but not by much. So much he wanted to tell his cousin Rico.
"Aye, hermono..how's it been?" He caught Rico just in time, before reaching for a can of Rotel. Of course, Rico swelled a frown and looked at Jesse as if he had no time for him.
"Wait." Jesse was hurt, Rico would do this to him, even if he knew it was fair. "Don't you want to know.." Jesse knew Rico didn't want to know anything about him and Caitlin. "Look...I'm sorry. Honestly, I am."
He kept staring at Rico for a reaction. There wasn't one.
Why did it have to be this way? He was never close to their grandmother like Rico. Jesse knew he'd been a lost cause, since elementary school. His folks divorced, now on their third marriages, each. He knew he'd been forgotten and he'd forgotten them too.
He watched Rico walk away. Yes, he'd made his bed... in a family that wasn't letting go. They got him enrolled at the nearby college. He'd started classes in Electrical Wiring. He wasn't going nowhere. And he wouldn't. Cause things were different now. Completely different.