Lou walked away from Kid and out of the barn; she had just turned his proposal down and he felt as if his heart had broken into a thousand of shards. He thought he was old enough to know better by now, that his past experience taught him not to give his heart away so easily, because loving and caring could hurt more than anything else; but he had been wrong even this time.

When he was nothing more than a child he fell in love with his friend Doritha Simmons. She came from one of the wealthier families of Manassas and she was a year older than him, but it didn't prevent her from befriending him, who was nothing more than a shy farm boy who rarely had the chance to go to school.

For Kid, Doritha looked as an angel with her golden locks and her cerulean eyes, and when he was with her he was able to forget the misery of his home. The fact that she preferred him to Garth Maxwell, whose family was closer to the Simmons' than his own could ever be, made him feel that he was more than the good-for-nothing brat his father always called him.

Her parents didn't approve the girl's closeness to him. They thought there were a lot of finer young men who could suit her so much better, but Doritha didn't want to listen to them and they met every chance she had. Thinking about that now, Kid had come to the conclusion that Doritha must have considered their friendship was like one of those romantic novels she loved to read: a forbidden relationship that could win over all the hardships of life.

He had been as na´ve as her though and he believed in them more than he should have. She had been the first girl he had ever kissed and he thought she would be also the last. They spent hours talking about leaving Virginia and heading West where they could be finally free to do whatever they want, and he was sure that one day all of this would happen.

When his mother died Kid understood he had to leave Virginia. He dreamed of bringing her to a nice place one day*, where she could grow old and become the grandmother of his children, but her death destroyed that dream and it has been the last straw for him.

Doritha gave him her father's money to pay the debt on his farm and save him from being imprisoned as a debtor; and Kid felt they finally could realize what they'd always talked about. But he was wrong.

Kid could never forget the look she gave him when he told her he wanted to leave and head West with her. Sadness, bewilderment and a little of pity; as if she couldn't believe that Kid really wanted to do what they had talked about so much.

"Oh dear…" she told him, "you were serious when you said you want to leave Manassas, then," she said astonished, as if the mere thought was absurd. "Kid, sweetie, you know it's not possible. What we talked about were just fantasies, I thought you understood that. I have a social status here, and by the way how would we support ourselves over there in the West? If you stay here I can talk to my father and get you work in our stables. I know how much you love horses. In this way we could be always near each other. And maybe one day we'll even make a trip to the West, since you like it so much. What do you think?" she concluded with a condescending smile.

Kid stood there mortified, looking at her as if it was the first time he'd seen her. Without even being aware of it Doritha was belittling and shattering his hopes; the dream he clung on to when things were bad was nothing more than a fantasy, a child's game in her mind.

He couldn't give up on it though. There wasn't anything left for him in Virginia anymore, not even his friendship with Doritha was strong enough to keep him there. So he left, despite the girl's tears and cries. She made him promise he would send for her once he settled down. But deep down Kid knew that what he had to offer wouldn't ever been enough for the rich and wealthy girl.

He thought he knew her better than anyone else, but he fooled himself, and he got hurt. Kid continued to cherish the memory of his childhood friend, her lively and carefree attitude helped him more than once to forget his problems, but he promised himself he would never be so na´ve again.

When he discovered the real Lou he was a goner once again. He tried to go slow, to fight the growing feelings stirring inside of his heart, but the more he knew her, the more in love with her he fell, until Doritha was only a distant memory.

He thought Lou was the right one, the one he could start a family with, but he was wrong. After they made love things began to get worse and worse. He felt her love slipping away day after day. He couldn't understand her. After what they shared they should be closer than before, but instead Lou seemed scared. She didn't regret the physical act, but every time he tried to talk about the future she shied away, as if she was afraid of their commitment. Kid couldn't understand why and he foolishly tried to cling onto her even more, so he ended up losing the girl he loved more than anyone else.

Once again he gave his heart to a girl. And once again it wasn't enough, or maybe it was too much or the timing was wrong, as she told him. The result was the same though: he gave his heart away and what he received was hurt and pain.

Author's Note: A very big thank to Miss Raye and Dee for beta-ing this story for me. Thanks a lot!

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