The Last Summer

Morgan Cox, Guest Writer

In the summer of 1835, all of my dreams came true. My father bought me an Arabian horse. I had been begging my parents for a while to get one, but the money was not available. My dad was a farmer in Arlington, Texas and my mother stayed home with me and my little brother, teaching us how to read and write. Henry, my brother, would often times run into the woods and be gone for hours, where as I would stay inside and read horse books.

One day, toward the end of January 1836 my father came home from town with a very important letter. My Pa was going to war. He was gonna fight in the Battle of  Alamo. You see, the Mexican Army was under the leadership of President General Antonio López de Santa Anna. He was jealous that he could not control Texas. So my Pa was going to travel all the way to San Antonio, Texas just to fight for our great state.

After we said our goodbyes, we headed back inside and waited for two weeks before we got word about my father. He wrote us that things were really getting serious and a few of his friends were taken captive by the Mexican Army. We were so afraid for him and his safety but continued our daily lives the best we could.

I was too busy with my horse to realize the gravity of the situation at hand.

“Ivy why are you always with that stupid horse?” Henry yelled as he made his way out of the woods.

“She’s not stupid, and she has a name, Bell. I’m getting her ready for a horse show. I’m trying to show mother and father that I’m determined and dedicated.” I yelled back with furry.

At this time, I was about to turn sixteen. I will finally be able to hopefully go steady with a young fella.

*                       *                      *

Day of Ivy’s sixteenth birthday

Dear Diary,

            Today is my sixteenth birthday, and I’m very excited. Mother said she was going to make me a very special cake and she also said she had quite the surprise for me. I’m so impatient. I can’t wait to see what it is. I just wish dad could me here to see this. Okay, well Mother is calling me I think we got a letter from dad. Someone important is at the door.

“Mother, who’s at the door,” I yelled as I walked out of my room.

“Hi, ma’am. I’m David Crockett, but friends call me Davy.”

“Hello, sir I’m Mrs.Wiston. Can I help you?”

With a sad face and worry in his voice, Davy told us that my father was no longer in the battle. My father was shot in the chest and made his way into a near by building, but when a nurse could come assist him his body was gone. Davy said even though they couldn’t find him, there was no way he could have survived the shot and that a ceremony would be held in his honor. My family was in disbelief. Was this really happening on my birthday? Did I just lose my father forever? So many questions were racking my brain.

My family and I packed up our bags and headed for San Antonio, on Bell, we wanted to say goodbye to whatever was left of my father.

*                      *                         *

Whenever we arrived the situation was strange. I knew my father had been in the very spot I was standing I could feel it. I immediately started asking questions and doing my own investigation.

A week had passed and it was time to go home. I begged my mother to let me stay and figure out if my father was really dead. I finally convinced her and continued my investigation. Many of my fathers friends told me that he goes to a near by church to pray. So off I went. As I walked in I could hear a voice saying who’s there? As I peeked around the corner I saw a young Hispanic, military officer about eighteen hiding from the “crazy Texans” as he called them. He made me chuckle a little bit. He was about six foot and had dark brown hair and green eyes that sparked when the light hit them. I told him I wasn’t there to hurt him and that I was just looking for my father.

“You say father?”

“Yes. I’m Ivy, and I’m looking for my father. He’s fighting in the battle. Have you seen him? His name is Matthew Winston.”

“Yes! I have. He saved my life. He saw me struggling for my life and told me he couldn’t watch a young child struggling. I told him I wanted no part of the war but that I was forced. After he helped me, he could not be seen with me or he would be considered as a trader.

“Well, did you see where he went.”

“No. I’m very sorry, Señorita. I can help you look.”

We both headed out and searched for my father. There were so many places he could have gone. Our first stop was the near by courthouse. If he needed help, he would definitely go there. However, as soon as we walked in, I knew he wasn’t there.

*                     *                      *

I had soon came to the conclusion, after five days that my father was gone. I packed up and went home. During our search, me and the young officer, Miguel,  became very fond of each other, so I took him home with me. When we got home and walked through the door, my father was at the table. My mother said she tried to send a letter but it didn’t arrive on time. I introduced Miguel and a week later we were married. Young for our age, but love is love.  He was eighteen and I was sixteen, but we knew what we were getting into. I got the best of both worlds: my father and the love of my life.