March 21st, 2018
The Air conditioning turns on. I groan. My bed is already cold enough, and now mom has to turn the air conditioner on?
“Mom!" I scream. “It's Freezing in here! I can't sleep!”
She doesn't respond, but the buzzing of the AC shuts off. Phew. Were all good.
I stuff my face into the pillow. I hear my bedroom door open, so I look up. Its Mom.
“Lonnie, it's six. you gotta wake up, ya goof,” she tells me. Then she pulls the covers off of me. I groan once more. she smiles.
“Come on. Let's go. Your father is making bacon and eggs for breakfast, and he wants you to get the eggs from the hens. So come on. Hurry up darling,”. She finishes while brushing her fingers through my hair. I sit up. Then I groan one last time. Mom walks out of the room, and I slip on some clothes. My typical Wednesday morning outfit goes a little something like this: Jeans, a Plaid shirt, mismatched socks, and my riding boots. So I slip all of that on, run downstairs to the kitchen, and pass by dad, who is reading the newspaper.
I open the front door and see that Carter, our golden retriever dog, is laying out on the deck, trying to get a suntan. I almost trip over him but manage to grab the egg basket safely and head to the field. The hens are just beside the barn so I take a shortcut. My bike.
I hop on and peddle, to where we keep the hens.
I toss my bike on the ground and admire the house thing that we built for them. It was super colorful. each wooden board was painted a different color. Inside was three hens. Mary, George, and Sir. Tinklesworth. Sir. Tinklesworth is my favorite.
I reach under him and grab an egg. Then I do the same thing to the other two hens. when I get back outside, I hang the basket full of eggs on my bike's handlebar, hop on, and peddle through our grassy fields, watching the horses in their pastures.
When I get back home, the screen door shuts behind me and I sit down at the kitchen table. Dad passes the eggs to mom, with his head still stuffed in the paper. I slip a piece of bacon into my mouth. Dad chuckles.
“What's so funny?” I ask him. He sets the paper down and looks at me.
“London, it's your hair. you didn't brush it,". He answers me. I check myself out through the reflection of my spoon. Then I smooth out my hair. It's long and wavy. mom says it's red, but I say it's brown.
Mom sets down the fried eggs on the table.
“Lonnie eat up fast because you have a lesson to teach in fifteen minutes. The girls are waiting for your help to tack up the horses,” she tells me. Right. I forgot. I and my family live on a farm sort of place and Dad has a riding lessons business sort of thing. It's getting quite busy now, so they are asking me to teach some lessons.
“Do I have to Mom? It's Dad's business. Not mine. ” I ask her. She stands up and pushes her chair back in.
“Sorry sweets, but It's a family business. and there are lots of girls out there that want to be just like you. you are a good rider London. give it a try, and if it's as horrible as you think it will be, I'll reconsider. okay, kiddo?” She finally agrees. I sigh. Dad looks at his watch.
“Better hurry now. the lesson starts in ten,” he tells me.
I stand up and walk outside. Carter wags his tail and I give him a good pat. next, I grab my trusty old bike and peddle towards the stables. My family owns about six acres of land so the stables where all the horses and barns are is quite a bike ride away. there is this little section in the fields that is a little forest. I love it. In the summertime, it's really good for shade.
When I get to the main area, I notice that the parking lot is full. dad was right. It is busy.
I walk inside the barn and see that some girls are petting Mickey. My horse. Now typically, I'm not mean at all. but when it comes to horses, I can sometimes get a little overprotective.
“Oh hi. I'm London. I'm your new coach, but you can just call me Lonnie. And uh, that's my horse. Mickey. the lesson horses are over on that side of the barn. These horses are too young to be ridden by beginners. ” I try to say as politely as possible. there were three girls crowded around mickey. two of them looked about the age of fourteen. one girl looked like she was fifteen. I'm sixteen. great. just great. I have to coach someone that is literally only one year younger than me.
The older girl didn't take too kindly to the word “beginner” and she snorted. she had a thick British accent.
“Excuse me but I'm not a beginner. this has to be a mistake. my name is Rebecca stewards and my father signed me up for advanced jumping” she tells me. I already know that this is gonna be a long day.
“Sorry, but there is no mistake. and uh… your helmet's on backward” I let her know quietly. Even though I'm quite a shy person, I can't help but giggle inside my head. Rebecca purses her lips.
“Hmph” She mutters quietly.
I clap my hands and change the mood.
“Alright, everybody! let's go get your horses!” I yell excitedly. Maybe mom was right. Maybe this would be fun. As long as Rebecca keeps being her snotty self, I might actually enjoy myself.
The three girls follow me down the hall towards the older horses. As we walk, I set some ground rules.
“Have any of you actually ridden before?” I ask the three of them. Rebecca and one other girl shook their heads no. Rebecca however, did it hesitantly. The girl that didn't shake her head, spoke.
“I'm Emily, I'm fourteen and a half and I've ridden a couple of times. I've walked and trotted, but never cantered yet. I hope to try sometime soon though.”
“Great. and who are you?” I ask the girl that shook her head.
“I'm fourteen as well. My name is Jessie," she replies.
“Right. Now, some rules for people that have never ridden before are to never walk behind the horse if they don't know that you're there. also, don't get on a horse if I'm not there. horses can be dangerous, and I don't want anyone to get hurt. Got it?” I ask them. They all nod yes.
When we arrive down to the other side of the barn, I go through the options. The older horses range from about fifteen to twenty-five.
“Okay. Jessie, you'll be on Roper over there. yup that one. he's a palomino.” I begin. “Emily, hm let's see… Ooh. Yes. Kay. Minnie should be just right. She's sixteen. Quite young. she'll be perfect for you. of course, that is, if you've ridden before, and you have, so that's good. ”
Then I look at Rebecca. She seems to be wearing very fancy riding clothes. She had navy colored uniform on and very very beautiful shoes. I shake my head a little. I got distracted.
“Right and uh, Rebecca you can go on Nitro. He's a paint horse. Very beautiful. ” I tell her. “Jessie and Emily Just wait one minute. I'll help Rebecca get Nitro out first then I'll help you girls. ” I tell them. Then Rebecca follows me to Nitro's stall and I pass her the lead rope, halter and tell her the instructions.
A little while later we had all three horses tacked up and ready to go outside. I tell the girls to follow me and I take them to the outdoor arena. After Helping them on the horses and telling them the basics, we get started.
“Okay everybody you can start by doing three laps around the arena in a walk then we'll try doing a bit of a posting trot. ” I tell them. A couple of times Rebecca and Emily lost a stirrup but Jessie seemed to be doing just fine. Jessie was more than fine. she was amazing.
After the warm-up we did some figure-eight patterns in a trot and then I taught them to do some cantering. The only really bad part was that I was on the ground telling them what to do. I'm used to being the person on the horse, not the ground.
When lessons were over, I cleaned up and biked home. When I arrive, the mom bomb of questions hit me.
¨It was okay mom. there were only three girls today. the fourth couldn't come. There's Rebecca, Emily, Jessie and I'm pretty sure they said that the fourth one is Lily. ¨ I Tell her quickly and sit down at the kitchen table with her. she smiles.
¨So what ya gonna do today kiddo? It's only lunchtime. ¨
¨I dunno¨ I grunt.
¨Are the girls from your lesson still hanging around the stables for a while? why don't ya go hang with them?¨ She sips her tea.
¨Well Rebecca is still there but She's kind of a snob. besides, I hardly know them. they're just my students. ¨
My mom laughed. ¨Lonnie, just give her a chance. You never know what's going on with her. Maybe something is happening at home for her. And sweetie if they are only a year younger, I would hardly count them as students. Go have fun! It's the weekend! No school!¨ she yells excitedly. mom nudges my shoulder. I grunt.
¨I can't. I'm going for a ride. I'll be back before dinner¨.
And with that, I get up and head back to the stables. As I walk through our tiny little horse ¨Town¨ if you wanna call it that, and I pass by Jessie watching my dad coach his 12:45 lesson. she's standing on the fence like a cowgirl. I don't think she was telling the truth when she said she had never ridden before. She's a natural.
I join her on the fence.
¨Hey uh? Remember me? Yeah um, hi. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to hang out? We could go for a ride. But like not as your coach, as a friend. ¨ I ask her. She turns to look at me.
"Sure. Who should I ride? Roper again?¨ she asks me politely. she's really nice. I think back to when I put her on Roper, a really old horse.
¨Nah. I think you could ride someone a bit younger. ¨ I answer her with a smile. she looked surprised. Jessie follows me to the first aisle of horse stalls and I show her to Mickey's best friend.
¨This is Emerald. she's really nice. her dad was actually in the Olympics. can you believe that? Emerald is a pro at jumping. she also has a nice steady canter. you could try her. She and my horse, Mickey, are like best friends.¨ I let her know excitedly. ¨She's a rocky mountain horse. ¨
¨She is beautiful.¨ she whispers. I smile. We get our horses tacked up and I ride English and she rides western. we head down the fields and venture through the mini woods, but when we get back to the stables, I see that the Jumps are set up in the arena. I have an idea.
¨Hey uh Jessie? Is it true that you have never ridden before?¨ I ask her out of curiosity and hop off of Mickey, my Paint horse. She hops off too and looks defeated.
¨Okay. No. I have ridden before. lots. My granddad owns a ranch and has a couple of horses and I ride them like five times a week and-¨ she begins quickly but I cut her off.
¨Its okay, don't worry. I just don't get why you lied. ¨
¨w-well a couple of months ago I fell off and got hurt really bad and I didn't really want to get back on the horse at the level that I was on so I told you That I was a beginner so that you would treat me like one. and I know it sounds stupid because I'm almost fifteen and being scared of horses is dumb and I never should have lied but I just can't do it anymore.¨ she cries. I put my hand on her arm.
¨Its Okay, Jessie. how long have you been riding?¨
¨A-a couple years¨
¨Oh wow. have you done jumping?¨
¨Is that why you fell?¨
¨Yeah¨ she finishes quietly. Maybe trying to do jumps today was rushing it. but someday, Someday, I will get her back to the horse girl she was.
April 26th, 2018
A couple of weeks pass. The Winter around us leaves and summer is just around the corner. One hot Monday morning mom woke me up with an iced coffee.
¨Lonnie, It's seven. You're gonna be late for school kiddo.¨ She warned me while wiping the kitchen table off with a fluffy red cloth.
¨I know, I know. Gabby's dad is gonna pick me up in his car.¨ I remind her.
¨You better hurry up then. They just pulled up outside.¨ My mom told me.
I stuff a piece of bread into my mouth, grab my bag, and head outside. Today Gabby is wearing the usual outfit expected from a teenage girl like her. Plain white crop top, cropped black sweater unzipped, vans, plain black socks, and curled hair. Gabby and I hate each other, but not really. It's complicated. She's really the only school ¨friend¨ that I have. My mom and her dad are friends so we have to hang out a lot.
Gabby looks at my face with no makeup and frowns.
¨I still do not understand you London Rose Arthurs. Come. Follow me. Dad couldn't take out Jeremy's car seat so you'll have to sit in it. ¨ She shrugs. I give her a fake smile.
Before I sit down, I brush the cracker crumbs off the seat. The car ride seems to be longer than usual.
Mr. Connor takes a right turn.
¨Hey uh you took a wrong turn. schools that way.¨ I remind him and point left. He laughs.
¨Actually we're not going the wrong way. This isn't the first time I've driven you to school London Rose.¨
I hate it when people call me by my first and middle name. Mr. Connor seems to love my mother but hates me. I can't say I don't hate him.
¨Um I'm pretty sure that the schools are that way.¨
By this point, I'm starting to get annoyed.
¨It isn't. Now sit back and be quiet.¨ he says firmly. Then he adjusts his mirror so that he can see me clearly. Gabby giggles. Ugh. I absolutely can swear on my life that he turned the wrong way.
After about five minutes he realizes he did turn the wrong way. He didn't say anything but I feel good about myself.
We end up being like ten minutes late for school but it was all worth it.
Gabby passes me my bag and we head our separate ways. The school we go to is called Hamilton High.
I push open the big glass doors and notice that the hallways aren't very busy, considering everyone is already in class.
I head to English and Mrs. Janene motions for me to come to talk to her.
¨Okay class, read pages thirty-one to forty-three¨ She says loudly. Then she turns towards me. ¨This is the third time that you are late this week in London. I'm sorry but if this keeps up, you'll fail this class. I need you to watch the time more often please.¨
¨I know I'm truly very sorry it just that-¨
¨Your mother already called. I know that your family has been tough lately. No need to explain. But that is still no excuse for being late. Now open your books and start reading please.¨
¨Wait what-¨ I begin but she gives me the death stare and raises one eyebrow. I drop my shoulders and heavily carry myself to my desk in the back of the classroom. I sit behind Alianna O´Connor. She's pretty and always smells like perfume. Alianna spends her free time hanging out with Gabby.
On my left is Jerry Tailors who hasn't grown out of collecting pokemon cards.
On my right, is Jasmine Waters, the prettiest girl in the class. She has silky black hair that hangs all the way down to her hips. She's nice, but I'm kinda quiet and don't make friends in school.
I open my English books and pretend to read them but really, I'm thinking about what Mrs. Janene said. Mom and dad never told me that our family was having a hard time. It doesn't make any sense. The business has been super busy, but other than that, I didn't notice anything.
Jerry taps my shoulder. ¨Hey Lonnie. look what I found underneath my desk¨ He whispers while holding up a chewed piece of gum. I nod and almost throw up in my mouth.
After a few more classes, I head to the cafeteria and sit down at an empty table next to the trash cans. chattering and buzzing are going around as usual. I scan the cafeteria to see if anything has changed but it's all the same. The big rectangular tables are used by the big football players. Next to those, are small circular tables where Jasmine and her other friends sit. All her friends do, is stare at the football players and giggle. I can't help but notice that Jasmine sits quietly and sips her juice box staring down at her chipped nails.
Jerry and his goofball friends sit at the super long rectangles tables and shoot potatoes up to the ceiling,, shoot and see how long they stick. Alianna and Gabbys crew sit at the big circular tables next to the lunch ladies and put on a fresh coat of mascara or lipgloss every two minutes.
They don't exactly make a table for shy equestrians so I sit by myself. One time I was lucky enough for Gabby to sit with me but that was only because her table was gross and sticky from the older grades. I didn't really enjoy her sitting with me anyways.
I open my lunch bag to see half a salami sandwich, a healthy granola bar, and seven slices of apples in a Ziploc bag.
After lunch, I go to chemistry, Math, and then Art class. Everybody filed out of the classroom and I do the same. Every day I have to walk an hour home and today it was so hot that I actually wanted the air conditioning on when I got home. I kick my shoes off and see mom with her behind sticking out of the kitchen cupboards.
¨Oh hey kiddo. How was school?¨ She asks me while wiping the sweat off her forehead with the back of her hand. I shrug.
¨Mr. Connor insists that he drive me tomorrow again¨ I say sarcastically. Mom can tell that I was exaggerating.
¨Aw come on London. It couldn't have been that bad.¨
I drop my bags, head outside, and bike down to heartridge stables. Our family business. As I bike around ¨Town¨, I see dad teaching a lesson and decide to go watch him. I wave to Dad. He sees me and walks over to the fence.
¨Hey London. Darling, can you do me a favor and finish this lesson off? There's a bunch of paperwork I have to sign. ¨ He asks me. Dad is stressed. I can tell because he's sweating and his hands are shaking. My dad is all and strong. One time, A girl that came here for lessons, thought that my dad was Dwayne Johnson. I guess I can kind of see that, with the bald head and everything, but still.
Before I can answer, Dad talks again.
¨Thanks Kiddo.¨ He says quickly and goes to open the gate to leave the arena. I stop him.
¨What's the paperwork for?¨
¨New horse¨ He answers quickly.
¨Ooh what breed? Is it a mare? A gelding? Stallion?¨
¨I don't have time for questions right now London Rose. ¨And with that, he forces the gate open and storms away.
Dad just leaves me there. All the kids in his lesson are little kids. This should be fun.
¨Okay people! Let's do some work on steering in a canter¨
The rest of that day was hot. I took Mickey out for a ride through the tiny woods and helped mom make lasagna for dinner. Me, my mom, and dad sat at the dining room table in silence as we ate in silence.
¨So um have you heard from Elliot?¨ I ask to break the awkwardness. Dad looks up and immediately stops poking at his empty plate with his fork. My mother crosses her arms.
¨Lonnie please dont bring him into this conversation dear. You know that-¨ My mom begins.
¨Yes. I know that he's at a school for troubled boys and you guys dont wanna talk about him. I think it's time we change that. He's been there for a year. Why not give him a call every so often and check in. he's your son, and my brother. You can't just leave him there and expect everything to turn out.¨ I raise my voice and try to be brave. Dad stands up.
¨Don't you dare talk about Elliot. Now sit down and finish up.¨
After I finished, I did the dishes for mom and wiped the table. I can hear the horses neigh and I want so badly to go and help Mickey. I don't think dad refilled their hay nets. They must be starving. Dad has been acting different for the past few days, but I only just noticed it today.
When I lay in my bed, I think of no school tomorrow because of some sort of teacher meeting thing. I think about the new horse. I think about Heartridge stables. I don't know what my english teacher meant, I don't know if she misinterpreted what my parents told her on the phone. But most of all, whatever my parents did say on the phone, why didn't they tell me?
June 8th, 2018
It's finally the summer. School is over. I still have to teach my lessons, but they aren't as bad as they used to be. Actually I have to teach the girls in a couple of hours.
Right now, Im washing Mickey off. He loves getting washed off when it's hot out because the water is cold and it cools him down.
As you may have heard before, Mickey, is my horse. I've had him since he was a colt. Now, he's eleven years old. Mickey is a palomino horse. He's just about 15.3 hands tall, so not too big. My height is just average, so we work well together.
I turn the hose on and make sure that Mickey is tied up. Because he's a palomino, he gets dirty quite often from rolling in the dirt, so I wash him alot.
Mickey sighs as I hose off all of his hard work and I give him a pat.
“I know boy. I know. How ‘bout I take you for a ride after you're all dried off mkay?” And Propose to him as I dry off his ears. Mickey sighs.
I unhook his lead rope from the fence and take him back inside the stables. As I walk with him alongside all of the stalls, I catch a glimpse of Rebecca and Emily talking to another girl that i've never seen before. She has long wavy brown hair and very pretty green eyes. The girl looks like she is the same age as Emily. Fifteen.
I take Mickey to his stall and take off his halter. Once he's latched in, I give him a pelleted apple treat and close the door. While I walk down the aisle, I stuff the baggy into my pocket and smooth out my hair. All three girls were leaning against the stall of Minnie. Mickey's sister. We got them both at the same time bit I prefer geldings over mares so I chose Mickey to be my horse. I think I was like five or something like that when they both came.
Emily turns to look at me when she hears the click of my boots. All of them look up.
“Um what are you doing here Coach?” Rebecca asks me snottily.
“I live here. And don't call me coach. Call me Lonnie". I reply kindly.
I smile. Rebecca doesn't. Emily pipes up.
“Lonnie this is Lily. She came here early to meet you and Jessie.” Emily points to the other girl with them.
Lily waves at me and smiles. I don't know why Rebecca hangs out with Emily and Lily. They're too nice to be destroyed by her. I need to save them from becoming her personal servants.
“Nice to meet you Lily. But uh, how come you weren't here the past couple weeks for lessons? You missed a lot of 'em. I thought you were just missing the first one.” I ask her while they follow me out of the stables and onto the hay pile outside in the sun.
“Well I heard that most of the girls here have ridden before and so soon instead of the class beings classified as for beginners it would be for intermediate. My mom made me wait until its intermediate before I actually came because my mom is like kind of competitive and she didn't want me to be around beginners I guess.” She replied while plopping down on the hay with me and Emily.
“Right. So um you've ridden before?” I ask her.
“Yup. For about three years now. I've jumped 2 feet. My mom even wanted to wait until this class was advanced but I talked to her. I guess she's a bit snotty sometimes.”
“Sounds like someone we know” I giggle. Emily and Lily laugh but we get interrupted by Jessie. She plops down on the hay pile as well.
“Oh hi Lily. Welcome to the team.” She waves to Lily. “Wheres Rebecca?”
“In the barn. She's not in the best mood. She's been trying to mess with Lily.”Emily answers.
“Mess with me? Guys is she really that bad?” Lily asks while munching on a granola bar she must've pulled out of her pocket.
The rest of us nod and laugh.
“Maybe give her a chance.” Lily tells us. Me, Jessie and Emily don't say anything. Lily sighs.
“So uh, are any of you guys going to try out for the riding team this year? You guys will all probably be experienced enough by the time tryouts start. ” I tell them.
“When is that?” Jessie asks. She takes a huge bite out of an apple. All these snacks are making me hungry.
“Couple months from now.” I reply.
“Are you going to try out Lonnie?” Lily asks me.
“Definitely. I make it every year because my dad judges the tryouts. He still makes me actually tryout though because otherwise it's not fair for the other people that try apparently.”
“Mm." Emily says. “Are you sure that i'm experienced enough?”
“You will be. Well start doing lessons three times a week instead of two now. I want you all to make it in. It'll be so fun if we do.” I tell them excitedly. “Oh and guys, don't call me coach. You all are only like a year younger than me. Call me Lonnie. And don't think of our lessons as lessons, think of them as hangouts. You guys can also come to heartridge any time you want. I just live across that field over there. Stop by any time.” I finish. Then I smile, dust the hay off of my pants, and get up. I walk past the sign welcoming people to heartridge stables and hop on my bike. I almost peddle away but get startled by a tap on the shoulder. It was Jessie. I look at her more carefully. She has wavy blond hair that stops at her shoulders and she has beautiful blue eyes. She's wearing a black tank-top tucked in her dark blue jeans.
“Sorry to scare you Lonnie. I, um, just wanted to talk to you.” Jessie tells me. I get off my rusty red bike and sit down on the grass beside her.
“Yeah?” I ask. She fidgets with her thumbs and stares at me.
“Nothing. I-its nothing. Forget it. Do you, uh, wanna go get ready for the lesson?” She quickly asks me while standing up and brushing the dirt off of her jeans.
“Sure. I was just gonna go home, grab a glass of lemonade and come back. But I guess it could wait. C'mon. Let's go.” I put my shoulder around her and we walk back into heartridge.
“Hey uh, would you mind giving me a tour? -I know that i've been here for quite a while now and I know my way around but-” She begins.
“Sure. No problem".
When we first walk into the big white fence archway with beautiful green plants and flowers surrounding it, you stare straight ahead at the barn. Its white paint is peeling off in some corners but it looks very pretty. The barn is massive, and we have more than two hundred stalls. Each stall had wooden bars, allowing the horses to see into the stall next to them.
I walk Jessie through the aisles, naming all the horses and talking about their pasts.
“That's Mickey. Oh my Mickey. I just washed him actually". I say, pointing to the handsome palomino in the stall next to Minnie. “And that's his sister, Minnie.”
“Aww, how adorable”.
I was just about to take Jessie to the cross-country course, when we got interrupted on our way there, by my father. Surprise, surprise.
“London Rose can you show our new stable boy around please?” He asks me while wiping sweat off of his forehead.
“Dad you've been really sweaty lately. You know that right? right?” I willingly remind him.
“Well uh, it is the summer time now. Right Jakey? Heh heh. Now London, please show Jakey around.” He grunts.
“But dad, I was literally just giving Jessie a tour.”
“London I don't have time for this right now. Now show him around. ” And with that, he storms off.
“What kind of name is Jakey?” I whisper to Jessie. She giggles. Jakey must have had good hearing because he heard us.
“Its my name, and i'm proud of it". He smiles. I'm not sure why exactly, but he smiles. This Jakey boy seemed oddly friendly. “Pleasure to meet you London Rose.”
“How do you know me?" I ask, surprised. If I had seen this handsome cowboy before, trust me, I would have remembered.
“Well your father talks about you alot.”
“I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.” I laugh.
“Mixture of both. He's real proud of you, ya know. ”
“Its true London Rose. You've got skill. I've seen you out there before. Your a real natural".
“Well thanks. I guess.”
“No problem London Rose.”
He catches me off guard. I don't think I realized that he was calling me by my first and middle name. I guess it didn't seem annoying when he did it.
“Call me Lonnie. - All my friends do.” I suggest.
“So I'm your friend now? I thought you hated me.”
“When did I say that?” I ask him, curious.
“You didn't. Your father did. He said your real shy at your school, but at the barn, your quite the opposite.”
“Did he now?”
“He sure did.”
“You don't seem to be very quiet either.” I giggle, trying to defend myself.
“I guess not.”
“And how did my father saying that I won't shut up, give you the idea that I hate you?”
Jakey speaks again, but only this time did I realize his cowboyish accent. It's not very strong, but I still notice it. “Your father also said that your quite picky when it comes to stable boys.”
“I guess you're just going to have to earn my respect then.”
“Right. I guess, see you later?”
“I guess.” I finish. As me and Jessie walk back inside the stables to prepare for the lesson, she speaks.
“Weren't you s'posed to show him around?”
“Nah. He'll show himself around”
We both laugh.
“Oh and what's a stable boy? I've never heard of them before”.
“Just boys that stables hire to like, feed the horses”. I reply.
As we walk past the tack room and turn right into the aisles we see Emily and Lily talking to Rebecca. AGAIN.
“Maybe they're talking some sense into her”. Jessie shrugs. I giggle. We both walk up to the three of them.
“Oh hey guys! We were just about to come looking for you, Lonnie!” Lily waves to us.
“Heh heh.” I grunt.
“Did you guys see the new stable boy?” Emily asks us excitedly. “I want myself a cowboy!”
“Sorry Em! Lonnie's already got dibs!” Jessie laughs.
“Heyyyyy! I never said that!” I yell.
“Your smile did!”
“Face it Lonnie, you like him! I've never seen you so… well, Cool before!" Jessie exclaims.
“What's that s'posed to mean?!” I yell offendedly.
“The way you talked to him… I've just never seen you talk that much before. You seemed so confident”.
“Oh” I sigh. “Anyways, shall we get ready for our lesson girls?"
I show them to their horses.
“You all will stay on the same horses you've been on for the past couple weeks. You need to grow a bond with them. That means that Jessie will be on Emerald, Emily on Minnie, Rebecca youll go on Nitro. Now Lily, I would give you a beginners horse, but now that this class has moved up to intermediate, and you've ridden lots before, I think we can get you someone nice. How ‘bout Malibou?” I ask Lily while everyone else heads to the tack room to grab their horse’s stuff.
“Who's she?” Lily asks me.
“That bay mare over there. She's thirteen and she looks about a good height for you.”
Rebecca is the tallest out of the five of us. The rest of us are all about the same height.
When all horses are tacked up, I bring everybody to the outdoor arena. I figured it would be nice, because today is like plus thirty.
We start with a basic warm up.
“Two laps walking then two trotting. After that, switch directions and do the same”. I shout to the other side of the arena. Rebecca whispers something to Jessie and Jessie's face turns pale.
“Please focus Rebecca!” I shout, worried. When Jessie comes back around the arena to where I am, I talk to her.
“What did she say?”
Jessie frowns and she fidgets with her reigns. “She didn't say anything”.
“Jessie you know you can tell me anything. Whatever Rebecca said, ignore her. She's just trying to mess with your head”.
“London, chill. She didn't say anything”. Jessie tells me and she trots away.
After the lesson and all the horses are put away, I go up to Jessie before she leaves. We now both stand in the parking lot. Her hair blows in the wind.
“Jessie, I know that Rebecca told you something. You can tell me. Its okay” I remind her once again.
“Back off London. Its fine. She didn't say anything.” And with that, she hops in her dad's car and they drive away.
I can't believe what I just heard.
I need to find out what's going on, and fast.
Notes before reading: I would recommend listening to this song while reading this chapter because it is what I listened to while writing it.
I think I am gonna start putting these links in every chapter because I think its a good idea to feel what your reading. (Also listening to this song while reading this chapter over made me cry because this is a super sad chapter so grab some tissue!)
I hope you enjoy this chapter because I worked really hard on it. Please leave feedback in the comments I will read it!
ily so much xxx
June 9th 2018
I run into the kitchen and kick off my shoes.
“Mom! We need to talk!” I yell.
She turns to look at me. “London, go brush your hair. It's a rat's nest,” She laughs.
“Mom, seriously. Where is dad?” I ask her. She points to the chicken coop. I run outside. “Hey dad,”
“Hi London, what is it?” He runs his hands through his thick wavy hair.
“Why are you so stressed lately?”
“Ooookay. Anyways, I need to talk to you and mom inside,”
He follows me to the kitchen where I find Jessie and my mum sitting at the table.
“Jessie? What're you doing here?” I ask confusingly.
“Your mom called me over. She says you need to talk to me,” Jessie replies.
“Oh. Okay so things have been really confusing lately and I need a minute to talk to you all at once,” I start while sitting down in front of my mother at the table.
“London there is something we have been needing to tell you actually,” my mom replies nervously. “The truth is… your dad and I haven't been able to pay the bills for the barn lately, and we need to sell Mickey,”
My heart stops beating. My mother grabs my hand and holds it tight. I try to get up and throw a tantrum but she's too strong. I'm glued to the table. Her words were like knives to my body. I swallow the lump in my throat.
“WHAT?!” I scream at the top of my lungs.
“London, stay calm. It's our only option. We need the money and we can't afford to sell two horses so we have to sell the horse that has the most value. Sweetie, we never saw this coming. It caught us by surprise too, and so we need to do something about it. Me and your father looked at all of our options and this was the only one that would work. We're so sorry London Rose…” my mother tried, but the pain travelled all through my body and made it hard to breathe. I try to speak but nothing comes out, so instead, I run outside and slam the door shut behind me, I sit on the bench on our front porch and stroke the back of our golden retriever puppy that jumps up on my lap. We got him a month ago. His name is Jasper. Our other dog isn't too much of a fan of him.
Jessie comes outside and sits beside me.
“I suppose you know what Rebecca was saying during practice after hearing that,” she says quietly.
“Well I mean, a couple days ago me and Rebecca were hanging out and we overheard your parents talking about this. She threatened to tell you what we heard. That's what she was whispering in my ear yesterday,¨
“What?! And you didn't tell me you overheard that?! Why?!”
“I was trying to Protect you Lonnie,” She cries.
¨Protect me? How were you protecting me by keeping something that big away from me?! You could've just told me Jessie…¨ And with that, I get up and ride my rusty bike to the barn. I run straight to Mickey's stall.
¨Hey buddy. I´ll miss you,¨
June 13th 2018
It's finally the day. The day that Mickey leaves me forever. Mom and dad had already found a buyer before they even told me they were going to sell him. I can't believe it.
Jessie and I stand on either side of Mickey who is tied up to a fence in the field. Jessie braids his mane as I brush him off. I go to brush the dirt off of his nose but he spooks and rips the rope.
¨Mickey! Get back here!" I yell as he runs off going nuts. I try to chase after him but he jumps the fence on our property and is now in our neighbours property. Our neighbours, Mr and Mrs. Dlopathe dont mind. But that's only because this happens about once every week. They are a sweet elderly couple that owns a couple of horses and live a simple life. Mickey immediately rolls in a huge pile of dirt.
¨Mickey!¨ I yell while climbing over the fence and attaching his lead rope to his halter. I bring him to back to our property and load him up in the horse trailer. My mother runs out of the house and comes to me and Jessie by the trailer.
¨London what are you doing?¨ She asks, trying to brush off the dirt.
¨Loading him up. When are the buyers coming?¨ I ask angrily.
¨Not for another hour, why don´t you go take him out for one last ride,¨
¨No thanks. Can the buyers come any sooner?¨ I ask impatiently.
Jessie raises an eyebrow along with my mother.
¨London Rose, what is going on? An hour ago you were crying that he was being sold, and now you want the buyers to come early?¨
¨Mom just leave me alone and get this horse out of here. I can't stand to look at him anymore,¨
An hour later…
I can hear the sound of the buyers vehicle pulling up so I head to Mr and Mrs. Dlopathe´s house to tell them what's happening. I knock on their door. They both answer and invite me to sit on the front porch with them.
¨What is it dear?¨ Mrs. Dlopathe asks me sweetly.
¨Well we haven't been able to pay our bills and so we had so sell Mickey,¨ I tell them quietly. Mrs. Dlopathe grabs my hand.
¨Were so sorry sweetie. To get that off of your mind, want to go see the wild horse we bought a few days ago?¨ She asks.
¨Wild horse? Where?¨
¨Out in the back pasture. he doesn't have a name yet, do you want to name him?¨
¨Can I go see him first?¨
I run out behind their small house to see a wild paint horse. His beauty struck me like lightning. I could only see him from a distance though so I climbed over the fence and walked slowly to the middle of the pasture where he was standing.
The only thing standing in between us now was two feet of air. I stretch out my hand and lay it super flat for him to sniff. With my other hand, I grab a sugar cube and place it in my hand that was currently being sniffed. The horse wasn't sure of what to think of it at first but he sniffed it and gave it a big lick. After approving it, he gobbles it up and gives me a big horse happy smile. I giggle.The horse was brown with white splotches. He had a diamond shape on his nose which made him more unique than any other horse I've ever seen before.
Behind me I hear yelling.
¨London?! How did you get so close to him?! Be careful! hes wild! he could hurt you!" Mr. Dlopathe yells, unsure of what he was witnessing.
¨I don't understand how he could be wild though. He seems so friendly,¨ I say.
¨Oh he sure is wild. In fact, before you, the closest he's ever let anyone come to him was thirty feet! I think he likes you London!¨
I smile. ¨Maybe he does… Now, what to name him?¨ I look around me and see that a big truck speeds by on the highway that said *Bruno Wildflower .co*
¨Bruno. His name is Bruno now,¨ I smile. Mr and Mrs. Dlopathe nod their heads. ¨Bruno it is,¨
They look at each other. ¨We´ll leave you two alone now London,¨
I smile at them. ¨Thanks,¨
After they walk away, I take a minute to admire Bruno's beauty. he looks about 15.2 hands high. So pretty tall.
I slide on my headphones and play relaxing music. I then sit down on the grass and Bruno lies down beside me.
¨Hey boy!¨ I laugh. ¨You are just too cute,¨
Then somebody taps my shoulder.
¨Jakey? What're you doing here?¨ I ask, confused.
¨Lonnie? Hi. This is my grandparents house. I'm moving in with them,¨ He replies.
¨Oh my. It really is a small world. So if your grandparents live here, you must know about Bruno,¨
¨You named him Bruno? I like it. How did you get so close to him?¨
¨I dunno. I just approached him slowly I guess,¨
¨Hes beautiful isn't he?¨
¨So beautiful. I never knew paint horses could be so majestic,¨
¨Oh I wouldn't call him majestic. Until now, he just gallops around in his pasture all day. He never gets tired,¨ Jakey laughs. I laugh too. We pause in silence.
¨Lonnie, would you maybe want to, I dunno, go out for lunch with me sometime?¨ He asks me nervously. I stare into his blue eyes. Then at his wavy blonde hair.
¨Me? Erm… sure,¨ I reply.
He smiles. ¨See you around then,¨
¨Yeah,¨ I finish. he turns to look at me one last time and then runs into the house with his grandparents otherwise known as Mr and Mrs. Dlopathe.
Bruno neighs and shows his teeth one more time as if smiling. I laugh and then rest my head on his stomach. The relaxing music puts me right to sleep as I dream about me riding him. I slap myself, trying to get that thought out of my head.
He's a wild horse Lonnie, he can never be ridden. Right?