[[ Deep chapter guys! It gets happier! Don't cry on me! ]]
“My price is firm, Krista, I’m not making an exception for you. You lied to me, you deceived me, you went behind my back and betrayed me. It’s seven thousand. I’m picking him up tomorrow from your barn. He goes to the first person to give me that price, and that’s final.” A click, then silence. I threw the phone in anger onto a bale of hay, hating it passionately for a moment. After the moment was gone, I collected the cell and sat upon the hay I had tossed it on, throwing my face into my hands, sobbing helplessly.
I hadn’t done it. I had worked endlessly for the past months, only to come up with six thousand. Six thousand wasn’t seven. I hadn’t made it. Somewhere along the line, I messed up my calculations. I hadn’t budgeted for all the expenses, and somehow had fallen short. I didn’t know how to survive from here. I couldn’t live without that horse. He had just gotten back into jumping, and was going through the motions like the accident had never happened. He flew over the fences, both stadium and cross country, like he was born for the events. I knew it wouldn’t be long before Trina came and got him, but I was hoping it would be postponed. Unfortunately, my prayers went unanswered.
I felt weight next to me, shifting the hay. By the scent and feel of the person next to me, I knew instantly who it was. I let myself fall into his lap, leaving Jared to wipe my hair from my face, and pat my back gently, “It’s okay, Kat, we’re going to make it work. It’s going to be okay. We’re going to keep him, Kat; you’re going to keep him …” he kept repeating soothing words, waiting for me to calm on my own time. When I was decent, I sat up and faced him, “she’s taking him tomorrow, Jared. He’ll be gone tomorrow! I don’t have the money, and she’s not waiving the price.” Jared looked at me with pleading eyes. He didn’t know what to do either. Instead of giving in, he simply shook his head, lacing my hand with his. “We won’t let her take him. Not without a fight. That’s your horse, Krista.” He nodded towards Kiro’s stall, which was in view from where we were sitting, “and he knows that.”
On time, as she always was, Trina was at the door of Green Lantern Stables. Trailer backed up to the barn, doors open wide. Hay was stocked, with bedding laid. I stood in Kiro’s stall, stroking him softly, while he rest his face by my chest. Suddenly, Trina was at the stall door. She saw me there, and her expression instantly changed. “Krista, he’s not yours. You may think he is…” I cut her off, “You can’t have him, Trina.” She made the most horrific face, one of pure spite, “Kristene, get away from the horse. He’s not yours. He’s mine. I’ll do whatever I want with him.” I shook my head. “You’re being irrational, Trina. All I did was compete. I rode a horse. I did something I loved doing. I got back into jumping; I got back into loving it again. Isn’t that was you wanted?”
Trina looked to her feet, her face suddenly softening. “Kristene, is there a restroom in this building?” I was confused by her question, but answered honestly, “Yeah, it’s that door across the way, the one on the right. Why?” Trina shook her head in the direction of the restroom, “follow me, please.” I briefly wondered if she’d lock me in there, but I quickly rolled my eyes at the thought. Trina was upset, not a psychopath. I followed her into the spacious bathroom.
She removed her shirt, showing a sports bra … and several large, thick scars. Two on her back to the inside of her shoulder blade, two more under her left ribcage; one by her collarbone on her right side, and the end of one peeking out from under the middle of her bra. Trina was beat to hell. I wondered how I didn’t know, but then recalled that I’d never seen her without a tee shirt. I’d never even seen her in a tank top, though I’d never realized it until now. “Trina … what …” She stopped me, pointing to each scar as she spoke, “Two split shoulders. Four broken ribs. Broken collarbone. Fractured sternum.” She looked back to me, with a glazed look in her eye. “Krista, what do you think those scars are from?” It took me a second, but I figured it out. My entire outlook on my trainer’s attitude towards me eventing had changed. “You … you used to event. You had an accident; a bad fall.” She frowned, but shook her head. “Not exactly; I was an eventer, and I was good at it – on my way to the Rolex, in fact. But it wasn’t a bad fall that did this. It was a bad jump.” Puzzled, I provided a confused look. “The jump, it wasn’t built correctly. The brush on top is supposed to be thin, able to be passed through with no problems. But this wasn’t. It was thick, tangled, mismanaged. I was the first on the course, by luck of the draw, so nobody knew that the jump was so … dangerous.” Her voice gave a tiny, almost unnoticeable crack, and her eyes began to water, “Nobody knew the jump was fatal. Me and my horse, whom wasn’t mine, but loved as dearly, came at the jump. The takeoff was perfect, the speed impeccable. We had a winning run, except for that jump. His legs went into the brush, and they never came out.”
By the end of Trina’s story, I was crying silently, as was she. “I was pronounced dead for three minutes,” she finished, before quickly wiping her eyes and replacing her top, looking to me with red in her eyes, “I don’t want that for you, Krista. I don’t want that for Kiro. When you took that fall with Ghost, I was terrified. I thought that was going to happen to you right then and there. I though you’d have to live through that, and I almost died right there with you that day. But you didn’t. And neither did I; but Krista, I can’t take those chances anymore. I can’t risk that anymore. I care too much.”
She went out the door of the restroom, leaving me dumbfounded for a moment before I collected my senses and walked after her. “So that’s it? You’re just taking the horse and leaving? We can come back from this, Trina! It doesn’t have to be the end of this.” When Trina didn’t stop unlatching Kiro’s door, I got desperate. “I got back on after my fall off of Ghost, Trina! And while it wasn’t … it wasn’t half as bad as yours, I still did it! I got back on, and I jumped again. It took me years, and it took me someone special, but I did it. Now it’s your turn.” She hesitated, and I walked before her again. “Get back on the horse, Trina.”
She looked at me for a moment, with soulful eyes, and I thought I’d done it. “I can’t do that, Kristene.” My heart dropped. “The horse isn’t here anymore.”
With those words, all I could do was watch as Trina entered the stall, clipped my horse’s halter, and proceeded to walk him to the trailer. I didn’t know why he went for her this time. Maybe he felt as miserable for her as I did.
Maybe he wasn’t strong enough to fight yet.
Maybe I wasn’t either.
~ When I Die, Remember Me By My Horses ~
* Because They Are Responsible *
.: For Letting Me Live :. (c) xJumperx