The drive home wasn’t long enough. It was early in the morning, and I spent the first hour or so sleeping, but the rest of the way was pure fun. Jared and I had an amazing connection, never tiring of each other. We cracked each other up, talked some strategy for the upcoming shows … I won’t deny that I was a bit disappointed when the truck and trailer came to a halt outside of Trina’s barn. “Hey, Jared, thanks so much for bringing me. I can’t wait to do it again. Kiro says thank you too!” I jumped out of the truck, and started to unload Kiro myself. Suddenly, Jared appeared around the side of the trailer. “You didn’t have to get out!” I apologized, but he shook his head, “No, I want to! I love your little barn. Besides, you owe me a visit!” He grinned teasingly and nudged my shoulder. “Uh huh, I suppose. You could carry something though, Your Highness,” I joked. We managed to get everything in the barn and tucked away before Trina stumbled down the stairs to meet us.
“Welcome back, kids!” She exclaimed enthusiastically, giving each of us a big hug. “I’ve missed you, Krista! I forgot how much riding you do for me; I’ve been exhausted! But anyway, how was the camping trip?” Jared looked puzzled, and it dawned on me that he didn’t know that Trina was in the dark on this. I quickly smacked his hand discreetly before he could get a word in, “Awesome! You have to come with us sometime, It’s simply beautiful. You can see the whole world from the hilltops,” my voice was a bit shaky, but Trina seemed to believe every word. “Sounds amazing,” she followed, “But there would be nobody to run the barn. Maybe if I get another hand,” I noticed then that Trina was looking tired.
She was slouched over just a tad, eyes a little droopy. She clearly had been working her butt off, and it made me feel terrible. I had really left her without any help. It was awful to think about, and I instantly apologized, “Oh Kristene,” she retorted, “you don’t need to worry about me. I ran this barn by myself for years before you were here, I can handle three days of alone time. It’s really okay.” I nodded, but still felt bad, “Well, I’m going to see Jared out, then I’ll get all the horses taken care of for you. Please go back to bed, Trina. Please?” It was a hard case to sell – it was already 9:00AM, but I could tell she needed it; and I think she realized it too. “Alright. Do a good job, I’ll see you tomorrow,” she smiled to Jared, “good to see you!” They shook hands, and Trina found her way back upstairs. I turned back out the barn with Jared, ready for an ear-full.
“Krista, why in god’s name doesn’t she know about you eventing?!” I could tell he wasn’t particularly happy about the fact, “I tried to bring it up, Jared. She won’t have it. I tried to convince her, I did; but there was no way. And I want to event! I know I can handle everything with your help, she’s worried for no reason.” I glanced at him, and found him giving me a hard look. We were at the truck now, and I leaned on the hood as he did. “Kat, I don’t like it. If something happens to you … I mean, god forbid, I’d never forgive myself; but what in the world would you tell her?” He did bring up a good point, but I disregarded it. “Don’t worry Jared, it’s going to be fine. You worry more than she does!” I offered a hug, which he took, before he got in the truck. “Alright, Kat, if you say so. I don’t like it though!” I simply rolled my eyes, “I’ll see you Tuesday, Jared!”
I head back into the barn to get all the chores done. After everybody was all taken care of, I decided to go ahead and head home. I’m sure Navy and Mom were ready to have some help back. Hoping back in my truck, I noticed that I missed the fancy-ness of Jared’s. “Oh well,” I commented to myself, “maybe someday!” I backed out of the driveway, and head home.
When I got there, Navy was absolutely ecstatic. “OH MY GOSH SISSY IS HOME SISSY IS HOME!!” My leg was bulldozed by my little brother, with a grip so tight I could barely peel him off to pick him up, “How you been, little man? Where’s your momma?” He grinned so wide, showing his few missing teeth, “I been missing you, sissy! Holly been keeping me company, but I like you the best!” He hugged my neck, which was sweet, but I was startled by the name. Holly? That was one of Mom’s friends. Why was she keeping my brother company … Suddenly, she turned the corner. “Hello Kristene, It’s good to have you back!” She shook my hand with one hand, and I noticed she had been pulling a small suitcase behind her. “Uh, Holly, it’s good to see you and all, but what … where’s my mom?” Her face went surprised, and she instantly dug into her purse, “Almost forgot! You are to read this, it’s from your mother. Alright, dear, you seem to be all set. I’ve got other obligations, please call if you need anything!” She went out the door before I could ask any questions, and I was left there, holding Navy in one hand, and a folded piece of paper in the other. “Watch out, little buddy, let sissy read the note,” I explained, gently placing him on the ground. “Go play for a second, then we’ll take a drive to somewhere fun, have some brother-sissy time. Okay?” He grinned wide, nodded faster than I thought possible, and took off. I took my spot on the couch to read the letter –
My dear, I do miss you, and I know I will after I leave; but I really think that this is the best option for all three of us. I will be back around May, so you will not need to worry about the summer. Maybe we will take a trip somewhere, or just otherwise take a break. But for now, I know you can handle yourself and your brother just fine. You simply don’t need me right now, and I think I need a little something else. I will be off with some friends of mine for a while, and I won’t always have cell-phone service. When I do, I will be sure to call. Do not think that I am doing this because I do not love you, for that is entirely incorrect. In fact, it’s the opposite of the reason I’m doing this. You two need some time to yourselves, and I respect that.
As previously mentioned, I will call with more details later. I love you. Tell Navy the same.
I threw the note to the ground, appalled by my mother’s stupid actions. “That … that … that bitch!” I wasn’t one for swearing, really. I saw no place for it in society – until now. I could hear Navy gasp from the other room, “Sissy!! Momma would wash your mouth with soup if she heard that!” I snickered, and called him into the room. He should know, and I doubt Holly told him anything. “Hey, little buddy, listen,” I placed him on my lap. “We are still going to play, but we need to chat first. Okay?” He nodded, I continued. “Momma is on vacation for a little while. She will be back in the summer. Until then, it’s going to be you and me for a while, okay?” I tried to put it lightly, but Navy seemed to already know this – “Yea! Momma told me all of that before she left! She said you’d be home soon, and we would have all kinds of fun together! I’m excited, sissy!” I was a bit taken aback, thinking he’d miss his mom more. It was possible it hadn’t set in, though, and I knew that. “Can we go to play place now?” He asked. I nodded, and he jumped up. We got in the truck, and drove off with me having my mind full of everything.
~ When I Die, Remember Me By My Horses ~
* Because They Are Responsible *
.: For Letting Me Live :. (c) xJumperx