Day Six, Friday, April 8th
It took me a few minutes to realize that the time zone change must have finally caught up with Misty, because Miss Top of the Morning hit the snooze on her alarm, rolled up, clutched onto her pink bear and refused to move.
Just when I was getting used to some sort of routine. Well, fine. That meant, I got the bathroom first this morning. Just I had a bit of dilemma, despite the fact everyone keeps shoving clothes at us as gifts for helping them, I felt like I was running out of things to wear. It would help if the people around here weren’t color blind. I’d already worn the light green and the light blue stable jackets that didn’t hurt my eyes. I’d worn the lime green t-shirt the day we’d helped Steve. So this left the Bobcat Girl jacket which I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole given it was pink. Then there was the jacket with the two colors that should never go together, the vest and shirt from that famous guy and the bright red jacket from Reed Kessler. I didn’t like the trainer and thus that ruined his jacket by association and if we were doing the same stuff today that we did yesterday, I didn’t want to get Reed’s jacket dirty. This left the navy t-shirt without sleeves. As soon as we got a breather, I was putting my foot down and Misty and I were going shopping.
I’d just finished getting dressed. I hadn’t even started on my make-up, when there was a perfunctory knock on the door which I didn’t even get to answer to say ‘hello, someone is in here,’ before the door swung open and was caught before it could slam into the wall by another girl. She shouted a cheerful ‘good morning!’
My heart stopped. Literally. In my chest. I couldn’t breathe. Who the hell was she? What the hell was she doing? And why was she coming through our bathroom? I slapped a hand over my heart to try and get it to beat again. Beating hearts were important!
Misty struggled up and out of her covers, blinking at the other girl.
It was only then that this stranger seemed to realize she’d caught us in the all together. She had the grace to look sheepish and explained that her family were early risers and she thought we’d be up. Yes, I was up. Misty was another story, but that didn’t give her leave to barge into our room. I glared at her. She made a hasty exit and shouted she’d be out on the porch waiting for us. I turned my glare to Misty and just pointed to where the stranger had been. What the hell, Misty? I didn’t even have to say anything as Misty blushed and explained the girl with bleached white hair with purple tips was our suite mate. Her name was Nikki and for some reason Misty repeated several times that she knew were the food was. She also mentioned that I’d been asleep by the time Misty had met her.
That mollified me more than the idea of food. Misty scrambled about getting ready while I did my makeup. I was able to spend a little time on it this morning and get it to look right and make sure I looked pleasingly gothy pale versus washed out.
The stranger introduced herself, Nikki if you please, better once we got out onto the porch. I stabbed a bit of jealousy over the purple ends of her hair. She also apologized. Which made me feel better, as long as she didn’t do it again. We’d have to work something out. Breakfast for the stable girls was actually served inside the manor right across from the Inn. Judy and Tyra were already there. There was a red haired girl I didn’t know and another girl with black hair and a mean look. Even Carney was methodically going after a huge plate of pancakes and eggs. Nikki chattered away about how her parents were circus folks. This was her second year at Jorvik and so on and so forth. I paid attention with half an ear and dumped a spoonful of eggs on Misty’s plate when she only took a blueberry muffin. Protein! How hard is this?
She didn’t protest.
By the time Nikki was done chattering about fortune tellers (her mother) and older sisters. She turned her questions on us and since Misty stuffed her face with muffin it was up to me to answer. Maybe she didn’t want to answer questions, something to do with being British or some such. No idea. I tried to be vague as possible. My father was in business. He owned his own company and they’d recently made a combination of investments and a hot new product that had made the company, and my family, rich. My mother was some sort of psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist type who did a lot of counselling. She believed heavily in the theory of overpopulation and therefore I was an only child. They’d gone away somewhere and dumped me here. I tried to keep my voice light about that, but I still felt a stab of resentment. They’d left me and thought that ponies and horses would be some sort of sweetener to the fact that I’d been abandoned. We were going to talk about this when I got home, loudly. The entire time I didn’t really say anything about me. I didn’t know this girl. I wasn’t about to trust yet.
She wanted to know our plans. She had a ferry pass and was looking around one of the places she’d been able to go to last year. Misty told her about our pony routine and Nikki looked enthused. She’d just gotten a pony herself. So we finished eating and went to tack up the ponies. Nikki’s Jewel was a brown pony with a black mane and tail. Misty’s Bright seemed hyper and happy to see everyone. He instantly went over and greeted Jewel. Star waited his turn before greeting the new pony too. Poor Star, I gave him a scratch under the chin. He might end up being the little follower in this group. He just seemed so happy to have friends. It made me smile.
My smile faded when we got to Josh though. Nikki shouted at him before we even got there. I mean, seriously! I frowned at her back. But she didn’t notice as Josh complimented her on the new pony, asked her if she was getting into trouble before sending her down the track. And then he stared resolutely at her and didn’t look away. I looked at Misty to see her reaction. She’d slumped in her saddle.
Nikki finished and had to run. She left us with a jaunty wave and when Misty asked if I would go next, I agreed because it was obvious she wanted a little time alone with Josh. Who had been steadily ignoring her. I couldn’t keep my eyes on them and on the track at the same time, but when I got back, Misty looked both pale and green and Josh was far too absorbed in telling me how I did.
Misty took her turn and I felt like kicking Josh, who was now staring at his boots. Great. Just great. I glowered at him and put as much scorn in my voice as I could. “And here I thought Justin was the only boy Loretta had on a string.”
He jumped, paled, gulped once and stared at me.
I didn’t have time to needle him anymore. Misty and Bright charged over the line and Josh checked his timer and told her the time by rote. It was a new personal best for Misty. She was really getting good at this. She had her chin up and she was doing her ‘Queen of England’ impersonation, ignoring him as much as he’d ignored her. How did the British put it? She was being ‘posh?’ I don’t know. I couldn’t ask. But it made me want to giggle. Josh’s eyes widened and he looked like a kicked puppy. I lifted my nose and just as we got almost out of Josh’s hearing, mentioned to Misty that Pole Bending might be out of our way if we were going to run the pony race. We were just so busy and the Pony Race was a better work out for Star and Bright.
Her eyes widened and I just winked at her. I glanced over my shoulder and smirked. Now it was Josh’s turn to slump. Two points me, no points him.
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