Day Nine: Monday, April 11th
When I woke up this morning, diary, my roommate was completely missing. Her bed was made! She wasn’t in the bathroom. She was just gone. I’ll admit I started to fret. Had she left? Had she decided that horse camp or whatever it was we were doing not for her? Her stuff was still here, but that might not mean anything. Was her knee worse than I thought? Had she gone to the nurse? Was there even a hospital nearby?
I almost didn’t see the note on the vanity. And when I did, a new set of fears washed over me. Maybe it was a good bye note. Or worse! Maybe she didn’t like me and didn’t want to be roommates anymore. I know I come off big and tough, diary. I do have a hard time making friends. And she’s so quiet and shy, maybe I was mean without knowing it.
It took a lot of courage to read that note, I’ll tell you and when I did, I collapsed on the vanity stool in relief. She’d gone out to clean Evening’s stall.
At least she left a note! If she hadn’t, I would have been worried sick and frantic and would have had Judy help me search everywhere.
But was cleaning Evening’s stall a good idea with her knee all swollen. I resolved to get ready quickly. I reread the note again. It didn’t look like she’d gotten breakfast. It was sigh and roll the eyes time, diary. So, I hurried. Clean clothes! Clean clothes! I know it’d been a little over a week and I had worn my jacket to the disco, but I missed my own clothes so much. They were an expression of me, rather than a expression of what everyone else thought I should be.
I threw them on as fast as I could and if I was a little sloppy with the mascara, no one but me would probably notice. I finished before Nikki banged on the door even. I rapped on hers and told her I was dashing to breakfast. Misty was bent on over extending herself. Nikki followed me to breakfast. She seemed amused. I guess she had been going to give us a little more time to get ready this morning. I prodded her about Jarlaheim and after the required dissertation about Zed’s eyes. She told me about some old history books she’d found and thought might prove useful. I nodded as I chewed. I know I shouldn’t eat quite that fast.
I made up some breakfast sandwiches for Misty out of bacon, biscuits and butter. And got her a to go cup of tea, she was British, I figured she liked tea instead of coffee. I shuddered at the idea of coffee. Nikki popped back into our room on the way past and grabbed Misty’s saddlebag. It was a good idea. The less walking Misty did the better.
Misty was resting in the stall with Evening and Bright in it. They were both hovering over her looking a bit anxious in my opinion. Evening’s stall smelled strongly of disinfectant. I handed her breakfast with a look and chivvied Nikki into helping me put the new mat down. It was work and I said a few words that I probably shouldn’t have. Misty finished in time to help us lay down new bedding. Evening whuffled and plowed right into it, looking happy as a baby colt who has gotten a hold of something he shouldn’t, like a towel or something.
I checked both Heart’s and Star’s feet for thrush and was relieved not to find any. I patted Heart’s nose and promised her if she did get it, then I’d clean her stall more. She just nudged me once in the chest and went back to her food. We saddled the ponies and headed out to Moorland. I filled Misty in on the way about Nikki’s history books. We told her the clue about Sands and Sandman and that they were the same person and to be on the lookout for anything that resembled that last name. Then Nikki started talking about the shopping in Jarlaheim and oh my god. I wanted to go so bad. They had fingerless gloves and a store that sold punk clothes and yeah.
But neither Misty nor I had ferry passes. You actually had to go to Jarlaheim to get your ferry pass stamped. Misty and I hadn’t even picked up ferry passes yet and so far there hadn’t been any time.
When we reached the pole bending, I leaned over and asked Misty if she was using the kneepads today. She flushed and shook her head that she wasn’t. They’d been on the vanity when I’d left the room, but I don’t know if Nikki had put them in her bag. I told her to be careful then.
Well, Josh was still grumpy. Serves him right. Sweet as it was him leaving the kneepads, he hadn’t done it openly and I just didn’t like the way he was playing with Misty’s feelings. She deserved better than that. He frowned at Misty too. I engaged Nikki in more talk about shopping. Boys found that sort of thing tedious. I was curious about the Mall. Hopefully they’d have some good clothes there too.
Well, Josh came over and interrupted us. He didn’t take off his hat, but he sure scuffed his boots in the dirt and didn’t want to meet my eyes. He asked me if Genevieve was all right, her knee that was. I raised my eyebrows. Genevieve, my, wasn’t he familiar.
And it was almost like I couldn’t help it. He’d been being so grumpy and so cruel really. Misty was all in knots over him and so I just came out with this whole tale about how bad Misty’s knee was and that she couldn’t bend it or anything. (Anyone with two eyes could see that wasn’t true.) And it was swollen and purple and the material for those poles must be downright nasty and couldn’t Josh find anything better to make them with. Especially for beginners, they should be softer. Plastic was horribly hard to hit with any body part, much less the knee! And well, he was flushing and grumbling and backed off.
Nikki giggled as Misty crossed the line. I think she was finally catching on to what was going on. I indulged in a good giggle as it was my turn to go through the race. Josh had bought the whole thing hook line and sinker. I hoped he felt really guilty. I should tell Derek, so Derek could get to work on Josh some more. That brought a smile to my face.
Misty didn’t say much when I got back and Nikki ran the race. Jewel stumbled over the finish and I couldn’t help but tease her about feeding the poor pony too many apples. Nikki at least laughed. I think Misty said something to Josh, his ears were red when we left as Misty shouted at us that the last one to the pony race was a rotten tater! It wasn’t fair. She didn’t say go! And of course she won!
Little sneaky cheater…
Well, she couldn’t cheat at the pony race at least. Star went through it with his usual enthusiasm and we ran along the river edge instead of taking the jumps, which of course made me all wet, but I’d dry out.
I didn’t wait for Misty to give me permission to talk to Derek while we checked for our mail. I included Misty in the conversation and said that Josh had been worried about her knee and then gleefully told the both of them what I’d told Josh. Derek burst into laughter. We didn’t have any mail waiting for us. Which was fine, the last ‘letter’ had upset me enough. Before we left, I entreated Derek to be careful today. He seemed confused. But I grabbed his hand just reiterated to be careful. He looked confused but promised he would.
We headed back to the winery in high spirits. Chores weren’t hard when you’re happy.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.