April 8th, 20xx
I did not want to wake up this morning. The alarm went off, and I didn’t even poke my head out from under the quilt, I just reached over and slapped the snooze button on my phone. It gave me five more minutes to snuggle with Zizzy and pretend that I didn’t have to get up. I heard Savvy get up though, so I guess I would be going second today. I did not care. Sleep.
And then I heard a knock at the bathroom door, followed immediately by it swinging open and Nikki cheerfully shouting good morning. I jerked straight up and stared at our suite mate, who was already dressed and ready for her day. Savvy looked like she was going to have a heart attack. Nikki blinked at us in surprise and gave a sheepish smile before explaining. Apparently her family is used to getting up way early, so she thought we would already be up. She ducked out before I had time to say anything to the contrary, shouting again that she would wait for us on the porch outside.
Leaving me to face the Savvy firing squad. She didn’t even SAY anything, she just pointed at the door with this look on her face. I blushed and explained who Nikki was, being sure to emphasize that she knew where breakfast was. That made Savvy a little less cranky. I quickly scrambled out of bed to get ready so I’d be done at the same time she was. My phone stayed on silent, since I didn’t want to make it worse.
The hair was not worth saving, so I just pulled it in a side braid so it would be neater and not get in the way of the helmet. The first thing I grabbed out of the dresser was the sky blue tank with the white heart and wings on it, so I threw that on with the slim fit denim I bought with it yesterday since they were the only pants I had clean. Thank goodness my make-up routine was easy. I finished just as she did, and we went outside.
Nikki was waiting where she said she was. She apologized again and introduced herself to Savvy. Then she showed us the way to breakfast, which was actually just inside the manor. Along the way, she chattered about her life at home. Apparently she grew up in a circus, can you imagine? Her father’s family started it, and he was the current ringmaster and leader, and her mother was a fortune teller. Their relationship had apparently been a bit complicated, leading to Nikki having an older sister that was ten years older than her, and who now ran the horse acts for the circus. Apparently this was her second time here in Jorvik, both times for stirring up drama that she thought was her parents’ overreacting.
By the time she finished, we had gotten plates of food from the buffet-table lining the wall (Savvy had rather harshly put some eggs on my plate when I had only picked up a blueberry muffin, I took them without protest this morning). We picked out one of the multiple round tables and all sat down together. There weren’t that many people, when I bothered to look, but my shyness was feeling particularly bad this morning, so I kept my eyes on my plate for the most part. Now that Nikki had exhausted her stories, she started badgering us for ours. I quickly stuck some muffin in my mouth to avoid answering. My family history was sordid and not something I talked about with strangers. Eating was a good enough excuse. Savvy though talked a little about hers, which I thought was interesting.
After breakfast, Nikki was curious about our plans. Apparently there was a ferry system, and she was spending her days poking around one of the places it led using her pass from last year, but she wanted to spend some more time with us this morning. I tentatively told her that we took our ponies out pole bending, and she beamed. Apparently she had just recently got a pony of her own too, and well… I saw no reason why we couldn’t all go the pole bending track together. So we all went to the stable to tack up.
Evening seemed content with his new surroundings. He didn’t even peep in protest when I saddled Bright instead of him. I think he’s accepted that Bright only goes out for a little while each day, so he can relax about it. Bright, however, was eager to go after he met Nikki’s Jewel (a little bay mare) and made friends. I don’t know what gets into him… I swear, I don’t feed him sugar but he is all hyper like a puppy.
We arrived at the track as one big group, and Nikki greeted Josh first (in what I think is going to be the norm when she’s with us, she’s so friendly. And loud). I smiled at him when he looked my way, ducking my head a little. And he swallowed, gave a nod…and then quickly turned his attention to Nikki as she went first down the track. I wilted, especially when he didn’t approach while Nikki was racing. When she finished, Nikki waved good bye as she headed off to where she had plans for the rest of the day, and I asked Savvy if she would mind going next. I really wanted to give Josh a chance to talk, maybe he just wanted me alone. She agreed, and off she went on Star.
And I waited. And nothing happened. Josh kept his eyes resolutely on the track. Bright whickered and tried to dance sideways closer to him. I tugged on his reins, not wanting it to happen that way. Inside, though, I felt a little sick to my stomach. He really must be dating Loretta… I shook my head, trying to get such thoughts out of my head. I had never cared about boys before, there was no reason why that should change now! I steeled myself, and the second Savvy finished, Bright and I ran the race with new found determination and focus.
We had our best time yet. I stuck my chin up and refused to look at Josh when he read off the numbers, pulling on the snobbiness I had used with Mr. Kemball yesterday around me like a protective cloak. If he wanted to ignore me, fine. Two could play that game. And it wouldn’t do for his girlfriend to get jealous. Even if I wasn’t at Moorland anymore, I doubted I wanted to get on the wrong side of Loretta.
Savvy appeared to be fighting laughter for some reason, but she lifted her nose as we walked off, obviously mimicking my mask. We hadn’t gotten too far before she mentioned we might want to start skipping pole bending in the morning.
Well wasn’t that a punch to my gut. I looked at her with wide eyes, but she didn’t explain further. I stared at my saddle in shock. I was mad at Josh, don’t get me wrong. I wish he had said something about this relationship with Loretta earlier, or at least not gotten my heart all tied up in knots about him already. But… Well, I was somewhat responsible too, they were my feelings after all.
But then Savvy started talking to reassure me that we weren’t actually going to stop. I didn’t understand why she had said anything in the first place then!
“Because Josh was being an ass!” she accused.
I flushed in embarrassment, not able to correct her on that. He was being a bit of a prick, I suppose, if you were being objective about it. She offered to kick him next time, which made me giggle a little out of happiness that I finally had a friend who was so protective of me, but I really hoped she wouldn’t actually kick him. It could lead to trouble, and I didn’t want to see him in pain.