April 12, 20xx
I woke up to a different kind of pain this morning than yesterday. One of the few singers I had on my phone that wasn’t British came on this morning. Her first song, I just laid there, hiding under the covers to listen to it. I hadn’t realized it, but it was exactly what I had been feeling lately. Was I falling for Josh? The idea terrified me. Before I could think about it too much, the song changed to another song of hers, and that one… Oh, it hit too close to home. Hello, heartache, indeed. My good mood from last night was gone, and I just curled up tighter under my quilt, not wanting to face the day. Specifically, I don’t think I could stand seeing Josh today.
The next thing I knew, the corner of my quilt was pulled up enough that Savvy could see me. I could tell she was concerned, but I couldn’t untangle my tongue to answer. But then she got this determined look on her face and she said firmly, “We are taking a holiday.” Then she dropped my quilt and bounced off somewhere.
That shocked me into moving. I sat up some, pulling the quilt from over my head to stare at her as she started getting ready. “We’re already on holiday,” I said in confusion. That’s what this whole thing was, a summer camp, wasn’t it?
But she quickly argued that it had hardly been much of one at all, and I had to agree. We’d been running all over the countryside since we stepped off the ferry. Plus, she pointed out that while I had scrounged together enough to get by on our last shopping trip, both of us were severely lacking in clothes we’d actually wear, making me grimace but nod in agreement. So she declared that we would take the ponies to their special race at pony point, stop by Moorland to help with feeding and do any shopping there we felt like, and then we’d come back here to get the horses and go where we felt like going to do chores and shop as we go. This afternoon was definitely going to be going to that mall James mentioned.
I hate malls. They were too crowded and too loud. But if it made Savvy happy and let us relax today (and let me avoid Josh), I was game. It was enough incentive to get me out of bed, at least. I threw on the blue tank top and denim again, just pulling my hair back in a horse tail since I could tell already that the curl was too excited. There must be rain coming in tonight. But rather than wear Josh’s brace again, I grabbed some of the sports wrap and used it on my knee. I stuck the knee pads and brace in my saddle bag, determined that they would find their way back to Josh today, even if it wasn’t through me directly. And since there was plenty of room if I packed carefully, I grabbed the things I wanted to sell too so I’d have plenty of shopping money, without me needing to duck back into the room. Savvy did the same, though she had much more to sell than I did.
After breakfast and some small talk with Nikki that I let Savvy handle (I was not in the mood to talk to anyone, really), we left for the stable. Savvy went to the gear shop next door to get rid of her gear now, but I decided to wait and go give Bright’s feet a particularly thorough cleaning. They were a little better today, so I cleaned out the straw and chips in his stall and put down fresh to keep up the progress. And I realized… I was being really unfair to my friends. There was being shy, and then there was being stand offish. So I ducked back to the room and grabbed this diary (and what I kept tucked in it), and came back just as Savvy was finishing up.
We took the road past Steve’s and down to the tomb rather than Nilmer’s today, which made Bright’s ears perk forward at the new sights. The race went well enough, though I still kept Bright from going straight into the water like he wanted to because of his feet. Such a splashy pony! And then it was on to Moorland for our bit of shopping there and pitch in around the stable. I stuck to pants for shopping, since I’d seen a couple there that I liked: some black denim like I was wearing, and then some looser blue denim that while not my preference, they would get me through the weeks a little easier.
Savvy heard a rumor about some shop up by the old G.E.D. work site. I whined, since she’d gotten more than I had at Moorland, but she was quite determined that we at least go check it out. We went up, and it took very little time for me to realize this was not my look at all. While she did her poking around, Bright and I went on a bramble in the nearby field. I managed to gather some flowers and wove them in a chain (not that I had a clue what I was going to do with them yet, I just thought they were pretty). They draped over Bright’s neck for now, and he didn’t do more than sniff at them.
Then we took the road back by the smithy to go to Silverglade to check for mail. And that’s when I had an idea. Derek delivered mail. Surely he could do a quick drop off, especially if he and Josh were chummy. Going first so I didn’t get between them flirting, I dug the knee pads and brace out of my bag, setting them on the counter.
Except now I had to try and talk to him. Swallowing, I felt my ears grow red, and was sure my face was trying to match them. “Could you please take these back to the pole bending track for me?” I managed to squeak out, followed by a quick thank you, and then I quickly turned Bright around and went to the nearest shop to sell my unwanted gifts. He was still too much of a stranger for me to be comfortable talking to him! Savvy would cover for my shyness, I hoped, provided she didn’t get distracted.
I had just been handed my share of shillings when Savvy came back over, flushed and obviously flustered. I wanted to tease her, but it made me think of how Josh and I had been those first few days before things had gotten weird. That took the wind out of my sails. Bright sensed my change in mood and skipped his way out of town, trying to make me laugh. It at least got me to smile.