April 13, 20xx
I was so excited to see Bright in his new gear this morning, I could hardly stand it. I think I bounced more than Snow! It was a welcome distraction from the fact I was going to have to see Josh again. My temper had faded with sleep and I was back to being nervous and upset about him. I put on my sailor shirt, my new helmet and white gloves, let Savvy pull me through breakfast which I probably would have skipped since all I managed was some toast and tea, and then we were finally at the stable. Along the way, Savvy told me the new name for her bunny: Cinnamon. It was so appropriate, I giggled. Cinnamon and Snow Belle also seemed to get along fairly well too, waving at each other from where we were holding them.
Bright stuck his nose over the stall doors, nostrils quivering as he got his first good look at Snow. I sat her on the ledge so they could make friends while I fetched his gear. It was actually here, just like Alyx had promised! Poor Evening’s gear looked rather sad next to it on the rack, making me a bit more determined to help my picky horse find something else he liked. The bridle and saddle bag were at least good first clues! I grabbed the nautical themed items and took them back to Bright’s stall.
And found Snow nibbling on the flower chains, and Evening all smug about it. Rabbits. I sighed and set her down into a safe, dry spot in the hay for now, and then wagged a finger at my gelding, accusing him of encouraging her to do it in his stead since he didn’t like the flowers. Evening’s ears drooped, but he stuck his nose up in the air, not denying it or apologizing for it. Git. I even muttered that under my breath at him, which I think shocked Savvy!
Thankfully, Snow hadn’t been at the flowers for too long, and I was able to fix them with a few tugs and re-braids. Honestly, they wouldn’t last more than a couple more days. Evening could just get over himself. I then set to work on Bright. His feet were much better today, so I think the last of the thrush is coming out at last. Once I got him tacked up though, I realized how utterly ridiculous, or worse, childish, we could be looking right now. I mean, I love the sailor-theme and I think it’s cute, especially on a plucky little thing like Bright is, but… Well, I could also just be weird!
Bright, at least, kept craning his head around, whuffling in excitement. That helped ease my nerves. At least he likes it. Snow gave me bunny kisses once I found her in the hay, and I grinned. She was so sweet. Into her new saddle bag she went, and I was ready to leave.
My pony pranced out of his stall.
I almost burst into giggles, making him nudge me with his head. I could tell he wanted to show everyone his new gear and how amazing it looked on him, such an ego on him today! I led him outside where Savvy and Star were waiting to mount up. Savvy giggled when she saw us, almost making my panic. Good giggle or bad giggle?! But she quickly reassured me that we looked good, very coordinated, which set me at ease again. I think some of my nerves must have shown on my face, since Savvy suggested going through Silverglade first and to Pony Point and then to Moorland. That would give me time to find my anger at Josh again, so I agreed and kicked Bright off into a run.
And I do mean a run. I don’t know what got into him, but off he was like a shot! I guess he was excited for more people? I don’t know. I just know I had to pull him to a stop at the gates to the village to wait for Savvy and Star to catch up! She sputtered at me, but all I could do was flush, shrug, and glare down at Bright’s head. I wasn’t sure what had caused that! He just flicked his ears, unperturbed in the slightest. I checked on Snow, but she seemed pretty happy just to be on an adventure.
At Derek’s booth, Savvy plopped Cinnamon down in front of him for introductions. I covered my mouth to try and muffle my laughter at his reaction to the bunny’s usual tricks. Derek started to do the same, laugh, but then he just folded up in pain! Savvy was so concerned, and so was I! What had happened?
“Josh punched me,” he said like it was no big deal.
I gasped, dropping Bright’s reins to cover my mouth in shock.
Derek tried to pass it off as no big deal, but Savvy wouldn’t let him. And then he revealed that he had been teasing Josh about being so protective over me. I could have died. I should have never given him those things to take back to Josh, I should have just sucked it up and done it myself.
He said some sort of parting shot about lunch, pulling me out of misery to give Savvy a questioning look. But she decided to ignore it and just go off about how she couldn’t believe he had done that, but then again, yes she could. I didn’t know his motives, but that didn’t stop me from teasing her about this lunch date that she wasn’t talking about. I only stopped when we reached the pony race to give her a break while we raced. At one point, I worried Snow was going to fall out of the bag, she reached for the sea water. (How fitting a trait for my pet, I know.)
There was a lot of whispering from other girls as we approached the pole bending arena at Moorland, making me wonder what had happened now. Was Josh in another bad mood? But imagine my surprise when I saw him! Despite him trying to tug his hat down low enough to hide it, it was impossible to miss. His beautiful blonde hair had been dyed some awful shade of greyish black! I was shocked, but it didn’t take me more than a second to figure out who must have done it. Oh, Derek was in so much trouble!
Of course, getting angry at Derek helped me remember exactly how angry I was with Josh, and there was no comparison. My grip on my reins tightened so hard that they creaked. Savvy suggested I go first, and I gladly lined Bright up at the starting point. I ignored Josh’s eyes on me, just wanting to race…hoping concentrating on the pattern would help me calm down enough to manage to keep my cool while Savvy was racing.
Bright skid to a halt at the finish line, and Josh consulted his stopwatch. A new personal best for me. I walked Bright around in a circle, letting him catch his breath as Savvy lined up to take her turn. I unclipped my helmet, an idea coming to mind, and pulled my hair over my shoulder to help finger comb the curls…not because I liked how the color of them contrasted with the white of my clothes or anything.
Star had barely past the first pole when I felt Josh come close to where we were standing. Before I could do anything, though, he actually spoke. “Genevieve… What do I have to say so you’ll stop ignoring me?”
I flushed, angry and frustrated now all over again, and it helped loosen my tongue. “You just… I’m not…” I huffed, not able to look at him. This wasn’t explaining myself very well. This boy had me all tangled up in knots for days over a misunderstanding, and that’s after he started treating me differently than he had been in the first place! Hot and cold, like a pendulum or something that a cat would swipe at. “My feelings aren’t a toy, Josh.”
“I know that!” he protested, sounding shocked that I would think he didn’t.
“Then act like it!” I snapped, turning my head to look at him. He was taken aback, both by my tone…and I think by the fact my lower lip was trembling. It was angry tears rather than the depression of yesterday, but I was sick of crying over him! He needed to decide how he was going to treat me so I could react accordingly.
“I… You’re…” he stammered for words, only to sigh at last, resting his hand on Bright’s front shoulder. “It’s not that easy, Genevieve.”
“That’s an excuse,” I muttered, teary, jerking the reins so Bright had to side-step his front quarters away. I was at my limit, I was. Josh’s face fell, and I think he was upset too, but trying to keep his face from showing it.
And Snow chose then to make her escape attempt, almost falling out of her bag again as she reached for Josh. He was shocked, but caught her to my relief, holding her in the crook of her elbow. She nuzzled up against him, happy as a clam. I scowled, unable to help it. “Traitor,” I muttered at my far-too-nice rabbit.
Savvy coughed, alerting us to the fact that she had finished. Josh flushed and returned Snow to her bag, and I made sure she was settled. Then, while he was reading off Savvy’s time, I reached up and snagged his hat like had been my original plan. “My hat,” I said, slipping it on to my head. It was a little big, but I was able to tilt it so it fit. I stuck my nose in the air and nudged Bright to the side.
Josh’s face was pure shock before I was turned completely around, but he managed to protest, “Hey! That’s mine.”
I managed a tight giggle and ran my finger along the brim of the hat as I twisted to see his face. “Mine now.” I gave him a pointed look, making it clear that all joking aside…he needed to get his act together. He swallowed, Adam’s apple bobbing, and I quickly turned back around to watch where I was going.
Savvy caught up with us pretty quickly, since I was keeping Bright between a trot and a lope, my helmet tucked in front of me until we got back to the winery. “You took the hat because he punched Derek,” she pointed out shrewdly.
“Yes,” I said primly with a nod of my head, making the hat slip further down my forehead. Drat it, I’d have to figure out something to make it fit better… But it would serve him right, since he shouldn’t be punching his friends. He needs to learn to control his temper.
Savvy immediately burst into giggles, making me stare at her, aghast. “Savvy!”
“His face!” she managed to gasp out. And that set my own giggles off. It felt good to laugh after finally having words with Josh!