Hooves Over My Heart
By Briseno TBs
16th Dec 2010 •
I have always longed to jump onto a wild horse’s broad back, then run my fingers through his coarse hair twirling it into little ringlets then letting go and watching it fall apart. Then I’d bury my hands once more and snap my heels against his side urging him forward, the wind combing through my thick hair, clawing at my clothes. We would run feeling free from everything. No attachments or problems. I’d always read in books stories about little girls befriending a wild mustang who would let no one touch him but her, let no one ride him but her and never go anywhere but with her. Then there would be some bandits, tax men or someone who would take the horse away but somehow the wild horse would always come back and all would live happily ever after. I’d always wished I could live in one of those stories, doing daring rescues and hunting for gold thieves.
Although I’d always accepted my fate that I could never ride anything but one of the cities riding stable ponies that are pushbuttons, not a wild sprit in any of their bones. I’d never believe it could possibly happen until he came. The horse of my dreams.
I walked into the living room already knowing that something bad must have happened. The atmosphere around the room was so thick with depression and sadness it was chocking. I glanced at my mother who was sobbing uncontrollably then turned to my father
“What happened dad, did Latisha get hurt during hockey?”
Latisha my older sister was constantly getting hurt in hockey, which was one of her numerous sports. It always took people a while to find out we were sisters if not at all. Her wider frame seemed bulky compared to my thinner and frailer frame, our hair colors were also opposites. I had long brown hair while hers was short and pale, almost albino blond. A color I’ve always envied her for and simply couldn’t understand why on earth she kept dying it outrageous colors. Her current hair color was a metallic looking bright blue for her bangs and bright pumpkin orange for the rest of her hair. Her eyes were so dark they were almost black and seemed intense and intimidating compared to my light green ones.
“No, nothing wrong with Latisha” my father replied in a cracking voice.
“But there is something wrong with your mother’s parents. They were both recently diagnosed with Leukemia, a type of cancer.”
I bit my lip, no wonder they’re so upset. Mom was always close to her parents. They all had light blond hair, blue eyes and tiny build along with their outrageous sense of style in clothes and they all adored reading and writing. Mom was actually a writer and one of New York Times bestsellers. I turned to mom.
“I’m sorry, mom I’m so sorry.” I spoke softly. Opening my arms to hug her.
“Why, why? Why them?” She replied.
“It makes no sense, take me take me!” She let out a high pitched scream.
Startled I backed away withdrawing my open arms in which I had attempted to hug her and comfort her in. My father placed his hand on my back and hurriedly steered me to the doorway.
“She’s taking it hard” he struggled to whisper, chocking on tears.
”She doesn’t understand, she will, but not now. I’m sorry she scared you sweetheart. She’s just in shock.” He swallowed hard.
I then realized this was affecting dad hard too. Ever since his parents died he’d become even closer then he was before to mom’s parents which I hadn’t thought was possible. He’d also shared the family trait mom’s family had. Light blue eyes, small frame except for his dark hair which he and I shared. You would have thought they were related. I turned to hug him, making him blush, he wasn’t a hugger person. He awkwardly patted my back.
“Thanks, sweetheart. You’re my brave girl, Liz.” He said.
Then as if he was assuring himself, he said it again “My brave girl, she can handle it. I know she can.”
Then he snapped back to reality and gave me a weak smile then turned and walked out of the room and towards my mom, who was still on the couch sobbing her heart out.
I wandered in a daze to my room. Could this really be, could they really have cancer? Were they near death? I knew little about cancer other then it was deadly and painful. A girl in my class had had it once and the teachers never talked about it other then hushed whispers to each other. Then one day the principal came and said she’d no longer be in our class, someone asked why and the principal said that she’d changed school and would be going to Saint Heavens Angels School, then a tear drip down his cheek and he turned and left us. No one understood at the time but as we grew up we did and they couldn’t hide that from us, we knew that she’d died. I ran facts through my head about my grandparents. I only met them three times because although my parents and them were close they lived far off and couldn’t visit often. Meanwhile my parents visited them every two months but never with us and they usually went only one of them at a time anyways. I racked my head trying to remember anything important about them, but failed miserable.
I decide to check good old helpful Google. Slowly I typed in Stan and Anna Parker into the slot and watch as colorful pictures of race horses consumed the page.
“Hooves over My Heart Stable for Racehorses” I read, and then reread it.
Racehorses. I loved Racehorses, mom and dad never told me they had racehorses. How could I not know this? Wait, could this really be my Grandpa and Grandma who owned this or some other Stan and Anna Parker. It was rare but it could still be possible...I turned and headed to the living room, not waiting another second to find out.
“Mom…Dad” I yelled. “We need to talk!”
“Fire away Michelle” Dad said
“Does Gran and Gramps really own a Racehorse farm” I demanded.
Dad glanced at the ceiling and sighed “Yes, Michelle they do.”
“Why haven’t you ever told me?” I shrieked
“It never seemed important” he replied
“Not important...It’s the most important thing in the world! How could you possibly NOT tell me? How could you keep this a secret from me? I love horses you know I do...My summers could have been spent galloping down a racetrack or training a yearling! Instead I’ve been stuck on those stupid riding horses that can’t even trot!” I screamed “I hate you. I hate you!"
I turn and run out the door to the only place I know. The stable.
I ran over to Just Press Play's stall and fumbled to unlock the lock on her stall. As I pulled the sliding door to the left and walked in. I turned around to face her and relized she wasn't there, puzzled I turned and walked out.
"Maybe she's in the ring" I thought.
I turned and walked briskly down to the outdoor arena. The breeze of cool air in the humid air. The warm smell of horses filled the air around me. I smiled and breathed it in deeply when suddenly I heard an angry voice screaming.
"That's it you stupid horse that's the last time you're getting away with that"
I saw Justy ducking and shying away from the whip in which the girl was waving about.
"Stop, STOP!!!" I shreiked terrified for Justy.
The girl spun around just as Justy gave a major shy to the side and unseating the girl.
"AHHHHHHHHH" she said as she hit the ground with a thud.
"You misrable Animal" she huffed as she picked her self up from the ground.
Then before I could do anything she reached down and snached up her whip and brought it down on Justy's head.
It was pure pain that I saw in her eyes as I raced forward, time seeming to slow down as I watched her bring the whip down again and again.
"STOP, STOP" I kept screaming but she ignored me.
I finally reached the arena and threw open the gate, not bothering to shut it I raced over and tried to snatch the whip from the girl. Instead of releasing the whip the girl spun around and brought the but of it down on my head. My knees buckled and I went down. The last sight I had was of the girl dropping the reins in surprise as I went down and Justy running out the gate that I had left open.
I was only half concious at the hospital. I kept drifting in and out of the blackness. I heard lots of people shouting and I wanted to tell them it was just a bad goose egg, but no matter how I tried I couldn't move my mouth. It wouldn't have mattered anyway, the looks on their faces told me it was a lot more then a goose egg. I heard bits of conversations.
"...We are so suing that little...."
"...How could....I mean...I though"
Finally I heard the worst snatch.
"...Can't stand it...it's been decided...in a week....to the stable...yes my parents...race stable...they...help...maybe be a fresh start...yes it done..."
I couldn't belive it, was I was moving to a racing stable!