Part 5 1/2 . . . hmm . . . what a great title =) What’s Up Wednesday is tomorrow! The rules are *here* and the optional theme is shopping.
I found the horse that The BFF Wars used for the Horseback Riding Challenge, Smoke, outside in a spacious pasture.
I cried silently into his silky mane.
I love horses, and I think they love me, too. They calm me down, anyway.
I heard footsteps behind me. I spun around and swiped my hand across my face to dry the tears.
Standing in front of me was Charlotte. She was still wearing the dress that had cost us our victory, but she had changed her shoes.
She stroked Smoke’s nose.
“Tori,” she began, “I’m sorry that we lost again today. Neither of us are very good at fashion. But I think we can still win this thing.”
I turned away from her. “Just leave me alone, Charlotte,” I said through my teeth. “We’re not a very good team. And we’re not very good friends, either!”
Charlotte ran away, tears glistening in her blue eyes.
Later, as I was starting to feel bad about what I had said to sensitive Charlotte, Smoke and I had another visitor. Teresa stood and watched silently as I rubbed the horse’s neck under his mane.
Then Teresa whistled, Smoke’s ears pricked forward, and he trotted over to her. He put his head on Teresa’s shoulder.
“Hey, big guy,” she said into the Smoke’s ear. “You miss me? I haven’t had much time to see you, I know. Do you miss the farm?” When Smoke nickered, she added, “Yeah, me too.”
I stared open-mouthed at Teresa. This celebrity, fashion icon, was . . . talking to a horse.
“Do you like horses, Tori?” Teresa asked as she planted a kiss on Smoke’s velvety nose.
“Um, uh, yeah,” I stuttered. “I love horses.” And then, because I couldn’t help it, I asked timidly, “Is Smoke . . . your horse?”
Teresa nodded. “I used to live out in the country. But I moved to the city to make The BFF Wars with Ashley and Sianne. I used to ride Smoke everyday.” She smiled at Smoke as she remember the trails they used to ride. “I ran into your friend,” she said quietly after a minute. “She looked pretty upset.”
I stared at my feet. “I was mean to her,” I said, and tried not to cry. But it was no use. I might have just lost my only friend.
So then I found my self pouring out the whole story to Teresa and a horse. “Jules was my best friend since Kindergarten,” I said with a little sob. “And then Venus showed up at our school from Paris. Jules is really nice, so she was friendly toward Venus Flytrap. And then Jules just stopped talking to me, and she spent all her time with Venus. I got a note from them saying that they had gotten us into The BFF Wars. I had to find someone to enter it with, and so Charlotte became my best friend. But I’ve only know her for four days! She’s really cool, but she’s not Jules.”
Teresa put her hands on my shoulders. “Tori, I’m really sorry about Jules. But right now, I think you owe your other friend an apology.”
I ran off to find Charlotte.
I found Charlotte in the ski lodge building. She was scribbling furiously on a math sheet.
I came up beside her. “Charlotte.”
She glanced up at me, and then went back to her work.
“Charlotte,” I said, louder.
She sighed and put the math down. It looked like she had been crying.
“Charlotte,” I said, “I’m sorry. We’re a great team, and we’re best friends, too. I really didn’t mean it. I was just in a foul mood.”
I sat beside her and told her what I had told Teresa, just leaving off the part at the end.
We got up, friends again, and headed to the kitchen to get some hot chocolate.
“Guess what tomorrow’s challenge is,” Charlotte said, smiling and swinging her arms.
“Academics!” she exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air and laughing. I laughed with her.
The laughter turned from haha-what-a-great-joke laughter to evil laughter very quickly.