Me On A White Horse
I saw her from a distance that Sunday. She wore a blue pair of skorts (Google it.) and a red t-shirt. "Supergirl," I thought to myself. And, of course, a very nice pair of strappy sandles.
She didn't smile when she saw me, but she didn't roll her eyes again either.
"Where's the picnic basket," she asked when I got closer.
It's waiting for us at the stables. I put it in the cooler there last night so we didn't have to carry it around too much," I replied.
"I told you I don't like horses," she reminded me.
"Come on," I motioned, and we started walking through her yard and out the back. I wanted to keep us away from public eye for the time being and decided to show her my favorite out-of-the-way places. We walked through the back of Brier Rose Court, then through the spot where the pumpkin patch has just begun to grow. I showed her Hopskin's Hill right at the edge of the bluffs. We walked along the edge and back through the woods and to the pond behind The Poe House. I told her about the time Lora drove my moped into the pond and it sat there for a week. She listened more than she spoke the entire time.
I showed her the McCullough House. It was boarded up before winter and now sits silent, empty and still. We then went to the stables to get the picnic basket and as soon as we entered and he heard my voice, Wyldwynd started calling me. (He's brown, by the way. The title is a met-a-phore.) I don't get to visit much since it's been winter but when I do stop by he and I both get nostalgic and excited.
Beth wasn't too keen on him at first but when he ate sugar cubes out of her hand she softened up a bit. Although she was kinda surprised when I opened his fence and took him out into the yard, then mounted him. (Yeah, I said "mounted." Ha, ha.)
"Come, Lady Bethany, join me on my swift and daring steed," I said trying to be chivalrous.
She paused and got the most interesting look on her face. "Bethany?"
"I thought it suited you. Is it okay?" I asked.
She smiled at me, finally, and said, "Yes, it's wonderful. Please, call me that from now on."
I held out my hand, "Lady Bethany, your steed awaits."
She was hesitant, but I knew it was the horse and not me she wasn't ready for.
"I'll keep you safe," I promised.
She reached for my hand and our fingers locked around each other's wrist then I pulled her up on the saddle behind me, just like in the movies. "Hold on real tight," I said and she wrapped her arms around my waist. "HA!," I yelled then snapped Wyldwynd's reins and he took off at a fast gallop.
I looked straight ahead and tried to picture what the two of us must look like from a profile. Bethany's long blonde hair blowing behind her as we rode, her arms wrapped around me and the smile on both our faces.
We rode around the yard once then I took us down the trail behind Elder Malcolm's home. I slowed us down to a trot and as we came up next to Elder Malcolm's backyard I could see him and his wife sitting under their willow tree.
I pulled Wyldwynd's rein so he would pull a little and let out a ney. They both looked at us from the yard and just stared for a minute. I made sure to stare back. "I might not TP your house anymore," I thought, "but I'm still the bad guy." I snapped his rein again and galloped off, trying to look as dramatic as I could.
I don't know why I did that. The next day everyone would be talking again...
Maybe that's why?
Then Bethany asked in my ear, "Was that a show?," and I could hear a twing of anger in her voice.
We crossed into Adam's Field before I slowed down and answered her.
"It wasn't about you. I swear, it was about me and Elder Malcolm. We have a kinda comical history," I said.
"Help me down," she demanded, so I stopped and helped her slide off the saddle. I followed and dropped Wyldwynd's reins planning to chase after Beth if she walked away, knowing Wyldwynd would follow me. Beth didn't try to walk away.
"Do you live to do that or something?," she asked, still a little angry, "To play with people's heads?"
"I don't play with their heads," I said.
"Yes, you do! You do things and say things just to get people to react a certain way. I've seen you do it. You did it to me and you just did it back there to Elder Malcolm!," she told me.
"It's my way," I said quietly. "I'm...a writer," I trailed off because that sounded WAY more stupid coming out of my mouth than it did in my head.
"You're a manipulater," she said.
"I'm not trying to manipulate you," I promised. "That! What you saw back there... That's been going on between us for almost twenty years," I explained, "And...and he loves me," I said choking up a little at the thought of it, "So it's okay." That same strange look as before crossed her face.
"You ever see Dark Knight?," I asked.
"No," she said. Which caused me to give her a look and say, "Hmmm. We'll have to change that. Anyway, I'm like the Joker. I just dooooo things," I said waving my hands in the air the way Joker did in the movie. "I'm like a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. I don't know why. I just have a good idea at the time and I act on it. I think I'm an agent of chaos."
She looked at me for a moment then, "Well, I'm an agent of order. Things have a purpose and those purposes should be fulfilled."
"Yeah, but that's..." I searched for a word that wouldn't sound too insulting, "...boring."
Right then we started to feel rain drops falling from the sky. Perfect timing.
"Come on, let's go get our picnic basket," I said then turning around and mounting (Ha, ha!) Wyldwynd again.
"It's starting to rain, dummy," she said, but I ignored her and held out my hand.
"Then we don't wanna get wet, Lady Bethany" came my dashing reply.
Although she was still a bit angry, she didn't hesitate to take my wrist and climb onto the saddle behind me then.
We followed our path back to the stables. The rain, though mostly still a drizzle at that time, had caused Elder Malcolm to go inside. I put Wyldwynd away then retrieved our picnic basket from the walk-in cooler. I led Bethany through the Poe yard and down a private path that led to the most beautiful place in the entire community.
It's a small fenced in yard that I use to visit a lot. Flowers fill the air with many intoxicating scents and the trees loom over the yard in a small canopy.
Annalara's garden. The most relaxing place in the world.
To be continued...