The Way I Loved You
Author's note: I am really proud of this novel. One of my best friends inspired me and helped me to write this.... Show full author's note »
SiblingsThe sun shined bright through my windows, casting bars of light on the carpet. I sat up, blinking, and realized that tears were really streaming down my face. I hurriedly wiped them off and calmed myself down as best I could. My clock said it was 9:34, which meant I had slept in about an hour. I didn’t have a mirror in my room, which has always bugged me, so I didn’t know what my face looked like; that is, if any sign of the dream was still there. I trusted myself, so, I slid out of bed and looked into the hallway. My two brothers and sister were up, and also my parents. I took a deep breath and walked down the stairs and into the kitchen.
Jay Evans, my seventeen-year-old brother, who has red hair kept short and green eyes, was seated at the table wolfing down an almost finished pile of pancakes. Next to him sat my eleven-year-old sister, Rebecca, with shoulder-length red hair and green eyes. Across from her sat Scotty, my six-year-old brother, with dirty-blonde hair and hazel eyes. My parents, Bruce and Sandy Evans, were seated at the head and foot of the table; my mom eating cereal and my dad eating pancakes.
“Marcy, finally!” Daddy exclaimed as I scooted a few pancakes and blueberries onto my plate and sat down next to Scott.
“I checked in on you around nine,” Momma told me, “and you were fast asleep. It sounded like you were having quite a dream, too.” I blushed and shoved a huge bit of pancake into my mouth so I didn’t have to respond.
“Hey, Marcy, what would you say about Jean’s foal? Still doing well?” Jay was finished with breakfast. “I’m going out to check once I’m dressed, but what do you think?”
Remembering my dream and having and odd feeling about how real it had seemed, I replied, “I think it’s almost out. She’s getting pretty wide.”
“Can I watch it be born?” Scott asked me.
“Oh, yeah, me too!” Rebecca added. I felt a little protective, since Jean was more my horse than any of theirs, and Rebecca only wanted to be there because she had gotten into her thick head that since I had gotten the only mare, and she had been stuck with Rebel, we were sharing Jean. Which we were most certainly not! I would rather share… Nothing, really, with her. I didn’t say anything, but my mind was already boiling.
“Oh, no, I don’t think so,” Momma replied. “It’ll be really gross.”
“I don’t care!” Rebecca said eagerly. I could tell she thought she was going to get her way again. “Really, I don’t! I have a strong stomach! I think I should be there when it happens! I just know that Rebel is the father; he is always around her after all. I mean, his stall is right next to hers! ” She looked across at me excitedly, as if she wanted me to cheer her along, to also beg Momma and Daddy. In truth, I would give up seeing Jean’s foal be born if it would mean Rebecca not seeing it either. That might seem kind of selfish, or rude, or whatnot, but I’ve lived with Rebecca for almost twelve years now, and it really has an effect on you.
“No.” Daddy had that firm, loud, refusal that he uses for her.
“Well—well—does Marcy get to?” Rebecca glanced at me and I threw daggers at her through my eyes.
“I don’t know, Rebecca,” Daddy said through a sigh. “It shouldn’t really matter to you, anyway.” My heart leapt, because this meant that I would probably be allowed to.
“It should too!” Rebecca protested. “It’s not fair if she gets to see it and I don’t!”
“We’re not talking about this anymore, Rebecca,” Daddy said. “So, Jay, how’s Macao jumping?”
“Real good,” Jay replied. “His legs come up so neatly. It’s like he’s on springs.”
“I’m done,” I announced as I put my plate on the counter.
“Great. Change and we’ll go.”
“Oh, I’m almost done, can I come too?” It was Rebecca again.
Jay said “No, sis, this is just for Marcy and me.” She didn’t like that, and we could hear her begging Momma and Daddy as we went up to change. I dearly hoped they would hold out this time.
In my room I avoided t-shirts, once again remembering my dream, and instead put on a purple button-down shirt. I got dressed and did my hair as quickly as possible, giving Rebecca as little time as possible to convince Momma and Daddy, and apparently Jay had the same idea because as soon as I opened my door he was opening his. We hurried downstairs.
“We’re going to check!” Jay called as we opened and closed the door as fast as we could, but we still heard Rebecca putting up a fight.
Jean was in the field, but I whistled and she came trotting over a little awkwardly.
“Gracious, look at the size of that belly!” I cried. It was enormous.
“That thing’s got to be coming out soon, there’s no way she can keep going like this for much longer,” Jay pointed out as we entered the field and felt her stomach.
“My birthday’s tomorrow,” I said slowly. Jay looked up.
“Maybe it’ll be a fifteenth birthday present for you!” he suggested.
“I doubt it…” But I really didn’t. You should have seen the size of Jean; there was very little chance she was going to wait another whole day to have this baby.
“Well, we’d better tell Daddy about this, ‘cause he’ll want to make sure she’s in her stall when it happens, and it has to be comfortable,” he was walking towards the house, not even noticing that I had stayed with Jean.
“You’re huge, you know that, girl?” I told her, rubbing her nose. She snorted and lowered her head, as if to say, “Yeah, unfortunately, I have.”
I stayed there for a few minutes, scratching her ears, petting her neck, feeling her stomach. I heard the door open and seconds later Scott was running towards me.
“Can I ride Optimus?”
“Of course,” I replied. I would have given him the moon if he had asked for it.
We headed for the barn and he retrieved his horse’s bridle, while I carried the saddle over to him. Optimus, a white stallion, was grazing in the stallion field, and Scott called for him as loud as he could. Tossing his head, his horse came over. I slid and cinched the saddle on and helped Scott put the bridle on correctly, and then gave him a boost up. He looked a little nervous, all the way up there (Optimus is a huge horse), but grabbed on tight to the saddle horn like I always told him to do, which meant that he was at least thinking properly.
I led him over to the fence of Jean’s field and tied the reins to a post. Then I ran to the barn and back, put her saddle and bridle on, swung up, untied Scott, and handed him the reins. We took it at a walk, Scott looking excited and scared at the same time, feeling the movements of his horse beneath him. I saw Rebecca come running out and ignored her while she got Rebel ready. Scott and I went into the woods, still at a walk. This is what we do every day, while he slowly gets used to Optimus. He was just allowed to ride a horse about a week or two ago, when he turned six. We walk around the grass, walk around the woods. Trot around the grass, trot around the woods. Canter around the grass… Slower canter around the woods. Gallop around the grass, NOT gallop around the woods because that would be suicide for a six-year-old to even attempt that. We were still at walk, and a little trot now and then.
“Guys?” It was Rebecca. I felt Scott tense up (he shares my feelings about our sister) and tighten his grip on the reins. He looked at me imploringly, and I really felt tempted to go along. Rebecca hadn’t seen us yet, and Scott thought, or rather, knew, that it would be better for us if we started into a trot now to try and get away from her. As much as this seemed a good idea, I had to be the bigger person here, and say that we’d keep it at a walk. I sighed and shook my head at him.
Seconds later, there was Rebecca, riding Rebel, a brown stallion with a white blaze running down his nose.
“Make some room!” she cried as she saw that there was none between Optimus and Jean. Well, she saw that, but like I said, her head’s too thick to see that there was none. I couldn’t make Jean have her foal right now, and I wouldn’t if I could have. Plus, the horses would be extremely uncomfortable riding three-across on this tiny path, even without Jean’s fat middle.
“We can’t,” I told her, and she made a face at me.
“We can’t,” she retorted in a mocking voice. You get used to her doing this if you live with a sister like Rebecca, but that doesn’t stop your blood from boiling every time she does it. I faced front again. Glancing over at Scott showed him making a face that we both knew was directed to the person behind us. I smiled at the path before us so Rebecca wouldn’t see.
Suddenly Jean reared. Caught by surprise I only just managed to hang on, my legs gripping her as tightly as possible but also I was sliding to the side of the saddle. I saw Optimus start to rear too; Scott yelled and I twisted around to make sure he was alright. Somehow he was still in the saddle, and then I saw he had his arms around Optimus’s neck. I also could see Rebel’s telltale neck stretched out and his teeth bared. He had bit our horses! Jean came down and I grabbed Optimus’s reins and yanked him down too. I turned around and glared at Rebecca, who had pulled Rebel to a stop.
“What was that for?” I demanded angrily.
“It’s not our fault,” Rebecca replied. “You were going too slow.”
“We were NOT!” Scott shouted at her.
“Guys!” I shouted. “Calm down! Rebecca if we went any slower we’d be going backwards!”
“Would not! You wouldn’t be going backwards!”
“Yeah we would,” Scott told her.
“Rebecca it is really ridiculous to be arguing about this. Go slower.”
“You guys are meanies,” Rebecca whined, and I could see tears in her eyes.
Scott snorted loudly and I gave him a look.
“I’m telling Momma and Daddy!” Rebecca shouted as she wheeled Rebel around and they tore back through the woods.
“Tattletale!” Scott called after her. I mustered up all the conscience I could and said, “Scotty, don’t do that.”
He made another face, this time at me (for Pete’s sake, he’s six), and we kicked our horses into another walk. We were silent for a little bit, then Scott spoke.
“Marcy. Guess what?”
“What?” I asked. He looked at me mysteriously.
“You know how Rebecca thinks that Rebel is Jean’s husband?”
“Well, he’s not. I think.”
“Huh?” I stared at him. “What do you mean?”
“It’s Optimus. Optimus is her husband. I know it.” I stared at him some more.
“Are—are you sure, Scotty? I mean, how do you know?”
“They’re in love, Marcy. Really. And… I saw them together in the field, you know, when the fence was broken and that’s how Jean got to have a baby in her from one of our guys? Do you remember? Well, I saw them, and Jean was giving Optimus a piggy-back ride.”
I felt my face flush hotly.
“You saw that?” I asked nervously. After all he is only six.
“Yeah. It looked really weird, and then afterwards they both stood up and Optimus wasn’t on her anymore and they acted like everything was normal… That has something to do with the baby, right?”
“That means that he’s the daddy, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, Scotty. He is the daddy, if you’re sure that’s what you saw.”
“I know it was him. This means that Rebecca’s wrong, and that Rebel has nothing to do with Jean’s baby!”
I know it might seem weird to be so excited over something like that, but the fact that Rebecca didn’t own the foal in any way made me happy.
“Speaking of which, we need to get Jean inside,” I told Scott. We rode back to the house, and once we had put Optimus in the field and Jean in her stall and were hanging up the tack, Scott looked at me.
“We can’t tell anyone, Marcy. Especially Rebecca. She’d start crying, ‘cause she always cries about everything.”
“Ok.” It was true. The only problem was, sadly, that Scott wasn’t a very good secret-keeper. During dinner of that very same day, Momma and Daddy were upstairs trying to fix the computer and the children were eating alone at the table. Scott leaned over and whispered to me, “She’s going to find out when she sees the baby, right?” I replied, “Probably, but be quiet.”
“Whisper whisper whisper,” Rebecca said as she watched me sit up and end the short conversation. She had told on us and we had all been told to not argue while on horses because they can sense you tensing up; Rebecca had been reminded to keep a good distance between her and the horse in front of her. Scott and I had been told not to be mean which we accepted with quick nods and had went off to play action figures. Rebecca was in a bad mood.
“What were you saying?” she asked. “I saw you whispering to her,” she told Scott. “What did you tell her? Was it about me?” she demanded suddenly.
Scott looked her in the eye and said “No.”
“Well then what were you saying?”
“Nothing.” I have to admit, Scott can sure stand up to her. Even though he got us into this mess in the first place.
“You guys shouldn’t be whispering at the table,” Jay interrupted. “And Rebecca, if he was whispering then maybe it was something he can’t tell you!”
“I’ll just keep bugging you until you tell me,” Rebecca informed us. I couldn’t believe the nerve of her.
“Rebecca. They don’t need to tell you.” Jay was frowning. “You whisper to people sometimes and don’t tell people what you said. Scott, if you can’t say it to everybody, you shouldn’t say it to anyone.”
Rebecca was glaring at us, and I could tell she was going to cry soon, and the very thought of her eyes slowly tearing up and her face reddening made me want to roll me eyes out of their very sockets.
I was relieved when we went to bed that night. I stayed up and looked at the stars outside my window in the night sky. Soon, at 2:14 am to be exact, I would be fifteen years old. I know that nothing changes when you have a birthday, but I get excited all the same. I pulled a chair over, opened the window, and rested my head on my arms which were on the windowsill. Closing my eyes and letting the cool air wash over me, I fell asleep.
When I woke up again I wasn’t sure why I had. It seemed peaceful enough. Then I saw a light on outside. I watched it sleepily, until I realized what I was seeing. The barn was lit up, and a high, piercing whinny was coming from inside. I sat up straight, my heart hammering.
Jean was having her foal.