Writing the Ride

Candace Carrabus Books


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S is for Safe/Not Safe

The day after the incident, Malcolm took me to the art museum for my birthday. We were having lunch when I said, “I prefer not to teach lessons. I’m not very good at it.”

I must have had a neon sign on my forehead flashing “big fat lie.” I hate lying, really I do. But I didn’t want to talk about this. It hurt too much.

“Have you tried?”

“Yes. It didn’t work out.”

“I see.”

He saw. Yeah, right. I felt myself squirm inwardly. But at the length truth will out. Shakespeare knew. I took one more stab at putting him off. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

He wanted to know about me. Had a right to, I supposed. Fair enough. And he would understand. I could see it in his eyes. There was softness there, a safe place to land.

“Someone got hurt. A girl. Heidi. She was getting ready for a lesson. The others were already in the ring with me. They were taunting her, the others. They were mean. Heidi was always running late.” I reached back, smelled the barn and the soft, slightly damp footing of the indoor arena. Saw Heidi’s ready smile. “She hurried her pony in and didn’t double check the girth. Another rider…I had my back turned for just a moment.”

“The world can change in a moment,” he said.

It can. And in that moment I knew that while there was softness in him, a safe place to land, my heart was not safe around him at all.

Kids and ponies together can be incredible fun or absolutely lethal. Cranky doesn’t begin to cover how that makes me feel.

Join me Monday for T.

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