Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

A Chapter by Elizabeth Reed

I drove around for a while, trying to ease my rage before I decided to stop at a small, open clothes and jewelry shop. I parked my Echo and walked inside, looking around. They had some really cute clothes, and nice jewelry. All of the adults in the store were staring at me and giving me weird looks. I tried to ignore it, but it was hard, especially when a little kid points at you and asks, "Mommy, what happened to her hair? It's all blue." The mother took the young girl's hand and pulled her away.

"We don't like to talk to people like that, Marry-Lou. You just stay away." she said.
"Yes, Momma." the girl replied. I rolled my eyes and picked up a bracelet, then put it back. I glanced out the window and almost died when I saw Lucy and Taylor heading for the door. I groaned quietly to myself and told myself I wasn't going to leave just because of them. I turned around and pretended to look at something else. I picked up a bracelet I would never wear and acted like I was interested before putting it back.

"Cody?" I heard. I rolled my eyes, recognizing the voice as Lucy's. "Cody, is that you?" She kind of scoffed. "Well, who else could it be? No one else's head looks like blue licorice is coming out of it." I spun around with a forced smile.

"Lucy," I said. "Taylor, how wonderful to see you." I paused for a second, noticing Lucy had a small bruise under her eye and Taylor's left arm was in a sling.
"We noticed you in here and we wanted to come in and let you know-" she inhaled and looked at Taylor. "We forgive you." I looked at the two of them.
"Forgive me for what?" I asked. Lucy giggled.
"Well, you certainly don't think we did this to ourselves, do you?" she asked, glancing at Taylor.
"I do, actually, yes." I answered. Taylor scoffed.

"Whatever, Cody." she said. "We were trying to be nice, but if you don't want to step up and admit you were wrong, fine, don't." I rolled my eyes and turned around. Then I felt Lucy's arm brush against me.

"You should buy that bracelet, Cody, it would look good on you." she said, then the two of them left. I took a deep breath, trying to keep calm, and I went leave. Mostly because of the weird looks people were giving me. Maybe I should dye my hair brown again... I thought to myself as I reached out to open the door. Before I could grab onto the knob a man grabbed my arm and turned me.

"Excuse me, miss," he said. "Where do you think you're going?" I looked from side to side.

"Um, home?" I replied, confused. The man, who I now realized by his name tag was the owner of the shop, shook his head.
"I don't think so," he reached into my bag, and I protested only for a second, but stopped when he pulled a bracelet from it. "Theif." My eyes widened and I started to shake my head.
"No, no, no, no!" I cried, mushing all the no's together. "I didn't take that! It must have fallen into my bag or-" I paused, realizing what it was.
Lucy! I screamed in my head. She must have put it in my bag when she brushed against me!
"Someone put it there!" I said finally and the man rolled his eyes.
"Sure, sure." he said, pulling me to the back of the shop.
"No, really, I swear!" I tried, but I knew it was no use. So, I shut my mouth and tried to ignore all the looks I was given as the man pulled me into the back of the shop and sat me in a chair. I think I was in an employee lounge/stock room type place. There were boxes marked jewelry, shirts, shoes, ect, and there was a sink, mini fridge and a cupboard. The man made me sit on the cold chair and wait. I folded my arms, slouched down. I didn't even want to think of all the trouble I would get it in... They were probably going to call my aunt and uncle and they would come and get me and I would never hear the end of it... I knew they'd never believe that I didn't do it and I would be up to neck in chores for the next three months. I was sure then more than ever that Taylor and Lucy would pay. I wasn't exactly sure how, but I knew it would happen. My heart started racing as I heard a few pairs of feet approuching. I took a deep breath, shifting uneasily in my seat. As the door opened I saw the owner walk in and I almost threw up at what I saw next. Two police officers walked in, thumbs in there belts.

"This the girl?" one of them asked.

"This is her." the owner answered.
"Alright, miss, come with us." the officer said, gesturing for me to stand. I shook my head, eyes widened again. I opened my mouth to protest, but knew that if it didn't work on the store owner, it wouldn't work on them. So, I let them lead me out of the store, I tried to ignore the looks of hatred and contempt from the people in the store and on the street, and I let the officers put me in the back seat of the black and white and drive me to the police station. I remained silent the enitre time. I was slouched in the back seat, trying to hide my face. The officer driving kept looking at me through the rear view mirror and I pretended not to notice. I cooperated fully as the officers brought me inside the police station and sat me in a chair by a desk. I looked around at all the officers ruishing by me. Some of them were doing paperwork, others were putting on bandanas and jeans, assumingly for undercover work. The first officer who spoke to me was sitting at the desk, asking me questions and writing down the answers. "Name?" he asked, not looking up at me.

"Cody McQuaid." I answered.
"Age?"
"Seventeen."
"Birthday?"
"April twentyforth, ninteen-ninety-four."

"Dakotah!" I heard suddenly, and I jumped in my seat, sitting up straight and looking for who called my name. Then I saw Aunt Hailey and Uncle Chris rushing towards me, Aunt Hailey hiking her bag up over her shoulder. My eyes widened and I stood up quickly.
"Aunt Hailey, Uncle Chris." I said, scared out of my mind at what they might do.
"Oh, Dakotah, what do you think you're doing?!" Aunt Hailey asked. "What happened here?" The officer stood up, setting down his pen.

"It seems as though she tried to steal a bracelet from a small store on Peterson." he answered. I shook my head, kind of rolling my eyes as my aunt and uncle looked at me with shocked faces.
"Oh, Cody, why would you do that?" Aunt Hailey asked.

"I didn't, Aunt Hailey." I answered. The officer sighed.

"Fortunately for you, we have no proof she actually did try to steal it. Only the shop owners word, so we can't make any of the charges stick." he explained. "So, she is free to go, but if I were you, I wouldn't go back to that store."

"Oh, she wont be going anywhere for quite some time." Aunt Hailey assured him. "Let's go." She grabbed my arm and started pulling me away and I heard Uncle Chris tell the officer to have a nice day. What worried me at that point was that neither of them were saying anything to me as we left the station, got in the car and started home. I sat silently in the back of the truck, looking out my rolled down window. The wind blue my hair back and I was even getting looks from people then. I sighed and looked away, feeling my cell phone vibrate in my pocket. I hesitated, but opened it. It was from Fiona, telling me to call her when I could. Uncle Chris looked in the rear view mirror then held his hand out to me. I looked at him and sighed, placing my phone in his hand. I tucked my hair behind my ears and stuck my arm out the window. If this had happened while I was at home both of my parents would be yelling at me and I would be yelling back. Then I would probably wait until we hit a stop sign or a red light before opening the door and getting out of the car. I would probably be grounded for three months with no phone or TV or anything, extra chores, no friends, but I wouldn't listen, I would do it all anyway. I wouldn't stand for someone not believing me when I was telling the truth. I also wouldn't have been getting so many weird looks from the people in town. They had all sort of accepted my blue hair and my bad attitued and it was more accepted back East anyway. But, everything was different here and I realized that I was different now too. Even though I hadn't been in Tennessee long I had adapted to the people and their ways. Mostly... I was still me. I was still Cody and I always would be. But, at that point I was more concerned with Aunt Hailey and Aunt Chris. I had no idea what they were going to do with me and I really didn't want to find out. We continued our silent ride until we actually got home. Uncle Chris ordered me into the living room and onto the couch. He paced back and forth before me like earlier that day and leaned back on the couch, taking my usual 'This is crap' attitude and look. I folded my arms, slouching down, not looking at either of them as they stared down at me.

"Well?" Uncle Chris asked. I didn't look at him still, just kept staring at a small crack in the wall to my right, arms across my stomach. "What do you have to say for yourself, Dakotah?" I clenched my fists. I had been called Dakotah a couple times since I'd moved and it never bothered me as much as it did at that moment. I thought it was funny that all it took for me to completely revert back to my old self was getting in trouble like the good old days. I almost felt like I could look to my left and see Fiona sitting angrily beside me. But, I knew that wouldn't happen. I missed Fiona, I realized at that moment. I hadn't thought about anyone back East for a while. I hadn't even spoken to them because I was so busy. Maybe it was just because I was in trouble, but I suddenly felt the urge to go back home... To get in my car and speed back home after getting an ice coffee. But, I couldn't. I had to sit on the couch and listen while they yelled at me, even though I didn't do anything. "Dakotah, look at me when I'm talking to you!" Uncle Chris yelled. For the first time in weeks I really heard is southern accent. I had gotten so used to it I had barely heard it anymore, but I heard it this time. I looked at him, giving him the look of death, but didn't speak. He sighed deeply. "I'll take you silence as a plea of guilt." he said. I scoffed and rolled my eyes.

"Yeah, you do that." I said sarcastically. Uncle Chris opened his mouth to yell, and lifted his hand to point, but Aunt Hailey stopped him, pushing his hand down.

"Kodah," she said. "Sweatheart, can you just tell us what happened? You've been doing so good lately and it seems like you've just gone back to your old ways." I shook my head.
"I haven't gone back to my old ways." I answered. "I haven't pulled a prank since I was at home, actually... I haven't gotten in a single fight," Uncle Chris rolled his eyes. "I haven't disobeyed anyone, I've been perfect!"

"I really don't like being lied to, Dakotah." Uncle Chris said.
"Don't call me that!" I spat as I stood up. "I haven't done anything wrong since I got here, why don't you believe me?!"

"Cody, please," Aunt Hailey said. "We just don't have any proof that you didn't do what you were accused of doing."
"I'll get proof. Tomorrow at school I'll get the proof." I assured them.

"Yeah, well, until then you're grounded. You'll have an extra work load and you can't have your phone or TV. Hand your phone over, right now." Uncle Chris said. I shoved my hand into my pocket and slammed my phone into Uncle Chris's hand.
"Yes, sir." I spat sarcastically. I headed for the door."This isn't over." I said to them before I stormed out to the barn.

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I stayed in the barn for hours, sitting on the wall of Duke's stall, petting his forehead. I looked at my watch. 8:00pm. Pulling out my phone, I sighed and hit speed dial for Fiona's cell phone. Muffled, I heard her say, "Hold, on Fender..." then a clear, "Hello?"

"Hey, Fio." I said with a smile, glad to hear a familiar voice.
"Oh, Cody, hey." she said. I frowned at her nonenthusiastic tone. "Look, I'm really happy to finally hear from you, but I'm kind of in the middle of something right now, okay? Can I call you some other time?" I cleared my throat, trying to hide my sadness.
"Sure, no problem... I should get to bed anyway... I'll talk to you later." Fiona hung up her phone without saying goodbye. I tucked my hair behind my ears and dropped into Duke's stall. I picked a clean corner and layed down, not looking forward to the next day at school.

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I froced myself to get up, even though every bone in my body, every fiber of my being was telling me not to Plus Gunner was laying in my bed and he was kind of crushing me. I had to get ready for school and drive Beck and Laina there as well. I didn't mind too much being made to go to school because I needed to prove that Lucy and Taylor were lying about me hurting them and that they framed me for trying to steal that bracelet. As I was driving I could feel the knot in my back spazzing. I winced a little and shifted in my seat. Beck glanced at me, but didn't ask me about it. I pulled into the parking lot of the school and as I got out of the car I noticed it was hotter than usual. I sighed. I didn't really like the heat too much, but that's what you get when you live in Tennessee. I wondered what Fiona and Fender were doing. If they were even up yet... Were they together? Were either of them thinking of me? Was it nice and cool there or was it starting to get hot? I hiked up my backpack and fussed with my sweater before entering the building. I was on a mission, in serious mode, after my prey. I was hunting Lucy and Taylor and I wasn't going to rest until they were in my grasp and I had the truth. I broke away from Laina and Beck without a word and searched for the girls. I was getting even more weird looks and people were whispering about me more intently because I was shoving past them, not caring who was in the way. Suddenly I spotted them. I felt like a lion who had just caught sight of a wounded gazelle. I was about to start off and pounce on them, then bring in my fresh kill, when I was stopped by a firm hand on my shoulder. He yanked me back and spun me, then I was face to face with the principal himself. The principal never called on children directly, he always sent the vice principal out to get us. I swallowed.

"Good morning, Cody." he said in his calm, polite voice. "Come with me, would you?" Like I had a choice... I slowly nodded and followed him down the hall to his office. As we walked by the kids stopped talking and watched, like I was being led to The Chair or something. I held tight to my backpack, feeling the circulation being cut off from my fingers. I never used to be afraid of getting into trouble... Tennessee's really getting ot me... I thought to myself. This is nuts... I took a deep breath. Come on, Cody, you get in trouble all the time! Just relax. I tried to get my knees to stop shaking as I entered the Principal's office. I was greeted by the surprisingly not so familiar decor. The fancy brown and green colors reminded me of the first time I was sent to the office, and I realized that had been the only time I ever went. A new record for me. I stood in Mr. Halper's office and waited for him to tell me to take a seat, but he didn't. He sat in his seat bean his desk and folded his arms. "Cody, do you know why you're here?" he asked me. I shook my head slowly.

"Um, no, actually I don't." I answered. I tucked my hair behind my hears with one hand, still hanging onto my backpack like my life depened on it with the other hand.
"Cody, have you seen Taylor or Lucy recently?" he asked. I forced myself not to roll my eyes.
"Not since yesterday." I replied.
"Did you notice anything about them?"
"Not really."
"You didn't notice Lucy's black eye or Taylor's sprained wrist?"
I pretended to realize what he was talking about, when I knew the whole time. "Oh, that." I said. "Yeah, I noticed that. I didn't think much of it."
"Why's that? Had you seen it before?" He was clearly insinuating that I did it. I shook my head.
"No, I hadn't. But, I had heard that it happened." I answered, trying to make myself sound innocent, because I was.
"I see..." Mr. Halper said before adjusting in his seat. "Well, Cody, Taylor and Lucy claim that you're the one who did it to them, and they have two other students who say they saw you." My eyes widened.
"W- what? That- that's impossible!" I stammered. I ran a hand through my hair. "Who?" I demanded. "Who said they saw me?"

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There had to be something else to it. Taylor and Lucy must have paid off the students or something, because I didn't even know them. I fought and argued for about an hour after school ended with Taylor, Lucy, the two students who were identified as Mark McAllister and Lizzy Heinz, and Mr. Halper. But, in the end I lost. What did that mean? I was suspended from school for a week. It was all I could not lose my mind right in the middle of Mr. Halper's office in front of everyone. But, I didn't. I managed to keep cool, I walked from his office and to my car. Beck and Laina took the bus home since I was held up, so I was free to blast Dropkick's as loud as I wanted to drown out my anger. Aunt Hailey and Uncle Chris must have heard me coming from a mile away, it was so loud. I kicked up dirt as I came to a stop in the driveway, opened the door and slammed it as hard as I could. Stomping up the stairs I flung the door opened and let it slam behind me, storming up the stairs without a word to anyone. As quickly as I could I changed out of my school clothes, into my work clothes and was out the door as quickly as I came in. I just wanted to get on Duke and race away before I was stopped. But, when I got into the barn I spotted Kujo and got a really bad, but awesome idea. Duke was a great horse, I loved him so much, but he was so docile and gentle. I didn't want that, not today. I didn't even want a saddle or bridle. I just did what first came to mind and opened Kujo's door. He took a few steps back, ears down, clearly upset, but I ignored all the warning signs. I heard a small rumble of thunder and saw rain outside as I mounted Kujo. I mounted him in perfect timing too, because just as I sat down Uncle Chris and Aunt Hailey walked in.

"Cody, are you in here?" Aunt Hailey asked.

"You're principal called us." Uncle Chris said. Just as the words left his mouth Kujo raced from his stall as fast as he could. I rushed by my aunt and uncle. Duke could never even dream of running this fast. Kujo knew exactly where he was going and I didn't really care where I went. I heard Uncle Chris and Aunt Hailey yelling my name as Kujo took me into the woods and rain pounded the both of us. Even if I wanted to stop, I'm not sure I could have gotten Kujo to listen. I could feel each step Kujo took, pounding the Earth with such force. I held onto his mane, moving fluently with his rythem. It felt amazing, the roar of the thunder and the beat of his steps as the rain slammed to the ground. I wondered where Kujo was taking me since he seemed so sure of himself. He navigated through the thick fog and dence forest with ease, jumping seamlessly over logs and rocks and moving through the trees. He was serious about what he was doing, but I felt so free, forgetting all of my troubles, just feeling the rythem and the rain. When I told Beck that day that I felt amazing being in the woods, when I thought I felt at one with nature then- I was wrong. This was the most amazing feeling, this was being at one with nature. I could feel Kujo's muscles flexing and moving under my legs and he seemed to pick up speed. His mane and tail were flying straight back and I felt like something straight out of a horse movie. I was only missing the epic song, but I didn't need it. Kujo took breaks now and then, walking or cantering for a bit to catch his breath before taking off again and galloping for as long as he could. After a while everything seemed familiar. I looked around, taking in everything I could in such fast motion, and realized we were on the path that led to the pond, and before I knew it we were there. Kujo raced through the shallow parts of the pond, splashing up water against the rain as lightning flashed and thunder cracked. He had to swim with me on his back for only a second before we were in the trees again. Wherever we were going he was determined to get there because nothing was stopping him and he didn't even seem to care or notice that I was still on his back. I was absolutely soaked and my hair was a mess, but I didn't care. I took in a deep breath of the fresh air and Kujo neighed. Not an angry neigh, but still a loud one. And somewhere in the distance, through the thunder, I heard a neigh calling back to him. Kujo's ears pricked up and he picked up even more speed. I held tighter to his mane, now getting a little worried at how fast he was going. I understood now what he was doing. He was running for his herd. He obviously knew where they were and wanted to go back with them. I didn't blame him. Feeling so out of place on the farm, away from his family, cooped up in a stall, people forcing him to work. I knew that I would get in big trouble for what I was going to do, but I figured I was already in a lot of trouble, so why not just go for it? I was going to let him go. What right did I or anyone else have to keep him from his family? Kujo broke form the forest into a vast feild, surrounded by trees. I saw in the distance a big herd of horses, his family. The horses neighed and reared up in excitment and, unfortunately for me, so did Kujo. He reared up, kicking his feet with a whinny. I struggled to keep my grip, but with all the rain and lightning and lack of a saddle, I lost it and fell to the ground. I let out a yell, feeling my shoulder come right out of the socket. It had happened to me a couple times before, but it was always painful. I pushed myself up onto my other elbow and watched as Kujo's black figure raced for his herd and they greeted him happily. I smiled to myself. I was happy that I was able to reunite him with his herd and the ones he loved. I couldn't wait for it to happen to me. I missed my family, even though we didn't really get along. But part of me also loved it in Tennessee. I thought about this as I pushed myself off the ground and fixed my shirt. But, my thoughts were interrupted by a small snort and quick shot of hot air to the back of my neck. I slowly turned and my nose was almost touching Kujo's. I stood perfectly still. Kujo was still a Mustang and he still wasn't too trusting of people. After Beck tried to break him he'd buck and rear up everytime he got on. He had a strong spirit, and could very well hold a grudge against us for keeping him captive. But, there he stood, nose to nose with me, ears pricked forward. He slowly brought his head up and over my shoulder and pulled me into him. I laughed a little to myself. He was hugging me. I reached my left arm up around his neck, hugging back. He pulled away and let me touch his nose before galloping off to his herd again. I smiled as I watched. It was like he was thanking me for setting him free. I watched the horses for a few minutes before they ran out of sight, one big happy family. Holding onto my arm so it didn't flail around I started back into the woods, the rain and thunder persisting. I actually really wasn't sure where I was or how to get back. I knew that if I could get back to the pond I could get home, but I had no clue where the pond was. I reached into my pocket, thinking maybe I could call someone for help, but when I pulled out my cell phone it was completely drenched, so it wasn't working. I groaned and shoved it back into my pocket. My shoulder was throbbing and my clothes were heavy and I was starting to get a headache. The thunder was booming and the lightning was flashing and the rain was pounded down on me. After such a rush of energy I was crashing and felt really tired. I decided that the best idea would be to find a big tree, rest under it and wait for the storm to pass. So, I sat down under a giant tree and closed my eyes. Obviously with the lighting, rain and thunder it was hard to sleep, but it was nice just to rest.

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I wasn't sure if I fell asleep or past out under the tree, but when I woke up it was early morning. The rain and thunder had stopped and it was actually kind of sunny. I looked at my watch. It was 6:00am. I knew then that I had to have passed out, because there was no way I could have slept for that long. My throat was a little sore and my nose a little stuffy, I thought maybe I even had a fever. I coughed a couple times and stood up, feeling dizzy. My shoulder was throbbing and I staggered forward a few steps.
I still have no clue where I am. I thought. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea...
My clothes were still very wet and my hair was a complete mess, but I really only cared about getting home. I knew that Uncle Chris and Aunt Hailey were probably losing their minds right now, same with Beck and Laina. They were probably all searching for me, maybe even the police. But, how would they ever find me here? Who would think to look here? I sighed and started walking, holding my arm. I wasn't able to get a good look at much of anything when I was on Kujo because he was going too fast, so I had nothing to go on. For the most part it felt like he basically went straight. I hoped that maybe if I walked around a bit I would find some hoof prints or something to lead me back. But with the amount of rain we had, it wasn't likely. I hoped that Uncle Chris and Aunt Hailey would be too worried about me to punish me when I was found. But, I was still grounded for "hurting" Lucy and Taylor, and I still hadn't been able to prove otherwise. They even had two witnesses that claimed to have seen me, so I knew that would make it even harder. I grumbled to myself, just thinking about them made me furious. I took a deep breath and tried to push them out of my mind, tried to focus on getting home. I walked straight for about an hour, tumbling over logs and bushes and rocks, straining my shoulder. I couldn't see any hoof prints or broken twigs anywhere, nothing to lead me to believe I was going in the right direction. I coughed and sneezed a few times, feeling more and more light headed as I went on. My vision started to blur, and that's why for a minute I thought my mind was playing tricks on me as I saw the figure of a horse coming near me. Someone was on top of it, but I couldn't make out the face.

"Cody?" I heard. A familiar voice. The sweetest sound I'd ever heard. Beck. I smiled and started for the figure. "Cody, is that you?" Beck asked. I nodded.

"Yeah, it's me." I answered. Beck leapt off of who I recognized as Zira, and rushed to me.
"Oh, Cody, are you okay?" he asked, frantic.
"My shoulder- it's dislocated." I answered. "And I think I'm sick... But, other than that I'm fine." I sighed. "I'm definitely wearing helmet if I'm jumping..." Beck shook his head, worried but relieved. He hugged me gently, though I could tell he wanted to squeeze me.
"Cody, you had us all worried sick... What were you thinking?" I shrugged one shoulder.
"I don't know... I just had to get away and I thought Kujo would be more exciting than Duke." I replied, realizing I would have to break the news to Beck. He would so upset with me... He loved Kujo and was so excited to fully break his first horse.
"Yeah, I bet he was. But, that's so dangerous. And in a thunder storm? You could have been killed." Beck told me. I scoffed.
"I don't think I could have been killed." I said.
"You could have!" Beck assured me. "Where's Kujo, anyway?" I looked away.
"Um, so you know how to get home, right?" I struggled to change the subject, but Beck wouldn't have it. He grabbed my good arm and pulled me to face him.
"Dakotah, where is he?" he demanded. I closed my eyes.
"With his herd... I don't know exactly where they are..." I reluctantly replied. Beck's eyes widened and I could almost see his heart break. He turned away from me and ran his fingers through his dark hair, which he had let grow just slightly. It looked really good. I bit my lower lip, now feeling horrible. But, he had to know there would have been no way for me to keep Kujo if he really wanted to go. Though I suppose I should have never taken him in the first place... "Beck..." I muttered. "I'm sorry..." I shook my head and tucked my knotted hair behind my ears. Dirt fell from it onto my shoulder. "He needed to be free. He wanted to be with his family. He led me to them and reared me off, I didn't just tell him to run away."
"No, but you gave him the chance." Beck said, betrayal covering his words. I looked down at the wet dirt below my mud stained shoes.
"I'm so sorry, Beck... He's happier now." I said quietly. Beck drew in a long breath then turned to me.
"Yeah," he said, exhaling. "You're right, I bet he's much happier now... I'm just glad you're okay." I shook my head.
"You're still mad, I hear it in your voice."
"Yeah, I'm furious, but whatever. I am glad you're okay." I sneezed and Beck took my hand. "Come on, get on Zira and I'll take you home. Then we can get you to a hospital." I nodded and let him help me on top of Zira, who looked quite muddy. After riding in silence for about a half an hour I cleared my throat, scratching it more and then coughing.
"How did you find me, anyway?" I asked him finally. Beck sighed.
"I knew where Kujo would go if given the chance." he replied. "I've been to that field before to watch the horses." I wrapped my good arm around his waist and laid my head on his back.
"Thank you..."

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It took us about four hours to get back home, because it took Kujo about two and a half to take me to the field with spots of galloping and cantering. Once I got home I was greeted warmly by Laina and my aunt and uncle. Aunt Hailey hugged me forever, even though I was dirty and wet. She touched my forehead and gasped, telling me I was burning up. I told her about my shoulder and she gasped again, insisting we go to the hospital.

"I'm fine, Aunt Hailey." I said. "I can pop it back in myself. I've done it a thousand times." Aunt Hailey shook her head.

"No way." she said firmly. "We're getting you checked out. Your shoulder and your fever, you've been through a lot, now come on." I rolled my eyes.
"But, Aunt Hailey, I-"
"Dakotah Rose, you have put me through enough!" she snapped suddenly. "Now get your butt in the truck!" My eyes were wide and all of us exchanged glances. I asked Beck to come with me, and Laina to stay and put Zira in her stall. Me and Beck got in the back of the truck and Uncle Chris pulled out of the driveway. I explained everything from the beginning. Why I had run off, where we had gone, that I let Kujo go (I had to force Aunt Hailey and Uncle Chris to let me explain myself, because they started yelling at me), I told them my phone was completely dead, how I slept under a tree, and then Beck found me. Aunt Hailey said that after I rest we would talk more about it. I knew what that really meant... 'After you rest we'll tell you your punishment.' I sighed and shifted in my seat, then asked Aunt Hailey to call my parents and tell them what happened. Aunt Hailey agreed to. She pulled out her phone and held it to her ear.

"Hello, Simon?" she asked. "It's Hailey... I've been better... Well, you see Cody's had a bit of an accident... Oh, no, no she's fine... No, we haven't cleared that up yet..." I rolled my eyes. Apparently they've been updating my parents on what I've been doing. "She fell off of a horse and dislocated her shoulder. She also has a bit of a fever. I'll explain the whole thing later, but she wanted me to call you and let you know... Yes, I'll keep you updated... Alright, sweety, I'll talk to you soon, then... Alrighty, bye bye..." She slipped her phone back into her pocket and sighed deeply. I felt bad for causing them so much trouble. I was doing so good for a while, but now everything was crumbling around me. I didn't want to cause them anymore trouble. I promised myself right then and there that I wouldn't. I promised I would forget the whole Taylor and Lucy thing, serve my sentence for that, the "shoplifting" and the Kujo thing, and I would work off the payment for Kujo, and after that I would be perfect. Aunt Hailey and Uncle Chris took me in when my parents didn't want me anymore. They thought they couldn't handle me, but Uncle Chris and Aunt Hailey knew they could. They never gave up on me. They knew why I was in so much trouble, but they still decided to put me up for free, as long as I worked. It wasn't right of me to cause them so much stress. I took a deep breath, for the first time in a long time I felt like crying, but I forced myself not to. I looked at Beck and he mouthed, "Are you okay?" I frowned.

"You hate me..." I mouthed back. He shook his head.
"I don't hate you."
"You're mad at me..."
"I'm not mad at you."
I coughed and sneezed then nodded.
"Yes you are..."
I looked down then felt him take my hand. I looked at him and he was almost gazing into my eyes. I stared back at him, letting a tear form then fall down my cheek. He squeezed my hand and we sat that way the whole way to the hospital. Everything was happening so fast- or rather, I was finally noticing everything all at once. All the changes and feelings I was going through... I hated being a teenager. But, I loved that Beck was holding my hand. We soon pulled into the hospital parking lot, and I had no problem walking in looking like a filthy mess, because I had done it so many times before. We walked in, Uncle Chris gave them my information and told them why I was there, and we sat down. Surprisingly, the room wasn't too full. A couple people sat there. One man was holding a bloody cloth around his hand, just sitting there like it was fine, while an elderly woman sat a few seats away, coughing into a handkerchief. A few seats away from us was a younger woman with two small children, trying to keep them in check as she sniffed, her nose red. My shoulder was throbbing more and more and I questioned myself as to why I didn't shove myself into a tree to push it back into place. I crossed my legs and bobbed my foot, holding Beck's hand again. I wasn't sure what it meant, the fact we were holding hands, but I didn't care. I was actually in a lot of pain and felt like I wanted to pass out, so I wanted to have a grip on reality. I slowly blinked my eyes a couple of time, coughing a bit. Beck frowned and leaned forward, getting a better look at my pale face.
"Are you okay, Cody?" he asked. I cleared my throat and nodded.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I said. "Just a little light headed." Beck touched my forehead with the back of his hand and looked concernedly at Aunt Hailey.
"Her fever is worse." he said. Aunt Hailey frowned back at him and wrapped her arm around me. Beck tried to pull his hand away to get a nurse for a cold cloth, but I held tight to his hand, making him stay. I was afraid, actually, that if I let go of his hand I might pass out. Uncle Chris quickly stood and went to get a cold cloth. I coughed a few more times and closed my eyes.

"Come on, sweety, stay with us." Aunt Hailey urged me. "Are you with us?" I nodded slowly.

"Yeah, I'm with you..." I muttered. Uncle Chris trotted back to me and handed the cloth to Aunt Hailey, who pressed it against my head. Drips of water trickled down my face and helped wake me up a bit. Thankfully we were called in a few minutes after that. The nurse took some more information, then checked my vitals (which she revealed to be low and my fever to be high, 101) and left, telling us the doctor would be with us shortly. I sat in one of the two chairs provided, Aunt Hailey sitting next me, and I made Beck stand next to me, still holding his hand, even when the nurse was taking my vitals.

"Someone's a little enamored, huh?" she joked playfully as she checked my blood sugar. Beck gave her a pity laugh, but I was just trying to focus on not passing out. How embarrassing would that be? Passing out in front of Beck... He would probably catch me... What if I was heavy and he struggled to keep me up? I couldn't let that happen. And besides, passing out would look weak. When the doctor came him he saw that I was on the edge of passing out and he told me to lay down. So, Beck removed his plaid over shirt and laid it on the floor as a pillow, then helped me down so I could lay back. As soon as I was laying flat I pretty much woke up. I looked around for a second then looked at the doctor, who was grinning at me.

"Better?" he asked. I nodded.

"Very much." I answered.
"I'm Dr. Mavrick. Now, I see you're suffering from a dislocated shoulder, fever and cough. Is that correct?" he asked me. I nodded.
"Yeah," I answered. "I fell off a horse and spent a night in the woods in the rain." The doctor looked at me for a second then nodded.
"Yeah, that'll do it." he said. "Are you in a lot of pain?" I hesitated.
"Um, yeah, kinda." I replied.
"Will you rate your pain for me? On a scale of one to ten, one being nothing and ten being the worst pain you've ever felt, what's you pain level?"
I thought for a second. It obviously wasn't a 10, I'd felt worse pain, like when I shattered my arm after bailing a jump when I was snowboarding. And it wasn't a one because I was in pain.
"A seven." I answered. I heard Aunt Hailey kind of gasp a little and I saw her cover her mouth from the corner of my eye. Only then did I realize that I had dragged Beck all the way to the floor with me and he was still holding my hand. I gave it a squeeze and he squeezed back.
"Alrighty, well, the only thing we can do for your shoulder is shove it back into place then put it in a sling." Dr. Mavrick explained. "I can give you a Vicodin and wait for that to settle in before doing it if you'd like." I took a deep breath and nodded.
"Yeah, that would be nice." I said. Usually I was fine with popping it back in and taking a couple Asprin's, but usually I would stand up after dislocating it and pop it back in right then and there, I didn't let it sit and throb for hours and hours. Dr. Mavrick did what he needed to do then brought back a Vicodin and a plastic cup of water. Beck helped me sit up and I still didn't release his hand as I swallowed the pill and guzzled the water. I had taken Vicodin before, so I knew it worked wonders. It also made me really sleepy, usually knocking me out for about three hours. So after about 15 minutes I started yawning and of course my family and Beck started giggling at me. I had taken a enough narcotics in my life to realize that you did not speak when you took them. I laid there with my eyes close, starting to feel the numbing. The doctor realized I was falling asleep and said we needed to pop my shoulder back in before that happened. So, beck and Dr. Mavrick helped me up on weak legs and had to support me. Beck squeezed my hand as hard as he could and I did the same as he wrapped an arm around my waist. Dr. Mavrick placed one hand on the back of my shoulder and one hand on the front. I took a deep breath and he asked me if I was ready. It always killed shoving your shoulder back into place, and the Vicodin hadn't completely set in yet, so I was nervous. "Ready." I said, and with one swift move Dr. Mavrick shoved my shoulder back into it's socket with a crack. I grunted and squeezed Beck's hand harder, hearing Aunt Hailey gasp. I was starting to feel more light headed, a mix from the fever and the Vicodin. My knees buckled and I fell into Beck's arms. The doctor told him to lay me back down, but this time it didn't help to much. I was barely awake while Dr. Mavrick did more tests on me to find out why I was sick. All I could really make out from the jumble of words was "flu". So, I knew that was what I had, and it wasn't too big of a deal. I really struggled to stay awake through the appointment, wanting to be able to say I didn't pass out the whole time. I was barely holding on when the appointment ended and Dr. Mavrick asked if I wanted a wheelchair. Beck and my family insisted I use one, but I insisted I didn't. "I'm fine." I choked out.

"Come on, Cody, let them give you a wheelchair." Beck urged me. I shook my head, dirt falling from my hair and my hair into my face.
"No, I'm fine..." I muttered. "Just- hold my hand."
"I am holding your hand." Beck said.
"Well, keep holding it." I replied. Beck sighed and wrapped his arm around to hold me up. The doctor gave my aunt a couple more Vicodin just in case and a prescription for some Antivirul meds. I staggered out of the doctor's office, Beck and my uncle on either side of me, helping me along to the truck. They practically had to pick me up and put me inside the back, then buckle me. Once we were on the road all I could think of was Fiona. I wasn't sure why, but she was racing through my dizzy head. I missed her... Usually it would be her in the seat next to me, laughing at me because I was almost passed out. But, she would also be concerned, asking if I was in too much pain. I wondered if Mom and Dad had told Fio and Kat about me or not. "Beck..." I muttered. He squeezed my hand.
"What is it?" he asked gently.
"Call- call Fiona..." I pushed out. "And t-tell her..." Beck looked at Aunt Hailey then back at me.

"I'll do it, sweety." Aunt Hailey said. She pulled her phone out and called Kat. "Hi, there, Kat, how are you, dear? ...Oh, I'm alright... Um, thing's are okay. Cody wanted me to call... She's okay, she's just had a bit of an accident and wanted Fiona to know... She fell off a horse and dislocated her shoulder... Well, don't sound so surprised..." I could tell by Aunt Hailey's sarcastic tone that Kat really wasn't surprised, which didn't surprise me. Kat knew I'd dislocated my shoulders many times, and it wasn't too big of a deal, usually. "Well, yes, I'm sure she's done it many times, but after all those times did she spend the night in the rain and in the forest all alone and catch the flu? ...Yes, I'm serious. But, she's okay. She's in trouble, but okay... I can explain that later, she just wanted Fiona to know, so make sure to pass it on... Alright, you to, hun... Bye bye..." I hoped Fiona would call me later...


© 2012 Elizabeth Reed


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Elizabeth Reed
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Added on November 18, 2012
Last Updated on November 18, 2012
Tags: Teen, Teenager, Angst, Farm, Horse, Horses, Barn, School, Love, Romance, Trouble


Author

Elizabeth Reed
Elizabeth Reed

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I absolutely love to write, but I'm not very confident in myself. I would love honest feedback. Negative or not. If you'd like to see pictures of my characters, go to my photos. The letter(s) at th.. more..

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