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E - Everyone

Unlucky 13 - Chapter 8

by Liberty


I held Grams’ phone to my ear and waited. The air conditioner cooled me in the car. Ave was now whistling outside, walking around.

A few rings later, my mother answered. “Hello?” I said softly.

“Mother dear, you sound like a child!” The woman on the other end laughed. She had a thick British accent.

“Um, yeah.” I paused. My heart was pounding in my ears.

“Mother, how is my baby doing?” she asked.

“Uh, I’m actually –” I was so nervous. Despite the coolness of the air conditioner, I suddenly felt really warm.

“Mother, is this even you?”

“No.”

“Who is this?” my mother asked, suspicious.

“Julia Portman.” I said simply.

She didn’t say anything. So I decided to speak up. Heck, I’ve got courage I didn’t even know I had!

“You left me.” I started. “You left your baby! You left your child in the hands of an old woman! Actually, you left her in an orphanage! You left me! You left me and coincidently, your mother stepped in and took me!” I screamed. “An old woman who barely could take care of your idioticness took care of me! Can you imagine how much it must have been on her? Can you? No! And that, Anthea, is what makes you horrible, wretched, and evil!”

“Honey, my love, you don’t –” she said.

“SHUT UP!” I yelled. Ave knocked on the window. I ignored him. “You evil witch! You left your own daughter in the time when she needed you most!” I started crying. “You left me. And that lead me to almost killing myself.”

“Jules, I –”

“Don’t you dare call me Jules. Grams and my family can only call me that.” I sobbed.

“Listen to me.” she sounded desperate and horrified.

“NO!” I ended the call there. When Ave saw me, he opened the door and came to sit beside me.

“I don’t have a mother.” I sobbed into his shoulder. “Everyone hates me. No one understands how it feels to be so lonely and so… alone.” I whimpered.

Ave hugged me and I curled up into a ball. “I understand. It’s okay.”

I looked up at him, wiping away my tears, “But do you really? You’ve got a family, a house, love, friends, Carter…” I sighed and leaned into the back of the seat. “I’ve got nothing.”

“If you want to, you can stay home with Mum.” he offered, tightening his lips.

“I don’t want to spoil Izzy’s day.” I said, shaking my head, “I’ll go.”

Seconds later, everyone else had come into the car and we were driving to the stables.

“What took you guys so long?” Ave asked.

“We were looking for Grams’ phone.” Tim said, turning the wheel to the right.

“And it was here.” Izzy grumbled. Aunt Martha had made her wear sunscreen. Izzy hates it. One of the reasons it took them so long, according to Tim.

“What song?” Grams asked, looking at the CDs they had.

“Dark Horse!” Izzy chirped.

I made a face, “Are you kidding me?”

Ave groaned, “Get ready to go deaf.” He plugged his ears when Grams started the song.

“I knew you were! You were gonna come to me! And here you are! But you better choose carefully! 'Cause I'm capable of anything! Of anything and everything!” Izzy sung. She had a pretty great voice that I didn’t feel like plugging my ears. Ave unplugged his too.

“You’ve gotten better.” he said. Izzy glared at him.

“And here we are!” Grams said, turning off the radio.

I smiled, “This place looks fantastic!” I said.

We went in and asked for a couple of horses to go for a trail ride with. I was going to ride Coco, a chestnut with a white blaze running down his face. He had three stockings – two on his back legs and one on his front right leg.

Izzy was riding Oak, a beautiful strawberry roan mare.

Then there was Swiss and Luna, both twin appaloosas. Swiss was going to with Tim – he rides him all the time. Luna was going to be Ave.

Aunt Martha was with a half-wild and half-tamed dun quarter horse named Buck – she said she could handle him. And lastly, Grams was riding the sweetest Morgan horse named Belle.

I knew every single horse breed in the world after all of the lessons I had gotten from Ella. Ella… I felt tears prick my eyes, but I didn’t let them fall.

The horses were all tacked up and ready to go when we had first come, so there was no need to do any of the hard stuff – I think it’s the hard stuff.

I mounted Coco and squeezed my legs so that he’d know I wanted him to walk. He obeyed. Izzy followed me all the way out to the woods and the trail. She chattered about how much she loved doing this. She said that she had known Oak ever since she was born. Oak is four, so ever since Izzy was six, she knew her. Yeah, I can do math.

“How are you feeling?” Tim was beside me now. I could tell he was tense because Swiss was fidgeting a lot.

“Stop stressing,” I said, “Look at poor Swiss!” I chuckled and kicked Coco into a trot then slowly into a canter. “Race ya!”

I looked back at the others and they had all stopped, giving me death glares. Finally. Time to think.

As Coco cantered, I gave him a quick pat on the neck to assure him that he was doing great. I was lowered onto his back and he felt warm and nice. He was happy, I can tell you that for sure. But I wasn’t. Not yet, at least.

Anthea…

My mother.

Mom?

No. I’m not calling her that. I would rather die than do that. I felt guilty, and I bit my lip.

What if she wanted to apologize? What if she wanted to tell me that she wants to come back? What if she really does love me but she just couldn’t live with me? I wish she had just died in the plane crash and I wouldn’t have to worry about all this.

My hair went in my mouth and I spat it out.

I sighed as the woods seemed to come to an end and we were now in an open field. I could hear the others quickly approaching.

There was a stream coming. More like – we were going to the stream. And we’re here.

Three, two, one, and hup! We jumped over the stream, landing on the other side cleanly.

Ella had taught me all this. Maryam was always too afraid to touch horses. She had seen too many movies. I leaned into Coco, burying my head in his soft, neatly combed, thick mane.

“Wait up!” I could hear Ave calling out to me. I rolled my eyes, slow pokes. I slowed Coco to a trot, gathering his reins.

“C’mon, Coco, let’s turn around.” I said calmly, rubbing his neck. I was closing my eyes, breathing in the fresh air as Coco slowed to a trot. When I opened my eyes, I screamed. I pulled at the reins as hard as possible. Coco whinnied and halted. I felt so bad. But we almost crashed into that tree! I don’t even know where it came from.

“Aww, cutie, I’m so sorry.” I apologized, petting his mane. “Let’s go back to the barn.” I said and as if on cue, he bobbed his head and trotted back. I didn’t even have to tell him! This is one obedient and smart horse, I must say.

Once we had arrived, I put Coco back in his stall and waited for the others. When I had met them on the trail in the woods, I told them that I’d put Coco back and they could go play. I would just wait and hang around. They agreed.

To pass time, I started untacking Coco. While I was taking everything off, I started talking to him. I don’t exactly know why. It felt right.

“I bet you never found out if you’re mother loves you or not. Because you probably know. She probably loves you. She probably misses you right now.” He bobbed his head when I held out a carrot for him.

“Are you a happy horse?” I asked him, looking down at the hay and waiting for a reply. Then, realizing how stupid I sounded, I looked into his eyes and – oh my goodness, he looks sympathetic! Oh god, a horse feels sympathy for me! I quickly said sorry and left the stall, locking the door tightly.

“Julia.” someone said. It was more of an ‘order’ than it was a ‘call’. I looked back and groaned. I pretended I didn’t see Raven and dashed out the stable. It was like getting out of a maze. Sometimes I ended up in the tack room, other times in an arena… This is madness.

“Julia! Stop!” she said, “Wait! I’m not Raven!” she yelled. Some of the horses neighed. I was finally outside, but… Not Raven? How could you not be Raven when you look just like Raven?

“Darn, girl. You run fast.” she panted when she caught up to me under the shady tree right by the paddocks. It was willow tree. My favorite.

“You just hurt your brother last night, Raven. And you acted like the Wicked Witch of the West. And now you’re admitting that you’re not Raven?” I growled, “How lovely.”

Raven gawked, “Last night? Why would I hurt Carter? He’s a sweetie.” she smiled at the thought of him. I narrowed my eyes at her suspiciously. “Oh right. Everyone thinks I’m Raven.” she laughed.

I continued staring at her and a horse neighed.

“I’m Grace,” she stuck out her hand.

Oops. I totally forgot about her. Raven has a twin. I wanted to smack my forehead. Carter said that he had sisters. Seventeen year olds. Right. That makes sense now.

I cautiously stuck out my hand, “Julia – wait, you already know that. How though?”

She shrugged and tucked a loose hair behind her ear, “Raven talks about you. She’s jealous.”

I stared at her, “Say what?”

Grace looked embarrassed, “It’s kind of a long story.”

I sat down and patted the seat next to me, “I’m all ears. Sit. I’ve got plenty of time anyways.”

How in the world am I listening to a word she’s saying right now? She’s probably as evil as Raven.


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153 Reviews


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Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:24 am
Horisun wrote a review...



Wait... Carter said he had sisters? Must've missed that part... Oops.
Overall, this was an amazing chapter, I love how you mentioned Coco! That was really sweet! The riding scene was great, no nitpicks about that. I feel that that's a great moment for Julia to let go of her stress for a moment.
When she exploded at her Mother, I was like waaatttt. And when her mother was about to explain, I was like waaaiiiiitttt, and then when Grace said Raven was jealous of her, I was like Wait, Raven wasn't new at that school, right? I mean, you don't become jealous of someone you meet once at a library, right?
Overall, great chapter. The first part is exciting, and tense, and I love how it slows down at the end, and lets us take a breath, and then ends on a cliffhanger to leave us waiting. It feels natural, and has a good balance of emotions that makes your characters feel human, it's great!
Keep on doing what you love, and have a great day!




Liberty says...


Thanks so much for the review! Raven stuff gets tackled with later in the book. You'll understand it. Promise.



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Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:39 pm
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hi!!

So! Phone call! I like how the tension and anxiety Julia has slowly starts to build and then she bursts. It was intense, but Julia has seemed to been bottling up a lot of her thoughts and this was finally her release. I almost felt sorry for her mother because she probably does have a reason! And I like how Julia thinks about this after she called. I wonder if she’s feeling more of a feeling of smugness and release or more regret?

I knew every single horse breed in the world after all of the lessons I had gotten from Ella. Ella… I felt tears prick my eyes, but I didn’t let them fall.


Aww... this bit made me a little sad. :( I miss her friends! Julia, I think, needs to work on her communication a little more haha! And while that wouldn’t exactly suit a drama book, it is certainly something she perhaps can learn from. I’m sure there’s some reason her friends were hanging out with Maddie and I’m really ready for some sort of communication (or confrontation ;) ) down the road!

Okay so waaahhh I totally forgot Carter and Raven has another sibling! It was kinda weird how Grace popped out of nowhere (these Hill twins seem to know how to do that hehe), but I’m excited to get to know her because she seems like she will be the angel of the twins. And ahh, jealousy, a big theme in books! A driving force! Gotta love it. I’m curious what exactly Raven is jealous of - her friends? Her cousins? Raven barely KNOWS her and has only seen her, like, once. That seems kinda weird. Although perhaps Grace will grace us with the answers to these questions! ;) ;)

Well, that’s it for today! Peace!

~ EternalRain




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! It helps a lot. You'l find out about the "twins", hehe. You and @JabberHut will go insane on the next chapter. I have a feeling Jabber will, but I dunno about you. *shrug* You'll just have to wait. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA



EternalRain says...


woohoo!! excited to know what this is all about!



Liberty says...


I wonder how excited you'll be when you figure everything out. %uD83D%uDE0B



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Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:52 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



YAY. I've been anxious to see how this phonecall goes!

OMG that got dramatic in an oh-so-juicy way. Her mother sounds so annoyingly proper. XD Like so much so that Julia should be happy she's not around 'cause OMG DOES SHE NOT SOUND ARROGANT ??

I feel like this phonecall was actually written really well. You even portrayed her anxiety battling her courage very smoothly, breaking out her dialogue well enough that my brain could picture accurately what it would be like in her position. Her mother tried speaking, but Julia's anxious babbling and desperation wouldn't allow her to speak her mind. It was all written so well.

I think I'm more impressed by the fact that Avery didn't do much more than tap on the window. When Julia ended the call, he finally opened the door. I feel like he'd have done it sooner 'cause he seems wise enough to realize this isn't normal behavior. He also probably overheard her say that she contemplated suicide.

Which leads me to wishing we dwelled on this moment between Julia and Avery a little bit more before we moved onto the next part. Julia needs time to recover from that conversation, and so does the reader.

What I absolutely LOVE is Julia snapping at Avery about whether he really did understand. This was an awesome turn to take, and one that Avery clearly felt in his bones. Her emotions are starting to affect the others around her! This is fun! This is DRAMA!

“I don’t want to spoil Izzy’s day.” I said, shaking my head, “I’ll go.”
Seconds later, everyone else had come into the car and we were driving to the stables.


So this is the transition between scenes. It was a little jarring to read about choosing pop songs so quickly after that. At least a paragraph or two of contemplation would probably help this, just to get into Julia's head. The reader can calm down as Julia calms herself down and we can go on our merry way!

Bahahaha I love that they were looking for Grams' phone. Clever!

THEY LISTEN TO CDS OMG. THAT'S SO OLD SCHOOL.

LOL Avery. "You've gotten better."

Omg that drive was so short.

Oh weird, I thought Aunt Martha was staying home. Avery offered Julia if she wanted to stay home with mom, so I just figured Aunt Martha wasn't going on this venture at all.

By the way, I love these horse descriptions. I only know about horses as much as I do because my younger sister loved them SO I CAN ACTUALLY FOLLOW THIS STUFF YAY! But they're all so pretty and I want horses now.

AWWWWWW. ELLA TAUGHT HER HORSE STUFF. D:

Yes, Julia, it is definitely the hard stuff. //nods

Ooooh, dose Julia know how to ride, too?! When I first rode a horse, I needed, like. lessons on basic commands. But then again, that was also an amateur riding hour where the horses were trained to follow each other down the trail and I never needed the commands, soooooooo maybe not comparable scenarios. XD

LOL YAY JULIA CAN DO MATH!!

I wonder why the others stopped. Maybe their butts/legs are sore already! Or admiring the scenery. Or feeding their horses foods 'cause that's always weird and fun.

D'awww, I like that she sneaks a moment to herself here. She totes need sit.

OMG SHE JUMPED OVER THAT STREAM LIKE BARBIE'S HORSE ADVENTURES. SO BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT AND MAJESTIC.

Awwww Ella did teach her to ride. D:

XD Calling them slow pokes when we were LITERALLY JUST GRATEFUL FOR A MOMENT TO OURSELVES. Sassy Julia is sassy. Best humor.

LOL nah man, coco was like okay, this chick can't even tell me to watch out for trees I'M OUTIE LIKE CLAM CHOWDY.

LOL Julia. The horse feels sympathy for you BECAUSE HE UNDERSTANDS YOU ARE NOT HAPPY. <3 <3 <3

Okay the flight from Not-Raven was amazing and I love it. That was hilarious.

SHE HAS A FAVORITE TREE.

Omg did I know Raven had a twin!? I don't remember that at all. DON'T FEEL BAD, JULIA.

OKAY WHAT WHY IS RAVEN JEALOUS?!? Raven rammed her in a library. THAT WAS THEIR FIRST MEETING. omg i'm so confused i need the next chapter so i know what's going oooooooooonnnnnnnn //sob




Liberty says...


Lol, you're excitement literally had me smiling the entire time. Before I even read it, I started smiling because I knew you'd have a thousand and one "omg"s. Lol. Thanks for the review! I was worried about the phone call, I had thought it might have been too much. But guess not. :) Thanks again!




As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
— Andrew Carnegie