Best Friends: Our True Story - Chapter 8
by Leah F.
Raphael's first signs of turning dapple gray!
Chapter 8 - Winds Of Change
I was getting closer to becoming an official teenager, and changes were on the way.
When all my friends were starting to go boy-crazy, I stayed horse-crazy.
I had survived the rough transition where most kids, any that were into horses, decided to move on to other things and drop out of the "horsey-phase". I thought they were weird when they would talk about the latest and greatest guy, and they thought I was weird when I would talk about Raphael.
I had a picture of Raphael on a cell phone, and took it to youth group one day. I had the picture up on the screen when a boy came up to me and asked, "Who's horse is that?" I looked up at him, not wanting to tell him that Raphael wasn't mine, I waited for him to say something else.
"That is the ugliest horse I've ever seen!"
I shot him a glare as he walked off. That was my best friend he was talking about, and I was not happy about it.
Eventually, I took an interest in a boy from church, and 2 months before I turned 13, he became my first "boyfriend". It lasted 15 days. I was devastated.
My mom reminded me that the first crush is always the hardest, so I tried to keep that fact in my head. The next time I saw Raphael, I told him how upset I had been, and I told him I was sorry, though not exactly sure why, I knew I didn't want him to feel like he was of less importance than a boy.
I was over at a friend's house on a hot day in Summer, when we came inside to get some drinks and cool off indoors. I walked into her room and noticed a picture of a chestnut mare on her wall that she had printed out. Motioning to the picture, I asked, "So, do you want a specific chestnut mare, or just any that come along?"
"No, I'm not setting my heart on a specific horse, because then I'll get depressed like someone else when that horse isn't for sale."
I lowered my eyes to the floor, feeling like I had just been turned into a tiny ant - and was about to get stepped on. Ouch, I guess that means me.
I tried not to let it upset me whenever someone said something against Raphael, or how much I loved him, but it was hard - with the fact that I can have a temper, especially when someone says words that knock Raphael down.
It wasn't just me that was changing, Raphael was changing, too. He had already been a full-grown adult horse when we first met, but as he reached his teen years, his coat started changing. Gone was his brown body, along with his mane and tail of mixed colors.
In their place was darker colors, nearly black all over his body, and his mane and tail still had mixed colors, but only had a few strands of brown left in it, with the rest being gray, black, and white.
I almost didn't recognize him when I first saw how he had changed. I had to get used to his new color, but then discovered that he wasn't done changing his colors just yet.
Now before I go on, I do have to mention that for almost as long as I have loved horses, I always admired dapple grays. I never really had a reason why, but maybe it was because I had never seen one in person, and I never had seen a lot of pictures of them. In my world, they were almost "rare". And of course, I loved their dapples over their gray coats.
The next thing I noticed was Raphael's face. He still had the white star on his forehead, but he was starting to have more white hairs all over his almost-black face, along with a handful of reddish-brown speckles. Round spots on his coat started fading into gray, then almost white.
He was becoming dapple gray!