Alex and Ares
It comes back in flashes. The bright colors of the crowd. A soaring feeling. Falling. Screams. A sound of impact. But what is missing? Then one day I remember. My horse.
I am lying in the hospital bed, unable to move, when I remember. Ares. That's who is missing. It all comes back to me in a rush.
I am at the Nationals. I am the rider that everyone is looking at. Other riders see me as the competition. Yet I have no doubt that I will win. I need to win this one show jumping class. So confidently trot into the arena on Ares. My round starts and Ares and I go.
We fly over jump after jump. The crowd is gasping and cheering as Ares and I clear every jump. The last jump is a wide spread. I feel something different in Ares stride. I don't think about it and urge him on. We take the jump a second too late. Ares hits the first pole and I feel myself flying over the jump.
The crowd is screaming as I fall right into the tallest pole. I feel it break and I hit the ground. The last thing I see is Ares falling to the ground.
Sobs rack my body as I remember. Mom and Dad hurry into the room. "Alex! What happened?!" Mom sits on the edge of the bed and strokes my hair. I manage to choke out, "Ares," before I keep crying.
"Oh sweetie," Dad says. "He is alright. Ms. Carole is taking care of him. Guess what? Lela is coming to visit this afternoon. She will tell you about Ares." Lela is my best friend. She was at national also.
"That's not what I am worried about dad. Ares! What did I do to him?! I felt something was wrong. Yet I still pushed him! If I stopped him, would I still be riding? Would I be laying in a hospital bed with a broken arm, leg and collarbone? Would I have a punctured rib?! No!" I am screaming by the end.
I start to cry again. I hear Mom and Dad talking. Then I here Lela's familiar and comforting voice. "Hey Alex."