“Please, Mom, can you drive me to the barn? My horse is sick, and they’re going to put her down. I have to go.” I pace back and forth at the end of her bed, willing her to stand up, to just come and get in the car.
Instead, she collapses back on a stack of pillows. “Oh, Cory, I’m sorry. But I’m sure they won’t do anything right away. I’ll drive you in the morning.”
“No. Now. They said to come now.”
She pulls the comforter over her. “Look, I’m sorry. You know I can’t drive when I take my headache pills. I had to take a double dose.” She rubs her temple. “How about your friend? Can she come get you?”
“I asked. She can’t leave. Mom, you’ve got to—”
“In the morning, okay? I don’t want to hear any more about it now. I promise, I’ll take you in the morning.”
A soft snore signals the end of the conversation. I rush downstairs. Thrusting my arms into the sleeves of my jacket releases the scent of the barn. Pin pricks stab behind my eyes, threatening to release tears. Behind the living room curtains the sky is purple. It’s getting late. I’m not allowed to drive past midnight by myself. If I’m there late, I’ll need an adult driver with me for the way home. Stupid license restrictions. I have no idea how long I’ll be there, how long it will take… Mom’s purse is lying on the hall table. I don’t care about the restrictions. God, Octavia could be dead already.
Jess turns to me and shrugs. “You could ask Dad.”
I shake my head. No time. I grope around in the bottom of Mom’s bag until my fingers touch the keys.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Jess asks.
“Saving my horse.”
The front door slams behind me, rattling the frame.
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