Most of the herd are asleep or grazing in the lower paddock. I am alone beside the huge hedge at the top of the highest field. Thinking.
I've often been accused of being a 'thinker'. The other mares complain that I don't play much, I don't get involved, especially when they're flirting to the stallions in the field across the yard.
They think I'm shy... if *only* they knew!
They think I'm weird as well... have to give them that I suppose. I am *so* weird. I am a really strange mare.
I gaze up into the stars for minutes, looking for an answer but none are forthcoming.
"Why do I feel the way I do? Why am I so... so... weird and horrible and unnatural?"
I wait a while but the stars really don't seem to want to help me. Nobody does. Heh, maybe nobody could anyway.
I paw the ground. And that detached and analytical part of me stands back and just watches my mood swinging wildly like a sapling in a storm.
Yeah, like a sapling in a storm... threatening to snap off at the root.
I grind my teeth in anger and then sob silently over my secret pain.
I practice my 'I've gone mad' face.
Then laugh, briefly.
I have these horrible thoughts in my head. I see these images, images of me all bashed up. I see me, in my mind, jumping out deliberately as that big lorry goes past. Yeah, yeah, I see me getting smashed to bits, broken up. And, oh damn yeah, I can see the expression on my face... such awful pain, but such release.
Just to be dead, and not have to know myself anymore.
I drag myself through the mire of my mind; working and reworking this concept until I can decide whether I've really thought those thoughts or not.
Yes. I have. That is what I will have to do.
"I'm going to kill myself.", I say. I stamp down my foot as I say it, looking sure of myself. But I feel my legs turning to jelly.
"I... am going to kill myself.", I say it again, just to make sure that I know what it is that I'm saying.
I think I feel just a little better now. Its nice to admit it; to admit that I am evil and deserve to die.
I wander around this lonely end of the meadow for an hour or so, still examining my decision and I come to another conclusion, eventually. I think I could probably tell someone now; tell them how I feel about Justin, our man. I think I could tell Honey, she's the only mare that I'm even half close to. She's nice, I guess, she doesn't rib me too much about my so-called shyness.
Yeah, I think I'll tell her my secret tonight and then I'll kill myself on the morning ride. Heh, I stop and replay that last thought in my head. I marvel at it's atmosphere, it's implication.
I shake my head, smile a dark and hopeless smile, and head off to find Honey.
"Oh, hello Galaxy.", she looks up from her grazing and smiles.
"Honey, I need to talk to you.", I say boldly (though I think my nerves are clearly showing).
"Um... ok.", she looks a little concerned... no, just puzzled I think.
I start to head back up towards my shadowy refuge beside the huge hedge, "Up there, come on." She follows.
We stand in silence for a minute or so once we arrive at the spot I've picked. This is not an easy thing to do. I don't even remember how I decided that this was a good idea. I start to consider telling her to forget it.
"What up?", she asks, "You look pretty upset Galaxy."
I chuckle, look up from the ground, into her eyes for a moment, "Upset?". I look back down at the ground and chuckle again, "You could say that."
"Hey, hey. Come on. What's the problem then?"
"Me". Oh dammit, this is *so* hard!
"What do you mean? Are you sick?"
I laugh loudly, put on my 'gone mad' face again and grin "Yup!" to her. It'll all be over tomorrow.
"Galaxy", she whines, "What is _wrong_ with you?"
Aahk! Nope, that's torn it! Now I'm laughing and crying at the same time. I feel like I'm going to fall over, I feel like I can't breathe.
"I... can't... help it!", I sob.
She moves in close, presses herself against me, "Can't help what Galaxy, just let it out. What is the problem?"
"I... I love him, errrg, dammit, I *want* him."
"Oh", she sighs, "Stallion problems eh? Don't let..."
I rear and kick her away from me.
"NO!", I shout, "No! You stupid idiot! It's NOT stallions, thats just it! I love Justin. I love him and I want him so badly. And yes I *know* I'm fucked up and evil and perverse but I just can't help it! Anyway, it'll all be over tomorrow 'cos I'm gonna... I'm gonna... well you'll see. Tomorrow."
I glance directly down at the ground, close my eyes and tremble. The only reason I'm not galloping off now is that my legs don't work anymore.
A long moment of silence. All I hear is the pounding of blood in my head and my own gasping for breath.
She lets out long sigh, and seems to move in for the kill.
"Why didn't you tell me about this before Galaxy?"
She gets no response from me.
"Look, you know that flirty-fox Poppie? Yeah? Well she told me a story about how, when she was, you know, in the mood, and Justin was grooming her in the end stable, alone, she'd started coming on to him.
"Anyway, apparently she was just doing it for a joke but he started to get pretty interested and Poppie realised that she'd started something that she didn't want to finish, so she had to give him the cold shoulder treatment."
I look up at her, not really sure if I beleive the story. Certainly not sure what to make of it. She cocks her head back at me. And then continues:
"Hmm, okay. You didn't know Angel did you?"
I express a negative.
"She died about four years ago, she was old I guess. We often used to wonder about her, you know? She was really pretty, and damn good at work things, jumping and what not. But she was never once put with a stallion. Justin and her spent a lot of time together... alone. He always seemed to treat her so nice, even in front of other people he would hug her and kiss her on the lips. He was clearly very upset when she died. But that was a long time ago now, so maybe you could..."
"What? Actually? You mean...?"
"Well you could, couldn't you. Come on Galaxy, if you say you want to have him so bad then why not try. Whatever it is you're thinking of doing tomorrow, I don't think its going to solve anything."
"Don't you think I'm evil though?", tears dripping from my cheeks.
"No, of course I don't.", she gives me a big grin, "I do think you're pretty weird! And I can't see the attraction myself, but so what... there's nothing wrong with being an individual, eh?"
I'm just standing here, totally flummoxed.
"Look, I'm not going to tell anyone else about this if you don't want me to. I think you might find that most of them would get over it pretty quickly anyway.
"Okay, my advice is this: if you love him, you love him, what's wrong with that? And if you want him... you'd better go and get him hadn't you?"
"But what if he doesn't want to?"
"Well, we'll think about that later eh? I think you might be surprised though... he's, um, kinda touched me once or twice I have to admit."
I move up and hug her with my neck, a huge silly smile starting to spread across my face.
"You've saved my life.", I say.
"Oh shut up you weirdo!", she chuckles.
Well, that was the way it was. Yep, I've realised now that I really hated myself too much to allow myself to think that there might be any hope for me.
But there is.
I often think back, at moments like this. I think back to just how screwed up I was about everything. Its kind of sad I suppose, but everything is ok now.
We're lying here together, naked in the hay, Justin and I. I push my nose through his long hair as he sleeps. I chuckle to myself a little as I watch him sleep... my poor lover, I've exhausted him. Oh yeah, I have a good grin to myself now.
I think of all that bitterness and self-hate that I had. I've swapped it all now. Swapped it all for love, happiness and pride.