T, from the Deafening post, was a year older than me and the youngest child of an apple growing family. I think I was still 13 when we met.
My first horse had been a drought foal and it was suggested sending her out to grass for a year or two, so she could catch up on the growth she’d missed as a youngster. Somewhere with good feed, the vet said. In other words… no drought!
We sent her to a friend of a friend in apple country. While Canberra and the surrounding areas floundered in drought, Batlow and surrounds thrived, grass to the knees and green in every direction you looked. It was a stunning sight to someone who grew up in Canberra, which would turn green for just a few months of the year.
Okay, thinking back on the Shh… posts, I was in my drinking spiral from 13 to 14. I was pretty screwed up. For the month before we delivered Ilo to the apple farm, my mother would tell me over and over… she’s a good girl from a good family, behave while you’re there. Blah, Blah, Blah. Don’t cause trouble. Blah. Really, the only thing of importance that registered was that I was going to Hate Her.
We walked down the long drive and out the gate with Ilo. Two sets of parents watched T and I walk away. We swapped maybe half a dozen words on that walk. I found her… sullen. Oh Great. This was going to be fun. My own sullenness mirrored hers.
I turned and looked back as we passed out the gate and with not a parent in sight pulled out a cigarette and lit it. Oh yes, I thought, that look of shock on the snotty girl’s face as I lit up was worth every cross word I’d be getting for the next 6 months.
Then she said… Can I have a drag?
My subsequent look of shock must have mirrored hers.
We stood there staring at each other for a long moment as it dawned on us what had just happened. We both burst out laughing and were talking over each other as we told each other almost the exact same story of the last month! She’s a good girl from a good family! Both sets of parents were hoping for the same miracle from this friendship.