Victory and the All-Stars Academy, page 16
Home. It was such a wonderful word. Home where her horses were waiting for her. Home with her new dog. Home where Dee Dee wouldn’t be using her toothbrush any more.
“Was I really that bad to live with?” Dee Dee asked as they stood by the mini-vans with the last of Dee Dee’s bags.
“Never!” Issie grinned and gave Dee Dee the most enormous hug. “Come and visit us at Chevalier Point.”
“I will,” said Dee Dee as she clambered into her van. “And you guys have to come and see me too, OK?”
There were hugs and tears as the Chevalier Point girls said goodbye to Laura, Emily and Charlotte too—all of them were travelling in the same van with Dee Dee and taking the earlier flight home.
As the girls were driven off, the Chevalier Point riders headed inside to pack their bags. Issie looked at her watch. There was just enough time for one last look around Havenfields.
As she opened the sliding door to the stables, she took a deep breath and inhaled the smell of horse sweat and saddle soap. She walked over to the stall where she had first met Victory and felt a little pang of loneliness as she looked inside and saw that it was now empty.
“Are you still here?” A voice behind her made Issie spin around.
“Ohmygod!” she said. “You startled me. Can you stop doing that?”
“Sorry. I guess I am pretty scary,” Tara Kelly smiled. “Did I ever tell you what my nickname at Blainford is?”
“You told me,” Issie smiled back.
“I was hoping I’d find you here before you left,” said Tara. “I wanted to let you know that I’m sorry you turned us down, Issie, but that I haven’t given up. I still hope we’ll see you at the Academy some day.”
Issie looked at Tara with disbelief. She remembered their first conversation here in these stables.
“You just called me Issie!” she said.
“Did I?” Tara Kelly smiled at her. “Well, I suppose that must mean that we’re friends now.”
Issie had so much she wanted to say, but the words stuck in her throat as Tara took her gently by the arm and they walked together back to the stable door.
“It’s OK,” Tara told her. “No need for goodbyes. I’m sure we’ll see each other again…one day.”
For my Nan, Stella Walters,
with love from your Mokopuna
First published in Great Britain by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2009.
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Text copyright © Stacy Gregg 2009
Illustrations © Fiona Land 2009
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EPub Edition © OCTOBER 2009 ISBN: 978-0-007-34303-4
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Stacy Gregg, Victory and the All-Stars Academy