Chocolate Horse

Free Chocolate Horse by Bonnie Bryant

Book: Chocolate Horse by Bonnie Bryant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bonnie Bryant
outline. Normally, she was pretty good in art and could make a credible diagram of almost anything. Today, however, nothing was working right. Her first attempt came out lopsided. The second try looked too short and squat. She tore up the paper and tried again. This time it was long and seemed more lumpy than anything, butshe could probably make a decent diagram out of it. Probably.
    She sat up and peered over her shoulder into Alex’s room. Maybe he was ready to talk to her by now. He was still on the phone. She turned her attention back to her heart.
    “Groan,” she said, trying to sort out ventricles.
    “What’s up?” Beverly asked, sitting down beside Stevie.
    “My heart,” Stevie began.
    “I know,” Beverly said. “These are very hard times for you. It must feel as though your heart is breaking. But he
getting better, and the tests this afternoon indicate that there will be no residual damage from the disease. The doctor says he’s going to make a complete recovery, as long as he takes care of himself now. That should be good news for your heart, right?”
    “I suppose,” said Stevie. “But that isn’t the heart I was talking about. It’s this one.” She showed Beverly her attempt at drawing a human heart.
    “Oh, anatomy was my best subject in nursing school,” Beverly said. “Let’s see what we can do here. Look, you’ve got it aimed straight up and down. I think it’s easier to draw if you make it a little bit tilted, more like it is in the chest. Here, try this.”
    Beverly took the pencil and with a few quick strokesshowed Stevie the best way to make her drawing. She’d be able to do it on her own now, but she didn’t feel like it. Instead, she drew four concentric Valentine-style hearts.
    “That’s what we should be working on now, you know,” she said to Beverly.
    “I think all the patients are getting a few candy hearts on their dinner trays tomorrow,” said Beverly. “It’s not much, but it does sort of acknowledge a nice holiday.”
    That sounded nice, but just the thought that the next day was Valentine’s Day made her feel that it wasn’t enough. “There’s a dance Saturday night at the stable where I ride horses,” Stevie said.
    “I didn’t realize you were a rider,” said Beverly.
    That struck Stevie as very odd. Until Alex had gotten sick, riding was the most important thing in Stevie’s life. Since Alex had been admitted to the hospital, she’d literally spent hours talking to Beverly, and she’d never mentioned horses. That didn’t seem right at all.
    “Yes, and I love it,” said Stevie. “I actually was on a trail ride with my boyfriend—he’s a rider, too—when I got called to come over here when Alex first got sick.”
    “Oh, tell me about your boyfriend,” said Beverly.
    She’d never mentioned Phil, either? And when Stevie thought about it, she realized she’d never mentionedCarole or Lisa. It made her think that the whole wide world had gotten as distorted as her drawing of the heart. Everything that was important had become so unimportant that she hadn’t even talked about it.
    “So what’s his name?”
    “Phil,” Stevie said. “Phil Marsten. We met at riding camp last summer, and he’s so funny and so nice …”
    She told Beverly all about Phil, and when she was talking about Phil, she also started talking about Lisa and Carole and Pine Hollow and Max and Mrs. Reg. She even told Beverly about Veronica diAngelo. Then she began discussing all the horses at Pine Hollow. It seemed as if she couldn’t stop talking. Beverly just listened, very hard.
    Stevie paused every few minutes as she talked, glancing into Alex’s room to see if he was off the phone yet, but he wasn’t. At that moment his life seemed to be his telephone, his television, and his video game. He wouldn’t want to hear what Stevie had to say right then, anyway, so Stevie kept on talking to Beverly.
    “And what about the dance tomorrow night?” Beverly asked. “What

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