Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me.
A/N: Just a little story, set during "Close Encounters", after Scott and Peter return. Told in Shelby's POV, please review and enjoy.
Circles. Back and forth. Interesting how one little word can describe my life so easily. Back and forth; between joy and sorrow, a never ending cycle of pain and hurt. And everyone knows that a circle cannot be broken.
The horse likes to walk in circles, he must find peace in the back and forth patterns of circling the equipment shed where the others are sleeping. As I walk him around the shed for what seems like the hundredth time, I wonder what it's like to feel comfort in going back and forth, to actually have something worth going back to. Sure, the horse has his life but I don't even feel like I have that. All I have is pain. Pain back home, then happiness here with Scott, but now pain again; he knows it was me that told Peter where to look for him. Everything comes in full circle.
"It must be nice." I muse aloud to the horse, who turns his liquid brown eyes on me for a moment before looking away again. "To be a horse."
The horse nickered, as though he didn't agree with me. I figured he knew his fair share about being mistreated and abused. He was probably as familiar with pain as I was.
"Really, think about it." I continue, wondering just how tired I really am, if I'm talking to a horse. Well, he'd probably make for more intelligent conversation then Juliette. "People talking care of you, feeding you, cleaning your...hay. And all you have to do all day is wander around a pastor. You don't have to worry about life."
This time, the horse had no arguing neigh, just continued around the shed again, completing another circle. Back and forth.
"But, it's not as simple as that, is it?" Here I go again, more conversations with the horse. "Somebody hurt you, misused you. I know how that is." The horse continued walking. He didn't say Why don't you tell me about it, Shelby, like Peter always said or Do you want to talk about it? which was Sophie's favorite question. No, he didn't say anything at all and I kinda liked that; he didn't ask any questions, didn't want any answers. "Somebody abused you and you couldn't do anything about it."
The horse tossed his head, almost as though in agreement, and tried to push me aside with his huge muzzle; he did that a lot, and that was how I knew that he was tired of walking, that he just wanted to give up. Lay down and die.
"Sometimes, that stuff happens and you can't do anything about it, but that doesn't mean that it was your fault." I stopped and the horse stopped too, almost gratefully. Was I talking about the horse or about myself? I didn't want to think about it.
I started walking again, pulling on the bridle to get the horse walking again; his rusted hooves clomped against the gravel and dirt and, for a while, that was the only sound, aside from Juliette's snoring, coming from inside the shed.
"But, after a while, you just couldn't take it any more, could you?" I was tired of the silence. The horse looked at me again, and this time, I looked away. I didn't like the way his deep eyes seemed to know everything about me, even though it didn't bother me as much as when Scott looked at me and seemed to be trying to figure out my deepest secrets. If this horse knew my secrets, my pain, who was he going to tell? He wasn't going to say anything, wasn't going to judge me. He was just going to keep walking, back and forth, forever in a circle.
"I ran away from home too." I confess. "But it wasn't really any better then being at home, it was just easier to get by. To look in the faces of strangers instead of someone I knew." I paused and instantly felt self-conscious. What if Juliette or one of the others woke up and heard what I had said?
For a moment, I didn't really care whether or not someone had heard me; I felt the need for someone to talk to so desperately that I almost woke up Daisy. But I didn't, I continued to walk with the horse, making another circle, enjoying the way he didn't ask for more details about why I had run away from home or what had happened while I was on the streets. He was going to listen when I wanted to talk.
"This is good therapy, you know." I tell the horse. "Walking back and forth, it's kind of...calming. Peaceful." Walking in circles anyway, not living your life in them.
The horse swats me with his tail, but I ignore him; it's just like when he steps on your toes, he's trying to annoy you enough so that you say, "Okay, fine, I don't care if you lay down and die." I've learned to ignore him and keep walking.
I realize that I've been in a position like his before, wanting to just stop and die, let whatever happens happen and do nothing to stop it. Most people I've had in my life before Horizon let me stop, not giving me a parting glance as I lay down and got ready to do. But at Horizon, Peter is the one keeping me up, keeping me walking in a circle no matter how many times I protest or step on his feet.
The horse and I make another circle around the shed and start again, back and forth. Just like my life, with or without Peter and Horizon, a constant circle. As I continue to walk, I wonder if it's possible to ever break the path of a circle, to ever get out of that constant back and forth feeling.
Maybe it is, but not tonight. Tonight, it's just back and forth.