Hedward Horseman scratched away with his black fountain pen. He completed his last sentence and beamed. He finished his Dead Languages homework and he was now done with all of his chores for the night. Hedward glanced at the miniature wooden clock that sat on his desk and smiled. 7:35. His father would be home any minute and he would finally get some quality time with him, something he rarely got.
Hedward gathered his stack of papers and tucked them safely away into his school bag which he carelessly tossed onto his bed. He merrily flew out of his bedroom and toward the kitchen. He could see the kitchen light illuminating from the kitchen door. A huge smile formed on his face. That only meant that his dad had returned home.
He could feel the wind rushing through his hair already. He could feel the pulsing beat of the horse's hooves that rushed through him with each contact the hoof made with the ground. He could smell the forest air, so still in the night, which invited him to keep riding.
Full of excitement, Hedward skidded into the kitchen.
"You're home! Let's get going!"
No one answered him.
The young horseman looked around, his smile quickly falling.
He noticed a small piece of parchment on the kitchen table. He picked it up to examine it. His heart fell even quicker than his smile. He read the note silently;
I had to go back to work. I came back for some supplies. Don't forget to feed the horses.
There was no signature, but it didn't need one. He knew who left it.
Hedward crushed the note in his hand and slammed his fist on the table.
"He always does this…"
Yet another promise not kept because of that important job of his. It always got in the way it seemed. This was the third time in a row that they'd have to post pone their ride together.
Hedward threw the note at the wall and exploded into an angry sting on German.
Why did he even think his father would hold out this time? He was never there when he needed him most. He was always out riding or working. Well Hedward had had enough. He didn't want to give him anymore chances. Hedward obviously wasn't important enough to him.
Hedward stormed out of the kitchen and outside onto the back porch. He trudged to the stables and threw open the stable door. The horses whinnied at his arrival, happy to see their younger master. Despite their cheerful greeting, Hedward couldn't give them the same. He looked around at each of them. One of the stalls was empty; the one belonging to his father's horse, Devil Fire.
He walked over to his own horse, Crane, and grabbed his bridle from the wall. The black colt snorted a greeting to his best friend and nuzzled Hedward's arm with his nose. Hedward pet Crane's head but he didn't wear the smile that he usually wore when he greeted his noble steed. Hedward picked up Crane's saddle from the floor and began to prepare his horse for riding.
"He did it again, buddy," Hedward muttered bitterly. "And you know what he said? Nothing. He wrote a note. He didn't even say 'sorry', or 'maybe next time', or 'I know you must be disappointed, son, but I'll try harder next time'." Hedward's tone grew darker with each word said.
He got Crane ready for riding and swiftly mounted his horse. He clutched the reins tightly in his fists.
"Let's go, buddy. I need to clear my head."
Crane could feel the tension within his master. The horse obeyed Hedward's command and trotted out of the stable into the rain that had recently started. A flash of lightening appeared followed by a clap of thunder that echoed off the wide forest of trees.
Great, this was exactly what I needed, Hedward thought. He wanted to scream out loud but instead he forced all of his energy into his arms which cracked the reins.
Crane whinnied and shot off in a strong gallop.
Hedward gripped tightly on the reins, leaning in his body with his horse's. He was going so fast that the raindrops hit his face like liquid bullets and the wind howled in his ears. Hedward didn't care. He paid the elements no mind. They didn't care what their effect had on him, why should he?
Hedward wanted to escape his angry thoughts but they wouldn't fall back. He kicked Crane's side and commanded his steed to go faster. Crane obliged.
He could still see his father in his head, turning away like he always did. His father had fought heavily to take custody of Hedward during his parents' divorce and won. He had said that he wanted to teach his son the trade of the Horseman's and needed time to do it. Right. Of course he did. So if he was so keen to mentor his son then why did he always blow him off? He never attended Hedward's school functions, Hedward barely saw him at home, and even when he did little words were said between the two. He shouldn't have gained custody. Hedward should've stayed with his mother. His mother; the one who really cared about him, the one who would do anything for him, the one who gave him every bit of her attention, the one who he barely saw now that he lived with his father.
The thoughts had caught up again and they refused to leave. Hedward kicked Crane again.
He went faster, but his thoughts went faster than him.
Tears mixed in with the raindrops that clung to and slid down Hedward's face. He missed his mother, he loathed his father, and his only solution was to ride. But riding didn't seem to fix anything.
After riding for what felt like years Hedward felt a sudden jolt. Crane had stopped running. This made Hedward angry. He had to get away.
"Crane, why did you-?"
He looked around to examine his environment and realized that he knew this place. The familiar streets, the familiar houses. He'd been here before. But where was here exactly? Hedward gazed in front of him at the towering Victorian house. The shutters were dark and a tall rot iron fence circled the perimeter. It suddenly clicked in his head.
"We're at Bo's house?"
Hedward was interrupted. He heard the front door open and was suddenly drenched in a shower of light. He stared into the illumination.
The young horseman could make out a petite silhouette with messy hair, large horns on its head, and a small pair of wings. He knew who it was. She was his best friend, his angel. She was the one that got him through the worst of times. She was the one that was the center of all his affection and the one that blew away all of his worries, though she had no idea. He tried to call out to her but it became only a whisper.
Bo grabbed an umbrella that was resting against the wall by the front door. She opened it and darted in the rain towards her friend.
"Hed, what are you doing here? You're soaked to the bone!" Bo exclaimed as she grasped Hedward's rain drenched coat.
Hedward wanted to say something but he didn't know what exactly. He stared at Bo as she helped him off of Crane's back.
"Why are you out here in the storm?" Bo asked with concern.
Hedward smiled and stammered as he looked upon her face. "I…I was just…it's not important anymore."
Bo gave him a surrendering shake of her head. "Well you can't stay out here. Come on, get inside," She handed Hedward her umbrella. "Go up to my room, I'll be there in a minute." Bo turned to Crane.
"Come on Crane," She said to the horse, gripping the reins. "You'll be nice and dry in the shed."
Hedward watched Bo unlatch the fence gate and disappear into the darkness. His eyes stayed glued to her until he could no longer make out her form.
A clap of thunder broke Hedward of his gaze and reminded him that he was still standing outside in the middle of a thunderstorm. He made his way inside the Geyman house and shut the front door.
He gently set the umbrella against the wall and took off his muddy boots. He looked around the familiar household and noticed the lack of lights on. The house was silent too, more so than it usually was. He quickly glanced in the kitchen, then the living room, but there was no sign of Bo's parents or anyone else.
Hedward heard the click of the back door opening and moved his eyes towards it. Bo entered, her clothes dripping wet from the rain. She gave Hedward a smug smile.
"I thought I told you to wait for me upstairs," She laughed. "You never listen to me."
"Hey Bo, are your parents home?" Hedward asked.
"Huh? Oh, no. They're out. It's just me here," Bo made her way to the staircase then looked back at Hedward. "Are you coming?"
Hedward stared at Bo's hand that rested on the staircase railing. He traced her hand all the way up her arm and to her elbow with his eyes. Bo raised an eyebrow then shook her head.
"Weirdo." Bo walked up the stairs.
Hedward blushed furiously. They were all alone. Just the two of them. In Bo's house. At night. Going up to her room. Was this happening? Was he really going to be with the girl he loved?
He shook his head. Why was he thinking that? Bo had a boyfriend that obviously wasn't him, and for all she knew the two of them were just friends. He felt sinful just thinking about it but how could he help himself?
Not wanting to keep Bo waiting, Hedward scurried up the stairs and turned toward Bo's bedroom. He peered inside the doorway, not wanting to enter without Bo's permission. No one was there.
Bo's voice came from the other end of the hall in her parents' room. Hedward slowly walked toward the room. As he was about to enter, Bo appeared.
"Oh!" She exclaimed, startled. She caught her breath. "You scared me, Hed!"
Hedward chuckled sheepishly. "Sorry."
Bo gave a little grin. "It's fine. Anyway, I found some of my dad's old clothes. I think they'll fit you. And if not they're much better than the wet clothes you're wearing. You must be freezing."
Now that she mentioned it, Hedward realized that he was shivering violently. He clutched his shoulders and hugged himself for warmth.
"Th-thanks." He said through chattering teeth.
Bo handed him the clothes and Hedward took them.
"You can change in my parents' room," Bo said. "I'm gonna change into some warm clothes too," She shivered. "It's really pouring out there."
"Yeah." Hedward responded.
He didn't know if Bo heard him or not. She slipped into her room and shut the door behind her.
Hedward, still shivering, made his way into Bo's parents' bedroom. He closed the door and removed his dripping coat and shirt. He smiled at his new set of clothes; an old pair of gray sweatpants and a large white t-shirt. Hedward picked up the shirt in hope that it would warm his freezing torso. But sadly it didn't seem like it would do the trick. To Hedward's surprise the back of the shirt had a huge hole in it that practically took up the whole back of the shirt. It had to be from years and years of large boogieman wing abuse, Hedward figured.
"Well this won't work…"
Hedward looked around the room and stopped at the closet. He didn't know what other clothes were in there and what he was allowed to take. He didn't know if he should take anything at all. He figured that it would be best if he asked Bo.
He turned the doorknob and headed toward Bo's room, ripped shirt in hand. He gently knocked on Bo's door.
"Just a minute, Hed!" Bo yelled behind the door.
"Could you come here now?" Hedward persisted, still quite cold.
"I said just a minute!"
Hedward's body was freezing. It demanded warmth.
Hedward knocked on Bo's door, louder and stronger his time. "Bo, I really-"
The door swung open and Hedward stumbled forward. He caught himself before he fell to his knees. He looked up and saw Bo standing at the other end of her room, staring at him with wide eyes, wearing nothing but her lacey black skirt and black bra. She had her shirt in her arms. Bo held her shirt against her chest, trying to cover up.
"Hed! Get out!"
Hedward's cheeks burned bright. He wanted to look away, he wanted to run out the room, he wanted to apologize, for Bo's sake, but he couldn't. His body wouldn't move, no matter how much his brain told it too. His eyes were glued to Bo. He studied her exposed skin, how it seemed to glow as it reflected the soft light. He eventually got his legs to move, but not in the direction they were supposed to move.
Bo kept her eyes on Hedward as he moved towards her. "Hed? What are you…?"
Hedward approached her and grabbed her arms which made Bo drop her shirt in surprise. He pushed her up against the wall and stared into her eyes. He didn't know what to say, he only wanted to look at her.
Bo's eyes grew wide, almost with fear. "H-hed…?"
Hedward put a hand to her cheek and brought her face close to hers. He desperately wanted to kiss her. He wanted this for so long and he could almost taste it.
Bo put her hands on Hedward's chest and gave a hard shove.
Hedward broke out of his trance. He stared at Bo, now with apologetic eyes.
Bo's eyes were ablaze and her cheeks were red, not with embarrassment, but with anger.
"Just what the hell were you doing?!" Bo demanded. She walked towards him and pushed him as she yelled.
"I don't know!" Hedward answered.
"Is this some kind of joke? This isn't funny, Hed! What were you thinking? Tell me now!"
Hedward felt immediate regret. He should've stopped himself. But then again, why should he restrain himself? He had to keep his feelings secret for too long and they didn't want to keep locked up anymore.
Hedward pulled Bo close to him. Bo fought to break free but Hedward refused to let go. Hedward grabbed Bo's face in his hands and forced her to look him in the eyes.
"Bo, I love you. I've always loved you."
Bo opened her mouth to reply but Hedward interrupted her.
"I know you're with Nubis, I know that, but dammit! I can't stand it anymore!"
Hedward pulled Bo's face to his to kiss her but was suddenly shoved back. Bo pushed him with such force that he fell to the floor. He slowly looked up as a bolt of lightning illuminated Bo's piercing glare.
"You need to leave now, Hedward." She didn't even bat an eyelash.
Hedward couldn't believe it. His worse fear had come true. He had been hesitant about confessing his feelings because he wanted to maintain his friendship with Bo. Why did he have to lose his head? He felt so stupid.
He stared at Bo for a moment to see if her expression would soften. It didn't. Hedward didn't say anything. He only nodded as he got himself back on his feet. He somehow moved his now stone body to Bo's door. He looked back at Bo who was now staring out her bedroom window, facing away from him. Hedward sighed and left the room.
After quickly gathering his clothes and redressing he hurried down the stairs, grabbed his boots, and then escaped into the backyard. He pulled the latch on the shed door and pulled it open. Crane whinnied when he saw his master. Hedward rushed to his animal partner and hugged his neck.
"I screwed up." Hedward whimpered.
Crane brushed his nose against Hedward's shoulder, trying to comfort him. Hedward gave no response. He saddled up his horse and mounted.
"We need to get out of here."
Hedward kicked Crane's sides and Crane started off. He stormed through the still open back gate and into the barren, wet streets.
Before Hedward rode out of the neighborhood he turned back to the Geyman house. He spied Bo's bedroom window. No one was there. She didn't even want to see him off. That was enough of an answer for him.
Hedward whipped the reins and Crane ran faster. The rain beat into his skin and once again mixed with his tears. Hedward was completely blinded with all the water rushing in his eyes. He didn't care. It didn't matter where he went now, just as long as it was far away from where he was a moment ago.
He let out an angry cry that got lost with the roar of thunder. The young horseman boy knew that he had left with more demons than when he came.