Chapter Three: Getting Settled

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        I take Raquel's halter off and leave her in her stall. "Let me show you Raquel's cubby in the tack room," Laura says. She leads me into the tack room and brings me to cubby six.

        "Why cubby six?"  I ask.

        "Raquel is in stall six," Laura replies, handing me a key. "All cubbies are locked to avoid theft. Saddles aren't cheap."

        I nod and take the key, opening the cubby. A 'cubby' is an understatement. Its roughly three feet wide and four feet high, and about two and a half feet deep.

        "This thing is huge!" I exclaim. Laura laughs and nods. It has three saddle racks attached to the back wall, hooks on the two doors that swing open, and some saddle pad hangers. It also has a little box at the bottom for a brush bag and leather cleaner and oil, maybe even some hair accessories and horse boots. Theres also extra space under the saddle pad hangers for my bucket.

        "Well, what are you waiting for? Let's fill it up!" Laura says excitedly.


        Everyone helps me fill up my cubby. Even with all of my stuff, there's still a little bit of extra space.

        "It looks great, thanks guys!" I say to everyone.

        "Oh, one thing. I forgot to give it to you on your birthday, but it's a rule here. So," Dad says, holding something behind his back, "here's a helmet!"

        I gasp and take it from him. It's simple and black, but it feels sturdy and It fits me perfectly, even with my bun.

        "It's adjustable, so if you're riding with a bun, it will still fit perfectly," Mom says.

        "Thank you guys so much! Ugh, I'm already so excited!" I squeal, hugging my family.

        "Okay, well we can stay until you show us your dorm, but we have to leave. People are starting to arrive," Dad says. He goes to move the truck out of the way. I peer outside the barn.

        "Why are there so little people here?" I ask Laura.

        "There's three days of arrival. The first day, only about seventy-five people arrive. Tomorrow, about two hundred will arrive, and on Sunday, about one hundred and seventy-five students will arrive. Roughly. We will have a total of about four hundred students.

        "How many dorms and barns are there?" I ask.

        "We have eighteen, I believe. Some dorms have more than twenty students, some have less. But all of the barns are different colours, and the barn's colours corrospond with the dorms," Laura replies.

        "What does that mean?" I ask.

        "So, this barn is made of pine wood, correct?" she asks. I reply with a nod. "So, all of the dorms are brick, but their front doors go with the barn color. So, the Pine group door is pine, and th Navy group's front door is navy blue."

        "Ah, okay.' I understand now, it makes sense. I guess I just wasn't thinking. "Well, let's go see my dorm!"

        Laura nods and says "Your key is in the folder I gave you." Callie runs to the truck to grab the folder.

        "Wouldn't want to loose that," I say when she returns. I look through the folder until I find a white envelope that reads 'Pine Dorms - Room Eight'.

        "Room eight," Laura speaks softly. "I believe your on floor four." The six of us take a brisk three minute walk to the dorm area. There are eighteen five-story buildings, each have a special door to show what barn the students are from. The dorm with the pine door looks newer, it's bricks clean and untouched. The brick building is at the end of 'Dorm Road'. It is in front of a dorm house with a red door and next to a house with a blue door. Laura walks up to the pine door and opens it with ease.

        The first floor is where we will hang out. The kitchen, hangout / living room, and my room are all down here," Laura says. We walk into a large mudroom, and it leads to the open concent living room / kitcen area.

        "This place is pretty big," I say, looking at the clean, modern kitchen and living room. In the living room, theres a large wrap around couch a with an air hockey table behing it. The couch is facing a large screen, and it reminds me of a home theater.

        "Movie nights will be the best here," she says. "No other dorms have a first floor this nice." I smile and she leads me to the stairs. Before the stairs start, theres a door. "That's my room," Laura says.

        We walk upstairs and I see ligt gray walls and white doors that all have numbers on them. This floor has dorms one throught three. The next floor has dorms four to six, and the fourth floor are doors seven to nine, and on the top floor there are dorms ten and eleven. Theres also a nice french door leading out to a patio.

        "To be fair, they maid dorms ten and eleven the same size as all the other rooms. The patio takes up the extra space not having a third room up here leaves," Laura explains.

        "Let's see your room!" Callie says. I grab my key and open door eight. It's a large room, with two full size beds on opposite sides. The walls are a light green, simple and not overwhelming.

        "I love it! Thank you so much!" I smile. Mom and Dad walk up the stairs with my suitcases. "Thanks!"

        "Okay, well I'll leave you to decorate and put sheets on your bed," Laura says.

        "Yeah, we're going to have to leave now," Dad says, pulling me into a tight embrace. "We're going to miss you so much." With that, Mom and Callie join our hug and it becomes a big group hug.

        "I'm going to miss you guys as well! I'll call you as soon as I am finished decorating," I say. With Mom crying, they leave, and I get to decorating. 

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