As the afternoon began to draw towards its midpoint, Haru would drift from the garden paths and head towards the appointed spot he had told Lisa to meet him in. Even without his phone on, the young man was able to gauge his time well enough and so when he arrived at the spot, Lisa was there with the car ready. Greeting the lady with a smile and hello, Haru would climb into the car and after strapping in, he would relax into his seat as she began to drive them the one place he truly called home: East Eden.
The first half of the trip was minor chatter that eventually settled into silence only broken by the wind that came through the windows that were rolled down to let in the fresh air. As he was enjoying the wind, Haru had closed his eyes and he guess fell asleep since the next thing he knew he was being gently poked by Lisa some time later. Shaking off the remainders of sleep, Haru would get out of the car and after stretching, he would go into the small home that Lisa owned and was kind enough to let him stay in when he liked.
Once inside, his first order of business was to get out of the confining formal wear he had been wearing since the morning. He slipping from slightly uncomfortable clothing to a more casual and comfortable set. Much better.
Haru would let out a sigh of relief before moving about his room to clean it up a bit. Once done there, he would drift into the main portion of the house where he would help Lisa prepare a late lunch. After eating and a bit more cleaning, Haru would exit the house and head down the road to the ranch where he paid for the caretakers there to watch a possession that was very dear to him when he was away.
Said possession was horse named Yoshiko. She was a beautiful brown and white painted horse that Haru’s father surprised him with after he had shown interest in actually wanting to learn to ride horse some time back. He was about ten when it happened and it was the only gift that actually made Haru think that maybe at one point the guy actually did cared for him, but then they became rich and alcohol got thrown in the mix. The perfect memory broken.
It was a depressing thought, but even so it did not change the fact that since day one, Haru loved that horse. Even if he couldn’t be there all the time for the horse, he made sure she was well taken care of and when he did come to East Eden, he always made time for the mare and put in the work needed to care for her himself.
Entering the ranch, he would greet those that worked there before going pass the stables to the large area where the horses were allowed to roam. While most horses kept their distance or paused to watch him curiously, there was one in particular that came from further out in the area at light trot and walked up to him. As the familiar mare came up to him, she nuzzled into him in greeting. In response, he would give the horse a hug back before patting her gently on the snout.
This was probably one of the only rare times when someone would actually see Haru be genuinely happy or even baby talk anyone. He couldn’t say why the horse or some other rather simple actives in life broke down his ice barrier so easily, but it happened.
In any case, when he began to walk to the stables, the horse followed him without much prompting. Once in the stables, he would go about placing a saddle and pair of reins on the horse. Each piece was simple in design to put the least amount of weight and restraint on the horse. Honestly, it was like riding bare back which he did at times, but not today. The horse didn’t mind either way since it knew Haru wasn’t going to be a jerk about control. Once everything was said and done, Haru would get on the horse and with very little tugging on the reigns, the horse would go out of the stables on its own. The pair would drift from the ranch before hitting the open stretches of East Eden. Sometimes the horse would run and sometimes she trotted. Haru really didn’t command what she did or where she went as he simply enjoyed the ride and the natural movements of the horse underneath him. It was actually late afternoon when the pair decided to return home, but they were in no hurry as the horse walked along the dirt road at a casual pace.
Haru by this time only had a lose grip on the reigns as he leaned against the horse’s neck and back letting his body relax against the beast. It was a bit of a risky move considering horses could be unpredictable, but at the same time it showed just how much trust he put in the horse to know where it was going and to be aware that he was on her back.
He appeared to some passbyers to be asleep, but a casual glance here and there let the curious onlooker know he was quite awake and aware of what was happening despite his rather chilled out positioning on the horse as they continued to move towards home.
The rest of the afternoon would pass by equally laid back for the young man.