“Come on Kitty, get yourself on one of these machines!” I said as I punched the ‘high terrain’ button on the alarmingly modern treadmill.
“I’m really more of an indoors kind of girl.” She said, not looking up from her newspaper.
“We are indoors doofus! This is so exhilarating, I feel so awake right now!”
“Uh huh, well you have exercise and I have coffee.”
“Come on Kit, it will be good for you!” Tommy managed to get out between his loud grunts as he trained his legs on the weight machine.
“Are you saying I’m fat?! Oh my God have you guys ever heard of Tom Wilde? He just died after being struck by lightning 34 times! 34 times!” She lowered her newspaper for a second to stare at us in shock.
“Never heard of him. Poor guy.” I panted out as I increased the terrain once more.
“You see these are the issues the government should be focusing on, that’s why people don’t trust them.” She lowered her newspaper as she took a sip of coffee.
“No Kitty, I don’t think you’re fat. And what about that guy? It’s the governments fault that he was struck by lightning?” Tommy questioned.
“No it’s the governments fault for not having adequate weather control in place. The forecast that day said sunny!” She replied testily.
“Kitty why do you care about this stuff, do it when you’re old, now now.” He shot back at her, clearly bored by her politics.
“Shut up Tommy, I can be interested in this all I want. Ha! The Betatown Bronco’s beat the Llamas 6 to 5 last night, I’m sure that will make you happy.” She said sarcastically, she knew the Llamas were Tommy’s favourite team, he wanted to play for them someday.
“Come on. You two better go shower, we have to be at school in an hour. I’ll drive?” Kitty asked, finally folding away the paper and finishing her coffee in one huge gulp.
“Sure.” I hopped off the treadmill, wiping away the sweat from my brow. I was glad to get to school, this weekend had been hell, nursing a hangover all day at school on Friday from the party we threw had not put me in the best mood to be grounded for the entire weekend. No phone, no PC, no TV, no nothing! Luckily we weren’t banned from the new gym mom had built, so the three of us had spent most of our days in here, Tommy and I working out while Kitty relaxed on the chair talking to us. Forty five minutes later the three of us were walking out of the house for the first time all weekend.
“…and that is why I, Kitty Belgravia, hope to be elected your class president. Thank you.” My large group of friends who were all clustered together screamed, standing up and cheering, the die hard political students clapped vigorously after my speech, the guys who found me hot wolf whistled, and everyone else clapped half heartedly. Jeez, versatile crowd. I smiled down at them from the podium for a few minutes before the clapping died down, I was desperately hoping to win this election, and if my smile could help then I was sure as hell going to use it.
“You were great!” Rosy told me as she embraced me in a friendly hug. She was my biggest supporter, I was so glad she was here for me!
“You don’t think the eco-policy was too long?” I asked her nervously.
“No, no. It was fine, people like the environment, it’s a sure vote clincher.” I sure hoped so, I really wanted to win, I felt like I could make a lot of positive changes to the school.
“Okay I’ll see you later.” I gave her another hug before I walked out to the parking lot and hopped into my Mini Cooper, a present from mom and dad for my birthday. I thought they might not have given it to me, my birthday was only 2 weeks after the disastrous party, but thankfully they seemed to let go of it after that weekend.
Pulling up outside the Little Corsican Bistro I fumbled in the back seat trying to get out of the suit I had worn for my speech and into my normal clothes, I didn’t have time to go home and change before my date with Jake. Yes, Jake! He asked me out again after the major flirting we did at the party, and I couldn’t walk in there in a suit, he’d think I was a weirdo! I could see him already sat there as I walked towards the restaurant (after a long struggle) jeez he was so handsome!
“Hey Kitty!” He waved over to me, I smiled back as if I hadn’t been searching the tables for him. Play it cool Kitty.
“Hi! Sorry I’m so late I just gave my speech for President at my school.”
“Oh yeah, you go to West Marino right?” He went to Tommy’s school, but his quality of education definitely didn’t make a difference to how smart he was, he was apparently one of the top students in the class.
“Yeah, but don’t worry I’m not as snobby as most of the people there!” I didn’t actually know if I was snobby, I mean I didn’t look down on him because he went to that school, but I did love designer clothes and expensive products and heels… whatever.
“Don’t worry, I didn’t think you were. You seemed really cool at the party, Tommy always told me you were like, the geek of the family.” Did he now?
“Well I guess I’ll have to just smack him down or… something.” I replied awkwardly, watching the date go downhill before my very eyes. Why was I so nervous?! Pull it together Kitty!
“Would you two like to order?” The pretty waitress asked, handing us both menus. From there the date got a lot better, we basically just got to know each other, talking about everything from our families to our favourite TV shows to our politics. This was going so well, he was really easy to talk to, and after the slightly awkward start (on my part) we hit it off big time, I always thought I’d have to act a certain way on a date, but I was just myself and he seemed to love it, I was so happy!
The three of us were crowded at one end of the dining room table, all working on our homework. Kitty was breezing through it, Olive was struggling a little with some equations, and I was simply baffled. I didn’t understand a word of this, and I didn’t even want to think about the English essay that was due in three days time.
“Kitty, have you done that English essay?” I asked, due more to stop working than actually being interested.
“Um, for Carlton? Yeah.”
“How?!” I was shocked, I’d expected her to say no, but what could I have really expected if I thought about it. She was taking all the same subjects as me as well as more of her own, and even though she was technically younger she’d been bumped up the school system quite a few times, so we had some overlapping classes. Obviously she was still in the right gym class, probably because she never did anything in it, it was always ‘that time of the month’ when it came to gym. “Please tell me how you could possibly have finished that essay. You have your study group every morning, then the actual school work, then you go to that newspaper club, then you go to that job you got at the grocery store, then you come home and do your regular homework. You’re telling me you did an English essay on top of all that?!” I was practically screaming at her. “Sorry Kit. I didn’t mean to shout, I just – I can’t do it!”
“It’s a lot of work, everything I do.” She replied, playing with her pencil nervously, I had clearly upset her a little by shouting. “Tommy, I’ll do the essay for you. Here.” She reached over, snatching my pad away before I had a chance to object and instantly began scribbling down notes, I felt bad letting her do it again but… I had to keep my grades up, or I’d be kicked off the team! I thought making it onto the team was the hard part, turns out staying on it was even harder.
Tommy, Kitty, and Olive were so uncool, it was like they were their own little group and I couldn’t be in it because I was too young! So unfair! I wanted Cora to grow faster so I could play with her properly, but for now I’d play little games with her and help her out with the blocks, stuff like that.
I didn’t have any games to play around the house, everything had already been done by the older kids. The playground that had been built when Tommy and Kitty were young was so boring, everything had been used so it didn’t feel as special, there were little princess stickers Kitty had stuck to the rides, and Tommy and Austin’s names carved on the inside of the treehouse. I wanted something of my own!
It was kind of like no one really noticed me, they knew I was there but they just weren’t interested in me, even mom. I had no idea what was going on with her, I had walked in on her crying a few weeks ago. She told me it was just the onions she was cutting but I wasn’t stupid, I knew she was sad! All I wanted to do was help her but she wouldn’t talk to me. I wasn’t as big as the others so my voice wasn’t heard as much, dinner was just Tommy going on and on about sports, Kitty talking about these weird people that I’d seen on the news and stuff, and Olive on her BlackBerry.
I was so glad for painting. There was an easel in the sun room, and the day I discovered it was the best day of my life. Hours went by in seconds while I painted these amazing things from my mind, I could make my ideas come to life, then mom would come and tell me how great it was. But however great she said it was I knew it could be better. And I would be the best in the world some day.
“Uhh I know, it’s going to be amazing!!” I screamed down the phone. Me and Marie were planning the best party of the year. I had to do one like Kitty and Tommy did, and this time not get wasted and end up passed out in the front hallway.
“Marie I gotta go Kitty just walked in. Yeah, I will. Okay, bye!” Marie wanted me to invite Kitty and Tommy, which I had no problem with, the three of us fought but we were best friends underneath it all, especially seen as I had grown up a little now, not just in chronological age – I felt more mature from hanging out with them so much.
“Who was that?” Kitty asked as she ripped open a letter.
“Marie. What’s that? A love letter from your boyfriend!?” I teased.
“No!” she laughed, “It’s just from the bank, about my article payments.” I wish it was a love letter for me. At least she had a boyfriend, and after 3 dates! I hadn’t even been on one date!
“Oh yeah, my big shot sister published in a magazine!” I was genuinely happy for her, she’d worked long and hard to finally get something published. I suspected that under her tough exterior she was quite insecure, and this was a way of cementing all her hard work as worth it.
“What are we doing today?” She asked, shoving the letter into her pocket.
“We?” I didn’t really have any idea. “Shall we do online shopping and cakes? Not too many though, I’m on a diet.” She laughed at my weight crack and agreed. “Laptops in the kitchen in 5!” We both scrambled off upstairs to grab our stuff and moms credit card, I hoped we could find a really great sale, we both loved shopping, and we loved bargains even more.
“Shall I buy this bag?” She asked, I kind of liked it when she asked for my opinion, we were a few years apart, and it was nice having a big sister, but sometimes I liked being the one who she came to for help, even if it was with a bag.
“It’s Marc Jacobs and it’s on sale,” I observed as I peered at the gorgeous bag on the screen. “of course you should buy it!”
“I dunno… I’ll add it to the basket for later.” We had found an amazing sale, good job we picked today to do our online shopping and cake ritual, although we didn’t actually have the latter part of the ritual, neither of us knew where mom (the master of cake) was, she was always oddly absent lately.
“Oh no! It’s gone!”
“Oh yeah, that happens sometimes. You’ve just gotta go for it and click buy. Bad luck Kit.” The next four hours were dedicated to shopping, after all, I needed options for my party.
I was back in that place, that safe place that I loved. The dream world. Everything was so quiet. I hadn’t gotten to bed until 6am last night, desperately trying to finish a social studies assignment. I’d finished, but now I was so tired I think I’d already slept through most of Saturday.
Then there was a voice, no! Leave me alone, I had to get my rest for when Austin came over to practice football with me.
“TOMMY! Wake up man!” Someone was shaking me? Austin?!
“What time is it?” I mumbled through sleep filled eyes.
“Dude, it’s 6 in the afternoon, you’ve been asleep all day! Get up, we gotta practice.”
“Hey man… I gotta take a shower.” I laughed half heartedly, I was too tired to function, an ice cold shower would wake me right up.
“Sure, sure, I’ll just hang here.” He plonked himself down on the sofa, grabbing the remote and flicking aimlessly through the channels. The shower was so invigorating, it woke me right up, after a few minutes under the icy jets I turned it to warm, the cold woke me up but really, the warm was so much more relaxing. I couldn’t see my towel anywhere… my bathroom was nothing like Kitty’s, it hardly had anything in it. It was a bathroom, not a bloody cosmetics shop like Kitty’s.
“Hey dude can you just pull the curtain across I need to grab a tiss- Woahhhh!” Austin’s face dropped in shock as he saw me stood naked before him, reaching down to grab an old towel.
“Um – I, um, I’m sorry I didn’t know you were out. I’ll – um…” What the hell was wrong with him?
“Dude what’s up?” It couldn’t be the fact I was naked, he must have seen tonnes of naked guys in the locker room before and after games, the guys were pretty much naked all the time. I don’t think I’d ever been naked in front of him before but that couldn’t be it. I guess he just felt a bit awkward seen as it was in my house or something.
“I’m gonna let you get dressed…” He said slowly, still staring at me in shock.
“Well my clothes are in my room so d’ya wanna move from the doorway? Come on.”
“Actually I’ll stay here till you’re ready.”
“Why?” I asked, puzzled.
“Well because um, well I need to – use the …sink.” He was acting totally weird, I hope he hadn’t started taking those performance pills that some of the guys had been known to take before the game, if he got caught he’d be in serious trouble.
“Okay, whatever.” I left the room, leaving him to use the sink. Whatever that meant.
“Come on you wimp, you can throw better than that!” Austin teased me as he easily caught the ball I threw at him.
“You want a hard throw, you got it!” I put as much force into it as possible, making myself look like kind of an idiot at the same time, but hey at least he almost dropped it.
“Try and catch… this!” He threw it as hard as he could, good job I had been practising or I might have dropped it, damn he was good!
We kept playing for about an hour, by the end I was exhausted, and so was he. We threw the ball onto the grassy verge and I was about to suggest a quick break before we started again, but he spoke first.
“Let’s do something fun. We haven’t done anything in ages!” Something fun?
“Like what?” I asked, it had definitely been a while since we had done anything.
“I dunno. Got any beers?”
“Um, I think my dad might have a few in the fridge. Where would we go with them, we can’t just sit here where they can see us.” That would be the worst thing to happen, especially after Olive’s little incident.
“I’m thinking right there.” He gestured towards the two statues flanking the entrance to the overgrown hedge maze.
“Dude, it’s like a real maze, I mean you can’t climb out or anything, and it’s really hard!”
“Fine, fine… wimp.” He muttered under his breath. I knew he was joking, he was smiling as he said it, and he would never actually call me a wimp. But I still fell for it.
“Okay, okay fine. You’re on. I’ll go get the beers.” We both got a 6pack each, there were quite a few in the fridge. Mom was sure to notice they were missing but I didn’t care, I wanted to have some fun and forget about sports and school and all of that crap. The maze was exactly how I described it – a nightmare. We trudged through, both drinking 3 beers each on the way and getting a little drunk, especially as I had no food in my stomach. It must have taken us about an hour to reach the floodlit centre of the maze, and by that time we were both a little tipsy, nothing bad, but a few more and we would definitely be drunk.
A Few Beers Later…
“I know! No I love the sports, but I just want a break!” I ranted, the alcohol slurring my speech a little.
“Sooo… did anything happen with you and Mindy after I left the party?” Austin asked.
“Mindy? Austin I already told you…I’m not into her!” I had a feeling we had already had this conversation, but I couldn’t really remember. I had only been drunk about three times in my life, yeah, I’m a lightweight. “Why you asking?”
“Oh… just wondering!”
“Come on Austin, do you like her, is that it?” I teased, jabbing him in the ribs. “It’s okay to like her, I don’t even like her!” Who was the last person Austin went out with… hmm.
“Nah, nothing like that. She’s not the one that I like.”
“So there’s a one!” He was looking more and more uncomfortable, any other time and I would have just dropped it, but I was pretty drunk so I didn’t realise the level of discomfort I was causing him, and like an idiot I kept pestering him. “Is it Kirsty Allaham? She’s cute…”
“Nooo, she’s not my type. At all.”
“What’s your type then??” I smiled at him, willing him to continue. I didn’t even know why I cared, the alcohol had made me feel like Austin’s love life was the most important thing in the world.
“Come on Tommy, you must have guessed.” He let out a drunken hiccup as he stared at me, um – what was he getting at?
That was the moment I realised he liked me. It all added up, jeez I was so dumb, I hadn’t understood it before. That must have been what he wanted to talk to me about at the party, and why he was so awkward when he saw me naked. What was I meant to do now? We sat there in silence, it wasn’t really awkward, I knew he was just giving me time to digest that my best friend was gay, and he liked me! This was weird…
“Tommy I’m sorry I never told you.” The words were still a little slurred, but it seemed like this news had sobered us up slightly.
“How could you lie to me all these years?!” I jumped up from the bench, extremely angry at him. It was as if the foundation of our friendship was a lie!
“Tommy I’m sorry! I thought you might not want to be my friend if I told you…”
“Do you really think I’m that much of a douche?! You should have told me!” The alcohol was heightening all my feelings, I felt a tear fall down my cheek. My best friend had lied to me, for years!
“Tommy, Tommy! I’m sorry!” He came over and put his and on my shoulder to comfort me. Shouldn’t I be the one comforting him?! He’d just came out, and to the guy he liked, that must have been hard.
We stood together as I calmed down, his hand still firmly on my shoulder. I wasn’t looking at him as I rubbed my eyes, I couldn’t cry in front of him! I could feel his hand moving up, finally resting on the back of my neck. Neither of us looked at the other one, this was so awkward, but his hand just felt so nice being there, why should I move it just because he was a guy? My eyes flicked up and looked into his. It was a split second before our mouths met in a clumsy, rushed kiss. It was one of those horny teenager kisses, but it was with Austin! I was kissing Austin, I didn’t know what to think. The guys on the team always said kissing a guy was disgusting, but it felt fine. Good even. Great. I was so confused, I had always looked up to Austin, but I had never thought of him in a sexual way. Was I gay? I didn’t feel gay, I checked out girls all the time, but I suppose Austin was a good looking guy, I’d just never thought of him that way. I couldn’t be feeling this! It was weird!
My life is a mess… But it felt so good.
* * *
This was meant to be a 2 part chapter, part 2 dealing with Arielle’s cancer, but as I started writing it look on a life of its own and became far too long to be a part 2!
Should be coming up soon. I was also wondering who your guys favourite child is so far?! I’m personally torn between Kitty and Tommy, but I do love them all!
– Marissa xx