K is for Kit


How would you feel if your mother had no one else to talk to but you?
How would you feel if a bad-tempered coach physically forced you into a netball team you never dreamed of joining?
How would you feel if a giant gum tree fell through your roof?
How would you feel if your name went suddenly from Humphrey to Dwhite when your mum’s new boyfriend elected himself step-dad?
How would you feel if your best friend wanted something, couldn’t have it and began to blame you?
How would you feel if you suddenly realised you wanted exactly what your best friend almost kept, but didn’t have anymore?
And how would you feel if Brooke Bradley just came along and changed your perspective on everything?
That pretty much covers it.
Welcome to my life.

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3. Chapter 3

 

3

The next netball training was on Friday afternoon, that same week. Mrs. Hammers and her hulky legs ambled around the court like a soldier marching from instructions, watching us.
“Put all your body into Kitarna! Thrust with your arms, put a little power into it.”
What was this? Boot camp?
I was partnered up with Alice. To be honest, her passes weren’t so bad.
“Why are you even here?” I heard her snarl.
I looked at her, my eyebrows narrowed into a frown. Her lips were puckered like a fish and painted yellow-brown.
“What?” I said grumpily.
“Well you’re just so bad at this!” Her eyes stared like big blue diamonds.
“Cry all you want, princess.” The word ‘princess’ I rather spat at her. I felt it bubbled on my lips.
Alice just scoffed and threw a hard ball at me. It struck me in the cheek. I stumbled then collapsed on my butt onto the pavement.
“Serves you right!” Alice doubled over into crouch, laughing at me.
“Get up Kitarna; you need to work on those passes.” Mrs. Hammers yelled.
“Can’t I just quit?” I suddenly caught Jennifer’s attention.
“What?” Mrs. Hammers faced went carroty. “Nobody in my team is a quitter whether you’re good or bad at netball.”
“Well technically I never came into your team.”
“Do the work!” Mrs. Hammers snapped grizzly. Hot in the face, I continued to throw lousy passes, but harder this time.
“Calm down!” Alice cried weakly. “I’m getting tired.”

I decided to complain to mum that afternoon. My cheeks were maroon and blotchy, like they are when I’m sick. Out in the backyard I showered myself in water bottle leftovers when mum came through the front door.
“What have you been doing?” She questioned when she saw me, “Fighting in the Colosseum?”
“This is your fault, you know?”
“My fault is it?”
“I don’t want this anymore.”
“I don’t remember you ever wanting this...”
“Then why mum? Why am I being punished?”
“Because, Kit, it’s good for you. And you aren’t being punished.” Mum raised both hands near her head. “Shoot – I left the air on...”
“Are you hearing me?”
“I don’t have time right now,” Mum sniped, “Talk to me later.”

Monday the next week Mrs. Hammers brought out a plastic bag of blue and green bibs. “What are these?” I forced myself to say. Nobody answered me. They stood swaying like park swings on a windy day.
“Take your positions on the court.” Mrs. Hammers instructed passing bibs out to every girl. Clara gave a pearly smile.
I was given WA.
“What’s this?”
“You’re Wing Attack. It means you’re only allowed over there and in the centre court.” Mrs. Hammers told me.
“Where’s the centre court?”
Too late. The whistle had blown and the girls were all whizzing shapelessness around me. I couldn’t even find the ball. Finally I caught sight of it. It was firm in Clara’s grip. She did some weird whiz motion of her legs and slid around to face the other way. I figured it was a bit like basketball which I had a little experience in from schoolyard comps. A pass here, an intercept there.
“Come on Kitarna! Get moving!” Mrs. Hammers screeched coldly from the sideline.
“Where’s the ball?” I yelled back. The cluster of girls was down the other end of the court now, crowding the ball like the freckles on Alice’s legs.
“Spread out girls! Give ‘em some room would ya?”
I hurriedly called for the ball, noticing Jennifer had the ball and she was in a blue bib like me. She didn’t pass it to me though.
“Keep it quiet Kitarna; they aren’t at your end yet.”
What did she even mean? My feet had pins and needles.
Before I could take a step back the ball was suddenly within my grasp.
I looked around. Girls flapping their arms about like wild turkeys, calling for the ball. The whistle blew and I had to give the ball to the other team for something called ‘held ball’. I really hated all these stupid terms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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