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.


4. Chapter 4



Jennifer’s grandmother has a great villa by the coast. She invited Jennifer’s family and asked if I wanted to come along too.
I really like Jennifer’s grandmother. She has this beautiful house. The grass of the front lawn was layered with fake sulphur paint but looked like a freshly cut yard anyway. There was a milky picket fence surrounding the house with rose bushes tucked behind.
Jennifer’s grandmother, Mrs. Long, wasn’t just an elderly person but she really did look old. Her cheek bones were bulged like mushrooms and her skin beneath her eyes sagged like an oddity of society. Her hair was smoky, but some areas charcoal grey and other parts of her hair was just white that stood out in thick curls. Her eyes were rather unsettled with pupils like clog puddles of raven.
Her whole figure seemed corrupt with odd feelings. But she seemed to try her best to be as close to rosy as possible for her poor limp body. She did seem a bit callous at times.
My grandmother is so much different to Mrs. Long. She looks far younger for starters. As smile upon her spirited face could light up the darkest room.
I always seemed a bit depressed around Mrs. Long.
My parents let me go for the weekend with Jennifer. We left at noon and arrived late at night. Mrs. Long had made a nice meal of fried rice for us.
“Thanks Nan.” Jennifer had said.
She and I had sat together.
“Did you – enjoy the ride up here?”
“It wasn’t too bad.”
“Good weather for driving?”
“Could you pass the spice Jen dear...”

On Saturday morning, Mrs. Long pertly made us a nice breakfast. She made chocolate pancakes with blueberry’s, cream and golden syrup.
We sat in the same spots as the night before. But Jennifer’s parents and younger brother Alex hadn’t woken up yet. So it was just Jennifer, Mrs. Long and I. I squirted a mess of lemon juice on my pancake stack.
“Nanna?”  Jennifer said sweetly.
“Yes dear?”
“Did you ever play a sport when you were a young girl? Like...at school.”
I immediately thought of Mrs. Hammers.
Mrs. Long placed her cutlery on the place mat and looked up with her unstable eyes, shaking like old people do sometimes.
“I played hockey I can recall.”
“Did a lot of people play netball in those days?”
“In my day we had netball. Not a lot of girls played it though.”
“Why not?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I just don’t remember a lot of sporty action at my school...”
I decided to step in.
“Um, excuse me Mrs. Long? Me and Jennifer are actually on a netball team. Our coach is pretty horrible. I’m sure you wouldn’t have had to put up with someone as bad as her.”
“There isn’t such thing as a pretty horrible coach.” Mrs. Long replied, staring at her empty mug that once held her coffee. “There is such thing as a coach that will motivate you when they see potential.” No matter what Mrs. Long said, she said it slowly like everything was important.
“I’m sure Mrs. Hammers doesn’t see much potential in me; or whatever. She just likes to pick on kids. I bet she was a bully when she was younger.” I grunted, trying to picture Mrs. Hammers as a salmon-faced bully, her hair in bold braids and two clenched fists by either side of hips.
“Nobody’s perfect...” Mrs. Long half-whispered like a distant memory. “If this Hammer person is your coach, she’s only human you’ve got to remember.”
“I’m beginning to think adults have got more authority than they can handle.”
“Wait until you’re an adult. I’m sure then you will change your mind.”
“We have a really awful coach though. She’s constantly making us feel down about ourselves.”
“She’s making you work hard, that’s all.”
“She’s gonna work us to death!” I growled knavishly. “She simply hates netball! It’s all one fat scheme of hers. Besides, Mrs. Long, she physically forced me to be on the team.”
“No one can force you...”
“No ordinary coach could. Mrs. Hammers is evil!”
Mrs. Long chuckled and collected the plates still daubed with syrup. “Nobody is evil.”
“You have to meet her Mrs. Long. I can’t expect you to understand when you don’t even know her.”
“Calm down Kitty.”
Hadn’t I ever told her I hated being called Kitty?
“You’d know what I meant if you could just see her. Just one look and you’d see what I’m talking about.”
Jennifer ogled me angrily.
“Stop judging poor Mrs. Hammers! She’s just doing her job.”
“Why are you so suddenly on her side now?”
“I don’t like her all that much either, but I don’t go around gossiping about her. Gracious Kitty, won’t you calm down?”
I snatched my glass from the table and left the room.
She knows I hate that stupid name, Kitty. She’s knows.
I can’t see how Mrs. Hammers could ever make friends. She was just so mean. My mother always told me never judge a book by its cover, always read what’s inside. I just hate books with bad endings, so I’m not getting wrapped up in this novel.

Great. Now I’m being metaphoric.



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