While changing out of my salty, soaked clothes from the ocean sprays, I picked out a clean, white T-shirt that had multiple colors twisting around my waist like an attached iron-on ribbon. I chose a pair of ankle socks, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of jeans to complete my casual day outfit. Seven o’clock arrived within minutes and I was on my way to meet Gregory at the lake.
“Hey!” I spotted Gregory sitting on a large rock where he looked to be talking to himself. He quickly stood up to face me.
“Hey,” He approached me with a welcoming smile.
“Did you wait long?” I asked as we walked next to sparkling lake that reflected light from the night sky.
“No,” He paused and stopped behind me.
“What is it?” I smiled as I turned to face him, my smiled faded away as I saw his eyes begin to sparkle in the moonlight as traces of liquid ran down his face. I walked towards him to wipe his tears away, but as my fingers approached his cheeks, he took my hand in his, “Gregory?”
“Kathleen, do you ever look at yourself in a mirror?” He didn't remove his eyes from mine.
“No,” I laughed as if it was a joke, but his expression didn't change. He looked… serious, “What’s this all about?”
“Kathleen,” His hand began to shake in mine as if he were nervous, “Are you seeing someone?”
“Me?” I sounded surprised, but then I finally understood what he meant about the whole mirror thing, “No, why?”
“Well,” He let go of my hand and turned to face the lake, “I've been thinking about our years together in past and I’ve found myself developing some… feelings,”
“Gregory,” I paused to study his eyes that seemed to know exactly what my answer was towards his feelings, “But how?”
“The first day we met,” He finally looked at me again, “Right here,”
“Right here?” I pointed to the spot where I was standing, but he just nodded, “but I thought we first met in the living room of my house where your father was signing an application form to become our driver,”
“No,” He moved his grass-like eyes towards the trees behind me and I followed. It was the most unexpected sight, a tiny tree house laid upon the limbs of the trees where you could almost see only one window from the side.
“Are you telling me you developed feelings for me through a tree house?” I tried to joke, but it seemed like the situation had changed. Why has it turned out to be like this? I feel like I’m being punished!
“It’s not hard to understand, Kathleen,” He came closer, “I’m in love with you, I've always have and always will,”
“But Gregory, I can’t see you in that way,” I swallowed as he came closer, “We've always been friends that supported one another,”
“Do you not understand yourself?” He placed his hands on my shoulders and still continued to stare at me, “You’re probably one of the most intelligent and most beautiful woman I've ever met in my entire life, and you've made me become a man with a true goal,”
“A goal?” I choked on the words as I couldn't believe what was happening.
“Yes, a goal,” He finally laughed, “You’re my goal,”
I stepped away from him as I felt my eyes begin to swell up with tears, “I’m sorry, Gregory,” I ran past him with my hands pressed up against my face in disbelief, but as I rushed past him, I could have sworn I heard him whisper… “I understand,”
***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
When I arrived home, I saw that it was 7:44 pm. It had taken only 44 minutes for something bad to happen to me and to someone else. I feel so horrible! What do people see in me that I can’t see for myself?
“Kathleen,” Father called from behind my door.
“What is it?” I wiped away my tears that felt sticky against my face, but I couldn't imagine how red my eyes were.
“We’re going to the theater, want to come?” He asked as I heard him lean against my door.
“Sure,” I quickly answered.
“Great, meet us there at 8:30 pm,” He left to the living room where everyone waited, “Alright, let’s go!”
“Wait a minute, I don’t have my license!” I opened my door to find that I was standing in front of another problem.
“Hey, Kathleen,” Fate sounded as if he had planned it all, but as I felt my heart begin to feel heavy from all the stress that was building up inside of me for the past couple of weeks, I really wanted to die! Two more years left, you can hold on, Kathleen! The voice in the back of my head encouraged me. I finally brought my eyes to meet his, and then smiled at him to let him know that I’m bringing this game into my own hands.
“Hi,” I greeted him back as my eyes began to pierce through his bad boy soul and it seemed like the game was growing even more interesting as I continued smiling while watching his face fall to pieces. I pushed past him and saw that he was still standing in my bedroom doorway with shock, “So, that’s how the game works,”
With no words left to speak, we quietly got into the car while I was still wearing a smile that seemed more shocking to him than it did for me, but I had a bigger fear. How long can I keep this up? I guess we’ll just have to find out when things start to get worse again. The theater was only two miles away and tonight they were showing Fantasy, Love Boat, and Traitor. Of course, everyone picked Love Boat, but lucky me, I get to pick which movie I want to see.
“Is there a movie showing that you want to see?” Mom asked me so she could be sure of which ticket to pay for when she approaches the ticket booth where a middle-aged woman sat in a chair waiting for people to enter and exit.
“Traitor” I answered, but forgetting that Fate was behind me.
“That sounds like a good movie, maybe I should watch it with you,” Fate continued his game with a playful smile that seemed more real than what mine probably looked like.
“Alright,” Mom turned around and greeted the woman that patiently waited for us, “Four tickets for Love Boat and two tickets for Traitor,”
“Are you all in the adult age group?” She asked and my mother nodded, “Alright, that’ll be $32.34,”
“Okay,” My mother opened up her wallet and pulled out two twenty dollar bills.
“Thank you,” She smiled as she opened up the register to place the two twenty dollar bills in the twenty dollar bill section, “$7.66 will be your change and here are your tickets, miss,”
“Thank you,” Mother smiled and accepted the change from the woman’s skinny, pale hands while the tickets lay on top of the change, “Alright kids, come and get it!”
“Alright!” Fate waved back and rushed past me. I looked up at the sky, hoping for a miracle, but then something small and bright flew quickly across the sky.
“A shooting star,” My heart began to pound as I clapped my hands together and made a wish, “I’m wishing to you, shooting star, to grant me just one wish and one only,” I closed my eyes tighter and then loosened them as I slowly opened my eyes to the sky, “I wish for something, or someone, to guide me through hard times, to give me strength, to give me love, and to show me a life that no other has seen before. I wish, no, I beg for strength. I want to live in a life where there are no sorrows, I want feel comfortable, and I want feel… invincible,”
“Kathleen, it’s time,” Father called as he gave two tickets to Fate.
“I’ll be there in a minute!” I called back and then looked up to the sky again to see a bright, full moon and tiny bright stars that designed the sky with beautiful constellations, “I’m glad the moon is out to support me,” I smiled and headed for the theater doors.
Traitor is about two people who start out with a misunderstanding. The woman thinks the man is the murderer that killed her mother, but he’s not, and the man thinks she’s making it all up. The first person to realize that the person got it all wrong is the man, he realized that the woman wasn't lying, but now it’s up to him to find the real murderer who killed her mother. Somewhere near the end, the man and the woman find the murderer and he is a guy you would not expect to be the killer. The killer was a kind man on the outside, but on the inside, he seeks revenge on any mother he saw giving their children care.
Finally, the lights dimmed out and the previews for other movies coming in theater began to play. I started thinking about where I was seated and it came as no surprise that Fate had to sit right next to me, but this time, my parents suggested it. For some odd reason, I keep thinking my parents have been act strange lately.
“They failed to mention that this is a romantic film between two people who find love through a misunderstanding,” Fate whispered into my ear when the title Traitor appeared on the screen.
“It’s quite obvious,” I whispered, “You just won’t see it much until the end,”
“Have you ever had your palm red?” Fate asked with a grin slapped onto his face.
“What’s that got to do with this movie?” I asked as I dug my fingernails into the palm of my hand.
“I was just wondering,” He finally stayed silent through half of the movie, “I knew he had to have been the murderer,”
“How would know?” I started to ask, “It hasn't even reached the end and they haven’t found him, yet,”
“The acting is obvious and he fits the description as a good guy on the outside and bad guy on the inside,”
“Oh, I see,” I responded. When it finally reached the end, the man and the woman confessed their love to each other and then they started to kiss. At the sight of their lips touching, I covered my eyes and then the lights brightened up. I could hear Fate laughing at me.
“Their isn't even blood being spilt, but you still cover your eyes on a romantic scene between two people,” He kept laughing and then noticed that my nails were still digging into my palm, “Hey,”
“What?” I asked as I didn't notice how far I had dug into my palm. I removed my fingers away from my palm and I saw red, thick liquid trying to pour out from my open wound.
“You’re strange,” He stopped laughing and then he ripped off his right sleeve.
“What are you doing?” I asked when I heard the tear in his short sleeved shirt.
“I’m going to do something about that nasty wound you placed onto yourself,” He reached for my hand with gentleness and started for his ripped clothing, and then he wrapped it around my hand while making sure he put enough pressure on it to stop the blood from spilling everywhere. He tied a knot on the last wrap, “Close your fist, but not too tightly,”
“Why?” I asked as if I were asking my local doctor.
“If you don’t apply pressure on your wound, then the blood will keep coming out and it won’t heal fast like that,”
“Fine, Dr. Yarely,” We laughed as we exited the room and then we walked into the main room of the theater, “What now?”
“We just wait until their movie is over with,” He shrugged as he walked over to one of the waiting seats that were sealed next to a door that read: Exit.
“Sir?” I asked one of the workers from behind the corner, “When will Love Boat end?”
“In about 30 minutes, miss,” He politely answered as he stacked cups by the popcorn machine that was giving enough heat to warm the surface of Alaska.
“Okay, thanks,” I stepped away from the counter with a disappointed face.
“What’s the matter?” He studied my face and noticed quickly the time for Love Boat to end would be a while, “That long a wait?”
“30 minutes,” I pouted and felt the muscles on my forehead start to hurt. I loosened them and calmed all my nerves, especially my brain nerves, “Do you think it’s hot in here?”
“No, it’s freezing!” He kept wrapping himself in his coat.
“Oh,” I tried to keep my soreness hidden, but then his hand press against my forehead.
“You have a fever again!” He sounded very alert, “Let me see your wound,”
“Why?” I asked, but he reached for my hand without any response to my curiosity. Why are you being so kind to me? A few days ago, you were so cold towards me… What are you trying to do? Why are you living with two personalities? I wanted answers to these questions, but I didn't know how to ask them. I've lost the ability to speak.
“I knew it,” He examined my wound, “Too much blood has escaped from your one arm that you have now gained yourself a high fever,”
“I did what you told,” I looked at the soaked cloth and then at my hand that was still bleeding, but it was coming out slower than it had in the theater room where the credits of Traitor was playing, “You told to apply pressure onto the wound and that’s what I did,”
“I know,” He smiled, but there was something behind that smile.
“What are you trying to say?” I stared at him until he started to speak.
“I’m just complimenting you on your listening,” He laughed and then stood onto his feet.
“Where are you going?” I asked almost sounding concerned.
“To the restroom,” He grinned as he faced me, “Want to come with me?”
“Ugh, get away from me!” I shooed him away from me and he just laughed as he entered the men’s room, “Honestly, I don’t want another disastrous fever!” I sighed as I pressed my back against the cool wall. He’s so different when it comes to me being unwell, but the question is, which side of him do I like best? The side of being noticed or the side of being unnoticed. It’s strange, but I prefer the side of being unnoticed.
“Did you wait long?” I heard Fate’s voice, but I couldn't bring my eyes to open, “Hey, are you alright?” I heard the concern in his voice, but I could only here most of my heavy breathing over him. Something wet and rough was placed onto my forehead. I really hate public restroom paper!
“Fate,” I tried to breathe, “I can’t breathe,”
“Hold on, I’m going to text my dad to tell him that you’re sick,” I heard his phone ring as he opened it, but I think he is going to tell his dad more than just me being sick. It’ll be something like this: The movie is done, but Kathleen has caught a fever. I’m going to take her back home. This is the second time I've had a fever around Fate! When will it end!? When I heard the snap of Fate’s cell phone, I jumped, “Okay, let’s get you out of here,”
“Alright,” I felt the heat in my body begin to grow worse, but it couldn't stop me from walking by myself. If my memory stands correct, I believe this is the first time I haven’t argued with Fate about coming with him to another place. All the events that have taken place in these few weeks seem like events that could fill in all the events I haven’t done in my entire years of living. The silent ride home felt very relieving and the cool air that was blowing strongly through the vents of the car was also helping me feel more relieved.
In about one minute, we reached our destination. I stepped out of the car and I felt a little dizzy from being half asleep. By how tired I am, I thought I could hear my bed calling for me. When I turned the knob on the door, I was so happy to return to my bed, but something was wrong, the knob didn't turn and the door didn't budge. I thought I heard Fate giggling, but I couldn't tell whether it was me laughing or him laughing. I rushed to my window to find that my window also wasn't budging, but then I found a cream colored type of paste. Someone glued my window shut! I returned to the front door to find that it had been opened.
“Did you forget something?” Fate had a keychain looped around his index finger while the spare key hanged below his right hand.
“How did you find that?” My eyes wondered curiously around the door frame. How did he find that key? My eyes studied the door frame until my eyes could not take it, but as I began to give up my search, I saw his cell phone held tightly within his left hand.
“Supervision?” He joked as he placed his phone back into his left pocket.
“Whatever,” I closed the door behind me and walked past him with my wound still wrapped in ripped clothing from Fate’s shirt, “I’m going to bed,”
“Goodnight!” He called when I shut my bedroom door.
“What’s his problem?” I muttered under my heavy breathing. I sat on top of my bed covers while realizing that I didn’t have the strength to even pull the covers over me, “Ugh, I’m going crazy!”
“We all know,” Fate commented as he entered my room with a cup of water in one hand and a tablet in the other hand.
“Don’t you dare come into my room with such a stupid comment,” I warned him as I looked out my window to gaze upon the moon and the stars, then I fixed my eyes on Fate, “You’re half the reason why I’m going crazy,”
“You’re welcome,” He accepted as he took it as a compliment.
“There’s also something else in my mind that I can’t quite decipher,” I lifted my index finger to my bottom lip to make it look like I was thinking really hard.
“And what is that?” He asked curiously while still holding the tiny tablet and the cup of water in his hands.
“Who exactly asked you to take care of me when clearly I don’t want it nor need it?” I finally blurted my brains out, “Shouldn’t you be with your girlfriend?”
“I do have reasons that I hope someday you will understand,” His smiling face started to turn dark and sullen.
“Whatever the reason,” I started while the muscles in my arm started to grow sore from holding myself up on the bed, “Does it still give you the right to act horrible towards me?”
“I didn’t think you’d care,” He honestly responded.
“So I’m supposed to be a lifeless doll with no feelings?” I laughed in disappointment, “I’ll give you some advice that may help you in your further days of life: Think more of others than you do yourself, because right now, you are only being selfish,”
“I understand, but if I tell you that it isn’t my intention to hurt, then would you forgive me and endure my acts for just a while longer?” He sounded serious, but if he hadn’t been serious, how would this conversation started and how would it end? Only silence fell upon us, but his eyes told so much. Can I really trust him? Can’t I just endure his harshness? I believe I can trust him… I believe.
“Fine,” I gave my final answer while accepting the water and the tiny tablet from his hands. Thank you was all he could say to end this long conversation of decision making. As the night dragged on for so long, I felt like my whole body was being healed by some magical spell that most people would find it to be crazy.
“Kathleen,” I could hear the voice of my alarm clock calling my name, but wait, alarm clocks can’t talk, “Kathleen, wake up,”
“Mom?” I groaned as I recognized the voice of my nonstop alarm clock that will never be cut off to snooze.
“Yes,” She answered as she placed the back of her hand on my forehead, “It seems like you don’t have a fever,”
“I don’t have a fever,” I hugged my pillow and tried to go back to sleep.
“I know you don’t, so get up,” She calmly ordered as she sat next to me on my bed, “You have to pack your clothes today,”
“Oh, yeah,” I opened my eyes and looked around the room that seemed smaller than it usually was, “That trip is tomorrow,”
“Correct,” Mother raked her fingers through my hair while she smiled happily, “You’re so beautiful, you know that?”
“Mom,” I tossed over to where my stomach was facing the ceiling and my back lay straight on my bed, “Really?”
“I’m telling the truth,” She laughed as she approached me to give me a motherly caring kiss on the cheek, “I love you,”
“I love you, too,” I laughed as I pulled the covers over my head.
“Don’t forget to pack,” She informed me.
“Don’t worry, it shall be done tonight,” I assured her.
“Alright,” She left my room in silence.
“What a morning,” I smiled as I lifted the hot fabric away from my face and then I stared at the ceiling for about two minutes, “What a week!”
“What about this week?” Fate jumped into my bedroom with a smile that would only fit the face of a child.
“And why am I not surprised?” I muttered as I turned away from Fate’s annoying voice that would fit perfectly to a nonstop beeping alarm clock.
“Well I hope you have a nice trip,” Fate said the words in a way that made me thought…
“You’re not going?” I rose up from my bed and leaned my back against the wall behind me.
“What would make you think that?” His face expression clearly showed that he would never want to miss a trip like this in his lifetime, “You hate me this much?”
“Oh, yes,” I nodded my head sarcastically.
“I love you, too,” He left with the same smile he wore the first minute he barged into my room.
“I don’t know what to say,” I joked with myself when I heard that he was in the living room talking to my parents, “What should I pack?”
As the question kept pondering in my head, I decided to look into my closet to see what would be perfect to wear at a beach party that my parents have decided to hold on the north side of Marcadia. On the north side of Marcadia is a beach that had water that was clearer than glass and it also has sand that felt silkier than silky, melted chocolate. I’m very excited, but scared at the same time.