I hope people remember me for who I become, not who I was.
My mind thinks up crazy things when I'm in the bath at 7:00 in the morning.
Like, why do I like The Ballroom Philosopher so much? I mean, it's just some guy you'd usually see high off of his rocker, spewing out his thoughts between cups of coffee and aspirin.
What do I want to do with my life, aside from being paid to listen to music? Maybe I could become a superstar?
I could hear my name echoing across TL Arena. Introducing, the pride of New Amsterdam!
"Cait, Ka-tri-na..." I whisper under my breath.
I'm almost there anyway. All I need to do is get a couple hundred million more followers on Snapout! and I'd be there. At that point, I could be an author, celebrity, musician or philosopher. With that many people listening to me, I could be anything they need me to be.
Philosophers were poets, musicians were authors and vice versa. Celebrities changed the world, and their fans are their own foundations.
If someone took away everything from those celebrities, would they still visit places like Saharan Africa and Southern India to help the poor? Would they even work at the nearest soup-kitchen, even if that didn't help their own cause?
I wandered through those thoughts, until I realize that the water got cold really fast.
Someone was messing with the thermostat... I told
"Katy, let's go loser!"
I shrieked, grabbing for a towel amidst my sister's laughter.
"SARA! What the hell?!"
"You take baths for too long. I'm pretty sure if you were there any longer, your guts would fall out through your-"
"I get it," I reply back, the towel around my chest already damp from the water.
"Get downstairs. We're leaving in 45."
My hair whips around my face as I turn frantically to Sara.
"I need an hour."
She points to her watch, Berengolli with golden arms, diamond clockwork but a plastic wristband.
"We're already 30 minutes late as it is. It's not like the school waits for us to show up." As she turns around to leave, she waits at the door, leaning against it as I go back to the bathroom to make my hair.
"As a matter of fact, they do, don't they?"
She leaves before I could ask her what top fits the jeans I want to wear.
I wish my sister would stop grinning like that. I swear, if she flashes her teeth, she looks like the Joker. Really. She has the features around her mouth, just in much softer tones than him. Although I can't help but wonder why he acts like that. Literally tries to set fire to Gotham every time he breaks out of that stupid asylum.
Whatever. She's cool anyway. She latches on to me like a leech, but instead of sucking away the good, she's getting rid of the bad. I look at her and see myself when I was her age. So young and reckless- I love that.
Hang on a second. There's this girl trying to get a seat at our table, licking her chops like she had just given head to some jock on the football team. Like that was a VIP pass now.
"Move away from our table, you dirty skank. Just because you blew Thomas doesn't give you a right to sit with us. Get your sexed up face out of mine you hook."
That's better. She was stinking up the place anyway.
As I take a bite out of some lame excuse of a lunch I launch right back into the juicy gossip swidling around me at our little table at the far left corner of the huge lunchroom.
What are the other girls talking about again?
"...So Tommy, like the loser he is, is trying to get back with Zoey but Alex already got to her. He found out the hard way."
Right. Tommy. Melissa's ex-boyfriend. Like really ex-boyfriend. Like he-wanted-nudes-before-the-second-date-desperate-material ex-boyfriend.
"When's the fight?"
"Tonight, in the parking lot when the principal leaves."
Fights were always an exciting time for her. We got to see a few dumb jocks duke it out on top of asphalt. Shirts would be torn, sweat will glisten on their bulky bodies, blood will be drawn...
"Speaking of parking lots, oh my G-d," Spener spoke out loud, his chin quivering without an ounce of self-control.
"Look at Katie's thermals. They look like she rubbed them on the asphalt before walking in."
"Ha! More like tried fitting into them first!"
After Kim's additional comment, we laughed long and proud. Who was going to stop us? Between all of us, our parent's ran the school, owned companies, won numerous military awards and accolades and single-handedly monopolized the divorce lawyer market. Who would dare stop us?
I sigh loudly, a trademark of mine, somehow even drowning out the bell for class.
Man, what a time to be alive.
"Sara, you deaf? C'mon girl," Kim called to me, waking me from another perfectly good trance. "Bell rang. Let's go."
As we leave the massive room together, I toss the remainder of whatever lunch that was into the garbage, disregarding the recycle signs. All I can think about is the fight that's going to happen. No wait, that's only the first good part; the best will be happening after that...
As the gossip and selfies flutter around me like beautiful butterflies, I get a glimpse of my own Katy before heading into my own classroom(Katrina hates that I call her Katy, but it's a cuter name, right?). She's in the back of her classroom, wearing that cute shirt and jeans combo and laughing with a bunch of my own friends' siblings. That girl is going to take over the school, I'm sure. And she'll enjoy every moment of it.
wonderful part of it.
The youngest Gevra sister had to keep her eyes closed as she had woken up. The light of the morning stung her eyes like sharp needles and her lack of balance caused the world to spin around her. The only remedy she found best was to shake her head up and down while grinding her teeth. Sometimes it was too hard for her to violently shake that much, so she stopped and allowed herself to try and handle the pain. This would go on while Natalie, her Nurse, shut the blackout shades and dimmed the lights in the room.
It had taken her only 30 minutes to get dressed to show Katrina her new favorite blouse-and-skirt, the one her sister gave her as a gift. Rhonda was so proud, she couldn’t wait to wear it.
Rhonda waited patiently by her room as her best sister Katrina gathered her tablet and head-buds before saying goodbye to her. She kissed her repeatedly on the forehead in the shape of a ‘K’, Rhonda’s favorite letter, before whispering her favorite words in her ear:
“I love you”
It was the only words Rhonda could say clearly. Yet they meant more to her than being able to say the whole dictionary.
The door closed behind her with a small click as she wobbled down the rest of the wooden stairs, her legs flailing underneath her. Natalie helped hold Rhonda’s fragile body as they slowly descended to the kitchen.
As they lumbered into the kitchen, she knew to strap herself into her specialized high chair, complete with steadying gloves and gel-leg rests to help her erratic body calm down. The moment she felt secure inside of its warm embrace, she no longer felt like she fell through the air, constantly tumbling past clouds as the ground whipped across her view.
Now she felt like she sat in a roller coaster- at least she felt protected. Natalie prepared her breakfast as Rhonda practiced her breathing exercises and reviewed the day’s plans. She was going to finish learning how to say those words and how to cut out and paste shapes onto their correct spaces. Today she'll finally learn other things, like what Katrina knows.
But she was trapped. She could barely say anything. She could barely control herself. She wanted to scream out to Katrina, to Natalie, to Sara, to her parents, that she wasn’t weak. She wasn’t out of control. That she was normal like everyone else. But she just had a few more roadblocks to deal with than others, a few more kinks in her system that needed to be fixed.
But when her head wasn’t spinning, the light piercing her skull with sounds ringing in her ears, the feeling of the ground overwhelming her legs, she tried to practice her basic ABC’s. She couldn’t get past “Q”, no matter how hard she tried.
Maybe that will change today.
If only she could make a way for her mind to speak for herself, instead of needing a mouth...
Even with all of those problems, she still enjoyed her oatmeal, no matter how plain it was, trying as hard as she could to keep control of her hand from feeding the bib tied around her neck. She gulped down her strawberry-banana smoothie, even though most of it missed her mouth, and grumbled as best as she could.
I’m ready to go now.
Thankfully, Natalie learned how to help people like Rhonda, especially when the youngest Gevra was just a young girl. She lovingly unstrapped her and held the little girl safely to her chest, as she slowly led her to the classroom next door to continue their lessons.