Friday, December 24, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 8

The next day at school, right when Kathy walked into the school, three sophomore boys stepped in front of her.
"Katherine, why'd you shave your head?" One boy said.
"Yeah, that's really jacked up." Another boy said.
Kathy looked between the two boys who had spoken and said, "I, uh..."
"It looks really trippy." The third boy said.
"So, why'd you do it, Prep?" The first boy said.
"Yeah, why'd  you do it?" The second boy echoed the first.
Kathy swallowed and said, "I... Don't know.... I guess I was just-"
"Whatever." The third boy said, rolling his eyes, "She ain't gonna tell us nothing."
The boys walked away and Kathy said to quietly, "I would have if you had given me the chance."
She walked up the stairs and went to her locker.
"Crap." Kathy said, looking through her backpack, "I forgot my lunch at home..."
She sighed and slammed her locker shut, walking off the homeroom.

After second hour, Kathy opened her locker again. A shiny red apple was sitting on the top shelf.
Kathy knit her eyebrows and picked up the apple. She inspected it and said under her breath, "How did this get here?"
She looked around and thought, Did whoever put the tissues in my bag yesterday put this apple here?
Kathy shrugged and put the apple back in her locker.

At lunch, Kathy sat by herself, eating her apple. 
I still don't have anyone to sit with, but at least I have something to eat. She thought to herself, I guess that's better than nothing...
Kathy looked around the lunchroom. She caught several kids awkwardly glancing up at her every few seconds, but they sheepishly turned away when she caught their eye.
That's what you get for shaving your head. Kathy thought, taking a bite of her apple, Just like life gave you misery when you treated everyone like s**t. I guess there is such a thing as karma. When life gives you lemons, don't make your lemonade too sour or people won't choose your life to be in.
Kathy knit her eyebrows and thought, Did I really just come up with that? How corny...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 7

Kathy sat in art class, starting to draw a picture of a fish.
The art teacher, a fat old man named Mr. Chang, passed by and said, "Use a pen, Ms. Parker."
Kathy sighed and put her pencil in her pocket. She opened her book bag to get a pen, only to see something tucked amongst her schoolbooks. It was a package of tissues with a small piece of paper taped to it.
Kathy furrowed her eyebrows and opened the little note.

Don't cry.

Kathy looked around the room for someone who could've put the tissues and note there. Someone glancing over at her, or holding a turquoise pen like the one used to write the note, or some sign showing that they wrote the note.
Kathy couldn't think of anyone. She looked down at the note.
That's kind of nice, I guess. She thought.

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 6

Kathy walked through the lunchroom, carrying her lunch tray. Nearly everyone in the room was watching her.
Kathy sat down by herself at a table near the back of the lunchroom. As she picked through her food, she could hear people whispering.
What's wrong with her? What the hell happened? Is she emo? Why would Kathy cut off her hair? Omigod, she's, like, bald! She is so ugly. She is so weird.
Kathy was actually hearing these things. People were actually gossiping about her like this.
Kathy put her head down on the table and cried quietly.
Some of the voices stopped, but the stares didn't. Neither did any of the people walking by.

My friends and I sat at our usual table in the lunchroom.
"So, do you guys have any idea what's going on with Kathy?" Alice asked Leo, Mouse, and Tae-Hyun.
"She just wants attention." Leo said.
Mouse punched him in the shoulder hard, "Do you have to be such a prick?"
Leo scowled and Tae-Hyun said, "Mouse..."
"Yeah, Mouse. I'm not a prick." Leo said.
"Well..." Tae-Hyun said.
Leo's eyes widened and Alice, Chris, and I snickered.
"What?" Leo said.
Tae-Hyun shifted uncomfortably in her seat and said, "Well, you haven't exactly been very nice lately. Kathy is obviously very upset and I'm not asking you to give her empathy, just... Don't be so harsh."
Mouse nodded and said, "Listen to your girlfriend, Leo. She's a smart cookie."
Tae-Hyun smiled a little and Leo scoffed, "Come on, you too? Why are all of you guys siding with Kathy?"
"Why not? You have been freaking terrible." I said, laughing, "Seriously. What is your problem?"
"Why are you all ganging up on me?" Leo said, throwing his hands in the air, "I didn't do anything!"
"Yes you did!" Chris said, "You called Kathy a b-"
"I know what I called her! That was weeks ago! Let it go!" Leo said.
Chris pointed a finger at Leo and said, "Let me finish. You called Kathy a bitch, you won't forgive her for acting up, and you lashed out at me for agreeing with the girls instead of you."
Mouse added, "And today he flipped out on Kathy again."
"Really, guys?" Leo said, "You need to learn to let things go."
"Do we, now?" Tae-Hyun said.
Leo looked at her and said, "What?"
Tae-Hyun stared at Leo and said seriously, "We need to let things go? Kathy tricked me and beat me up weeks ago and now you hate her. Didn't you used to date her?"
"Yes, he did." Mouse said.
Tae-Hyun looked like she had just tasted something sour, or like she was disgusted. She said  softly, "You used to really like Kathy. Then I came along and she didn't like me, so now you can't like her either?"
Leo didn't say anything.
Tae-Hyun shook her head, "Is that fair? No. I don't think we need to let go of the past, I think you do."
With a barely angry look on her face, Tae-Hyun took her lunch tray, studied Leo for a little longer, and walked across the lunchroom to a different table.
Leo looked at me like he didn't know what to do.
I nodded and said gently, "She's right, you know."
Leo stared at me blankly. Then, he wordlessly went back to eating his lunch.

Tae-Hyun, go figure.

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 5

It was Monday, the day Kathy came back from being suspended.
Kathy walked to school and stopped in front of the double doors at the front of the building. Kids were already going into the school; it was too late to change her mind.
Kathy pulled open the door to Withrow High School and went inside.

As I walked to homeroom with Alice and Chris that morning, Alice tapped Chris' shoulder and said, "Chris... Look."
Chris and I both followed her gaze. A girl was walking down the hallway, staring straight ahead with glassy, grey-blue eyes. She was wearing a purple shirt with a black cardigan, black loose pants, and a dark purple scarf. But that wasn't the weird part.
The weird part was two things:

A) The girl had shaved her head.
B) The girl was Kathy.

Alice's eyes widened and she covered her mouth with her hand.
"Oh... My God." Chris said softly.
I stared at Kathy in shock as she drifted silently down the hallway, ignoring all the strange looks she got.
Kathy passed us and a cold breeze went with her, like she was a ghost. She glanced at us for a second, then she was gone.
Chris, Alice, and I exchanged looks.
"What is going on?" Alice said.
I shook my head, "I don't know."
Chris sighed, "I was right. It's the armageddon."

Kathy stood at her locker, pulling books out of it silently. She could feel the whole school's eyes on her, but she tried to ignore it.
I know! I look weird! I shouldn't have shaved my head and I'm an idiot! Now leave me alone assholes! Kathy wanted to turn around and scream, but it wouldn't do any good. She pulled her sleeve over the healing cut on her arm from when she had sliced it with the kitchen knife.
I need to start thinking before I act. Kathy thought. She closed her locker and walked to English.
When Kathy was almost to the door, Leo stepped in front of her.
"What is wrong with you?" He snapped, "Why would you cut your hair?"
Kathy didn't say anything.
"I can't believe you're so stupid! You act like a bitch, then you try to get everyone's attention by getting in a fight and cutting off all your hair! You're an idiot."
Kathy said softly, "You don't know the first thing about me, Leo."
Kids were starting to gather around Leo and Kathy with interest.
"Oh, don't I?" Leo said, "Don't I? Well, I know that you're a self-centered, psychotic teenager who doesn't care about anyone but herself!"
"Go to hell!" Kathy cried.
"You just want everyone to feel sorry for you because you don't know how to get attention besides being mean!" Leo exclaimed, "You don't know how to be nice!"
Kathy stared at Leo and her eyes moistened. Leo scowled at her for a long time.
Kathy wiped her nose on her palm and ran past Leo, down the hall.
The kids who had gathered to watch the fight were all staring at Leo. He looked at them and boomed, "What?!"
"Dude," Lester said, shaking his head, "That ain't right."
The crowd separated again and kids went to their lockers and their classes. The only person remaining was Mouse. She stared at Leo like she was trying to figure him out.
"What?" Leo said quietly.
Mouse shook her head and said, "Leo, I may be mean, but that was cruel."
She followed the other students to class and Leo stood by himself. He sighed and stormed to his locker.

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 4

Chris lied on his bed, scowling up at the ceiling and thinking about the past week.
Then, there was a knock on his bedroom door.
"Come in." Chris said, still staring at the ceiling.
Mom gingerly opened the door and stuck her head in, "Sweetie? Can I talk to you?"
Chris sat up and said, "Uh, yeah, sure."
Mom closed the door behind her and sat down next to Chris on his bed.
"Angie said you were having some troubles with school." Mom said, "Is there anything I can do to help?"
Chris scowled down at the floor and didn't say anything.
Mom brushed his hair out of his face and said, "Come on, tell me what's wrong."
"It's just seems like everything's going wrong at the same time." Chris sighed, "Kathy's gone, Jenny's upset, and Leo's just plain ruining everything."
Mom pursed her lips and said, "What do you mean Leo is ruining everything?"
Chris rolled his eyes and scoffed, "He's been such a total jerk lately. He called Kathy..."
Chris glanced at Mom for a second before continuing, "Something really bad. He got really mad because she was mean to Tae-Hyun and now he won't stop talking about how awful Kathy is when really, Leo's the one who's being a jerk to everyone!"
"Well," Mom said, crossing her legs, "What about Kathy? It sounds like she's been pretty mean, too."
"She has," Chris said, "She's been really mean, but Leo won't stop giving her crap and talking about how terrible she is when she's not even at school. It's kind of hypocritical, really."
Mom nodded and asked, "Anything else?"
Chris bit his lip and said, "Yeah... Leo and I got in a fight today... He and Angie were arguing about Kathy and I said I was with the girls. Then Leo said I always side with the girls instead of him because I wished I was one."
Mom gave Chris a sad look and listened as he went on.
"Then he said I would make a better girl because I'm bossy and oversensitive." Chris said quietly, scowling at the floor."Oohhh..." Mom said, putting her arm around her son's shoulders, "I'm sorry he said that, Honey. I know he didn't mean it."
"Yes, he did." Chris said, "Leo's a stupid moody jerk who doesn't care about anything but himself and the Asian goddess he worships."
Mom looked confused and said, "What?"
"Tae-Hyun." Chris scoffed, "He's totally in love with her and he's alllwaaays with her and it's so annoying!"
Mom pursed her lips again and said, "Well, what about how you and Geoffry are always together?"
Chris huffed, "Not anymore. He's a jerk too. He disrespected Alice and I realized Geoffry is a soulless, inconsiderate, perverted, stupid teenager. So, I broke up with him."
Mom awkwardly glanced at her son and said, "What do you mean by... He disrespected Alice?"
Chris' eyes got big and he cleared his throat.
"Uuuuuuummmmm...." He said slowly, running his fingers through his hair, "He.... Did..... Something...."
"Something?" Mom said, "Something like the something he did to you when you got mad at him last?"
"Nooo...." Chris lied.
Mom raised an eyebrow at her son. Chris tried not to look at her, but when he did, he sighed.
"O-okay, yeah. Something like that something." Chris said quietly.
Mom nodded, "Ahh. So, you're not too sure Geoffry was a good choice for a boyfriend?"
Chris shook his head and said, "I don't know. He does a lot of bad things, like, often. But he's sometimes so sweet and charming and romantic..."
"Do you think he's a safe person to be around?" Mom asked.
Chris sighed, "I don't even know... He cares about me, I know that."
Mom nodded, interested and a little nervous, "So, what exactly happened with him and Alice? Is she alright?"
"Oh, yes, she's fine." Chris said, "But she was really upset when it happened."
Mom gave him a 'go on' look.
Chris sighed again and said hesitantly, "Well... Alice said she ran into Geoffry in the hallway and he said he didn't get to 'see' her at the party. When she questioned him, he quote 'put his hands all over her' unquote...."
Chris glanced at Mom, who was gaping at him.
"My goodness, that's awful." Mom said, her hand on her heart, "The poor angel. I'm sure she was so afraid."
Chris sighed, "Afraid of my ex-boyfriend."
When his mother didn't say anything, Chris looked at her and said, "Don't worry, I'm done with Geoffry. He's a total jerk."
Mom nodded and smiled weakly, "A-alright... That's good."
She got up and walked to the door, "Well, good luck with your school problems."
Chris knit his eyebrows and said, "Mom, are you okay?"
Mom smiled again and said nervously, "Uh, yes, I'm fine, Sweetheart."
"... You sure?" Chris said slowly.
Mom nodded and said, "Yeah... 'Night, Sweetie."
Chris raised an eyebrow at his mother and she closed the door.
Mom pressed her back against the door and let out a long sigh.
"He said he was done with Geoffry, Patricia." She whispered to herself, "Chris is done with him. It's over, everything's fine, your son is safe."
"Is he really?" I said, coming out of the kitchen with a bottle of water.
Mom looked startled to see me and she said, "Oh, Angela. I didn't know you were..."
"Yeah... I figured." I said, eyeing her, "Is everything okay?"
Mom nodded quickly and tried to get past me to the living room, "Yeah.... Everything's fine."
I blocked the doorway with my arm and said, "So, you don't trust him either?"
"Geoffry." I said, "You don't trust him either?"
Mom looked like she didn't want to say. I gave her a stern look and her shoulders sagged (Almighty Angie powers).
"I don't know, Angela." Mom sighed, "He seems like a very nice boy, but, based off of you and your brother's stories, it sounds like Geoffry has had some problems with... People saying 'no'."
Saying no. That phrase didn't mean just saying 'no', it meant turning down Geoffry's sexual offers.
Although I was a little disgusted, I couldn't help grinning; Mom was on my side now. If Chris wanted to date Geoffry again and Mom said he couldn't, then I wouldn't have to see that jerk's face in my house ever again!
I nodded and said, almost cheerily, "Yes, he has! I think he's kind of creepy, too-"
"I didn't say creepy, Angela." Mom said quietly, "I just don't know if I should trust him with Chris."
I sighed and thought, Maybe I should take this conversation seriously...
"Yeah." I said, "I don't trust Geoffry at all. It seems like he touches Chris, or people in general, every chance he gets."
Mom's eyes widened and I said, "Okay, let me rephrase that. When Geoffry and Chris were dating, they were always together and Geoffry always had his arm around Chris' waist and stuff. You know, that kind of thing."
Mom nodded and said, "Angela..."
"Yeah?" I said cautiously.
Crap, crap, crap! Am I in trouble??? I thought.
"Why didn't you tell me about this sooner?" Mom asked.
I knit my eyebrows as I thought. Why didn't I tell her sooner?
"I... Don't know." I said, "I have no idea. I've always hated Geoffry, but I never told you, did I?"
Mom shrugged and said, "Well, Chris really cared about him, so maybe he's not that bad."
"I still think he is." I mumbled, adding, "So... What do you think we should do?"
"I don't think we have to do anything, necessarily." Mom said, "Chris was having a problem with Geoffry, so he broke off their relationship. I think your brother is doing the right thing."
I scoffed, "Yeah, until they get back together in a week."
"Angela..." Mom said.
"What? It's only the truth! It's happened twice already!" I said.
Mom sighed, "Well, we should leave it to your brother to take care of. He's getting older and I shouldn't baby him so much."
I grabbed Mom's arm and said, "No! Please, Mom, don't let him take care of himself! Bad stuff happens when Chris is independent! He needs to depend on someone else or his life is going to suck!"
Mom eyed me and pried my hand from her arm.
"Angela, you need to have more faith in your brother. He is an incredible boy and he is very smart." Mom said.
"Uh, are you sure we're talking about the same person?" I said.
"Sorry!" I said.

I don't trust Geoffry, and I really don't think I trust Chris to make the right decision with him either.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 3

Kathy sat in the middle of the wooden living room floor, tossing a tennis ball at the wall and catching it again. Her thoughts were attacking her, smothering her. 
In the silence, there is nowhere for me to go. Kathy thought, It's just me... And my mind. I never really realized this before...
Kathy looked around the room wearily, sighing. The silence is a lot louder than noise. If a room is full of all your classmates, and they're all chatting and laughing and being loud, it's not nearly as scary as sitting alone in this empty house, waiting to be devoured by your worries. I need to do something to get out of my head.
Kathy got up and went into the kitchen, looking for something to eat. Then, her eyes fell on a shiny silver kitchen knife resting on the cutting board.
Not knowing whether it was out of curiosity or feeling of failure, Kathy picked up the knife and stared at it.
How much would it hurt... Kathy thought, setting the knife's blade on her forearm. She held the knife there for what felt like hours, just standing there, frozen.
I can't do it. Kathy thought, Just like I can't do anything else. I'm such a coward.
Then, without any more thought, Kathy pulled the blade back as fast as she could across her arm. She cried out in pain and swore, dropping the knife. It clattered to the floor.
Kathy winced and held her wounded arm with the other. Blood slowly seeped from the long, shallow cut.
There, now I'm not a coward, Kathy thought, But I did do something really stupid.
Kathy bit her lip and scowled; the blood wouldn't stop. It didn't hurt very badly, but she had done it to herself.
"That still doesn't make up for all the trouble I caused." Kathy said. She was surprised to hear her own voice for the first time in days. She hadn't talk to anyone, even her brother, Lunkwill.
So, I managed to cut a gash in my arm and still be a failure. Kathy thought, sighing, I'm more of a loser than I thought I was.
She picked up a red apple and stared at it tiredly.
Eating to distract yourself is never a good solution, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Kathy thought, biting into the apple. It was soft and bruised and just juicy enough to be unappetizing. It's not like I need to fit my cheerleading uniform anyway. I can get as fat as I want... It's not like I'm pretty enough to be a cheerleader anyway, either.
Kathy felt her head and wanted to cry. No, I've been crying too much. I'm such a baby. I need to get a hold of myself. Don't cut yourself, don't cry, be strong.
"Keep in mind, Kathy." Kathy said aloud, looking at the place where she had bitten the apple,

"When no one else will acknowledge your existence, you have to learn to take care of yourself."

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 2

Chris wouldn't talk to Leo, Tae-Hyun and Alice were quiet, Jenny was heartbroken, Stephanie and Kathy were suspended and everyone was talking about them.
So, who was left for me to talk to? Mouse.
I sat by her in Study Hall and said, "What do you think of this whole thing?"
Mouse looked at me, "What do you mean?"
"About Kathy." I said, "She's effecting everything. She freaked out on Tae-Hyun and Leo's mad. Leo and Chris started arguing about her and Leo insulted Chris. Now, the whole school's talking and Chris hates Leo."
Mouse pursed her lips and said, "Well. It sounds to me like there's someone else who's getting in everybody's way."
I thought for a second. "Leo?"
Mouse nodded, "He was in just about everything sentence you just said. Leo called Kathy a bitch, Leo got mad at Kathy, Leo got mad at Chris, and Leo insulted him."
"Wow," I said, "I guess you're kind of right-"
"He's been a jerk. He won't even listen to what his little girlfriend has to say." Mouse said.
I furrowed my eyebrows and said, "Huh?"
Mouse looked at me and said, "I've been talking to Tae-Hyun lately. She's really concerned about both Leo and Kathy. She said she wants to talk to both of them, but she's afraid to because she thinks it might upset them."
"Really?" I said, surprised, "I had no idea."
"Yeah, Tae-Hyun's really upset." Mouse said, "She just hasn't wanted to tell anyone because she doesn't want to make things worse."
I knit my eyebrows and said, "Um... No offense, but what did she tell you all this?"
Mouse grinned and sighed, "Well, Angela, some people will surprise you."
I studied my friend, trying to figure out what she meant, when the bell rang for lunch.
Mouse smiled at me, then got up and left the room.
I sat at my desk, confused.
Chris came over to me and said, like he didn't really care, "Hey, Angela... How is your day?"
"Uh, weird." I said, getting up, "Yours?"
"It sucks." Chris huffed, "My friends are all jerks."
"Hey, what do you mean?" I asked, a little concerned about my brother.
Chris gave me a look and said, "Kathy's offended pretty much everyone I know and Leo's a big, stupid, homophobic jerk."
"Good God, Chris." Mouse complained, "Are you in love with him?"
Chris sneered at her, "Of course not. Why does everything just suck all of a sudden?"
I put my arm around Chris' shoulders and said, "Well, sometimes it just seem that way, doesn't it? Don't worry, it'll pass."
"You sound weird." Chris grumbled.
I scowled and said, "Fine, be that way. Listen to your own advice; 'Hold a grudge against anyone who pisses you off.'"
Mouse nodded, "Yep. Those are some pretty good morals."
"Whatever." Chris said, "The point is that it seems like everything is going wrong right now."
I shrugged and said, "Weeelll, I don't know what else I can tell you, little brother. Sometimes life just sucks."
Chris pouted, "I don't like it."
Mouse and I gave him a look and I said, "Stop complaining. I'm sure you'll get over it."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 28.5 - CHAPTER 1

Kathy sat on her bed, facing the wall. It had been two days since she had been suspended
I swear, if I stare at this damn wall any longer, I am going to crack. Kathy thought, I need a change of setting.
So, she got up and stood in the hallway. She wondered into the bathroom and sat on the cold tile floor. Kathy stared blankly at the white wall for a long time.
This is what I'm reduced to. Kathy thought, trying not to cry, I'm miserable because my life is terrible. Sitting on my bathroom floor because I got suspended from school. Suspended from school because I punched a girl in the face. I punched a girl in the face because I'm miserable.
Kathy put her head in her hands and cried her eyes out. She was still a little bit startled when her hands touched her bare scalp. She hadn't gotten used to the loss of her hair.
Kathy gently slid her fingers across the scratchy surface of her head and cried more.
All I can do when I'm not at school is drown in my own thoughts... Kathy thought, Help me, I'm alone. I'm in a prison and I don't know how to get out. But what kind of prison?
Kathy pondered this question, I feel so trapped, but who is holding me captive?... Everything. Everything is crushing me to the ground.

I am being held prisoner by my own mind.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 28 - CHAPTER 20

"Did you hear about Kathy Parker?"
"Yeah, I know, Kathy Parker flipped out yesterday."
"But it's not just yesterday, she's been weird all week."
"Did you hear Kathy Parker got kicked off the cheerleading squad?"
"Is that why she attacked Stephanie?"
"What if Stephanie started the fight?"

I swear, that was all to be heard in the hallways as Leo, Mouse, Chris, Alice, and I went to our lockers. Everyone was talking about Kathy Parker.
"Dang," Leo said, "Kathy's gonna come back to some pretty nasty rumors."
"It's actually kind of... Sad." Alice said. Alice isn't known for being a grudge holder, but she has never liked Kathy. Ever since their big fight over Chris, Alice and Kathy had always stayed clear of each other... And listen to Alice now.
"Sad?" Leo said, "How is it sad? She probably did something to deserve it. Oh, wait, she already did! She beat up an innocent girl over nothing!"
"Stop it, Leo." I said, "It wasn't over nothing. Tae-Hyun didn't deserve how Kathy was treating her, but Kathy did have a reason."
Leo scoffed, "Come on, Angela, don't be stupid."
"I'm not being stupid! People are fragile. Keep in mind, Kathy is still a human being just like you and me, she has feelings." I said, "Maybe you should listen to your little girlfriend more often."
Chris and Mouse exchanged a 'wow' look with a little grin.
Leo stared at me and walked closer to me.
"You little trader." He said, "Why are you acting like this?"
"Why are you acting like this?" I shot back at him, "You're being a jerk!"
"How am I being a jerk?" Leo yelled at me.
Mouse snorted and we all looked at her.
"Okay," Mouse said, holding up her hands, "I'm sorry, but I must intrude here. Leo, you're an ass. Angie, you're correct."
"What?" Leo said.
Chris crossed his arms and shook his head.
"I'm with the girls on this one, Leo." Chris said, turning to leave, "You've been pretty inconsiderate lately."
"Oh, you're always with the girls." Leo mumbled.
Chris turned around and looked at Leo.
"What did you say?" Chris said.
"I said...." Leo said quietly, "You always side with the girls."
Chris put his hands on his hips and said sharply, "Now, what's that supposed to mean?"
Oh no.
Leo clenched his teeth and said, "It means you never side with me, you always take the girls' side because you wish you were one."
Chris stared at Leo, a hurt look in his eyes. Chris smacked Leo hard across the face.
Leo looked at him and said, "What the hell, Chris?"
"You know, I really thought you were over being a homophobic, selfish jerk, but I guess I was wrong." Chris snapped, "All you care about is yourself!"
"Cry me a river..." Leo scoffed.
"See?" Chris cried, "You are such an ass. Do you even hear yourself? Imagine if Tae-Hyun heard you talking like this! Why does she even like you?.... You're terrible."
"Listen to you." Leo said, "You really would make a better girl. You're bossy and overly sensitive, just like a girl!"
Chris stared at Leo for a long, long time. So did Mouse, Alice, and I.
Leo's eyes darted between all of us and he said softly, "What?"
Tears welled up in Chris' eyes and he sniffed and stared at Leo angrily.
"Chris?" Leo said quietly, "Are you okay?"
"You're a jerk." Chris said, and he stormed away.
We all watched Chris leave, then Mouse, Alice, and I looked at Leo.
"Dang, Leo." Mouse said, "You've been pretty pissy lately, but I didn't think you'd go that far."
"What did I do wrong?" Leo exclaimed, "Why is everything my fault?"
I crossed my arms and said, "Because you're insensitive. You never used to be like that. What happened to you?"
"I don't know! Just a lot of bad stuff has been happening lately!" Leo said, "Kathy has been a total bitch-"
"Will you shut up?" I said sharply.
Leo raised his eyebrows at me and said, "What?"
"Just shut up!" I said, "Listen to you, blaming everything on Kathy. Maybe Mom was right and maybe something is going on with her. I swear, sometimes it seems like you have no conscience."
Leo stared at me as Mouse, Alice, and I walked away from him.

So this is what school is like when Kathy is gone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 28 - CHAPTER 19

Kathy walked into the bathroom and locked the door behind her. She stood in front of the mirror, staring at her reflection. Just seeing herself made her angry.
My whole appearance reveals my failure. Kathy thought, gently twirling a strand of her curly hair with one finger, My uniform shows that I failed as a team player.
Her hair was so beautiful. Tendrils of soft red hair fell down over her shoulders, even when it was in a ponytail. It grew barely past her waist.
Kathy opened a drawer and pulled out a shiny pair of scissors, which she set on the sink.
My expression shows that I failed as a friend and no one wants to be near me anymore. Kathy thought. She slowly picked up the scissors and turned them so the light would bounce off them, making them shine.
Kathy took a good look at herself. I'll miss you.
She lifted her long ponytail and held up the scissors.
"My actions show that I failed to believe in myself." Kathy said aloud. She closed the sharp scissors on the base of her ponytail. She wiggled the scissors around until she heard a loud, sad snip.
Short strands of curly red hair fell in her face.
Kathy pulled her fist away with about two feet of hair. She choked back a sob and thought, Don't fall apart now, you're not done.
Slowly, Kathy picked up the razor with both hands and turned it on.

Lunkwill paced around in the living room, nervous and thinking.
His mother, Rebecca, came into the room with Liz and Cameron, her oldest son and daughter, and the five-year-old twins, Joey and Beanabelle.
"Lunkwill, darling, is there something wrong?" Rebecca said smoothly.
Lunkwill turned to face her and said nervously, "O-oh, it's nothing. N-nothing's wrong at all."
Liz scoffed, "You are such a freak of nature, Lunkwill."
"Liz, darling, please be kind to your brother." Rebecca said.
There was a click and a creak as the bathroom door opened.
Rebecca, Liz, Cameron, and Lunkwill slowly turned around. All at the same exact time, their eyes grew wide and their jaws sagged.
A figure stepped out from the hallway, its presence dark and cold. Kathy had emerged from the shadows with a grim look on her face. She held the silver pair of scissors in one hand and her long ponytail in the other.
Beanabelle took her thumb out of her mouth and said, "Kathy?"
Cameron swallowed audibly and said, "What... Happened to your hair?"
Liz stared at her sister in horror and said with disbelief, "Oh my God.... You're.... Bald."
It was true. Every bit of Kathy's gorgeous red hair was gone.
"What did you do?" Lunkwill exclaimed, walking toward his sister, "Why would you do that to your hair?"
Kathy didn't say anything, she just scowled at her brother.
"What is wrong with you? How can you be so stupid?" Lunkwill yelled in her face.
"Lunkwill, darling." Rebecca said, gently setting her hand on his shoulder, "Please try... To remain... Calm."
"Calm?" Lunkwill cried, "Calm? How can you possibly ask me to be calm? I came home today to find my sister in her room, curled up in a ball on the floor, and everything was trashed! Then, she leaves the house for two hours and comes back and cuts all her hair off!"
Rebecca's eyes got a little bigger in surprise. She glanced at Kathy, then gently slid past her and went down the hall.
Joey looked up at Cameron and said, "Cam, what's happening?"
Cameron took his little brother's small hand and said, "Nothing, Joey. Don't worry."
Everyone went down the hall to see Kathy's room; Everyone except for Lunkwill and Kathy.
Kathy stood frozen in her place, staring blankly into space.
Lunkwill stared at his sister with a look of betrayal and possibly fear on his face.
"Kath... I'm sorry I told Mom about your room," Lunkwill said, putting his hands on his sister's shoulders, "But you need help."
Kathy looked up at Lunkwill. Her eyes were glassy and grey and emotionless.
"Whatever you say, little brother." Kathy said, and she pushed past him and went into the kitchen.
Lunkwill turned and watched her leave. He sighed heavily and shook his head.

"What the heck is going on with her?" He said to himself.

Cool With A "K" PART 28 - CHAPTER 18

Jenny stayed at our house for a little bit longer, but she went home before dinner.
When Mom, Chris, and I sat around the table in the living room with our dinner, Mom said, "Well, kids, it was very nice of you to have that Jenny girl over. She seemed to be having a very hard time."
Chris nodded, "Yeah, she was. I feel so bad for her, she's such a sweetie."
"It's kind of unbelievable that someone would be so mean to her." I said, taking a bite of food.
"What happened?" Mom asked.
Chris picked through his dinner and said, "Her friend called her a stupid lesbian and told her to get out of her life. It was really sad."
Mom drew her hand to her heart and gasped, "Oh, my goodness! How awful!"
"And get this," I said, "It was Kathy."
Mom looked surprised and said, "That nice girl with the pretty red hair? Oh, how sad."
"There's more." Chris said, "Jenny has a crush on her."
Mom shook her head, "That poor girl. Is that why Kathy was so angry?"
"I don't know." I said honestly, "I have no idea what's wrong. She's just seemed kind of... Different... Lately."
Chris nodded in agreement, "Definitely. She's been very angry. At Leo's house, she freaked out on Tae-Hyun, Leo, and Jenny."
"Yes, you told me." Mom said.
"And today at lunch, she got into a fight with the head cheerleader." I said.
Chris wrinkled his nose and said, "Well, that Stephanie girl is kind of skanky."
"Chris!" Mom hissed.
"She is, Mom." I said, "It's true, Stephanie's a total..."
Chris squeezed my leg under the table.
"Don't go that far." Chris whispered out of the side of his mouth. He was right, Mom would freak out if I used 'the B word' in front of her, especially at the dinner table.
I smiled tightly and said, "She's not a very nice girl."
Mom nodded with approval for my not swearing and said, "Well, I can't say I don't feel sorry for Kathy, too."
Chris and I tilted our heads to the side and said together, "What?"
"I doubt she would do something so nasty unless she had something of her own going on." Mom said, "After all, even Kathy's only human. You have to look past her mistakes and make sure not to be too hard on her."
Chris and I looked at each other.
"Hey..." I said, "Didn't someone else say that to us recently?"
"Yeah..." Chris said, scratching his head, "That sounds kind of familiar."
Mom clapped her hands together and said, "Well, then, I would suggest you take that advice."
I nodded and said, "Yeah, okay. I think you're right. We'll start being nicer to Kathy."
"After she comes back to school; she's suspended." Chris pointed out.
"Oh..." I said, "That's right."
Mom got up and began clearing the plates, "Well, maybe one of you kids can give her a call sometime. She'll probably be bored at home for a while."

"Yeah..." Chris said, smiling uncertainly.

Cool With A "K" PART 28 - CHAPTER 17

Do I care if I die?

That question was stuck in Kathy's mind and she could not come up with an answer to it.
What would happen if I died? Kathy thought as she walked through the neighborhood, Who would cry? How would my absence effect other people?
Kathy went down the list of people she knew and imagined their reactions if she died.
My family probably wouldn't care... She thought, a tear falling from her cheek, They never pay attention to me anyway.
Kathy knew this wasn't all the way true, but in her mind, it was close enough.
What about Chris and Angie? Kathy thought, Chris would probably at least be surprised. Anyone would be surprised if their classmate died. I'm sure he'd at least be a little sad... What about Angie? I don't know her as well, but I don't think she hates me.... Then again, it seems like everyone in their little group hates me right now.
An aching pain hit Kathy's chest.
Leo... She thought, How would Leo react if he found out I was dead?... He would have to care some, we at least had something for a while. Something.... But now he's mad at me because of what I did to his little girlfriend.
Kathy's expression darkened even more.
Tae-Hyun. Kathy thought, I don't even want to think about her.
She tried to push the name out of her mind and went through possible reactions from other people from her school.
What am I doing? It's not like I'm going to die anytime soon... But would I want to?
The idea of death was extremely scary to Kathy. She usually tried not to think about it much, but now, she couldn't stop thinking about it.
Kathy sighed to herself and walked into a coffee shop. Warm air and the smell of coffee beans hit her face as she opened the door. Soft murmuring came from the tables as friends talked and quiet music came from a few small speakers on the ceiling.
It felt good to get out of the cold. Kathy had her winter uniform on, so it had long sleeves, but it was still starting to get cold outside and she hadn't thought to bring a jacket.
Kathy cautiously strolled over to the register and said softly, "May I just have a regular cup of coffee?... Decaf?"
The guy behind the register smiled and said, "Yeah, sure thing. That's $3.00 please."
Kathy took the money out of her pocket and gave it to the guy. He put it in the register and said with a warm smile, "Thanks."
The guy handed Kathy a coffee mug and pointed to a table behind her.
"Pick which one you want there." He said, "Then, you can return the cup there."
"Thanks." Kathy said.
"Yeah, have a nice day." The guy said.
Kathy nodded and went to fill up her coffee cup. She watched the steam rise from the cup as it filled up. The coffee smelled so good.
Kathy sat down on one of the soft brown couches near the back of the coffee shop.
"Everything is so peaceful here..." She said to herself.
I wonder what it would be like to live at a coffee shop? Kathy thought, To just be at a coffee shop all the time.
She looked around the shop. The atmosphere was as warm as the coffee.
Kathy sat and people-watched for a while, sipping her coffee. She wasn't happy, but she wasn't angry anymore. Her mood had shifted to melancholy rather than fury.
Kathy looked up at the clock on the wall; 5:30.
She sighed and reluctantly put her empty mug in the plastic bin the register guy had shown her earlier.
"Time to go home." Kathy whispered to herself.
As she reached the door, she looked back at the warm, happy little coffee shop. She hated leaving. It felt so safe and humble there.
Kathy pushed open the door and was hit in the face by a gust of cold autumn wind. She went outside and walked slowly down the block.
By myself again... Kathy thought, kicking a rock as she walked, It's going to be this way for a while. It can surprise you how you can be in a house with five brothers and sisters, or a school with several hundred kids in it, and still be alone.
The weight of depression began to crush her again. It has ceased slightly as she was sitting in the quiet little coffee shop, but then she started thinking again.
The only thing worse than going back to school is being stuck alone all day in my house while everyone else is at school or work. Kathy thought, I don't know if I'll be able to take it.
As she reached her block, Kathy said softly to herself, "Everyone should be getting home by now."
She walked up to her house and opened the door.
Lunkwill was sitting on the couch and he turned his head with Kathy came in. His eyes widened and he stood up quickly, "Kathy!"
Kathy didn't say anything.
Lunkwill got up and hugged her, "Kathy, thank God! I didn't know if you were going to come back!"
Kathy pushed her brother away and said in a monotone, "Of course I was coming back. Don't be an idiot, Lunkwill."
Lunkwill furrowed his eyebrows and said, "Hey, what's wrong? I was really worried about you because of earlier."
Kathy scowled at her brother.
"Uh... Okay..." Lunkwill said, lowering his voice, "Should I not tell Mom about what happened?... You can try hiding the room for a while, until you can come up with something."
Kathy pushed past Lunkwill and went down the hall.
Lunkwill turned and said, "Uh, hey, Kath..."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 28 - CHAPTER 16

Lunkwill turned and walked down the hall, into the living room. He saw Kathy sitting in the corner of the room, on the floor, her red hair falling in her face. Then, Lunkwill saw the blood from his sister's hand.
"Kathy? You're hurt..." Lunkwill said shakily, swallowing, "What happened?"
Kathy stared at him; her eyes were cold and grey.
"Go away." She said.
Lunkwill shook his head and bent down in front of her, "No, I won't go away. What happened?"
"Nothing happened, now please leave me alone." Kathy said, her fingers squeaking on the wooden floor.
Lunkwill gave his sister a hesitant look and Kathy said firmly, "Go!"
Lunkwill swallowed and reluctantly nodded.
"Okay.... But you can talk to me any time." He said, and he left the room.
Kathy sat on the floor with her arms wrapped around her knees. She leaned her head against the wall; It was hard and cold.
Kathy shuddered and a tear slid down her cheek. She covered her face with her hands and started crying again.
I need to get out of here. Kathy thought. She looked around the living room and got up.
Without hesitating, Kathy went out the front door and slammed it behind her.
Common sense? Kathy thought as she stormed down the block, Who needs it? I don't even care anymore. I just don't care. I don't care if people miss me, I don't care if I go far away and don't have anything to wear but this cheerleading uniform.
Then, Kathy stopped walking. She swallowed and said aloud, her voice shaking, 

".... Do I care if I die?"

Cool With A "K" PART 28 - CHAPTER 15

None of us said anything on the way back to my house.
Chris had put his jacket around Jenny's shoulders as if it would help somehow.
Jenny's crying hadn't slowed. Chris let her bury her face in his shirt and sob. Chris put his arms around her and stared ahead with a sad look on his face the whole time we walked.
When we got to my house, I opened the front door just as Mom came out of the kitchen.
"Hi... Kids..." She said cheerily, but her smile faded when she saw Jenny.
Mom gave me a concerned look and said, "Kids, what happened?"
"Mom, this is Jenny." I said, "She's a friend from school. She was at the party at Leo's house, so you might have met her when you picked us up from there."
Mom nodded and pulled a chair out from the table, "Oh, okay. Here, Sweetie, sit down. I'll get you some water."
Mom didn't even need to ask why Jenny was crying. All she cared about was Jenny feeling better. I guess you can probably tell where Chris gets his tender heart. If Mom passed by an injured baby bird, she would most likely pick it up and bring it to the nearest Humane Society whether it was by car or on foot.
Jenny nodded and sniffled, "Thank you, Mrs. Harper."
Mom came back with a cup of water and set it down on the table. She nodded to us and said, "Well.... Good luck with your problem-solving. I'll be downstairs switching the laundry."
"Thanks, Mom." Chris said.
Jenny sat down at the table; Chris and I took a seat across from her.
Jenny took a sip of water and sighed.  She looked between Chris and I and said quietly, "Thank you both so much... You're very kind."
"You're our friend, Jenny." Chris said softly, smiling, "Do you want to tell us what's wrong?"
Ah, therapist Chris. I thought, I missed you.
Jenny sighed again and set her glass of water back on the table.
"Yeah..." Jenny said quietly, "Um... Remember when Kathy got in a fight with Stephanie at lunch today?"
Chris and I both nodded.
"Well... Ms. Nelson usually sends the cheerleaders to give the students their mail," Jenny explained, "So, right after centers*, I brought a letter to Kathy... She asked what it was about and I told her she had been suspended for the rest of the week."
Chris and I exchanged a look and Jenny sniffed.
"So... She grabbed my wrist... And pulled me into the hallway, pretty forcefully for her." Jenny said, "Then, she said it was all my fault."
"That what was all your fault?" Chris asked gently.
Jenny blinked back tears and sniffed, "Everything. She said I'm prettier than her and I got her kicked off the cheerleading squad because Stephanie liked me better than her, but I swear that's not true!"
"Or course not, Honey." Chris said, patting her hand sympathetically, "It's not your fault at all."
"A-and th-then," Jenny said, covering her face with her hands, "Sh-sh-she called me a..."
Jenny started crying hard.
I reached across the table and put my hand on her shoulder.
"Kathy... Said..." Jenny said, trying to pull herself together, "'Get out of my life... You... S-stupid lesbian.'"
Jenny buried her head in her hands and cried.
Chris and I looked at each other again. Chris whispered to me, "What do we do?"
"I don't know." I whispered back, "Comfort her."
We both looked at Jenny and Chris put his hand on her arm.
"Jen," Chris said.
Jenny sniffed and looked up.
"I want you to know," Chris said quietly, looking Jenny in the eyes, "That I know Kathy didn't mean that. I have known her for years and I know that she said that out of anger."
Jenny hiccuped from crying so much.
"Jenny," Chris said, gently taking her hand, "Angie and I are here for you, keep that in mind next time something goes wrong."
Jenny sniffed again and shifted her gaze to me.
I smiled at her and put my hand over her other hand, nodding.
Jenny nodded and smiled weakly, "Thank you... That's really good to hear."
Chris beamed and walked around the table to Jenny, "Come here."
Chris hugged Jenny and I joined them.
Jenny laughed a little and I said, "Don't worry about Kathy. 

"I know she'll come around sooner or later."

*Centers - Last classes of the school day.